The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro now replaces the middle class champion Redmi Note 5. First of all: The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro is not a significant upgrade compared to a Redmi Note 5 and the name “Pro” is definitely a bit misleading. A car manufacturer would call it a “facelift“. This review is based on 10 days of use and I made comparisons to the predecessor at relevant points. If you don’t feel like investing more than 230$ for your new smartphone and still don’t want to compromise, the Redmi Note series is the right choice for you.
Design and build quality
Instead of the plastic caps, the Redmi Note 6 Pro now has a complete plastic frame. Only one metal plate is left on the rear. Otherwise, the rear is completely identical to the predecessor in terms of the arrangement of the cameras, lettering and fingerprint sensor.
The dimensions are 158 x 76.4 x 8.2mm (RN5: 159 x 75.5 x 8.1mm) and the Redmi Note 6 Pro remains just as compact despite the 6.26-inch display. This is due to the notch and the resulting 19:9 format. But on the front, you can see the difference. The auricle is smaller and there is a dual front camera next to the notch.
Otherwise, the Redmi Note 6 Pro is very similar to its predecessor, so the old Micro-USB connector remains the same. Compared to the RN5, the 3.5mm jack plug now moves to the top and at the bottom there are 2 balanced grids, one for the microphone and one for the loudspeaker.
The fingerprint sensor is on a high-end level and the smartphone is unlocked in less than 0.5 seconds from standby. Face-UNLOCK is of course also available, but it is rather slow and not safe. The bezels right and left are compact with 3mm, the black area under the display has been reduced from 10mm (on the RN5) to 8mm. The notch measures 35 x 8.5mm and the usable area left and right is limited accordingly. In addition to the dual front camera and a small auricle, you can find a notification LED as well. However, the LED is not particularly bright and can only be perceived in the dark.
The build quality is and remains impeccable, the slightly curved plastic frame changes haptically. The two Redmi Note devices are absolutely identical when using the included cover, without the cover you can clearly feel the curved frame. This gives the Redmi Note 6 Pro a slightly wider appearance when used without a cover. The arrangement of the power and volume keys has remained the same. The camera still protrudes from the rear and contains the same dual LED flash. Even if more plastic is used, there is no reason to worry. You still get a premium feeling and the notch makes the Redmi Note 6 Pro simply look more modern. The relations between weight, dimensions and battery remain excellent and the Redmi Note 6 Pro is sufficiently compact for a 6.2-inch smartphone.
But only praising Xiaomi here would not be objective. The new model still uses an old Micro-USB connection and the manufacturer should be reprimanded for this. A notch doesn’t really have any added value, so you have to swipe down every time to see battery percent. Whether the smartphone looks more beautiful or more modern is a matter of taste. You should also pay attention to the weak notification LED before buying.
Scope of delivery
Xiaomi almost always includes a silicone protective cover in the package. The cover fits perfectly and is flush with the dual camera at the rear. In addition, a charging adapter and a Micro-USB cable are included.
The Redmi Note 6 Pro offers a 6.26-inch IPS display and a resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels, resulting in razor-sharp 403 pixels per inch. The viewing angle stability is, typically for IPS, excellent and the brightness remains at a high level, just like with the Redmi Note 5. The display is easy to read outdoors and problems with reflections only occur in direct sunlight. The standard color representation is colder than that of the RN5, but can be continuously adjusted in the options menu. Also all other Xiaomi features like the automatic contrast and the terminable reading mode (blue light filter) are available. Of course, the contrast cannot be compared to an AMOLED display, which is especially visible when the notch is hidden. Here, the back light can be clearly seen and the notch remains clearly visible even when switched off. For an IPS, the contrast is still good.
The touchscreen processes up to 10 touch points simultaneously and the your finger glides pleasantly over the display surface. The accuracy is high and the implementation of commands is always fast. The vibration motor can also be praised at this point, a pleasant haptic feedback is generated when typing. As usual, Gorilla Glass is not mentioned, but the display is just as scratch-resistant as that of any other Xiaomi smartphone. With a double tap, the smartphone can be woken up from stand-by (smart wake), but Xiaomi saved a bit on other gesture controls.
