Weeks after releasing its flagship Mi 8, Xiaomi is refreshing the other end of its catalogue with the entry-level Redmi series that now comes powered with MediaTek Helio processors, AI Dual camera system and Android 8.1 Oreo with face unlock rather than a fingerprint scanner.
Xiaomi has announced the upgraded Redmi series with the launch of the Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A in China, both of which are budget offerings with identical design elements. The successor to the Redmi 5 lineup, the 6-series comes with improvements in performance, camera, and appearance with the injection of the latest software from Xiaomi and Google. While the Redmi 6A is priced at 599 yuan (approx. Rs 6,300), the standard Redmi 6 comes in at a starting price of 799 yuan (approx. Rs 8,400).
The Redmi 6 sports a 5.45-inch HD+ IPS display with 720 x 1440 pixel resolution and an 18:9 elongated front screen. As was confirmed to us by MediaTek, this is the first of the four Xiaomi phones to make use of a MediaTek chipset. The Redmi 6 is thus powered by an octa-core 2GHz Helio P22 SoC made on a 12nm architecture which was announced last month. The internals are coupled with either 3GB/32GB or 4GB/64GB configurations with support for a microSD card.
The highlight to the new Redmi 6 is the inclusion of the dual 12MP + 5MP camera which in addition to the system-wide AI will help you click better stills. The AI-aided face unlock feature also comes in handy as an additional option to the conventional fingerprint scanner for authentication. The device works in such a way that when it’s lifted up, the screen lights up to scan and detect your face through the 5MP camera on the front even on lowly lit conditions. There’s an AI portrait mode as well as an effect that blurs the background when using the primary cameras.
Moving on to the more affordable Redmi 6A, the device is the slightly stripped version of the Redmi 6 with the same design and display but with downgraded specifications and a single camera in place of two at the back. Featuring the same 5.45-inch HD+ display, the Redmi 6A is powered by a 64-bit quad-core Helio A22 which is the first chipset under MediaTek’s A-series and is made from the 16nm architecture.
The Redmi 6A only comes with a single 13MP sensor with dual-LED flash at the back while the front-facing camera retains the 5MP sensor that’s installed on the Redmi 6. Although Xiaomi packs in face unlock for authentication, the Redmi 6A fails to employ a fingerprint scanner which was present at the back of the stand model. The device comes with an entry-level configuration of 2GB RAM and 16GB of onboard storage.
While the Redmi 6 and 6A both run on Android 8.1 Oreo, it’s surprising to see Xiaomi not rolling out its latest MIUI 10out of the box for its latest devices. The devices also come with a 3,000mAh battery which is smaller when compared to last year’s Redmi 5.
The Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A will be available in Gray, Gold, Rose Gold and Blue colors from June 15 in China. While the cheaper Redmi 6A will be priced at 699 yuan (approx. Rs 6,300), the 32GB and 64GB of the Redmi 6 will be available for 799 yuan (approx. Rs 8,400) and 999 yuan (approx. Rs 10,520) respectively.