Mission impossible - Mi6

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  • We wouldn't be surprised to see the Xiaomi Mi6 in Ethan Hunt's arsenal of high-tech gadgets in the next episode. They've put some amazing knowledge and energy into this little gadget, for its size.

3 cameras, the world's most powerful mobile processor, 3350 mAh battery, 5.15″ screen, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage and I could go on and on... Not to mention that this is the first Xiaomi phone to be advertised as a splash screen. Although there have been some reprobates who have taken it further.

Now that we have finally had the chance to see a 6/128 black version in person, thanks to the Xiaomishop team, we were able to check out a lot of tests and descriptions to see how real they are, and we can further enhance the Xiaomi Mi6's soaring with our own experiences and tests.


Well, let's run with it!

As soon as we received it, I got rid of the courier's wrapping with a secret grin on the back of my neck, like a Christmas Pistike. The box of the device is the familiar new series Xiaomi box, white hard cardboard, Mi logo in the middle and the version's distinctive RAM/ROM pair in the top right corner.

On the back of the box, we are greeted by the usual data sheet sticker, with the main features, modem capabilities, box contents, IMEI and other goodies.

Yes, it's a completely Chinese version, as there is no other version, especially not an international version. (But I'm sure there will be one)

Opening the box reveals our new love, you read that right, it was love at first sight. Not the blindness that characterises us, but the knowledge of what we are about to touch, use, and stretch in order to write this article. Because today it's the top of the tops, the No1, the ace...

If you've ever unboxed a Xiaomi phone, you know how nice and usable the foil is. Someone has already said that they have seen people using it. It's a shame to leave it on!

Well, not because it's such a pretty bub (we looked at it before taking a photo), but because it degrades the picture quality considerably and we can't enjoy its beautiful screen.

Underneath the phone you won't find quite the usual accessories, as they had to pack a little extra due to the lack of a jack. Underneath the small warning thumbscrew and SIM pin holder we find the USB-C cable, the USB-C jack converter, Xiaomi's own 3 amp fast charger and a dark silicone case.

Trying the USB-C jack converter with a Piston 3 headset, it works exactly the same as if it were in the headphone jack. The phone instantly recognises it as an earphone and the settings can be selected from the What Music Repair, Control Buttons and Volume Control. The jack fits perfectly both in the phone and the headphone jack. However, the earphones do not go all the way into the converter socket, they stick out slightly. This may also be due to the universality to make it compatible with almost all jack connectors.

The quality of the silicones is surprisingly good, even excellent! Inside it is a little jagged, so that it doesn't cure if you carry it in your pocket and a little condensation gets between the case and the phone. The exterior is non-slip, providing a good grip even for dry-handed owners.

Removing the protective film reveals the Mi6's unique 5.15-inch display, which covers the entire front panel with 3D glass rounded on 4 sides, with the Home button recessed into the glass.

On the back, you'll find the usual information sticker with the phone's IMEI number, serial number and other tick-tock info. Third picture shows the baby in a case.

I'd like to dwell on a small negative review here, the entire glass surface, both front and back, is a very fluffy magnet, not to mention the fingerprints. Using a lint-free wipe before taking a photo hasn't yielded 100% results either, but the excellent scratch resistance means you can wipe it in your clothes, so that's that will never be scratched.

The outside

As I wrote above, the front and back of the Xiaomi Mi6 are made of 3D glass, rounded on four sides, the exact material is subject to debate, but mostly the Mi series uses Gorilla Glass, while the Redmi series uses Asahi dragon trail. The video above also covers scratch resistance, it was scratch resistant up to level 6 on the Mosh scale of scratch resistance, which can only be said of phones with outstanding quality, e.g. iphone 7, Samsung S8, etc.

The catch is excellent! It's very thin, only 7.45 mm, but it fits perfectly in the palm of the hand. The bottle doesn't slip, at least in my palm I didn't have to worry about it slipping, but someone with abnormally dry hands might have a different opinion. Especially if you have slightly oily hands, that gives you extra friction/grip. If it does slip, there's the included silicone pads, it actually ensures a good grip! Dimensions: 72,2mm x 150,6mm x 8,4mm

However! If you put it down without a case, expect a light breeze to blow it off from anywhere! It also started to creep from PC vibrations when placed on the table, I demonstrate this in the video below:

Conclusion: silicones are STRONGLY recommended!

