Xiaomi’s successor to the well-received Note 5 AI recently launched in Nepal. We spent a week with the phone to ascertain how it stacks up in the competitive mid-range segment.
Specifications and Design
The Note 6 Pro is near identical to its predecessor from a design perspective. The two prominent exceptions being the dual cameras at the front and the incorporation of a slightly chunky notch, evocative of the iPhone X or Xiaomi’s own Pocophone. The device is enclosed inside a plastic and metal unibody design and weighs a hefty 182g, in part due to the sizeable battery.
However, the device is ergonomically sound; it is comfortable in the hand and comfortable to use. The 3.5mm headphone jack is mercifully retained and the phone even comes equipped with an Infrared blaster. That Xiaomi has produced a larger screen within the same proportions of the Note 5 is appreciable. The fingerprint reader housed at the rear is lightning quick and unlocks the phone in under a second. There is also the option of face-unlock, and while it’s quick, it’s much less secure. The one slight niggle with the design is the protrusion of the rear cameras, which contributes not merely to the phone wobbling when it's placed on a flat surface but also makes it easier for the lens to pick up smudge and grime.
The 6.26-inch display provides a crisp 1080 x2280 resolution and 403 pixels per inch (PPI) with a 19:9 aspect ratio. It’s sharp and the colours are punchy. It’s a great panel for consuming multimedia. The phone has a brightness threshold of 500 nits, which means its visibility is unhampered even under intense sunlight. Another nifty feature is the oleophobic coating that safeguards the screen from fingerprints. Also present is a P2i coating that shields the phone from moderate splashes.
Software, Performance and Battery
The Note 6 Pro runs MIUI 10 on top of Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box, the first Xiaomi device to do so. Some unique features:
•Dual-App Mode allows you to operate two accounts of the same application.
•Second Screen functions much like a separate user account on a computer or a laptop.
•New Gesture Controls eliminates the need for the 3-pronged navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen, allowing for added screen real estate.
Powered by the Snapdragon 636 SoC, the device is predictably snappy. For reference, our review unit was the 4/64 GB variant. Day-to-day tasks such as web browsing, social media, YouTube all run without a hitch. In addition, while the 636 isn’t entirely equipped for heavy gaming, the likes of PUBG and Asphalt 9 performed reasonably with no stutters, albeit at the low game settings.
The powerhouse battery is remarkable. For light to medium users, this is definitely a two-day phone. Even under the strain of my heavy use, the battery lasted me a day with ease, with plenty left in the tank.
The Redmi Note 6 Pro is a sleek, well-designed phone with a fantastic screen and even better battery life. The cameras are superb, particularly at this price range. Essentially, this is in line with what Xiaomi has been offering with their ‘Note’ series, and while it might not be pushing the envelope, the Note 6 Pro is a reliable smartphone.