Redmi 6 Pro First Impressions: Not really the Pro we were looking for

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The Redmi 6 Pro launched last week in China and having found it showcased in the Mi Home Store in Shanghai, I couldn’t resist checking it out. The Redmi series is known for offering excellent bang for the buck with a good price to performance ratio. More recently, it has also started to offer high-end features at pocket-friendly prices. Like the Redmi 5 that brought the taller 18:9 display for under Rs 10,000, the Redmi 6 Pro brings the notched display to the masses. Whether that’s a good thing or bad depends on which side you are on, on the whole notch debate, but it does make an attempt to offer a feature that’s trending.

Apart from the notched display, the Redmi 6 Pro hasn’t much going for it to be honest. It’s Pro tag is somewhat undeserving based on the hardware it packs inside. It is powered by the Snapdragon 625 chipset coupled with up to 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage. That’s quite underwhelming for a device that carries the ‘Pro’ tag. It’s also isn’t much of an upgrade over the Redmi 5 that’s available in India. The Redmi 5 is powered by the Snapdragon 450 which is more or less based on the same architecture as the Snapdragon 625. Perhaps when Xiaomi decides to bring the device to global markets, it will provide a performance boost, but for now, the Chinese market will have to stick to this.

The flagship Mi 8 and the Mi 8 SE are the first Mi phones with a notch. Similarly, the Redmi 6 Pro is the first Redmi phone to offer the display cutout. That makes the front all screen, mostly. It does have over 80 percent screen-to-body ratio but isn’t exactly bezel-less. There’s significant bezels on the bottom and the sides. The notch isn’t as big as the Mi 8, but it does come in the way of reading text and viewing content. It houses the front camera and the earpiece. From the back, the phone looks identical to the Redmi Note 5 Pro with its aluminium three-part design and the vertically aligned dual cameras. The top and the bottom are made of polycarbonate to allow for better signal reception and to protect it from accidental drops. Even the antenna lines are pretty much the same, not that the Redmi Note 5 Pro is at the bleeding edge of design innovation. The Redmi 6 Pro comes off quite bland in its design.

The unit I played around with was running MIUI 9 which is based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat. Once again, something we would not like to see on a 2018 flagship. The one thing that will be appreciated by one and all is the 4,000mAh battery that the phone packs inside. It’s bound to give you enough juice to last more than a day. There’s a micro-USB port at the bottom to charge the phone. I couldn’t figure out whether it supports fast charging or not. On top, there’s the usual infrared sensor. Another good thing is that the phone comes with a dedicated microSD slot to allow expandable memory and a second SIM at the same time.

The Redmi 6 Pro houses a dual camera unit at the back. A 12-megapixel primary sensor combined with a 5-megapixel depth-sensing unit. It also has a higher pixel pitch of 1.25 microns that supposedly improves low-light photography, but I didn’t get the chance to put that claim to test. The photos I clicked were indoors and in that situation, images came out decent enough. Nothing to write home about. The front camera is missing the portrait mode but does include beautification features.

Overall, it seems the only reason for the Redmi 6 Pro to exist is to bring the notched-display to the budget segment. It isn’t adding any more value to the existing lineup of Redmi phones available both in China and globally. My first impressions of the phone is pretty disappointing. Hopefully, Xiaomi will bump up the specs when it decides to launch the Redmi 6 Pro globally.




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