Redmi 6 Pro first impressions: Another Redmi phone is here, but for a higher price

The Redmi 6 series is Xiaomi’s latest launch in India. This time, the company has introduced three phones in one go: Redmi 6A, Redmi 6 and Redmi 6 Pro. The last one on the list is the most expensive with a starting price of Rs 10,999, and going up Rs 12,999. This is also the most expensive Redmi phone that Xiaomi has ever launched in India. Traditionally Redmi series has remained in the sub-Rs 10,000 price bracket.

Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A are both more affordable options on the list. However, the Redmi 6 Pro packs more power. Interestingly it comes with the same camera setup as the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The Redmi Note 5 Pro is a phone in the above Rs 14,000 price bracket.

There’s no doubt that Xiaomi’s new line-up of Redmi 6 will confuse potential users. Should they get Redmi 6 Pro or Redmi Note 5? Remember both have the same processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. They both also have a 4000 mAh battery. The pricing itself will add to the confusion. We’ve had the chance to use Redmi 6 Pro for the last two days and here are our first impressions of the new phone.

Let’s be real, Redmi 6 Pro does not wow on the design front. It is similar to countless other Xiaomi phones we have seen in the past. Except for the notch in the front, there’s not much to differentiate it from other Xiaomi phones launched this year. The vertically aligned rear camera will remind one of the Redmi Note 5 Pro series, though this device is chunkier and bulkier.

One also wonders why Xiaomi did not call it the Redmi Note 6 in India, but then it looks like the company wanted to offer a slightly better device in the Redmi series as well. However, the Redmi 6 Pro has a slightly smaller 5.84-inch full HD+ resolution display, while the Note series now has a nearly 6-inch display.

While Redmi 6 Pro might not seem like anything new, for potential users looking for a phone in the Rs 10,000 price segment, this might be the device they pick given what it offers for the base variant, rather than going for the more affordable Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A.

The display on Redmi 6 Pro is on par with other Xiaomi phones, though with this one I prefer to keep the brightness at a higher level. The display works fine in bright sunlight, though we will have more on this in our full review. Users also have the option of turning off the notch in the display by going to settings.

Redmi 6 Pro: Specifications, Battery
The Redmi 6 Pro comes in two variants: 3GB RAM and 32GB storage and a 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant. The review unit with us sports 4GB RAM. Xiaomi has also added a dedicated SIM slot on all three Redmi variants, which is good to see. Users looking for a budget phone will appreciate this dedicated slot for microSD cards, though 64GB storage space should be enough for most users.

Redmi 6 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, which is the same the Redmi Note 5. The other two Redmi phones are powered by MediaTek processors, which is a first for Xiaomi in India in nearly four years.

The company has not introduced MediaTek based phones after a 2014 court case by Ericsson over patent infringement. However, Xiaomi is now legally allowed to sell phones with MediaTek chipsets in India as it appears that the lawsuit has been settled, though the company did not give more details.

Another thing to note about the Redmi 6 series is that the phones come with dual VoLTE (Voice over LTE) and dual-SIM standby as well. What it means is that users can use both their 4G VoLTE SIMs for making VoLTE-based calls.

Given telcos like Airtel, Vodafone is rolling out their VoLTE networks more aggressively across India this is a good step to add to the phone. Jio’s network is an entirely VoLTE one.

Redmi 6 Pro also sports the biggest battery sizes in the series with a 4000 mAh and the promise of a two-day battery life. For those who value that extra battery life, Redmi 6 Pro will be the most appealing option this series.

Redmi 6 Pro: Camera
Redmi 6 Pro has a 12MP+5MP camera setup, which the company says is the same as on Redmi Note 5 Pro. The front camera is 5MP. Both the front camera and rear camera have a Portrait mode which is driven by Artificial Intelligence. I’ve not had a chance to test out the rear camera fully yet, but the first few shots taken outside look promising.

There is enough detail in the photos, and the colours are vivid. However, the shots taken indoors are not so impressive, and could do with less noise. The front camera is average, and nothing exceptional. The portrait mode seems okay, though again it does struggle with an accuracy of edges when it comes to the person.

Redmi 6 Pro: Worth considering?
Right now, the Redmi lineup does appear confusing. Phones are available at nearly every price point with similar features. The Redmi 6 Pro appears to be a better bet than Redmi Note 5 considering that it has a dual-rear camera. Then again, this new phone does not have the powerful chipset like the Redmi Note 5 Pro.

For under Rs 13,000, Redmi 6 Pro is definitely a better choice than say Redmi 6A or Redmi 6. Of course, those who bought the Redmi Note 5 earlier might be disappointed considering they did not get the dual-rear camera at all.

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