Xiaomi Redmi 6A Review: Best choice for a Tight Budget?

Xiaomi has revolutionized the smartphone market with its low priced mobiles and the best available technologies. The company is originally based out of China, but some of the models are now being manufactured in India as well.

The range of the smartphones starts from budget android phones for the common man to high-end flagship devices for the elite. The devices have become the kings in their respective price ranges, simply because they offer better features and specifications than any other smartphone in the same price range.

Xiaomi Redmi 6A Review: Everything You Need To Know

Quick Highlights

The Xiaomi Redmi 6A is one of the best smartphones that you can buy under INR 10,000. The device has been extremely popular with the people who are looking for an Android phone that has all the necessary features that are required within a smartphone.

The smartphone launched back in June 2018 and has been one of the most affordable android devices in the Redmi 6 lineup which has been recently succeeded by the Redmi 7 but the 6A remains a great option due to its lower price point than the Redmi 7.

The phone uses an entry-level smartphone chipset and almost all the features are just enough to handle the basic Android operating system.

The features and specifications on the phone are not the best in the market when compared to more premium devices but are better, if not the same, as the others that are in the same price range.

Display and Design

Redmi 6A display and design

When the device is held in your hand, the first thing that you notice is the display. At the first glance, you see that the phone has a low price tag. However, this does not stop the phone from being made up of premium materials for the price range. The rear of the smartphone is made up of brushed metal that provides it a finish that is absent on the other smartphones in the same price range.

Coming to the sides, you will notice the micro USB port at the bottom and the 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. The right side of the smartphone features the volume rockers and the power button, both of which are easily accessible when holding the phone with one hand.

When looking at the display, the premium brush vanishes. However, you cannot expect a phone in this price range to have a display that can compete with the high-end displays of the flagship smartphones.

The Xiaomi Redmi 6A offers a 5.45-inch IPS LCD display that comes with an HD+ 1440×720 resolution. The display has 295 pixels per inch, and while it may not seem like much, many phones within the same or higher price range offer the same or worse screens.

The touchscreen of the phone is quite good and the device stays responsive for most of the daily tasks that you may need to do with your phone.

Overall, the phone’s design is quite average. The bezels around the screen are thick at the top and the bottom, but still, the phone manages to feature an 18:9 aspect ratio, which is something rare among the devices that go as low as under the 7000 price point.

Battery Life and Camera

Redmi 6A battery life and camera

The Xiaomi Redmi 6A has a 3000mAh battery that is expected to last a full day on a full charge. This long battery life is attributed to the low resolution of the screen and the phone’s inability to perform complex tasks.

Any phone in this price range is not meant to run heavy applications as is. Light applications work wonders on the phone and do not take up much of the battery juice either. The phone will be used by people to make calls, send texts, light entertainment, and light social media usage. All these tasks do not require much battery which is why you can go a full day on a single charge.

The phone runs on the customized MIUI operating system, which aggressively clears the RAM and background processes. As far as battery life is concerned, the MIUI is the best custom Android operating system.

Coming to the camera, the Redmi 6A has a mediocre camera, at best. It will click the pictures, and the pictures will look good on your phone, but they do not have the best resolutions. The Redmi 6A sports a 13MP camera at the rear, with an f/2.2 aperture. Compared to some of the other phones in the same price segment, the pictures clicked with the rear camera are good but they are certainly not worthy of Instagram.

On the front for all your selfie shots, the Redmi 6A has a basic 5MP camera lens that has an f/2.2 aperture. The pictures clicked with the front camera will have a bit of a grain effect, but they are better than the ones clicked with some of the other phones in the same price range. The front camera is adequate for video calls.

The front camera also features AI Portrait Selfie for bokeh effect, and you can also unlock your phone with the Face Unlock.

There are other features on the camera as well. Redmi 6A features the Beautify 4.0 that removes the dark circles, enlarges the eyes, slims down the face, smoothens the skin, heightens the bridge of the nose, brightens the eyes, removes the pimples, brightens the skin, and increases the color of the lips as well. The camera also has Electronic Image Stabilization to cancel out all the unwanted movements and jerks for a stable and smooth video.

If you are using the stock camera application, you will notice that the pictures are quite basic. You will not be able to capture beautiful moments as well as you’d have hoped with the stock camera application. You can use some of the other camera applications that allow for more integrations and better enhancements of the pictures.

When it comes to the video recording, it is quite decent given the price range of the phone. The camera records the videos smoothly with bare distortions. However, if you compare the phone to its predecessor, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A, you will find out that the noise cancellation while recording video was better on the Redmi 5A than the Redmi 6A.

Performance and Interface

Redmi 6A performance and interface

The Xiaomi Redmi 6A has a basic processor, and the rest of the hardware is entry level too. But you would expect that from a phone in this price range. The phone sports a MediaTek Helio A22 chipset, which is not very high powered but manages to handle all the basic tasks.

