Xiaomi has become one of the top selling brands in India and it has achieved this feat with the help of selling good devices priced aggressively for Indian customers. Redmi 6A is Xiaomi’s latest budget offering, which comes with a number of improvements over the previous generation Redmi 5A.
Redmi 6 and Redmi 6A are also among the first Xiaomi phones to launch with the MediaTek processor in a long time. Let’s find out if the new Xiaomi Redmi 6A is worth the upgrade.
Xiaomi Redmi 6A specifications: 5.45-inch HD+ 1440 x 720 resolution display | MediaTek Helio A22 processor | 2GB RAM +16GB internal storage/3GB RAM +32GB internal storage | expandable memory via dedicated microSD card slot (up to 256GB) | 13MP primary camera | 5MP secondary camera | 3,000mAh battery | MIUI 9.6 based on Android 8.1 Oreo
Xiaomi last year launched the Redmi 5A in India, which was one of the best smartphones consumers could have purchased under the budget of Rs 7,000. Still, Redmi 6A doesn’t feature looks that set it apart from other smartphones around the same price bracket.
The device has an 18:9 aspect ratio display with thin side bezels, a single camera setup on the back, a 3.5mm audio jack up top, and a microUSB port on the bottom edge. Redmi 6A comes with dual-SIM card capabilities and a separate slot for the microSD card. Redmi 6A is pretty light thanks to its plastic build, which some might like and others might not.
Xiaomi Redmi 6A Review: What’s good? Redmi 6A sports a polycarbonate build but does not feel like any other budget phones around this price due to its metallic matte finish. The device is very easy to handle with one hand and sturdy enough to be able to handle a few accidental drops.
Redmi 6A’s display appears to be on par with other budget handsets that I have tested. Indoors, the display is crisp and vibrant. In the dark, the brightness levels can be turned down considerably, which is ideal for reducing eye strain.
Redmi 6A is one of the first smartphones to be powered by MediaTek’s new Helio A22 processor, which doesn’t disappoint as the device runs very smoothly even while performing demanding tasks. Playing light games like Shadow Fight 2 and Subway Surfer was a breeze for the device, however, when it came to heavy games like Asphalt 8 and PUBG Mobile, there were noticeable lag and frame drops. Considering the price I consider that the phone is well worth every penny in the performance department.
In well-lit conditions, the camera performed really well, the shots were sharp, colours vibrant and the images had a good amount of detail in them. The device also comes with an HDR mode, which is not common in budget smartphones. As for the front camera, the device can take decent daylight selfies. The images came out sharp and focused, however, the colours aren’t so accurate.
The device usually required around 2 hours 45 minutes to be completely charged from 0-100 per cent during our testing period. It did heat up a bit while charging.
During our testing, Xiaomi Redmi 6A was able to last a full day on a complete charge with average usage patterns like making and receiving calls, using social media apps and checking emails.
Xiaomi Redmi 6A Review: What’s not so good
Redmi 6A’s camera struggles in low-light. I found the shots taken with the camera to have very less detail and a lot of noise, which does make this seem like an upgrade over the previous generation phone. The low-light performance of the front camera is also a big disappointment, the shots taken had no detailing and were quite grainy.
The display does work well when indoors, however, when you take the device outside it is a completely different story. Even with the brightness notched up to its maximum, the display is a bit difficult to read, and on most occasions, I found myself covering the screen to use the device.
The auto brightness feature also feels to be a letdown, as it wasn’t as accurate as expected. I mostly ended up adjusting the brightness manually to suit the lighting conditions.
MIUI takes a bit of time to get used to for new users who haven’t ever used a Xiaomi smartphone before, due to multiple customisations and the absence of an app drawer. The device also has tons of bloatware, most of which cannot be uninstalled and hinders usability. However, this can be overcome with the help of a launcher app like Nova launcher or the POCO launcher.
Xiaomi Redmi 6A Review: Verdict
Redmi 6A is a capable smartphone for the price. At the price, it delivers on performance, specifications, and is a compact and easy to use smartphone. However, the phone does have its fair share of cons like low-light camera performance, no fingerprint sensor and using the smartphone outside under direct sunlight. For under Rs 7,000 this is not a bad option, though Realme C1 will give tough competition to the phone as well.