Redmi 6 Pro Review (Hands-On User Review)

Redmi 6 Pro Review (Hands-On User Review)

I’ve been using the new Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro and I still don’t really understand the need for this mobile. It’s the same proven formula used over and over by Xiaomi. A Snapdragon 625 + large 4000mAh battery. But that’s now a bore. Maybe it is true Xiaomi bought up the last of the Snapdragon 625 stock nobody wanted to touch but in return gain a big discount on the flagship chip the Snapdragon 845? Who knows, but what I know is the Redmi 6 Pro is a mix up of the Redmi Note 4X’s internals, the Redmi S2’s camera set up and a new notch IPS screen, following the questionable trend that some people are looking for in a budget mobile.

Xiaomi Redmi 6 Pro Review – Video index:

01:09 – Unboxing 02:43 – Weight & thickness 02:58 – Design & build 05:31 – First boot 06:02 – ROM & Info 07:04 – Camera sensors 07:40 – Treble & DRM 08:01 – Antutu + benchmarks 08:53 – Battery & Charge times 09:17 – Notch + UI & performance 10:44 – Display in detail 11:21 – Audio: speaker/calls/3.5mm 12:56 – Gaming: PUBG 13:36 – Finger & face unlocking 14:17 – Camera app settings 15:07 – Camera samples 18:36 – Final words

Once you get your hands on an use the phone it’s evident it’s not a completely irrelevant release, the build is good. The display, while it does have a notch, is very bright, with better whites than the Redmi 5 Plus, Note 5 and Mi 6X. Those IPS 5.99″ 18:9 panels are very blueish their whites before calibrating.

The 5.84″ 2280 x 1080p display has a notch and is full of compromises. You cannot see the battery percent, notifications and other important info without swiping down.  I’m not sure how Xiaomi is going to work their way around this, but interested nevertheless to see how this develops and the changes MIUI 10 will implement. MIUI 10 is still in beta but the stable version due soon with a big roll out.

The ROM is Android 8.1 based with MIUI 9.6 and has a hefty 1.7GB bugfix update right out of the box. This is the Chinese ROM so expect some Chinese bloatware, but that can be removed – well most of it. The global ROM and global version once released won’t have Chinese bloast and also Google Play will be apart of the ROM built in. It’s not installed on the Chinese/English ROM and never will be.

My version has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of eMMC 5.1 spec storage and the performance is good (benchmakrs in the review like Antutu) even in full gesture mode that was plagued with stutters and freezes is now optimized well due to Xiaomi’s experience with this chipset. Multi-tasking is smooth, app launch times are good for the most part and the notifications slider doesn’t lag like my Mi Max 2 does and even the Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE does with their ROM build.

Audio is great for this price range of mobile, 3.5mm headphone jack with a clean output decent punch to it, FM Radio and plenty of sound tweaking options to get the most out of it. Call quality from the mics is good, better than the Mi Mix 2S or Mi 8 (In their current state) and only the smaller earpiece is lacking slightly. Size constraints mean the speaker is smaller than normal and sounds a bit flatter.

Gaming performance is good, not the fastest of course but Lineage II (medium settings) and PUBG run well with the odd stutter but smooth enough to win a match of PUBG on the lowest graphics setting and high frame rate option.

The battery endurance combination that is the Snapdragon 625 and a decent sized 4000mah battery is proven and here you can expect well over 2 days of battery life. 1 hour of YouTube steaming at 200lux only consumes around 9% battery life. Standby drain is under control losing only around 1% every 3 hours.

The included 5V 2amp charger isn’t a fast charger, but it will charges it quick. Yes the phone uses a Micro USB port, something Xiaomi has to do away with and swap to the stronger Type-C spec.

Redmi 6 Pro charge times:

  • 5% to 31% in 30 minutes
  • 5% to 62% in 1 hour
  • Full charged in 2 hours 14 minutes

The main camera is a 12MP Sony IMX486 as used in the Redmi S2 I reviewed. It has PDAF autofocus which is okay, it has an f2.2 aperture which isn’t the created but expects for the price. In my review, you’ll find some sample, make sure to watch it in 4k even if you don’t have a 4k tv or monitor it will be sharper.

1080p video stabilization is great, but 4k option isn’t there in the stock app and using Open Camera 4k works. But with EIS (Image stabilization setting on) enabled it doesn’t do anything! The REdmi Note 5, Redmi S2 and Mi 6X it will give you Google Pixel style smooth stable footage with a mild crop. But not here. Xiaomi has blocked access to the gyro or something to stop it from work? Why? Is this intentional for mobile gimbal sales? Or just an error.

Overall the Redmo 6 Pro is better than I expected, it has no real fault, it’s a solid phone. A boring release yes, and I would still get the Redmi Note 5 over this. Reasons why? For it’s EIS 4k (Working for now) better camera with faster focus and better build. The Redmi 6 does, however, have a brighter better screen but with a notch and a 3 slot sim tray. Two nano SIM’s and MicroSD slot. No need to give up one of those SIM for the MicroSD.

