Smartphone Battery Life Comparison, XIAOMI REDMI NOTE 6 PRO REVIEW: CAMERA AND BATTERY LIFE ARE THE ONLY SAVING GRACE

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Smartphone Battery Life Comparison – Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro may have been relaunched in January but it is undoubtedly a budget smartphone to beat throughout 2018. Honor, Asus, Realme and Nokia threaten to take the crown but only fail to offer a value proposition that the Note 5 Pro does. Fast forward to November and we already have the Redmi Note 6 Pro and does it pack as many blows as its predecessor? Unfortunately no. But there is absolutely no reason to be disappointed.

Xiaomi returned to the drawing board and decided to save everything that works with the same Note 5 Pro. But it has gone with a small update to the camera at this time. With prices starting at Rs 13,999 for the basic variant with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage, the Redmi Note 6 Pro is basically an iterative upgrade with small changes. Higher 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage costs Rs 15,999.

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Even though there’s nothing wrong with that, it would be wrong to say that the cellphone really sets the benchmark for budget phones in 2019. So who is the Redmi Note 6 Pro? Well, if you like taking photos and you can’t stretch your budget beyond Rs 15,000-17,000, then the Redmi Note 6 Pro is a no-brainer. Read on to find out why.

Camera: 7.5 / 10

The camera is definitely where all the differences stand when compared to the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Xiaomi are definitely banking on it to make it count.

The Redmi Note 6 Pro has a dual camera setting on the back, but this time with a little better hardware. The main camera unit here is a 12 MP f / 1.9 aperture lens and is equipped with a 5 MP f / 2.2 depth sensor. The reason why this is a marginal upgrade is that the main sensors are now theoretically capable of taking more light when compared to the predecessor f / 2.2 lens and boys does that make a difference.

The results are quite extraordinary. For smartphones with a price of Rs 15,000, the Note 6 Pro really crushes other smart phone cameras below Rs 20,000.

You get the usual UI The camera and broad daylight shots are also fast with lightning fast autofocus. The color, in general, is slightly warmer than natural, but the level of sharpness and exposure is at the point. Processing AI does have a tendency to overestimate colors because what I prefer to turn off is for the most part. Tap to focus also works perfectly, allowing me to get the right exposure level for each shot.

Portrait mode works well with great edge detection and the separation of background subjects that look very natural. In fact, I would go far enough to say that daytime results can easily be confused with shooting using an entry-level SLR camera.

Well, most of the smart phones budget are quite adequate during the day, but low light where they show their true colors (literally). Of course not the case with the Note 6 Pro and the images will definitely make you stunned. Xiaomi has managed to use its magic here with noise levels far below checks and managed images to maintain a lot of detail. Don’t trust me? See the sample image below and tell us what you think.

The front camera also has no pushover. Xiaomi has switched current forward-facing flash for the 2 MP sensor and improved the 20 MP main selfie shooter to the f / 2.0 unit. I am not a person who takes a lot of selfies but my colleague who did it, was very happy with the results. The result in low light is also quite pleasant, depth sensors nail the separation of the subject most of the time.

Video shooting is limited to Full HD at 30 fps and the Redmi Note 6 Pro does the job if you need it. There is an EIS that works quite well for recording casual videos. The constant problem of Xiaomi cellphones dropping frames while panning seems to have been resolved which results in more useful videos.

OS and Software: 8/10

Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro is the first smartphone to run MIUI 10 out of the box and it makes a big difference to the overall experience here. The MIUI 10.0.4 version is also based on Android Oreo 8.1 with the October security patch on board. Xiaomi does not mention anything about the Android 9 Pie that is coming soon, but if you know the history of Xiaomi with updates, it can take a long time.

The screen is quite large on the cellphone and fully utilizes the space here, Xiaomi introduces movement support which is once again very similar to Apple’s gestures on the iPhone.

Gestur on Android is certainly not as smooth and intuitive as iOS, but Xiaomi is really trying to make it as close as possible to iOS. You swipe right from the edge of the screen to trigger the back button and swipe left from the right edge of the screen to move forward. Swiping up from the bottom takes you home and holds the swipe up to take you to the latest application window. I’m not used to movement in general, but after using the Note 6 Pro, it works fine. The application also scales well to the 19: 9 aspect ratio here, making the overall experience of using gestures feel very natural.

The latest application tab has also been tweaked to better utilize the available display space with a card-like structure that looks quite pleasant. Xiaomi’s material design inspiration is very heavy here and everything works smoothly. After using MIUI 8 and 9 for a long time, small changes to animation, transitions and even a new notification window feel refreshing.

MIUI 10 also adds a number of image processing gimmicks such as letting you change the amount of background blur in shooting portraits and bokeh shapes. We have seen this on a number of Huawei and Samsung phones, but this is a good feature to have.

Just like many other technology companies out there, AI seems to be a keyword for Xiaomi this year too. MIUI 10 uses artificial intelligence to see user application behavior and try to predict which applications can be used next, to reduce application loading time. This was announced by Xiaomi in May but with the Note 6 Pro I was able to see this for the first time. However, unlike RAM management it is a problem here, but frequently opened applications such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Gmail really feel faster.

Within three days after using the device, Xiaomi also threw a large 1.6 GB OTA updating my way. However, I did not find any real changes after the update.