In summary, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro has an excellent Full-HD display without blemish or blame. Compared to its predecessor, there is now an actually useless notch. But this is somehow conducive to the design on the front.
System and performance
The manufacturer remains faithful to the Snapdragon 636, with which a difference in the performance is hardly possible. The benchmarks confirm similar values, although we compare MIUI 10 with MIUI 9. The CPU works with 4 x 1.8GHz in the performance cluster and 4 x 1.6GHz in the energy saving cluster. The modern 14nm procedure also secures a good energy efficiency. In combination with the Adreno 509 GPU, the Redmi Note 6 Pro easily plays current games from the Play-store. The heat development is always kept within reasonable limits.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result 3D Mark Result
The internal storage has either 3/32GB or 4/64GB. It remains to be seen whether the 6/128GB version will also be available as a global version this time. The internal storage can be extended when doing without the Dual-SIM function (Micro-SD tested up to 200GB). The storage speed (eMMC 5.1) is surprisingly good with 300/118GB/s reading/writing speed. Also, the 3GB RAM (LPDDR4X) brings it to a solid 5.4GB/s. Apps open lightning fast and the installation is done in an instant. Multitasking is also possible in the 3GB version (up to 10 apps in the background), but I would still recommend the 4GB version for a little more future security. In the end, it is a question of price.
The 636 remains the reference in the middle class, because the devices with Snapdragon 660 cost noticeably more, but the additional power is hardly noticeable. In practice, very few users will notice a difference to mobile phones that are twice to 3 times as expensive. Every app and every current game can be used well.
Redmi Note 6 Pro still with MIUI 9.6
The Redmi Note 5 has already received the MIUI 10 update, users of the Redmi Note 6 Pro have to wait a bit, but probably not that much. Since the update to MIUI 10 also brought some bugs, one or the other will be happy about the delay. As soon as MIUI 10 is available, there will be a detailed introduction to the new features at this point, for the time being, just have a look at the Redmi Note 5 review.
If you want to use custom ROMs like Lineage-OS or the Xiaomi.EU ROM, you should request an UNLOCK from Xiaomi. For all others this is not necessary, because the Global version is delivered with all Google services and several languages. Widevine Level L3 prevents, as on all Xiaomi devices, the use of Netflix or Amazon in HD resolution. But you don’t really see the difference on a 6inch display.
MIUI is and remains my absolute favorite system. This is not only due to the optics but also to the almost endless individualization possibilities. Another little tip: If you want to use Face-UNLOCK and the Theme Center, you have to switch the region to India. Otherwise, this setting has no negative effect known to us. The update policy is and remains absolutely unmatched internationally, especially when it comes to smartphones for less than 230$.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro now has a new dual front camera and is able to make very nice bokeh selfies. However, the Redmi Note 5 is able to do this even without a second front sensor. Here is a comparison of the bokeh selfies:
As you can see in the gallery, the Redmi Note 6 Pro is clearly superior to the Redmi Note 5 with normal selfies. The shots are sharper, more detailed and also better color-coordinated. Xiaomi has improved the right details and the selfie quality of the Redmi Note 6 corresponds to the high-end class. The second sensor still remains a sham, since a difference in bokeh selfies is hardly noticeable. Bokeh shots of the dual rear camera can convince with the RN6 Pro and both the warm colors (with AI on) and the normal portraits usually succeed at the first attempt and the separation between foreground and background is exemplarily implemented.