I bought this unit from Trading Shenzhen here.

Redmi 6 Pro, Pros:

  • Better screen than Redmi Note 5/5 Plus/Mi 6X
  • Great battery life
  • Good audio in general for the spec and price
  • Good build quality with 2 x nano SIM + MicroSD
  • The UI and ROM is very fast for an SD625
  • FM radio
  • IR transmitter

Redmi 6 Pro Cons:

  • Still using microUSB in 2018.
  • Open Camera can’t use the gyro for 4k EIS.
  • Focus can be slow
  • Notch limits notifications
  • Bezels larger than press images

 

 

Chinese tablet news, hands on videos and reviews of the latest Chinese tablets. I don't review or cover just anything, only tablets I think are good enough and worth the attention.

17 Comments

  1. Chris, this is a non-technical issue and probably not in the right forum, so feel free to move it somewhere else, if you like.
    Is Google´s app “Google” an unremovable and unchangeable system app because it is an integrated part of MIUI Global 9.5.1. or can that vary between different Xiaomi models? In my Redmi Note 5, I am completely stuck with it, how is it in Redmi 6 Pro?

    I can´t think of any other app with such a vast and far reaching set of permissions as Google. The list is comprehensive, there is virtually nothing that it cannot do. In practice, this app owns both your mobile and yourself and to some extent your friends and contacts as well. It is strange that there has been such a big noise about Facebook´s integrity threats, but hardly anything about the Google app. Maybe it is because Google hasn´t been caught misusing it as yet?
    I haven´t worried much in the past, because my previous Android 6 mobile allowed me the choice of removing it or disabling every permission and just use it for searching.

  2. Please compare camera Redmi 6 pro vs Redmi Note 5 and Mi 6X, very interesting result!

  3. It would be nice to compare the gemini lake with the new i7-8505Y iPGU615, I hope intel doesn’t delay the release.
    https://gfxbench.com/device.jsp?benchmark=gfx40&os=Windows&api=gl&D=Intel%28R%29+Core%28TM%29+i7-8505Y+CPU+with+UHD+Graphics+615&testgroup=overall

  4. Hey Chris!

    The apps do have acces to the gyro, bot it is not what accountable for EIS. They using Camera2 API, wich is accountable of wether or not advanced camera features aviable for third party apps like Open Camera.
    Advanced features like EIS, manual focus and so are only aviable if the manufacturer implements these features in their own camera app, or if they’re using Camera 2 API, wich Google recommends since Android 5.0 (with wich Camra2 came with).

    Please read more on here: https://smartfilming.blog/2017/06/17/what-the-hell-is-camera2-api-and-why-should-i-know-about-it/

    You’re basically the one who got me look into this with your in-depth camra reviews, and i couldnt stop thinking why is one phone gets features and one not.

    Please also use this app to verify Camera 2 API presence on the phones you’re using:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.airbeat.device.inspector&hl=en_US

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!

    • Very interesting and useful info, thank you Levente! I am sure the Camera2 API check will become a standard tool for Chris´ mobile reviews in the future. I of course immediately checked my own Redmi Note 5 and found it only supports the basic Legacy version on both back and front cameras. That explains a few things but not everything. If EIS is one of the features controlled by Camera2 API, it makes sense that it doesn´t work for 4K in Open Camera, but it does not explain why it does work for full HD and lower resolutions.
      Another philosophical question is why manufacturers choose not to support full Camera2 API in some mobiles. Is it to save on development cost or to make sure their budget and mid level models can not be made to compete with their flagships by means of a third party app?

      • Well, if you read the article, it explains much. Legacy support does not mean it cant have nice features, but it must be implemented by the manufacturer in OS level.

        For Redmi Note 5: https://forum.xda-developers.com/redmi-note-5/themes/mod-enable-camera2-api-t3756070

        Here, you can enable Camera2API for yourself and use it like the Pixel 2 (thats my plan when my redmi note 5 arrives).

        Why manufacturers wont enable? Well they’re enabling on their flagship phone (as said before, they dont’t have to use the standard Camera2API to implement features, but if they fully support it, then third party apps can access those features as well), but they’re disabling on lower tier devices.

        From a perspective of market, it all makes sense. If you want advanced features, buy our more expensive products.

        But the good news is, that there are two ways of disabling Camera2API on phones.

        1. Build a ROM specifically to left out Camera2API, this way you have to build a new ROM if you want to use these features (like Samsung does it…)

        2. Having not bothered about it, leave in the OS, but disable afterwards in the build.prop file, wich then you can re-enable. Thats the “only” way to enable on phones.

        Interestingly i find that Huawei devices support these features even on lower tier phones (limited and above).

        Also i’m pretty sure chinese version Redmin Note 5 supports it by OS, but disabled afterwards.

