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Xiaomi Redmi 6, 6A and 6 Pro: First impressions




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Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi, has jumped into the fray with three new smartphones for the Indian market on September 5. Part of the Redmi 6 line-up, the Xiaomi Redmi 6, 6A and 6 Pro will look to target buyers in the entry-level and budget segment with their aggressive pricing.
The Indian variant of the phones don’t really spring any surprises and are very much in line – in design and specs – with the models launched in China earlier in the year.
Apart from focussing heavily on photography, and improved performance, the three phones also bring with them features that Xiaomi claims make them a perfect fit for India – the fastest growing smartphone market in the world.
The Redmi 6 series as such see Xiaomi adding Dual VoLTE support – the ability to use two 4G networks on a phone together – and face unlock capabilities along with some other AI smarts to all three devices which come running MIUI 9.6 out of the box, but have been promised to be upgraded to MIUI 10 “soon”.
Two of the three phones – the Redmi 6A and 6 Pro – have been launched as Amazon exclusives, and will be available for purchase through the e-commerce website and Mi.com starting Septemeber 19 and 11 respectively. The Redmi 6, on the other hand, will be available online through Flipkart and Mi.com.
We got to spend some time with the devices — here are our initial thoughts about them.




REDMI 6A
The most affordable of the three devices, the Redmi 6A has been fitted with a 5.45-inch HD+ panel capable of churning out a maximum resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels at an aspect ratio of 18:9.
At the back, the smartphone is made of polycarbonate plastic with a metallic finish. Overall, as an entry-level smartphone, the device doesn’t bring with it any silky curves and looks industrial at best. However, that's to be expected for a phone that starts at Rs 5,999.
Under the hood, the device comes equipped with the Helio A22 SoC which makes Redmi 6A the only smartphone in this segment to use a 12nm processor. In terms of cameras, it brings with it a 13-Megapixel rear camera featuring phase detection autofocus with Electronic Image Stabilization and a 5-Megapixel front camera — both capable of using Xiaomi's AI Portrait mode.
Keeping the lights on here is a 3000mAh battery pack, that paired with the 12nm process SoC and the low-resolution display, should provide for good battery life.




Redmi 6

Next up is the Redmi 6 which Xiaomi is billing as the “smartphone for everyone”. With the Redmi 6, the company has tried to create a smartphone that packs in not only the best in class performance but also cameras.
Though we’d like to reserve our judgment on this for our full review, for now, what can be said is that the Redmi 6 has all the potential to become the device that Xiaomi envisions it to be.
For its price segment, the Redmi 6 brings with it a Helio P22 octa-core SoC that again has been created using an ultra-efficient 12nm process. The company claims that this SoC consumes about 48 per cent less power than comparable 28nm chipsets available in the market, and provides an impressive jump in terms of CPU and GPU performance too.
The new device also promises more than a 30 per cent jump in performance compared to its Snapdragon 450 SoC equipped predecessor, Redmi 5.
The second big thing about the phone is its cameras.
The Redmi 6 comes packing a 12-Megapixel + 5-Megapixel dual camera set-up at the back, with a 1.25┬Ám pixel – the largest for a smartphone in the price segment.
For the uninitiated, the bigger the size of a pixel means more light is captured by the lens, which results in overall improved performance while clicking pictures in low light conditions.
Xiaomi has also added phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) and Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) to the camera.
Moving to the front, the device comes with a 5-Megapixel front camera that supports Xiaomi's AI Portrait mode.
The battery again is the 3,000 mAh pack, and so are the rest of the specs, which includes the tall 5.45-inch 18:9 HD+ panel found on the Redmi 6A.




Redmi 6 Pro

Arguably the biggest announcement of the day, the Redmi 6 Pro is a device that appears to be Xiaomi’s latest attempt to win back the Rs 10-13k budget segment of the market.
In design and hardware, the device attempts to use learnings from the popular Redmi Note 5 lineup to create a device that is not only better value for money but is also more attuned to market realities.
In terms of design, it features a 5.84-inch notch-ridden display capable of churning out a maximum resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels.
The device’s back has been crafted out of a slab of aluminium, giving it a more premium feel compared to the Redmi 6 and 6A. However, this design choice also makes it more prone to overheating, and as we found, more slippery than the other two devices in the line-up.
Under the hood, the device uses Xiaomi’s trusted Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, paired with a massive 4000mAh battery that Xiaomi claims can go on for two days on a single charge.
Though we haven’t tested the battery yet, it won’t be too surprising for a battery of this size paired with such an energy-efficient processor to be able to give such good results.
In terms of the cameras, the device again excels as it brings with it the same impressive camera set-up which previously found space on the more expensive Redmi Note 5 Pro. The set-up comprises a 12-megapixel primary sensor with f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture. The camera module supports electronic image stabilisation and phase detection autofocus.


What about the price?

Redmi 6 Pro comes in two variants – 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB variants. While the 3GB + 32GB variant has been priced at Rs 10,999, the 4GB + 64GB variant is priced at Rs 12,999. Redmi 6 too has also been announced in similar RAM and storage variants. The Redmi 6 starts at Rs 7,999 and goes up to Rs 9,499. On the other hand, the Redmi 6A will be available in 2GB + 16GB for Rs 5,999 and 2GB + 32GB for Rs 6,999.

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