Xiaomi today launched the Redmi 6 series of smartphones, in an attempt to recreate the success of its best-selling Redmi 5 range. The Redmi 6 (₹ 7,999) and Redmi 6A (₹ 5,999)—incremental upgrades to the Redmi 5 and 5A—enter a cluttered sub-₹ 10,000 smartphone segment, but the Redmi 6 Pro (₹ 10,999) is certain to stand out in this sea of slabs with its notched display.

We recently received the 4GB RAM/64GB ROM, black Redmi 6 Pro from Xiaomi and here are our first impressions of the phone.

Redmi 6 Pro: First impressions

Redmi 6 Pro’s rear design is similar to that of other Xiaomi phones in the market—metal unibody with ridges on the top, a fingerprint scanner in the centre and the bottom and a vertically stacked dual rear camera setup on the top left corner. Because of the camera bump, the phone wobbles to the right when resting on its back. The phone fits snugly in the hand because of its comparatively smaller form factor but is surprisingly heavy, weighing in at 178gm.

The notch on the Redmi Note 6 Pro.
The notch on the Redmi Note 6 Pro.

The front, however, is very different from other Xiaomi phones, as it comes with a notched display—a first for Xiaomi (if you exclude the POCO F1). It is a 5.85-inch LCD panel with a 2280x1080 resolution, which gives it an aspect ratio of 19:9. It has a rather impressive pixel density of 432ppi. The screen was sufficiently crisp, responsive and bright during the limited time I had with the phone. The bezels, though, are still prominent, especially on the chin. On the plus side, Xiaomi has given a black front panel, so the screen sits flush with the bezels, more or less.

In the hardware department, the Redmi 6 Pro comes with an outdated octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, which is also present in the Redmi Note 5. It comes in two variants of 3GB RAM with 32GB internal storage and 4GB RAM with 64GB internal storage. The hardware is mated with Android Oreo 8.1 OS which has MIUI 9 on top. Pre-installed apps include Amazon, Facebook, PhonePe, Netflix, Dailyhunt, UC Browser and Microsoft’s suite of productivity apps. The phone is backed by a 4,000mAh battery.

The performance during my usage was snappy, since I used only light to moderate apps on the device. There were a few frame chops during a brief PUBG session, though. I really wish Xiaomi had gone for a newer chipset instead of the tried and tested one.

The software experience is typical Xiaomi fare: a custom ROM with custom icons without an app drawer.

At the back of the device is an AI-enabled dual camera setup—comprising a primary 12MP Sony IMX486 sensor and secondary 5MP Samsung sensor. The camera app is very quick to click photos, even in low-light scenarios. Xiaomi has added another mode to the app called the “Short Video" mode, which allows you to take 10-second videos—very good for upping your Instagram game. There is also a manual mode which allows you to change the ISO and white balance. The photos clicked by this camera are way better than the competition, in both indoor and outdoor conditions. The HDR mode also works well. The selfie camera is also good and can click low-noise selfies indoors. The portrait mode is only for the rear camera.

Redmi 6 Pro’s camera performance with HDR enabled. Note the restoration of blown out highlights in the background and the backrest of the chairs.
Redmi 6 Pro’s camera performance with HDR enabled. Note the restoration of blown out highlights in the background and the backrest of the chairs.
Redmi 6 Pro’s camera performance with HDR disabled.
Redmi 6 Pro’s camera performance with HDR disabled.

The Redmi 6 Pro comes with a headphone jack on top and a Micro-USB slot placed centrally at the bottom. The micro-USB slot might not be a trade off for several people at this price range. The speakers face downward and are sufficiently loud, if not the loudest of the lot.

Wrapping up, I feel the Redmi 6 Pro is a good all-round package for a phone at this price. However, the dated looks and processor of the phone, along with the heft, are some of the turn-offs.

To find out more about the other phones in the Redmi 6 lineup, click here.

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