Xiaomi Redmi 6 Review – The capable budget phone!

Announced earlier this year, the Redmi 6 looked to be one of the best spec’d phone under the PHP 8K for those who don’t prioritize looks.
Xiaomi Redmi 6 Review -  The capable budget phone!
It comes with MIUI 9!
For our review part 1: Xiaomi Redmi 6 Unboxing and First Impressions
In our first impressions, we highly regarded the specs of the Redmi 6 for the price if you don’t mind the ticker bezels and polycarbonate build materials.
How does it stack up after several months? Let’s find out!

Display Quality

The bezels are quite thick though
The bezels are quite thick though
The display is a 5.45-inch 2.5D curved IPS screen w/ HD+ 1440 x 720 resolution at 295 ppi which is okay. But the competition is getting fierce and sooner or later a 1080p display will fit in a 5.45 inch form factor. It produces decent color and contrast for the price while the viewing angles are acceptable.
The side, bottom and top bezels are immediately obvious.

There is a light sensor and auto-brightness is on by default. There is a reading mode where it reduces the blue light that is emitted by the display.

It has a setting that allows you to set the display towards a warmer color or to a colder color.
It has full 10 point multitouch display that is perfect for multimedia consumption and gaming that needs multiple simultaneous inputs.

Audio Quality

The speaker is at the rear plate
The speaker is at the rear plate
It has a single rear firing speakers. This means that when laid against a surface, the sound gets muffled. 

At maximum volume isn’t that high but there is also almost no distortion. The maximum volume will be drowned out by a noisy environment. The sound quality in terms of separation, details and clarity is decent. 
It doesn’t come with earphones. When used with our RHA 450i the sound quality improves with great maximum volume with better details, separation and clarity. The sound stage could use some improvement though.

Microphone quality for calls and audio recording is good. There is decent isolation and the sound remains detailed. This is the same with video recording.

Battery Life

In our usual PC appmarsh Battery benchmark, the Redmi 6 clocked in at just under 8 hours. This is not bad but it could improve.

Decent battery life

In our daily use, we would unplug at 8AM and by 8PM we would be reaching 20 to 25 percent.
This is with constant LTE/WiFi connection with texting, calling, emails, Chrome web surfing, messenger, Instagram and YouTube streaming, it would last around 8 to 9 hours. It is consistent with the battery test.

Charging the 3,000mAh battery takes around 90 minutes.

Camera

Dual rear cameras at the back
Dual rear cameras at the back

The camera is a dual lens set up of a 12MP f/2.2 and a 5MP with AF, A.I. portrait mode and LED flash. It supports modes like Short video, Video, Photo (Auto), Portrait, Square, Panorama, and Manual.
In Photo (auto) mode you can choose to turn on HDR and filters while the camera does the settings for you by detecting the scene. Square is basically a 1 x 1 aspect ratio of auto.

Last is the classic Panorama wherein you move the camera along the same axis.
Manual camera mode
Manual camera mode
Last is the Manual mode  where in you can manually change the White Balance, ISO (100 to 3200), Shutter Speed (1/1000 to 2s), and focus.

In the settings you can change camera shutter sounds, show gridlines and allow to trigger the shutter via the fingerprint sensor.

Decent camera performance


The images that come out of the Redmi 6’s main camera have decent color but with deep contrast and high resolution (sharpness).
The detail and sharpness is one of the sharpest we’ve seen in this price range. Its worth nothing that the highlights blow up quite easily as shown below with the white sky and the blown out light sources.
In portrait mode you get the classic artificial bokeh but the subject has to two meters away from the camera. When it works, it works well, when it doesn’t, it doesn’t. 
In low light, the image gains some grain but maintains details and colors well. It is pretty good for its price range.

Rear Camera Samples

Bright daylight
Bright daylight
Daylight 1
Daylight 1
Daylight 2
Daylight 2
Indoor
Indoor
Close-up
Close-up
Low light
Low light
The selfie camera is a 5MP f/2.0 with the support for modes like short video, video, photo, portrait and square. These work the same as the main camera modes.
The beautification can be found in the selfie portrait mode with up to 5 levels of basic beautification. The advanced mode allows for modification of the face shape, eyes, skin tone and smoothening that can be adjusted.

The daylight images from the selfie camera have sharp images with good color and contrast.

The low light selfie retains details and colors well with minimal grain and almost no color cast. It’s better than most phones in this price range.
The AF in lowlight is good. It is able to detect faces accurately and quickly, but not as fast as in daylight.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Cropped indoor selfie with bokeh
Cropped indoor selfie with bokeh
Low light selfie
Low light selfie
Both the rear and front facing cameras can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps with image stabilization. It doesn’t say if it is OIS or EIS though. 

See also: Xiaomi Redmi 6: First Camera Samples
The footage from either camera produces really sharp images with deep contrast. What could be improved is the color as it looks flat. Otherwise the footage is good. The stabilization helps with handheld walking shots.

Use a gimbal if you want smoother and stable footage. The gimbal could cost more than your phone though.

Video Samples

Performance

Benchmark scores
Benchmark scores

The Redmi 6 is running on a 2.0GHz 64-bit Helio P22 octa-core processor and PowerVR GE8320 GPU with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB ROM.
This resulted in at least 70K in AnTuTu and in Geekbench scores of 816 single core and 3,629 multi-core scores.
In real world usage, the Redmi 6 is quick and responsive in navigating the stock launcher, apps, and general use.

In games like PUBG, it runs okay-ish at low settings. It is playable for casual (non-competitive) play.

Pretty UI
Pretty UI
It is running the Android 8.1 Oreo with MIUI 9 on top. Like most MIUI, it is a beautiful UI with one of the best selection of themes, backgrounds and icons.

Aside from the usual features from stock Android, MIUI 9 adds features like “Second Space” which creates a second account that you can access via a second passcode, fingerprint or pattern that helps protect your privacy. 
Other features like button and gesture shortcuts that launch user specified apps with user picked gestures.
The fingerprint sensor is at the back. There is an LED notification light. There is a light sensor, and OTG support. There is no Gyroscope.
The telephony experience is good. WiFi, 4G LTE+, Bluetooth, GPS are all fast, responsive and stable while the calling, texting and data are reliable in most conditions.
Pros – Great specs for the price, Good camera for stills and video, 
Cons – Polycarbonate build, rear facing speaker, large bezels

Verdict

The Redmi 6 is the phone that priorities specs first over looks which may be enough for a number of people.

This makes it perform well with normal tasks and some casual gaming but may turn away people who want more than polycarbonate materials and who want thinner bezels.

The camera is also one of the sharpest we’ve seen at the price range that translates to good pictures and video. The only gripe with the pictures and footage is that the colors can be flat at times but otherwise it is one of the better ones.

We recommend the Redmi 6 for people who don’t mind giving up looks and build for good spec.

Build/Design – 3.25
Display – 3.75
Audio – 3.75
Battery – 4
Camera – 4.25
Performance – 4.25
Average – 3.88/5

Published by Marshmallow

Marshmallow Android is BT Ireland’s Head of Sales for Republic of Ireland domestic multi-site companies, indigenous MNCs and public sector accounts. He is responsible for the direction and control of all sales activity in the region. He has over 10 years management experience from high growth start-ups to more established businesses. He’s led teams in Ireland, India and China across various industries (ICT, On-Line Recruitment, Corporate Training and International Education).