Buttons

As with the Mi5s, there are only 3 physical buttons and three capacitive touch buttons. The quality of the physical buttons is immaculate, the volume button is a bit wobbly as it's a rocker button, so the volume up and down microswitches are at either end and the one-piece button has to rock back and forth, hence the wobbling. Not annoying at all! The power button sits firmly in place, doing its job. The sensitivity of the touch buttons is amazing, the speed is incredible, as you would expect from a Mi series! The Home button is a little deeper than its predecessor, although it's a fraction of a millimetre deeper, side by side. It is also recessed into the front glass, not a separate unit, and is easy to read in the dark or with the eyes closed. Below this is the fingerprint scanning sensor, which uses ultrasound to scan your finger at lightning speed. It's really lightning-fast, if you've got your fingerprint right.

Screen

The screen of the Mi6 is 5.15″ FullHD IPS LCD.Although we read somewhere about OLED, AMOLED display, we have already read rumors that there will be a service version with a cheaper display, I hope it doesn't reach here, because it will be a disappointment. 428 PPI (pixel density) hasn't become a market leader, although the iPhone is always brought up in the presentation, it beats it at 328 PPI, but the Huawei P10 432 PPI, Samsung S8 571 PPI (with 2k display) is not so noticeably sharper. Its brightness is 600 nits, not the strongest on the market either, iPhone 705, beating Huawei P10 with 556 and Samsung S8 with 693.

So much for the numbers war. It's not the screen's hyper-super values that are important, but the extra that the Mi6 adds on top of that. Its special glass and coating go well beyond the average display. In sunlight, everything is clearly visible with colour accuracy, just like the Mi4c. The continuous brightness adjustment is eye-catching and it really is. Anti-flicker, auto colour temperature, polarized layer, which was already in the Mi5s.

Demonstrate:

So, if you have quality sunglasses, you won't see much with the screen turned up, either when playing games or taking photos/videos.

A sad fact is that your notification, which is located in the top right corner of your phone, is only one colour. Only white. Black points to Xiaomi! :(

Speaker

The Xiaomi Mi6 provides stereo sound in lie-flat mode, even using the speech speaker on the left. This way, videos and games are in stereo, but the speech speaker is a bit quieter. You can hear this perfectly in the video below:

Let's go inside...

I'm not going to go into the dry numbers and tests, this has already been covered on the sprout and sprout tech site, but I did check out what this baby can do. The tests were not done in a sterile environment, with everything cleaned off, but during daily use. The MIUI version is an unknown, maybe webshop rom, as it is not officially available for download from the manufacturer's website. I left it on and tested it in a live environment. I found everything fine, sync works, Mi account works, Wifi works, no lag, BT is lightning fast, push messages, notifications work great (faster than my Redmi Note 3 phone in daily use), out and incoming calls work instantly, SMS comes and mobile net works as it should. In a word (with more) it's safe for all customers to stay on this until the official Global ROM comes out and of course the much awaited MIUIHU! :mrgreen:

Now let's see what the iron has done:

Antutu

As Friderikusz would sing: Surprising and amusing... Even if I had "castrated" or opened the bootloader and measured with MIUIHU, my jaw would have dropped more. But what goes around comes around! ;)

GFXBench

Paper form... there's a Mi6 below, now that's a pure system. That's why I do the tests this way, so that anyone can be sure that their beloved phone will always perform like this.

PCMark

This was a very robust battery test, the gist of which is how long it takes to drain the battery from 80% to 20% while the phone is browsing with the screen on, playing video, editing photos, editing video and many other relative everyday activities. I don't think this needs much explanation either...

Microphone

The microphone is an excellent conversation pick-up, it works great as a voice recorder, picking up human voices clearly and intelligibly from up to 2 metres away. I've also tested it with quite loud music, if someone wants to record a concert and it did the same with TV. Listen:

However, the speaker is standard, maybe a bit better than the previous ones, but it's not the mobile roaring down the street feeling. Music is nice, speech is intelligible, but there's not much bass. You can't expect much more from such a tiny diaphragm, and that's not what the phone is designed for anyway.

Camera

Now we come to the most important topic. The camera. Well, this is the one that everyone expected to be a big hit, with a dual 12MP image sensor on the back. Two different ones, and one is a six-lens, f1.8, wide-angle, while the other is a five-lens, f2.6, telephoto. The wide-angle camera is equipped with a 4-axis optical image stabilisation, which can come in handy when you're shooting stills and video, when you're holding the phone and your hand moves. No more lifeless photos, shaky videos!

What are these two for? For several reasons. 2x optical zoom between the two cameras.

Mutatom:

Attention, large images are coming! The left is the wide angle, the right is the telephoto.

The pictures were taken from the same position, motionless, only the camera was switched.

