Xiaomi Mi6: First Look and Camera Samples

Theelusive Xiaomi Mi6 made a short appearance in our office and here's everything we managed to get from it

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Xiaomi Mi 6: First Look, Camera Samples and Image Gallery

Xiaomi launched their flagship Mi6 smartphone in China a few days ago and while there is plenty of unfounded speculation about whether the phone will be released in India or not, we managed to get our hands on the device for a short period of time. The device in question was not an international unit, but a China-specific build running a China specific ROM. Given that, there was little we could do to test the performance of the Xiaomi Mi6’s hardware, but we still managed to walk away with some useful information.

Design and Build
The Xiaomi Mi6 that we played with had a glossy black finish, very similar to the Jet Black finishing on the iPhone 7. Briefly using the phone, it was soon discovered that every part of the phone, whether it’s the sides, the back or the front, are easily stained by the prints on your fingers. It was rather difficult photographing the phone as we spent more time cleaning it than actually using or shooting it. Maybe the other colours would be more forgiving, but on black, the fingerprints are almost impossible to miss.

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Moving past the fingerprint mess, the phone itself is incredibly well built. It is very impressive to see the build quality and the elegant finishing on the Mi6, with its seamless edges and sturdy metal frame. There are hints of Samsung Galaxy S7 edge’s design language in here, but the phone doesn’t particularly evoke the thought that it’s a design rip-off. The front is one smooth slab of glass, with a rounded rectangle at the bottom that looks very similar to the one found on the OnePlus 3T.

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The Camera
What really stands out about the Xiaomi Mi6 isn’t so much its 5.15”1080p display, but the dual camera setup on the back. There are two independent 12 megapixel sensors on the back of the Xiaomi Mi6, one with a 27mm field of view and the other with a 57mm field of view. We noted in our review of the iPhone 7 Plus camera that the iPhone 7 Plus as a 28mm and 56mm lens, so Xiaomi is playing within the same range with its dual lenses. In fact, the default camera app on the Xiaomi Mi6 also comes with a Portrait Mode, which we found to be surprisingly good in our brief and limited use of the feature.

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We are sharing a few image samples in the slideshow below for you to reach your own conclusions with regards to image quality. We can say with full confidence, that the camera is applying too much compression to the images (even those shot in good light), leading to a noticeable loss in detail. This is especially apparent when shooting closeup of foliage. We also felt that the autofocus was a little hit-or-miss, with plenty of times where it locked focus quickly and then a few where it could not lock onto a well lit, properly distinguished (but small) object. Given that this is a China specific build, it is entirely possible that the algorithms are not tweaked. It is also entirely possible that the unit we used was a pre-production model, not loaded with the final firmware and operating system.

Xiaomi Mi6 First Look Camera Samples

Price and Availability
Obviously, many of you are wondering when this gorgeous device from the house of Xiaomi will make its way to India. Officially, there is no word on whether the Xiaomi Mi6 will come to India and even if it does, the time frame in which it will do so. In China, the phone will start at a price of Yuan 2499 (Rs 24,000) for the 6GB RAM+64GB variant, Yuan 2899 for the 6GB RAM+128GB storage version (Rs 27,000). There is also a limited edition of the Xiaomi Mi6 with Ceramic finish that will retail for Yuan 2999 (Rs. 28,000) and come with 6GB RAM+128GB of on-board storage. As of now, there’s no knowing whether the Xiaomi Mi 6 will come to india or when, however, we do feel that Xiaomi has no reason to omit India from its list of countries to release the phone in.