Xiaomi Mi 6X complements Xiaomi’s current smartphone series with another upper mid-range phone that features a powerful Snapdragon 660 processor, a large 5.99-inch Full-HD display in 18:9 format and an improved dual-camera. In addition, the smartphone, available in China under the name Mi 6X, is expected to appear on the market outside China as Xiaomi Mi A2. As with Xiaomi Mi5X and Xiaomi Mi A1, the hardware and design of the two phones will be identical. The difference lies only in the supported network frequencies and in an untouched Android system on Mi A2 instead of the MIUI user interface.

Here, you can find out what Xiaomi Mi6X can do in practice. The results of the test report can be transferred to the upcoming Xiaomi Mi A2 with the exception of the section on the MIUI system. This has already been officially confirmed by Xiaomi, including a second Android One smartphone, which will also be launched this year.

Design and build quality

Xiaomi Mi A2 6X 7

Mi6X will be available in a total of five colours: black/black and white/gold are part of the standard repertoire, plus white/blue, white/pink and black/red. The new casing of Xiaomi Mi A2 / Mi6X fully follows the trend and we recognize several elements: the 5.99-inch full-screen display with 18:9 format takes up almost the entire front and, like Redmi Note 5, the fingerprint sensor moves to the rear. The rear is made of stable metal and is only interrupted by two thin antenna strips on the back. The camera is located at the top left and is arranged horizontally. The USB-Type-C connector is located at the bottom, unfortunately, you have to do without the conventional jack connector. The system is operated via on-screen buttons; classic soft keys have been dispensed with in favour of the large display. With 6 inches, Xiaomi Mi A2 is almost a phablet in 2017 scales. On the other hand, Xiaomi has succeeded in reducing the bezels as far as possible. The bezels at the sides measure 0.3mm and at the top 0.9mm. Therefore, Xiaomi Mi6X / Mi A2 is also slimmer: 158.7 x 75.4 x 7.3mm are the dimensions, and it only weighs 168g; in comparison to Redmi Note 5: 159 x 75.5 x 8.1mm – 182g. A one-handed operation is therefore still possible with a correspondingly large hand.

Xiaomi Mi A2 6X 4

In an effort to make Xiaomi Mi A2 as thin as possible, the battery capacity has been reduced to 3000mAh. A 7.3mm thin smartphone like Mi A2 really feels noble while holding it. However, the camera juts out 1.8mm off the rear. This makes the smartphone unstable on flat surfaces and the protruding camera module clouds the optics. After all: if you use the protective cover included in the scope of delivery, the difference in depth is no longer disturbing.

Xiaomi Mi A2 6X 6Xiaomi Mi A2 6X 8

Xiaomi Mi A2 6X 10Xiaomi Mi A2 6X 5

The volume control and the power button are located on the right side. The buttons, like the casing, are made of metal and have a good feedback. On the left side, there is a SIM card slot in which two Nano-SIMs can be inserted. Unfortunately, the slot offers no possibility to expand the storage with a Micro-SD.

Overall, Xiaomi Mi 6X / Mi A2 is a very high-quality smartphone, which can keep up externally problem-free with twice as expensive mobile phones. However, there are also a few downsides: There is (in contrast to Redmi Note 5) no Micro-SD slot, no headphone connection and the camera module juts out a bit too much off the rear side. Apart from that, the build quality is impeccable and the device is still quite handy despite its large display.

Scope of delivery

Xiaomi Mi A2 6X 1The scope of delivery contains:

  • 5V/2A power plug
  • USB Type-C cable
  • Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter
  • Protective cover
  • SIM ejection tool
  • Operating instructions and warranty card (in Chinese with Mi 6X, in English with Mi A2)

Display

The display of Xiaomi Mi A2 measures 5.99 inches. A notch has been omitted and a thin bezel at the top and bottom is still present as already mentioned. Above the display, you find the status LED, the earpiece, and the front camera with an LED flash.

Xiaomi Mi A2 6X 2

The display works with IPS technology and has a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2016 pixels. This results in a pixel density of 403ppi, at which it is no longer possible to perceive individual pixels with the naked eye. Besides the sharpness, the display also convinces with very strong colours and excellent viewing angle stability. Outdoor readability is still possible even in strong sunlight, but the display then reflects. In terms of contrast, Xiaomi Mi A2 naturally does not reach a black as deep as AMOLED displays, but the black is deep and powerful enough.