        So the point is, i would really happy to see Camera2API checks in videos, to see if Xiaomi’s or other brands
        flagships and mid tier devices he reviews support it or not. Like im really curious about the Mi 8’s capabilitys from this perspective.

        • Thanks for additional info. It would be great to install the correct level of Camera2 API by yourself, but I am not sure I want to get into installing a TWRP just yet. The phone is new and I am sure there will be Xiaomi OTA updates forthcoming. I believe there´s a risk that TWRP may stop those updates.

          • Well im using a rooted device with TWRP for ever, and i recive OTA updated regularly on MIUI Redmi 1s.

            Im not saying to do it, just saying it works even though.

    • Thanks, I saw your comment on YouTube (This exact one) and then lost it in the hundreds of comments. So even if it says only legacy support it doesn’t mean it might be able to use EIS. Would be nice to know, but I just test and see as I have recently. I hope all manufacturers add this but as they start using more and more ex-flagship sensors for say last year in budget or midranges mobiles you can see they don’t want us getting all the features as they wish to sell you a flagship mobile for that.

  5. It would be the only way I think to get rid of it, that or big discounts. Nothing wrong with the chipset it’s very good for what it is and the price. Better than the MediaTek offering. I’m not a huge fan of 18:9, but I’ll take it any day over the notch.

    I’m looking forward to the Mi Max 3 the most out of all the releases.

  6. that’s how Xiaomi works in order to keep such low prices
    They simply don’t re-stock a product (except for the premium models)
    once the stock is empty….they make a brand new phone with the cheaper components they can find in stock at that moment
    So here we have a slightly awkward mix of brand new display

    • consider the chip would have been a “brand new one” if they just would have called it SD450
      which indeed is the very same chipset but demeaned as a SD4xx family chipset, BUT presented in 2017 H2

  7. About using Open Camera for shooting in 4K. You mentioned that it works with EIS enabled in Note 5, but in my Note 5 it crashes immediately with EIS and works OK without EIS.

    • That’s strange, I have the Chinese first model and later flashed the Global ROM that leaked. It’s working fine. I used it at the start of the Redmi 6 Review for that 4k footage without lugging around my tripod and camera. It was very steady so definitely working. So stupid Xiaomi has removed this?

      • Anything wrong with my Note 5 or my Open Camera? Can anyone else with a Redmi Note 5 comment on this?

  8. Great a view of a somehow obsolete phone – it may only exist for the better display while having a worser camera.

    Any way I had a smile on my face while reading “Xiaomi bought up the last of the Snapdragon 625 stock nobody wanted to touch”

    “Maybe it is true Xiaomi bought up the last of the Snapdragon 625 stock nobody wanted to touch but in return gain a big discount on the flagship chip the Snapdragon 845?”

    Didn`t the chinese have a city of untouchables ?
    But it would be a proper way for the Snapdragon makers to get ridd off the old inventory.
    Isn’t the 625 that chipset of the Mi Max 2 ?

    I have used the Mi Max 2 a lot and I am currently on a Redmi 5 Plus which is pretty good for the money except that blueish display. The 5 Plus seems to be a bit more performant, fluid or so – both the 4 + 64 GB Edition in black.

    What I really hate a lot, more than a lot is the view out of a bunker I got from that 18:9 display and these crazy corners or rounded display
    both terribly, useless shit – except for all the guys with tiny hands or fingers who need these small devices.
    But who needs and benefits 18 : 9 except cinceastic guys?
    But will they work with that phone only for that reason of a perfect movie display?

    The Mi Max 2 had a real good and usefull aspect ratio especially for working on the go like Chrome with desktop mode and word docs or smaller excel sheets.

    The Mi Max 3 is coming and it seems to follow this useless trend … that started with the Samsung Note Series if I remember right. The Note 5 had a usefull display ratio but then it went the wrong way …

    And I really see no use of that notches cause it is on the top not really bezelless if you have that notch. Better to have a full frame there on the top and room for good quality sensors and and 6 inch notch display can not be titled a 6 inch display.

    Anyway: As good your review is made I won`t buy that modell 6 but I hope to see you reviewing the Mi Max 3 pretty soon cause I have high hopes to get this combi sled with 2 sim + sd card I miss sometimes and other details like NFC support which Xiaomi unfortunatelly ignored a lot but now with google pay in europe coming up it becomes a key feature this NFC.

    • Oh I just wrote a huge reply to this and lost it yesterday. Yes teh Mi Max has the 625, it’s a perfectly fine chip. Good features and spec for its price. But now dated, no one wants it but Xiaomi.

      I don’t like the 18:9 and rounded edges. Nothing has rounded edges we view and it even cuts into the time and parts of the content displayed. It’s stupid. But I will take 18:9 over the notch anyway. The notch eats into even more of the top information that is normally displayed. As a result, you lose notifications, you can’t see the battery percent the connection etc.

      My hope rests with the Mi Max 3, if it has I notch I don’t I will keep it. I would stick to my Redmi Note 5 which I do like.

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