Build and Design: 7/10

The Redmi Note 6 Pro looks very similar to the Redmi 6 Pro which was launched a few months ago and to be honest, the design really starts to feel rather boring now. The Note 6 Pro doesn’t stray far from taking design cues from the Redmi Note 5 Pro and almost every other smartphone made by Xiaomi this year.

The phone frame is made of plastic and so is the top and bottom cover of the phone on the back. But most of the back is a metal plate with a cut-out for a camera module that once again looks identical to the Note 5 Pro. However, if you look close enough, close it on the back and the frame will be printed into a frame. The cold metal on the back and the large battery inside the cellphone definitely gives a very strong feeling in the hand.

The screen is above the body and has plastic wrapped around it, with a curved tip to help hold the phone. Lipping here was so pronounced that Xiaomi gave up on hiding it and made it more like a design element.

This phone is big enough for one hand use but not too slippery because of the metal plate on the back. That said, the black unit that we have to review for sure is a fingerprint magnet.

There is a little camera bulge on the back with a hidden edge, but not large enough to make the phone vibrate when typing with a cellphone on the table. The fingerprint scanner on the back is also placed right.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro does display a large notch even though that is reminiscent of the F1 POCO. Notch features a double facing front camera, earpiece and proximity sensor. A thick outline surrounds the entire display, making the notch appear wider than it really is, but the outline is much smaller than the bad boundary around POCO F1.

There is also a fairly large chin that might look worn compared to a premium smartphone but with the price, it looks fine.

For the price, I still easily choose the 9N Honor every day of the week, purely because of the attractive appearance of the cellphone. But if a quieter display is your thing and you don’t mind the choice of Xiaomi’s boring design, the Redmi Note 6 Pro is definitely right on top of your list with great build quality.

Display: 7.5 / 10

The 18: 9 screen on the Redmi Note 5 Pro is now replaced with 19: 9 notched in Note 6 Pro. This may not be the first Xiaomi smartphone to have a notch, but this is the first Note series phone to do so.

Xiaomi is packed on a great LCD screen even on their budget phones and the Note 6 Pro is no different in this regard. The 6.26-inch IPS LCD screen is not only packaged in Full HD resolution + 1,080 x 2,280 pixels, but also very good when it comes to producing the right color tone.

However, a larger display does not always produce more useful screen space even though the screen notch is large enough. The screen is still quite large and good for Netflix (which, in your opinion, doesn’t play content on Full HD) and YouTube. The space on the left side of the notch does not show the application notification icon, instead, you get a notification bubble in the individual application. This may not be the best implementation, but at the same time, it’s not like that it can hold more than three-four application notification icons in any way.

At full brightness, the text can be a little difficult to read when in direct sunlight, but the maximum brightness of 500 nits achieved by the screen is more than enough under the brightest conditions.

Xiaomi also allows you to mess with white balance a little fair in the display settings and also throws in Reading Mode if you like. If you watch lots of videos on your cellphone or play games, you will have a pleasant experience. The oleophobia layer is also very good at rejecting fingerprints and even small splashes of water.

I would like the wake-up or double-tap-to-wake feature, but both are missing on the Redmi Note 6 Pro. Obviously not a transaction violator.

Features: 7.5 / 10

The main features of the Redmi Note 6 Pro are the quad camera settings which include two cameras on the back and two on the front of the cellphone.

This phone has a 6.26-inch screen with FHD + resolution and a screen-to-body ratio of almost 87.6 percent.

The rest here is identical to the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Inside we have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset along with 4 GB RAM plus 64 GB of internal storage for starters and variants with 6 GB RAM and the same internal storage capacity. The lack of a higher storage variant can be a problem solver for some people, because you only get a hybrid SIM slot here. This means you have to exchange your second SIM for more storage. If not, you are stuck with 64 GB of storage (actually lower because only 52 GB can be used).

The phone runs the MIUI 10 Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box and is the first Xiaomi device to do so.

In the camera department, we now see a front camera module of 20 MP and 2 MP while on the back there are 12 MP and 5 MP snappers with a flash LED and f / 1.9 aperture.

Powering device is a 4,000 mAh battery along with QuickCharge 3.0 support. Xiaomi still believes throwing an IR blaster there so you have it too.

Connectivity options include dual-SIM 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and GPS. There is a micro USB 2.0 port for data charging and transfer and also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Performance: 6.5 / 10

Xiaomi debuted the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC with the Redmi Note 5 Pro this January making it easy to use, but time has changed since then. Snapdragon 636 is not an old chipset but is definitely starting to show its disadvantages on the Note 6 Pro.

The 14 nm chipset survives well for regular tasks such as messaging, social media and web browsing, but when running games that are intermittent.

While most casual games like Alto’s Adventure go well, that’s when playing heavy games like PUBG and Asphalt 8: Airborne (Asphalt 9 doesn’t appear on the Play Store strangely) that we have to minimize the graphics settings to have a frame-rate that can be played. Long story short, if you want to buy this phone to play games, you might want to stay away.

Realme 2 Pro, which is sold at the same price as the Redmi Note 6 Pro, offers a Snapdragon 660 chipset that is more reliable for playing games and so does the Mi A2 which now starts at Rs 15,999.

Draining the battery when playing games is not as much as I noted in the Redmi 6 Pro that I reviewed recently. For reference, playing one hour PUBG on Wi-Fi consumes around 18 percent and 12 percent of the battery when playing Asphalt 8.

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