Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro mobile review
It’s been almost nine months since the Redmi Note 5 series premiered, and it’s already time for an upgrade. The Redmi Note 6 Pro is now official, shaking up the lineup with one of the most recognizable and controversial features on the market – a frame-to-frame display with a notch.
Yes, the Redmi Notes have reached that inevitable moment, where the notched screen would become the default one until something better comes to replace it. Even the cheapest of smartphones have already jumped on the notched bandwagon, so it’s no surprising to see the Redmi Note 6 Pro being the forerunner of change for the Notes to come.
Xiaomi has pretty much thrown logic out of the window for the Redmi Note names. The Redmi Note 5 is widely available as Redmi 5 Plus, the Redmi Note 5A had little to do to with the Note series at all, while the Redmi Note 5 Pro got an enhanced version called Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera. So, the Redmi Note 6 Pro is the Note 6 series opener, but please, don’t ask what happened with the Redmi Note 6. Nobody knows.
Anyway, the Redmi Note 6 Pro isn’t a massive upgrade over the Note 5 Pro, but that’s to be expected given the short development cycle. The Note 6 Pro does bring a larger display fitted in the same body, but keeps the same Snapdragon 636 chipset, beefy battery, and plastic/metal design. It borrows the main camera from the Note 5 Pro AI Dual Camera edition, but the selfie photography got a boost with a new dual-camera at the front.
Let’s take a peek at the detailed specs.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro specs
- Body: Gorilla Glass front, Plastic + Aluminum back;
- Screen: 6.26-inch, 2280×1080 IPS LCD, 403 PPI
- Rear Camera: 12MP (1.4µm), f/1.9, Samsung S5K2L7, dual pixel PDAF primary, 5MP (1.25Âµm), f/2.0, Samsung S5K5E8 depth sensor; 1080p video
- Front Camera: 20MP (0.9µm) + 2MP depth sensor, f/2.0; 1080p video
- Chipset: 14nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, Kryo 260 (4x Cortex-A73 @ 1.8GHz + 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.6GHz), Adreno 509
- Memory: 3/4/6GB LPDDR4X, 32/64GB eMMC 5.0 + microSD (up to 128GB)
- OS: Android 8.0; MIUI 9
- Battery: 4000mAh;
- Connectivity: Hybrid dual SIM (4G+3G), 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou, Wi-Fi Direct, FM Radio, IR blaster, microUSB, headphone jack
- Misc: Fingerprint sensor
We can’t think of anything that’s missing on the Redmi Note 6 Pro and it’s shaping to be one very thoughtful smartphone with great bang for the buck ratio. And now it’s time to pop this thing out of the box.
Unboxing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
Xiaomi has bundled the Redmi Note 6 Pro with the usual accessories – a 10W charger, a microUSB cable, and a soft silicone case.
Some, or all, Redmi Note 6 Pro units have factory-applied screen protectors. Ours was fitted quite nicely, and if it weren’t for our display tests, we would have kept it for sure.
If you’ve seen a recent Redmi phone, then you’ve seen them all. Xiaomi is keen on sticking to its signature shapes – we’ve seen it make changes only when it’s necessary and not for the sake of new looks.
That’s exactly the case with the Redmi Note 6 Pro. Its exterior is virtually the same as on the most recent Redmi Note 5 (AI Dual Cam). The notched screen is a massive give away, of course, but other than that – it’s the Redmi you know.
Upon further inspection we found one thing that Xiaomi has changed since the previous Redmi phones. Remember those plastic strips that cover the top and bottom antennas at the back? Well, those are now conjoined with the Note’s frame and the huge metal piece is now completely surrounded by plastic. And you know what, it does look better this way!
The 6.26″ tall screen with a cutout is probably the Note’s top feature. It’s quite the improvement over the Note 5’s display – the bezels and the chin have shrunk, the pixel count grew even bigger, and so did the screen-to-body ratio. The notch, like it or not, is the most recognizable thing this year and it’s on the Redmi Note 6, too.
So, the front is mostly screen, yes, and it’s protected by a flat piece of a Gorilla Glass. Xiaomi has managed to fit more novelties besides the display, though. There is a new dual selfie camera in the notch – a 20MP snapper with a 2MP depth sensor for better portraits.
But wait, there is more. We have good news for the fans of the notification LED – it’s present on the Redmi Note 6 Pro, right of the earpiece. It’s white-only though, which could be a bummer for some.
The plastic frame is quite thin, but grippy thanks to its sharper shape. And the matte material further anchors the phone in your hand and makes handling the Redmi Note 6 Pro a hassle-free job.
The back has another praised feature – the dual AI camera. The Note 6 Pro borrows the setup from the Note 5 Dual AI Camera – it’s a 12MP sensor with 1.4Âµm big pixels and bright f/1.9 lens helped by a 5MP depth-sensing cam and a dual-LED flash. The whole thing is sitting on a small hump that makes the phone wobble on a flat surface.
The audio jack did make it on the Redmi Note 6 Pro, as well as the microSD slot and the IR blaster. Well, you still have to choose between a second SIM and a memory card, but that’s still a good middle ground.
The Redmi Note 6 Pro measures 157.9 x 76.4 x 8.2 mm – that’s about the same as the Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera, though the Note 6 has a larger screen in the same body.