The display glass is slightly rounded at the side to create a better feel. It is not specifically Corning Gorilla Glass, although Xiaomi Mi A2 / Mi 6X is by no means sensitive to scratches. The mobile phone withstands a test with screwdriver and bunch of keys without problems. The touchscreen registers up to 10 touch points simultaneously and works extremely precisely.

In regard to the display, Xiaomi Mi A2 does not have to take criticism. The panel is sufficiently bright, has a good contrast, strong colours and also offers sufficient protection against scratches.

Performance

The Snapdragon 660 (nicknamed AIE: Artificial Intelligence Engine) delivers outstanding performance and is probably the most promising mid-range CPU available today. The Octa Core is manufactured in a 12nm process and consists of 4 Kyro 260 cores with 2.2 GHz and 4 cores with 1.8 GHz each. An Adreno 512 GPU is responsible for the graphics. Depending on the storage version, you get Xiaomi Mi 6X with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of system storage for 1599 Yuan/ca. 250$ or 6+64GB for 1799 Yuan/280$. In the top model, you have 6GB of RAM + 128GB ROM for 1999 Yuan/ approx. 312$ at your disposal. Whether these storage variants will also be found in the Xiaomi Mi A2 is not yet certain. The storage achieves good values with 210MB/s in reading and 217MB/s in writing. The main storage is also very fast with 7.1GB/s.

Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result

In the Antutu benchmark, Xiaomi Mi 6X reaches a score of 132,000 points and is thus on about the same level as last year’s Snapdragon 820 high-end processor. In terms of system speed, Xiaomi Mi A2 / Mi 6X is on flagship level and the average user will hardly notice any difference to twice as expensive mobile phones à la iPhone X, Oneplus 6 or Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S. Loading times are barely perceptible and the mobile phone uses all apps as well as the browser without any problems. The gaming performance of the Adreno 512 GPU is also sufficient to play all current games with high graphics settings without jerking or frame drops. After one hour of gaming, Mi 6X gets 37° warm. It’s hard to say what the smartphone’s gaming performance will look like in a year, but right now Xiaomi Mi A2 is a smartphone totally suitable for gaming.

In terms of performance, Xiaomi Mi A2 delivers a great and complete package that makes you seriously wonder why you should choose significantly more expensive mobile phones. The Snapdragon 660 moves fast in system, apps, browser and games and thus delivers enough performance for normal and high-end users.

System

MIUI 9.5 on Xiaomi Mi 6X

As software, Xiaomi Mi 6X uses Xiaomi’s well-known Android interface MIUI in version 9.5, which is based on Android 8.1. This is the biggest difference to the expected Xiaomi Mi A2, which is produced in cooperation with Google and will have an untouched Android interface (Stock-Android). Whether you prefer the pure Android experience or Xiaomi’s MIUI is a question of personal taste. In a nutshell, MIUI offers significantly more possibilities for configuration, while Stock-Android is the leaner system. The user interface of Xiaomi’s MIUI is also much more colourful than the untouched Android and reminds a little more of Apple’s IOS. For example, there is no app-drawer and all apps are stored on the home screens where they can be organized in folders.

Xiaomi Mi 6X System MIUI Android 8 4Xiaomi Mi 6X System MIUI Android 8 5Xiaomi Mi 6X System MIUI Android 8 6

As far as speed is concerned, Xiaomi’s version 9 focused on increasing performance, and you notice that when using Mi 6X. The smartphone navigates extremely fast in the system and the operation is optimally extended by the useful additional functions. There is a sophisticated security centre, where app permissions can be set. It is also possible to clone individual apps or set up a second space that creates a second system that only has access to selected apps and files. A reading mode for reducing the blue light component can also be activated and various themes can be downloaded from the Theme Store – just to name a few of the additional functions.

