Xiaomi announces Mi 6
MARIE BREWIS rounds up everything we know about the Mi 6
At the Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium Xiaomi officially unveiled the Mi 6. Significantly cheaper than the UK competition, Chinese Xiaomi phones offer amazing specs at a brilliant price.
Headline new features include a high-performance Snapdragon 835 processor, which is paired with 6GB of RAM and either 64- or 128GB of storage, plus ‘four-sided 3D glass’ and a dual camera. You’ll also find dual speakers, a 3,350mAh battery that will last all day, an under-glass fingerprint sensor and a newly splashproof body with sealed SIM tray.
As we saw with the Mi Mix last year, a ceramic model with 18k gold detailing is also available.
There is no official UK release date for the Mi 6 because it won’t be officially sold here. As always, however, you’ll be able to purchase it from Chinese importers such as GearBest and Geekbuying, but at a slightly inflated price.
Bear in mind before you buy that the Xiaomi Mi 6 does not support the 800MHz (Band 20) 4G band in the UK (though it does support 2,100MHz and 2,600MHz). This means if you are on O2, GiffGaff, Sky Mobile or another network that uses only 800MHz for 4G, you will not be able to receive 4G connectivity.
There are three versions of the Xiaomi Mi 6, and all three come with 6GB of RAM. You can opt to buy the phone with either 64- or 128GB of storage, and there is also a ceramic model with 18k gold detailing. At the time of writing, no Plus model had been announced. Xiaomi Mi 6 64GB: £489 (preorder at fave.co/2oTaXss) Xiaomi Mi 6 128GB: £590 (preorder at fave.co/2qzGw76) Xiaomi Mi 6 Ceramic: £644 (preorder at fave.co/2qzlIwn)
As we noted above, what you pay through Chinese importers such as GearBest will not be a straight conversion from RMB to Sterling. However, the price is still competitive when compared to similar-specified handsets officially sold in the UK.
There are some risks you take when purchasing a phone from China, not least that you may be asked to pay import duty when they arrive in the UK (calculated at 20 percent of the value on the shipping paperwork, plus
an admin fee of around £11). You can find more details on the pros and cons at tinyurl.com/L2dfvve.
The Mi 6 announced this week is very similar in design to the smartphone we saw many months ago in leaked images. Here are some official shots of the new phone.
From the images (below and opposite) it’s easy to make out the new dual-camera setup at the rear, which lies flush against the case, as well as the front under-glass fingerprint scanner – it’s the same approach it took with the Xiaomi Mi5s. However, less obvious perhaps is the four-sided glass. In essence, this means it is curved not only on the edges but on the corners, but is probably best explained with this slide from Xiaomi’s presentation. The overall design is clean and simple with a mirror finish. A tough, also-glossy stainless steel frame is visible from the edges. Though it is not fully waterproof, the Mi 6 can withstand splashes, and the SIM tray has also been sealed to stop water getting in. The Mi 6 is available in black, silver and blue, plus there’s the ceramic version.
Many of the rumoured specifications for the Xiaomi Mi 6 turned out to be true, including the Snapdragon 835 processor and 12Mp dual-camera. The table opposite shows exactly what you get inside.
The Snapdragon 835 is a 10nm chip built by Qualcomm and Samsung, which improves on the company’s previous 14nm chips with increases of up to 30 percent in efficiency, 27 percent in performance and 40 percent in power consumption. It runs at a clock speed of up to 2.45GHz with a big.LITTLE architecture, which means four of the eight cores run at a lower 1.8GHz for efficiency.
This chip also supports from Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0, which can offer five hours of battery life from a five-minute charge. Xiaomi says you should get a full day’s life from the Mi 6. Rated at 3,350mAh the battery is high-capacity, but it doesn’t support wireless charging.
The display might not be as high in resolution as some UK flagships, but it has a lot to offer. Its 5.15in dimensions mean the Xiaomi is easy to manage in a single hand. It’s also well specified with 1- to 600 nits brightness and a Sunlight Display, strong contrast and 4096 smart backlight adjustment levels.
As expected, a dual camera is found at the rear with one 12Mp wide-angle lens and another 12Mp telephoto camera. The Mi 6 supports a 10x digital zoom, 2x optical zoom and four-axis OIS.