Well, the Redmi Note 6 Pro is just like the Redmi Note 5 as far as handling and looks is concerned. The bigger and notched screen brought more pixels to use, but the jury is still out on their usability. The plastic frame might improve the display’s survival rate though, as it should be better at absorbing the force from those accidental drops on the floor that are bound to happen at some point.
One of the coolest features you’ll see on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro is that colorful notched display at the front. While not everybody’s cup of tea, this type of screens has made its way to the mass market and is here to stay.
The Redmi Note 6 Pro has a 6.26″ IPS LCD unit of 1,080 x 2,280 pixels that is protected by a Gorilla Glass. A pixel density of 403ppi is just perfect for the class.
The Redmi Note 6’s display proved to be a very good performer in our display test, pumping out 480 nits of maximum brightness. Combined with the deep blacks the Note’s display posted an excellent contrast of 1500:1. The minimum brightness level of 1.3nits is also excellent.
|Display test||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Contrast ratio|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro||0.314||481||1532|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera||0.28||530||1893|
|Oppo Realme 2||0.286||411||1437|
|Oppo Realme 2 Pro||0.306||537||1755|
|Xiaomi Mi A2||0.277||420||1516|
|Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite||0.385||488||1268|
|Oppo R15 Pro||410||∞|
|Xiaomi Pocophone F1||0.314||461||1468|
|Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus||0.548||555||1013|
The Redmi Note6 Pro did about average for an LCD screen in our sunlight legibility test. In real-world terms, the handset remains usable outdoors. Just don’t angle it straight towards the sun as it gets almost illegible in these conditions.
Sunlight contrast ratio
- Oppo R15 Pro4.251
- vivo V114.113
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera3.393
- Honor Play3.349
- Oppo Realme 2 Pro3.235
- Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite3.087
- Oppo F93.069
- Xiaomi Pocophone F13.059
- Oppo Realme 23.006
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro2.966
- Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus2.913
- Xiaomi Mi A22.696
Color reproduction can also be very accurate if that’s your thing. Going for the ‘Standard contrast’ mode you’d be getting an average DeltaE of 2.5 (when compared against the sRGB color space) and the most accurate whites of all modes. Out of the box, the Redmi Note 6 is in ‘Automatic contrast’ mode with Default selected in the Default/Warm/Cool setting. That gives an average DeltaE of 5.1 – decent – but with an added punch in all blue hues.
The Redmi Note 6 pro, just like the Notes to come before it, is powered by a large 4,000 mAh battery. It supports regular 5V/2A charging, which restores about 28% of the battery in 30 minutes. Not exactly fast, but as fast as you can expect in this price segment.
The new Note 6 posted the same 92h endurance rating as the Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera. It’s lost about two hours on each of our screen-on-tests, which was to be expected as the Note 6 has a larger screen. It did a little bit better on standby though and that’s the reason why it kept the same endurance score.
Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We’ve established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you’re interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we’ve tested will compare under your own typical use.
The Redmi Note 6 Pro has a single bottom-firing speaker at its disposal, but it’s a very decent one. Not only is it loud scoring an Excellent mark, but it also keeps distortion at bay.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Pink noise/ Music, dB||Ringing phone, dB||Overall score|
|Xiaomi Redmi 5||66.1||68.4||82.1||Good|
|Huawei Mate 20 Lite||67.8||70.0||84.2||Very Good|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera||68.4||71.6||84.8||Very Good|
|vivo V11||70.7||73.8||80.7||Very Good|
|Oppo Realme 2 Pro||69.1||74.8||81.4||Very Good|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A||68.4||72.3||86.2||Very Good|
|Oppo F9||71.7||74.4||81.6||Very Good|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro||70.1||73.1||85.4||Excellent|
|Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite||70.6||74.0||86.1||Excellent|
|Xiaomi Pocophone F1||72.8||74.7||86.6||Excellent|
|Xiaomi Mi A2||89.5||72.2||89.8||Excellent|
The Xiaomi Redmi 6 Note Pro had average loudness with an active external amplifier and just below average when we hooked up our standard testing headset.
The clarity of its output was great in the first testing case, although the headphnones did cause some intermodulation distortion to appear and introduced a fair amount of stereo crosstalk. All in all a good showing, although not quite great – about par for the course for the price range, we’d say.
|Test||Frequency response||Noise level||Dynamic range||THD||IMD + Noise||Stereo crosstalk|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro||+0.04, -0.04||-92.7||93.8||0.0014||0.0073||-93.6|
|Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro (headphones)||+0.22, -0.19||-92.4||93.5||0.0076||0.313||-55.6|
|Realme 2 Pro||+0.05, -0.03||-93.3||93.1||0.0019||0.0073||-92.7|
|Realme 2 Pro (headphones)||+0.33, -0.33||-92.9||92.5||0.010||0.370||-51.7|
|Oppo F9||+0.05, -0.07||-92.8||92.8||0.0016||0.0073||-92.1|
|Oppo F9 (headphones)||+0.19, -0.50||-92.0||91.8||0.0090||0.380||-51.9|
|Xiaomi Mi A2||+0.02, -0.06||-91.6||91.6||0.0018||0.014||-95.3|
|Xiaomi Mi A2 (headphones)||+0.08, -0.12||-92.6||92.6||0.0028||0.120||-69.0|