As far as the operation of the smartphone is concerned, Xiaomi has integrated the possibility on Mi 6X to deactivate the on-screen buttons and to operate the mobile phone with “Full-Screen Gestures”. These swipe-gestures replace the on-screen buttons, freeing up additional space on the screen. Swiping from the bottom to the top is the “Home button” function, swiping from the left or the right into the screen serves as “Back” command and with swiping from the bottom to the top and hold briefly you get to the view of the running apps. The concept was copied from Apple’s iPhone X and works excellently after 2 days of getting used to it.

Xiaomi Mi 6X System MIUI Android 8 1Xiaomi Mi 6X System MIUI Android 8 2

By the way, a novelty of the MIUI system is the smart assistant “Xiao Ai”, which is supposed to create a connection to the Xiaomi home system on the Chinese market, where Google and Amazon play no role. So far, however, the assistant only speaks Chinese. English is supposed to follow in the future. In its current state, the Xiao AI Launcher is absolutely unusable for non-Chinese people. In Xiaomi’s MIUI system, however, you can choose which AI assistant to use. Here, you can easily switch from Xiao AI to the Google Assistant – at least theoretically. In practice, however, only Xiao Ai is started if you keep the home button pressed longer. However, the Google Assistant can be started using the “Okay Google” voice command

Google Play Store and multilingualism

Since Xiaomi Mi 6X is intended for the Chinese market, the smartphone is, unfortunately, delivered without the Google Play Store and without other languages. A global ROM is not to be expected either, as the upcoming Xiaomi Mi A2 is intended for the foreign market. The most popular online shops will probably also offer a multi-language version, but this is a modified software that will not receive any updates. It is, therefore, better not to take advantage of such offers. If you can’t wait for Xiaomi Mi A2, you now have the following options:

  1. You install the Google Play Store manually with this package. Just download the archive and install and start the Google Installer V3. After the installation, install the individual files in the numbered sequence and restart the device. Now you have a working Play Store.
  2. You can also install the Xiaomi.EU ROM, with which you’ll get updates on your Xiaomi Mi 6X. This ROM is based on the current China ROM and extends it with some additional functions, Play Store and multilingualism. Instructions for installation can be found here.

Camera

The camera is one of the most exciting points of Xiaomi Mi A2 /Mi 6X. After Redmi Note 5, Xiaomi already delivered an unprecedented camera performance below the 200$-mark and did great even compared to flagships, we wondered if Xiaomi Mi 6X perform even better. We can give you some good news here: the camera is really, really good and surpasses Redmi Note 5 in most disciplines. In order to ensure a lot of fun when taking pictures, Xiaomi has installed the following cameras :

Front camera: Sony IMX376 sensor with 20 megapixels and f/1.75 aperture
Main rear camera: Sony IMX486 sensor with 12 megapixels and f/1.75 aperture
Secondary rear camera: Sony IMX376 sensor with 20 megapixels and f/1.75 aperture

When taking pictures with sufficient daylight, Xiaomi Mi A2 / Mi 6X convinces with sharp and colour-fast images. The sharpness may not be quite on flagship level, but Mi 6X is already dangerously close to the quality of much more expensive mobile phones. Compared to Redmi Note 5, both the colours are a little bit more natural and also more sharpness is perceptible. In order to perceive a visible difference, however, you must zoom into the pictures, so that you cannot speak of a large difference here. The focus does a good job, although there are occasional misfocuses. Particularly in less optimal lighting conditions, manual focusing is sometimes necessary. Here, Redmi Note 5 with its dual-pixel focus does a better job than Mi 6X. A clear difference to Redmi Note 5 can be seen in low-light images. Here, Mi 6X / Mi A2 benefits very much from the large f/1.75 aperture. While with Redmi Note 5 – and actually with all smartphones in this price range – a clear noise is already perceptible, with Mi 6X also the pictures with very little light are still usable. If you attach great importance to good night shots, Mi 6X is exactly the right smartphone for you.

The results of the rear camera can be transferred 1:1 to the front camera. Here too, Mi 6X scores with very nice shots. The sharpness is very good with daylight pictures and the colour representation is natural. The quality is comparable to Redmi Note 5, although Mi 6X / Mi A2 provides a better white balance in some light situations.

