Ten months after the Redmi Note 5 Pro was launched in India, Xiaomi is all set to bring in the Redmi Note 6 Pro. The new Redmi Note 6 Pro has a slightly bigger display with a notch on top which makes the aspect ratio 19:9 compared to 18:9 on the previous version.
Xiaomi has also improved the build quality and added P2i coating to make the phone splash resistant, though this is still not a waterproof phone. It has also added two cameras at the front and improved the rear cameras.
But will the Redmi Note 6 Pro be another bestseller from Xiaomi? Here’s our review
Redmi Note 6 Pro specifications: 6.26-inches display with 19:9 aspect ratio, 2280 x 1080 pixels display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor | 4GB RAM/6GB RAM + 64GB storage (expandable to 256GB) | 12MP+5MP rear camera with f/1.9 aperture and 20MP+2MP front camera | 4000 mAh battery | MIUI 10 with Android Oreo 8. 1
Redmi Note 6 Pro price in India: Rs 13,999 for 4GB RAM and 15,999 for the 6GB RAM
Redmi Note 6 Pro: Display, Design
Redmi Note 6 Pro has a 6.26-inch display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. The older phone had 5.99-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. With Redmi Note 6 Pro, Xiaomi has also introduced a notch, where the two front cameras are housed. In MIUI 10, there is the option of turning off the notch, though that does create a prominent band on top.
As with previous Redmi phones, the Note 6 Pro’s display is more than adequate. The phone is ideal for video consumption, gaming, given that it is slightly bigger. It also works fine in bright sunlight, though you will need to crank up brightness to full.
The newer phone also has a slightly better build, with Xiaomi claiming that this is build from 6000 series aluminium. Overall though the design has not changed much, and the look and feel is still very Redmi. The bigger 6.2-inch display does make it a little challenging at times to use this phone with one hand, but not everyone will face this problem.
The P2i coating to the phone is also good to see, because so far Xiaomi has not offered something like this with Redmi phones in India. The device is now splash-resistant. This does not mean the phone is waterproof, and Xiaomi is not advertising this as such. However, the phone should be fine, in case it accidently gets wet in the rain or you spill some water on it. But if you do soak it deliberately, this won’t be okay.
Redmi Note 6 Pro: Performance, MIUI 10
Redmi Note 6 Pro continues with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor coupled with 4GB or 6GB RAM options and 64GB storage space. There’s a microSD slot on board, but Xiaomi is continuing with the dual hybrid SIM, which we saw on the previous variant. There’s no dedicated microSD slot as on the Redmi 6 series.
In terms of benchmarks, Redmi Note 6 Pro performs similar to its predecessor, scoring above 1,10,000 on Antutu. For reference we have the 6GB RAM variant for review. We have not experienced any heating issues either. The device works smoothly with multi-tasking, gaming, and any other regular tasks. However, I could not run Asphalt 9 on this phone. Hopefully Xiaomi will push out an update to fix this.
While the Redmi Note 6 Pro continues to be reliable performer, do not expect a drastic leap in performance compared to the earlier variant.
Redmi Note 6 Pro runs Android 8.1 Oreo, which is disappointing. Xiaomi has been slow when it comes to pushing out the newer versions of Android for its popular phones. The phone comes with MIUI 10 out of the box though. It has the option for gestures, which eliminates the traditional three buttons at the bottom.
Gestures work fine on the device, once you get the hang of them, though they still need some polishing. You can swipe from the bottom to go back to home, swipe left and right from the edge of an app to go back to the previous app you had open. On the browser like Chrome, swiping from edges will take you back to the previous page you had open.
I had no difficulty using these gestures, though I’m used to all this swiping now thanks to the iPhone XS, Pixel 3 XL and other phones, which are all offering something similar. For users who are not familiar with gestures, these can be a little challenging.
Redmi Note 6 Pro: Camera
Redmi Note 6 Pro has a 12MP+5MP rear camera, which comes with different sensors compared to the older phone. It also has dual cameras on the front with a 20MP+2MP combination. Xiaomi has increased the pixel sensor size and improved aperture of the rear camera.
With Redmi Note 5 Pro, I thought the camera was quite good especially in daylight performance. The newer phone also continues with this kind of performance. Is there a great jump in terms of picture quality due to the different sensors? Honestly I cannot see it as such.
In outdoor lighting, Redmi Note 6 Pro continues to perform well, though with brighter colours like reds, it could do better. The rear camera also does nicely in shots with indoor lighting, though its not as good as the Mi A2 camera yet. The selfie camera is likewise adequate, but it tends to really go aggressive on skin smoothing, which I find very jarring.
The camera’s low-light performance is not bad, though there is noticeable noise in some of the photos. I also felt the focus could be better in some of the low-light shots. I’m wondering if this is a software issue that needs fixing.
Xiaomi’s Portrait mode now allows for editing of the blur levels, adding studio effects to Portrait. The feature for editing out the level of blur in the background is actually quite nice, though I wish Portraits would do better in terms of details. I’m not a fan of the studio lighting mode, which does not do so well with the edges of the subject.
Redmi Note 6 Pro: Battery
Redmi Note 6 Pro continues to have a 4000 mAh battery. This should easily last a day or more depending on your usage. For me, the battery easily lasted more than a day, even when the device was used for navigation, WhatsApp messaging, watching videos, etc. Xiaomi has not yet introduced a Type-C USB port to the phone.
Redmi Note 6 Pro: Verdict
Honestly, it does feel like I’m reviewing the same phone again. Redmi Note 6 Pro is certainly not for those who have the Redmi Note 5 Pro, which remains a capable phone. Xiaomi is offering this for those users who are still on older Redmi Note 3, 4, or even those on Redmi 5, 5A, and are looking to upgrade.
When the company first came to India, it was all about specifications. Now, it has added stability and reliable performance to the list, though the specifications only get a minor tweak. Frankly that reliable performance is what continues with Redmi Note 6 Pro and gives it a big edge over the competition.