Our test device is the global version of the Redmi Note 6 Pro. The dual camera set-up consists of a 12 megapixel rear camera (s5k2l7 sensor) with a f/1.9 lens aperture. The main sensor is supported by a 5 megapixel Samsung sensor (s5k5e8). The dual front camera is equipped with a 20 megapixel sensor (S5K3T1) and an additional 2 megapixel Omnivision sensor (ov02a10). Xiaomi is known for the sensor roulette and so you can get different sensors. Whether this is also the case with the Redmi Note 6 Pro remains to be seen. You are welcome to comment on your sensors below this article. New in comparison to the RN5 is not only the front camera, but also the AI mode of the main camera. This was left behind by the Global Version of the RN5, but the Redmi Note 5 AI (China Version) always had it. With the AI mode switched off, the pictures are not to be distinguished from those of the predecessor. The AI mostly amplifies the colors – I personally like the effect very much. For the price, the quality remains absolutely brilliant and there is actually no mobile phone for less than 230$ that can compete with the Redmi Note 6. The focus works really fast and the release time is minimal.
Here you have a complete gallery of pictures without sunlight (in the evening)!
The Redmi Note 6 Pro is also convincing in terms of video recordings. The EIS works exemplary and perfectly stabilizes 1080p recordings. This is also an absolute exception in the budget range. 4K recordings can only be recorded using third-party apps such as OpenCamera, but even then the EIS works. But then unattractive streaks appear and the result is not that convincing.
Connectivity and communication
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro is a Dual-SIM smartphone and can be used with 2 Nano-SIMs. Both SIM slots support 4G, but not both at the same time. The network frequencies of the Global version cover the whole of Europe without any problems:
2G: GSM: B 2 / 3 / 5 / 8
3G UMTS: B 1 / 2 / 4 / 5 / 8
4G: LTE: B 1 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 8 / 20
The call quality remains at a high level, but in comparison to the Redmi Note 5 it suffers a little because of the small auricle. Call me crazy, but the quality is a bit worse. Voice transmission and noise suppression still work without any problems. You can make excellent phone calls with the Redmi Note 6 Pro and you can also hear the person you are talking to at high volume if necessary. VoLTE is no problem either, you simply have to activate the function with the code: “*#*#86583#*#*”.
The Redmi Note 6 Pro is also fully convincing when it comes to connectivity. The only thing you have to do without is NFC. So you have Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi with ac speed (dual band: 2.4 and 5GHz) here, which is unique in this price class. The Bluetooth reception is characterized by a high range and is constantly maintained. There are also no problems with the WiFi. The data throughput is now very high and my 50Mbit line is completely used. Here the Redmi Note 6 performs better than its predecessor. The GPS with GALILEO support provides a lightning fast fix and an exact position determination of 2-3m. The position can even be determined inside buildings and for pedestrian navigation there is a compass available.
In addition to the 3 standard sensors (acceleration, proximity and brightness sensor), a gyroscope, infrared transmitter and Hall sensor (for smart covers) are also available.
The Xiaomi typical high-quality 3.5mm jack connector delivers a high volume and is adjustable via the Mi-Equalizer in the options menu. FM radio is also possible with headphones connected. This is a feature that hardly any manufacturer offers anymore. The internal loudspeaker is not extraordinary, but it fulfils its purpose. Like its predecessor, the mono speaker delivers rudimentary bass and hardly overdrives at full volume.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro provides the same 4000mAh battery as its predecessor. The charging process takes about 2 hours with the included 5V/2A adapter. Using a QC3 adapter, the charging time is reduced by 15 minutes, so it is not really faster. If you want to recharge in between, you will get 12% of the battery in 10 minutes, so everything stays absolutely the same as with the Redmi Note 5.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
Draining the battery of the Redmi Note 6 Pro in one day is almost impossible. With my intensive test user profile, the device lasted for full 2 days with gaming and navigation, and I had a DOT (time with display switched on) of 9-10 hours. Those who do without gaming will get 1-2 hours more and due to the low standby consumption of 4-5% in 12 hours, even 2.5 days are hardly a problem. In the PC-Mark battery test, the RN5 lasted for 13.5 hours, but I couldn’t reproduce that anymore. The Redmi Note 5 lasted 10 hours and 34 minutes with a slightly above average display brightness (easily sufficient for outdoors and clearly too bright in the evening). The Redmi Note 6 tops this value with exactly the same brightness with 10 hours and 52 minutes. If you are looking for a real 2-day smartphone, the Redmi Note 6 Pro is the perfect choice.