Dual-camera function

Another area in which the phone can shine is with the dual camera functions. Since the dual-cams have established themselves on the mobile phone market, we have had many candidates in the test lab where the purpose of the dual camera simply did not show. The reason for this is actually always the separation of foreground and background, which fails with almost every photo. The new Huawei models from P-Smart, P8 Lite, Honor 7X and all Nubia smartphones can join these sad ranks. A dual camera, actually, can offer real added value for photo lovers, as Xiaomi Mi 6X impressively proves. The separation of foreground and background works very well and, usually, you get great and artistic shots. We were especially surprised by the bokeh function of the front camera, which is done by the software alone. Here too, the foreground and the background are clearly separated from each other and a disadvantage to a real dual camera on the back is not really noticeable. Really impressive! In my opinion, the only negative point on the dual camera is the white balance, which does not work as reliably as in standard shots. Occasionally, it is necessary to try out different angles and avoid backlight, otherwise, the images will appear somewhat washed out. In addition to the dual camera functions, Xiaomi Mi 6X also offers a beauty function that can smooth the skin, whiten it and enlarge the eyes. This function is designed for the preferences of Chinese users and so it is mostly used just for fun in the western culture.

Videos can be recorded with the rear camera with a resolution up to 4K with 3840×2160 pixels and 30fps. Full-HD with 60FPS is not available. The videos are supported by electronic image stabilization. In the Xiaomi camera app, EIS stabilization can also be activated for 4K recordings, but will not work then. If you install the Open Camera App from the Play Store, you can also easily stabilize 4K recordings with EIS. The video quality is very good for a mobile phone in this price range and has natural colours and very good sharpness. However, the PDAF autofocus is somewhat sluggish and does not always keep up with rapidly changing objects. The audio quality is convincing.

Xiaomi Mi 6X Camera App 1 Xiaomi Mi 6X Camera App 2 Xiaomi Mi 6X Camera App 3

When it comes to cameras, Xiaomi Mi A2 is convincing. You get detailed, colour-fast images and even in low light there are still usable images. In addition, you can take very good portrait shots with the real dual camera on the rear as well as with the front camera via the software. Mi A2 even surpasses Redmi Note 5 in terms of the camera and achieves an above-average result for its price. 

Connectivity

Xiaomi Mi A2 6X 9Besides the system, Xiaomi Mi 6X and Xiaomi Mi A2 differ in another respect: while Xiaomi Mi6X is designed for the Chinese market and only has relevant networks there, Xiaomi Mi A2 will also have all important network frequencies in Europe. Only the following networks are available in Mi 6X:

GSM B2/3/5/8 – CDMA 1X/EVDO BC0
WCDMA B1/2/5/8 – TD-SCDMA B34/39
TDD-LTE B34/B38/39/40/41(100MHz)
FDD-LTE B1/3/5/7/8

Mi 6X supports all 2G and 3G frequencies and also all LTE bands important in Europe, except for LTE band 20, which is not bad for city dwellers as 3G reception is guaranteed almost everywhere. However, if you live in a country where LTE Band 20 is important, you should wait for Xiaomi Mi A2. The call quality is excellent and the additional microphone also makes it easy to use the speakerphone. You can also activate VoLTE with this code: “*#*#86583#*#*” in the telephone app.

Up to two Nano-SIM cards can be stored – unfortunately, there is no possibility to expand the storage using a Micro-SD card. GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, Beidou and an e-compass are available for navigation. The GPS reception is strong and usually also succeeds in determining the location inside buildings. The other connection standards are up-to-date: Dual Band Wifi n/ac and Bluetooth 5.0. An infrared transmitter is also located on the top. As usual, Xiaomi offers a lot of sensors: proximity, light, position, acceleration, gyro and a hall sensor are provided. Besides the fingerprint sensor on the rear, Xiaomi Mi6X / Mi A2 can be unlocked using the selfie cam via Face-Unlock. Unlocking by fingerprint sensor is lightning fast and very accurate. Xiaomi Mi 6X definitely has one of the fastest fingerprint sensors I’ve ever seen. Unlocking via Face-Unlock also has a usable speed (approx. 0.5 seconds).