One thing is for sure that the processor does not consume much power since it is unable to handle the difficult tasks and the applications tend to slow down. Here is everything that you need to know about the hardware and performance of the Xiaomi Redmi 6A.

A) Processor

Xiaomi Redmi 6A features the quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 chipset which comprises of four ARM Cortex-A53’s, providing a maximum of 2.0 GHz clock speed with an IMG PowerVR GE-Class GPU. The CPU performance is 30% faster, and the GPU is 70% faster than its Snapdragon counterpart.

Redmi 6A geekbench

Taking a look at how the Redmi 6A performs in the GeekBench test shows us that the processor falls quite a lot when compared with devices like the Redmi 7 but this is expected given that the 6A also costs less than the other competition.

B) RAM and Storage

The Xiaomi Redmi 6A is available with 3GB RAM that allows easy multitasking of the applications at once. The heavy applications may take a bit longer to load, but the chances of the applications crashing are very low.

There are two storage options in the Xiaomi Redmi 6A. There’s a 16GB as well as a 32GB version. If you choose to go with the 16GB storage option, you will face quite a problem since a major chunk of the storage is occupied by the system files and the preinstalled applications. There is only a small amount of storage left for your applications as well as other media files.

If you decide to opt for the 32GB variant, you will have plenty of storage left over just by paying a little extra. Buying Mi cloud services is not advisable since it is quite expensive. You can always avail for the cheaper option of the Google cloud services and store your data online.

If you wish to expand your storage, you can use a microSD card. The phone supports upto 128 GB of expandable storage. Inserting a memory card into your phone will allow you to make the full use of your phone.

C) Gaming

The Xiaomi Redmi 6A is powered by the IMG PowerVR GE8320 GPU, which can handle the light graphics usage. You cannot play heavy games such as PUBG Mobile on the Redmi 6A without facing any lag. However, you can play light games on the phone without any issues.

D) Communications and Sensors

The device supports Dual Nano-SIMs with 4G. The phone comes with most of the add-ons like 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi with support for Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspots. Bluetooth 4.2 with A2DP, LE and aptX HD, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO and BDS.

Xiaomi has also managed to pack in a compass sensor at this low price point.

It supports Dual 4G VoLTE SIM cards that allow for seamless communication and connection to the internet. You can connect to people via in-built video call as well.

E) Sound Clarity

When it comes to budget phones, you should not expect much in terms of sound clarity. Usually, these phones have speakers that are just namesake. The speakers will provide you with a sub-par quality that is enough to listen to music and watch videos online. There is a slight disturbance in the bass of the sound at higher volumes.

The device speaker manages to be loud enough to hear the phone ringing in normal to slightly noisy environments but you might not hear the device if you are near a very noisy environment like for ex. heavy traffic.

If you decide to use headphones through the 3.5mm headphone jack, you will not face such problems since the sound output quality through the headphone jack is quite impressive. However, the earphones are not included within the box, and you have to buy them separately.

Operating System

Redmi 6A MIUI

The phone comes with Android 8.1 operating system running on the MIUI skin. The device runs on MIUI version 9 but has not been updated to Android version 9.0 Pie at the time of writing this review.

The MIUI skin is easy to use, and everything is available on the home screen itself. All the applications on the Play Store are compatible with the operating system, and there is a separate store by Xiaomi as well.

Final Verdict

Redmi 6A final verdict

If you are searching for a budget smartphone but are not too reliant on the specifications, you can go right ahead and buy the Xiaomi Redmi 6A. You will get a great battery life, 4G VoLTE compatibility, storage and RAM options, and an overall durable smartphone.

However, you cannot rely on the phone to be your daily driver if you wish to use heavy apps and do a lot of multitasking since the processor is quite basic as is the screen. Light entertainment can be enjoyed on the phone, but if you want crisp details to be visible on your screen, you will have to look at the other options in the market.

The camera quality has gone down as compared to its predecessor. Xiaomi should have considered that the camera is becoming a hot selling point for the smartphones and provided the Redmi 6A with a better camera. Another thing that they should have given long thought to is the design of the smartphone. Thick bezels had become old news even for 2018, and some other smartphones within the same price range offer a better screen real estate than the Redmi 6A.

However, if you are looking to buy an Android smartphone only for the basic requirements and light entertainment or as a second smartphone to help you in times of need, the Redmi 6A is a great choice, and you cannot go wrong with it.

You will have to make some compromises on the application usage, but that is what you will get from a budget smartphone. You can rely on the phone to be tough and withstand a little rough handling as well. Xiaomi had cracked the code to budget smartphones and is constantly improving the quality of its smartphones, all the while keeping the prices low.


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