Like any phone camera that's good for something, it takes incredible pictures during the day and only under indoor lights or at night does it reveal what it's really capable of. Let's start with some outdoor shots of our beautiful city, Győr. :)

Sky photography, HDR and burn-in test.

Sun behind clouds, less light.

A close-up with depth of field. The second image is now 16:9, as most phones' image sensors shoot at 4:3 for the highest resolution, 16:9 will be smaller and slightly distorted at the edges.

Distant object (Győr City Hall and fountain) in daylight and already switched on in double camera mode! In the camera settings, you can switch the double camera mark on or off in the lower left corner of the image as a watermark.

As you can see, even at 300x magnification, the Mi6 takes very good pictures, and you can't complain about daytime images here either. But now let's see how it performs at night and in home in bright light and blind darkness. For dark pictures in general, I tested it in three settings, plain setting, twilight setting and HDR. I'll put the pictures in that order.

Let's look at another example and draw a conclusion. Here it was so dark that I had to turn on the flash to get a smooth setting, because the quality was worthless.

In all three cases, the HDR setting won. True, the speed of shooting is significantly reduced due to more sampling, but the results speak for themselves. Be aware that turning on HDR increases the exposure time and you need to keep the phone on the subject until you take the shot, otherwise the image will be blurred and blurred. Now let's take a look at it in the light at home.

The same series with the telephoto lens, from the same position.

But let's not forget that we have a two-tone LED flash, which is designed to produce a better image in just such situations, more colour-true than the above.

Here again, HDR works - you can capture more light, more detail, but only and only still subjects. If you want to capture the always fidgety little ones, go for twilight or be prepared with manual settings, but use the flash instead. Let's check it out, already dark to the eye with flash and HDR on.

The flash has a range of up to 8 metres, but you can get decent quality within 5 metres, which the Mi6's camera shows very well in a completely blind backyard.

The first tree is 3 metres away, the second 6 metres and the wall about 8 metres. In total darkness that's all the flash and the image sensor can do. And finally a panoramic shot.

Photo is out, don't expect more technical info, this is not a professional photographer training, just some help for the average user for everyday use. If you dig a little deeper and look into the settings, you'll probably come up with a nicer, more adjusted image, but that's not realistic.

Moving image or video in 4K!

Yes, the 12MP camera has been capable of 4K for quite some time, but who needs it? Someone who wants to work with it, has a suitable player and screen/TV. Otherwise, it's enough to set the recording to 720p for facebook, the quality degrades with uploading and not everyone has a phone with FHD display. So before you start recording, decide whether you need high resolution or not. It takes up more space, works harder on the iron, drains the battery more. (Although draining this battery by shooting video...) Let's see some really good shots, in several different compositions.

Not only is the Mi6's dual rear cameras so awesome, but the selfie, front-facing camera can also take beautiful shots. I asked a young man from Győr to take it for a walk. :D

A bonus 4K Timelaps shot at the end.

Phone, modem, SIM

We can make phone calls as usual at home, with all our operators, there is no problem. However, one of the frequencies is not supported, the infamous B20 or 800MHz LTE. This means that if you are a Vodafone customer, for example, you will in many cases not have 4G internet in rural areas and you won't be able to watch your favourite online media in 4K due to lack of bandwidth. 3G is likely to be there and even EDGE, which is just enough for chatting to friends and family and even online navigation.

As I wrote above, the phone is officially splash-proof, so you can use it in the rain, in places where you might splash water, wash the screen, etc. The dual SIM tray is also protected against leakage by a rubber strip at the end of the tray.

This prevents water from getting into the SIM and memory card, but officially it can only withstand splashing water, it may not be able to withstand it if you dive deeper! Be careful!

GPS

I don't even know what to say about it, it's great! Lightning fast satellite hit and positioning. I could go on and on about it, but I'd rather show it "live".

 


Summary

Sum sum sum, this phone is pretty cool! The grip, the look, the usability, the camera, the screen, all testify that yes, this is a top device. Speaking of looks. Yes, I would like to mention here that my blood attachment to Xiaomi has not completely clouded my mind and I too am curious to see Xiaomi as the "iPhone of the East"(for trolls, the poor man's iPhone). To an outside observer and any IT professional with an objective view, the first thing that comes to mind is the iPhone 6S. On closer inspection and hand-holding, the differences start to become clear, and everyone starts to like it more and more. If you're planning to buy a top-of-the-range device this year, think twice about looking at other brands! No manufacturer can compete with excellent hardware and the soon to be weekly updated Hungarian software pair!

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