Battery

Xiaomi Mi A2 / 6X has a 3010mAh battery. For a 6 inch smartphone, this is not exactly an outstanding value and we would have preferred a slightly thicker Mi 6X with a larger battery. However, the Snapdragon 660 also works very energy-saving and so the smartphone still achieves a good run time even with the smaller battery. In practice, Xiaomi Mi A2 / Mi6X achieves about 7 hours on-screen time under average load. A full day of use is, therefore, no problem and moderate users may even reach two days. In the PC-Mark Battery Test, Xiaomi Mi A2/ 6X reaches 9 hours. A Youtube video with Full HD and half brightness consumes about 15% per hour. If you play intense 3D games at full display brightness, about 30% of the battery is used per hour. These are all quite nice values, but they will not secure Mi 6X a place in our battery list. Compared to Redmi Note 5, the battery is slightly weaker (~9h on-screen time) and those who attach great importance to this are better off with Redmi Note 5.

Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours

An upgrade to its predecessor is the long-awaited Quick-Charge 3.0 function. If you have a QC3.0 power supply, you can charge your phone from 0 to 57% in half an hour. It takes 1:18h to fully charge the device. It’s a pity, though, that Xiaomi doesn’t include a Quick-Charge 3.0 power plug in the scope of delivery. The included power supply supplies “only” 5V/2A, which takes a total of 1:50h to charge. It is, therefore, worth ordering an appropriate Quick-Charge power supply with your mobile phone. Amazon offers a QC3.0 power supply from 10$ and Gearbest from 3$.

Conclusion and alternative

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Joscha Becking:

Xiaomi Mi 6X can achieve good, to very good results in most categories and proves to be a worthy successor of Mi 5X / Mi A1. However, there are also some weak spots: there’s no storage expansion and no 3.5mm headphone jack, the camera juts out unusually far off the rear and the battery life can’t keep up with Redmi Note 5. On the other hand, the mobile phone also offers a lot to make up for these disadvantages. First of all, you have the performance of the Snapdragon 660 processor and the excellent camera. In these two categories, Mi 6X / Mi A2 delivers a performance that makes it seem questionable why you should actually spend 600$ on your mobile phone when you can have “so much smartphone for so little money”. This statement is also underlined by further amenities such as the very good 5.99-inch Full-HD display, the latest connectivity standards such as Bluetooth 5.0, Face-unlock and Quick-Charge 3.0. In short: we can really give a buy recommendation for Mi 6X – wouldn’t there be…

The limited compatibility for users outside China. Unlike Xiaomi Mi A2, Xiaomi Mi 6X does not offer LTE Band 20, which should not be too restrictive for users living close to the city. But if you live in the country, you should wait for Xiaomi Mi A2, the western counterpart with stock android and better network support, which will probably be on the market in the next few weeks. Also, Xiaomi Mi A2 is delivered ex-works with the Google Play Store and other languages, which is certainly an important point for many users.

Alternatives to Xiaomi Mi 6X / Xiaomi Mi A2 are Redmi Note 5 Global and LeEco Le Pro 3. Redmi Note 5 is certainly the toughest competitor, but although the smartphone is slightly inferior to Mi A2 in terms of photo quality and computing power, it offers a stronger battery, a headphone connection and storage expansion via Micro-SD. With a sales price of 160$, it is also a good deal cheaper than Xiaomi Mi A2.

If you don’t want to do without premium build quality, full LTE support and a very fast processor, LeEco Le Pro 3 Elite is the cheapest alternative to Mi A2. A 130$ mobile phone, however, requires some tinkering with the system, because the manufacturer doesn’t release any further updates due to financial problems. But if you don’t be afraid of installing a custom ROM, you get a similarly good mobile phone with Android 8 for just over half the price.

87%
  • Design and build quality 90 %
  • Display 90 %
  • Performance 90 %
  • Camera 90 %
  • Communication and connectivity 80 %
  • Battery 80 %

Price comparison

Xiaomi Mi 6X
from 240 USD
Xiaomi Mi A2 (6/128GB)
from 286 USD
Xiaomi Mi A2 (4/64GB)
from 250 USD
Only 240 USD*
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280 USD*
Go to shop
330 USD*
Go to shop
Only 286 USD*
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378 USD*
Go to shop
Only 250 USD*
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*Prices include shipping and toll. Intermediate changes of prices, ranking, delivery time and costs possible. Prices last updated on 23.10.2018

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