In a little more than four years, Xiaomi has become a household name and India’s top smartphone brand. And One of the key contributors to the success of this Chinese brand is the extremely popular Redmi Note series, which has sold hundreds of millions of units, and for many remains the ultimate mid-segment smartphone. Xiaomi has now added another Note to this mix, the Redmi Note 6 Pro. And of course, everyone is interested in what it has to offer. The answer is: as usual, quite a lot for not too much money (it starts at Rs 13,999). But there are six Note-worthy facts that really caught our eyes:
Display: We have a notch above – literally!
One of the key new features that the Redmi Note 6 Pro brings along as the latest Note in the series is a 19:9 aspect ratio display coupled with a notch. Yes, the Note 5 Pro also came with a “tall” (18:9 aspect ratio) display but the 6 Pro has taken matters up a “notch”, giving it a slightly larger 6.26 inch display with a higher resolution (it remains full HD+) at 1080 x 2280 pixels topped with Corning Gorilla Glass. While Xiaomi has trimmed bezels down, you would still be able to see thin bezels surrounding the display from the two sides and top, and slightly thicker one at the “chin.” It is not just a larger display – the brightness goes well up to 500 nits which makes it bright enough to be easily used under the harshest sun.
Quad cameras – snapping to the power four
From a single camera on front and back to dual cameras for both primary and secondary rear camera setups, the Note series has been on quite a sensor journey. The Note 6 Pro is first Xiaomi phone in India to a boast quad camera set up. And it is quite a decent set up too – on the back are a 12 megapixel primary sensor with f/1.9 aperture and Dual Pixel PDAF and a 5 megapixel secondary sensory with f/2.2 aperture for depth sensing (for blurring those backgrounds in portrait mode), with a dual tone LED flash. The secondary camera is a combination of 20 megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture and a 2 megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture, again for depth sensing. And there are a lot of software tricks in there to get some great pictures, including even different types of Portrait Lighting and special effects. The Mi A2, which we consider to be the best camera phone in the sub-Rs 20,000 category, might have better sensors, but you can simply do much more on the Redmi Note 6 Pro, thanks to all the software and AI on it. We would say this is closer to being a “camera beast” (the line used for the Redmi Note 5 Pro) than the previous Note.
Solid design – Metal and glass
While many have accused the Redmi Note 6 Pro of going with a safe and dated design, one cannot question the sturdiness of the device at this price point. The display has Gorilla Glass protection, the back is metal, and what’s more, the Note 6 Pro is also the first Note series devices to get a P2i coating that protects the smartphone from minor splashes and light rainfall. And all this in a frame that seems tough enough and is compact enough to carry – yes, it is almost the same size as the Redmi Note 5 Pro in spite of having a much bigger display. It is easy enough to carry and while we do not recommend drop-testing it, we think that metal back will survive a drop or two.
Battery – Days, not hours
Battery life has also always been a USP of the Note series, and like the Redmi Note 3, 4 and 5, the Note 6 Pro too packs in a large 4000 mAh battery. It is big enough to see you through a day of normal work and well if you are really careful, you can actually stretch it to just past two days. And while the battery can take a while to charge (about two and a half hours) with the charger in the box, the phone supports faster charging, provided you buy a charger from Xiaomi (it is not too expensive at under Rs 500, but we just wish they had put one in the box).
MIUI 10 – gestures, features galore
Some may be disappointed by the fact that the new Note comes with the now seemingly dated Android 8.1 version out of the box but Xiaomi has compensated for the dated OS with an updated MIUI skin on top. The Note 6 Pro is topped with MIUI 10, the latest from the software house of Xiaomi. The interface not only adds various interesting features to the smartphone, which includes a much better Face Unlock, gesture support (you can get rid of those navigation buttons and free up screen space), some terrific photo shooting and editing options and also a number of tools including a file manager, voice recorder, battery manager and even a Wi-Fi file transfer tool, Mi Drop. There is a lot to talk about here, but suffice to say, this is one of the most feature rich devices in software terms at its price point.
Decent Innards – Good chip with lots of memory
The Note 6 Pro also bring along an overall decent spec sheet – one that will not break benchmark records but will do more than enough to get you through your routine and even some not so routine tasks. The device is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon octa-core 636 processor clocked at 1.8 GHz paired with Adreno 509 Graphics chipset – enough for most casual games, social networking, messaging and for running multiple routine apps or multiple browser tabs. The device is available in two variants, one with 6 GB RAM and the other with 4 GB RAM. Both these variants come with 64 GB internal storage that can be expanded up to 256 GB via microSD card slot. So memory is not an issue either. Round that off with 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, USB OTG and infrared port, and you have a very handy package for its starting price of Rs 13,999.
Traveller’s Tip: Do not underestimate the utility of the infrared port – you can use it to control a television or an air conditioner. Anyone who has struggled with remote controls in hotels will tell you how important this is!