Xiaomi Redmi 6 Review: Is It Your New Budget Phone?

by John Nieves  July 31, 2018

We review the Redmi 6!

Despite its local launch being overshadowed by the announcement and availability of its higher profile brother, Xiaomi’s Redmi 6 is the phone that’s destined to make the most noise. Packed with relatively powerful hardware for the price and a pair of cameras that take great photos, this affordable phone is destined to make waves in the budget segment of the market.

What is it?

It’s the pricier of the two recently announced Redmi smartphones sporting better internals plus a dual camera. It’s priced starting at just Php 7,490 and for the money you get a phone that has an Helio P22 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage plus decent dual cameras.

How does it feel?

Surprisingly it doesn’t feel at all like a budget phone. Yes, the phone has a plastic exterior to save on cost but it doesn’t feel like your typical budget phone where it’s obvious that build quality has been compromised to save on manufacturing costs.

The rear of the phone has a metal-looking finish that repels fingerprints pretty well. The phone also has curved sides and rounded corners and is generally easy to manhandle one-handed.

The dual rear cameras are tucked in the upper left side of the phone, with the fingerprint scanner slightly below it, in the center. The speaker grille is located near the bottom.

On the right side, you have the power button and volume rocker, while on the right you’ll see trays for both dual SIMs and microSD. On the top of the phone is the 3.5mm jack, while on the bottom is the USB port.

What’s the display like?

It’s decent. The phone sports a 5.45-inch HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Because of the size of the display and the fact that it has an 18:9 aspect ratio, the phone feels smaller than a typical 16:9 device that has the same screen size.

The top and bottom bezels are a little big, though it’s not really that much of a deal breaker. Navigation is done via the on-screen buttons.

As far as display quality goes, it’s alright, we guess. The 5.45-inch screen size hides the fact that the Redmi 6’s display is only HD+, giving it an overall ppi of 295.

Color accuracy is alright, and while contrast levels could be improved a little bit, we couldn’t find anything major to complain about the Redmi 6’s display.

Is it fast?

Relatively, considering how much it is and its competition. The basic version of the Redmi 6 plods along with an Helio P22 chipset, a brand-new SoC that’s in phones that are usually priced a few thousand more.

As far as performance goes, the Helio P22 chipset does alright, but it definitely has its limitations. You’ll have to tone down graphical settings a bit when you’re playing games, especially when it comes to titles like PUBG.

How’s the rest of the phone?

The fingerprint scanner is darn quick to recognize and unlock the phone, which is a surprise since most budget devices usually tend to go with slower fingerprint modules to keep costs down. Unfortunately, the phone’s AI smarts and facial recognition tech that was promised during its launch in China is nowhere to be found, though local Xiaomi execs said that it would be implemented in the future.

The phone runs MIUI, so fans of stock Android may be a little turned off by it. The rear-mounted speaker grille gets muffled when you place the phone on a flat surface which is a little annoying to be sure.

How’s the camera?

Considering what you’re paying for, the camera is surprisingly good. The Redmi 6 is packed with a 12-megapixel camera with a 5-megapixel secondary shooter with a f/2.2 aperture lens.

Image quality is good when taking photos in bright light, with great detail. The sensors do take a hit when taking photos in areas where there are dimly-lit portions though, like the photo below of a car in an alley. There’s quite a bit of noise on the car, which shows us the limits of the camera in low-light.

Speaking of low-light, the camera does exhibit noise when shooting in less than ideal conditions, but surprisingly enough it has decent dynamic range for a phone in its price range.

The selfie camera is decent enough with enough light, though it suffers from the same problems as the main camera in low light.

How long does it last on a single charge?

Fairly long. We used the Redmi 6 as the recipient of our data SIM in Madrid, running 4G on the Movistar network, and it lasted us a good 7 hours before it hit critical. That’s 7 hours of relatively heavy use, with a mix of hotspot functionality, Google Maps for going around as well as camera work. That’s more than enough for most people plodding through their workday.

Should you buy it?

If you’re on a tight budget and are looking for a fairly powerful phone? Of course. While the exterior of the phone isn’t anything special, the innards are fairly powerful especially when you consider the phone’s price tag. At just Php 7,490 for the 3GB/32GB version and Php 8,990 for the 4GB/64GB variant, it’s especially affordable for people looking to get the most out of their limited budget.

Xiaomi Redmi 6

  • MediaTek Helio P22 chipset
  • 3GB/4GB RAM
  • 5.45-inch HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio (1440 x 720 resolution)
  • 32GB/64GB expandable storage
  • 12-megapixel/5-megapixel dual rear cameras with f/2.2 aperture
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with MIUI
  • 3000mah battery

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    “The phone runs EMUI, so fans of stock Android may be a little turned off by it.” . turned off, nah. astonished since they just bought a Xiaomi that’s running on EMUI. 🙂

    Not bad. But with that kind of price, i would just go for the redmi 5 plus. I’d rather stick with an old SD 625, instead of a new chipset that using a gpu that i dont know.