But when it does work, the subject remains in focus while blurring everything else. Results are pretty compelling. Check out the picture below for an example.
Aside from Portrait Mode, the Mi 6 takes great pictures, especially in bright light. It isn't as capable as the Pixel XL ($450.00 at Amazon.com) or the Samsung Galaxy S8 in low light, but then again, which phone is? The quality of its low-light shots is similar to the iPhone but more saturated, giving images a nice pop, even if they're not 100 percent realistic.
Besides Portrait mode, the Mi 6 also does 2x lossless zoom -- again like the iPhone. Xiaomi's features here are good, but the Mi 6 does lean on the iPhone for a lot of its inspiration, a critique I had of its past phones, too.
Interestingly, the Mi 6's HDR function now has its own dedicated button you'll have to manually switch on and off. It doesn't seem to turn on HDR automatically the way many other phones do.
Selfies came out looking good, but the 8-megapixel Mi 6's front-facing camera ran into the same problems as a lot of other phones when it comes to bad lighting. You just can't get around terrible backlighting. It also comes with a beauty mode, which made my face look baby smooth (it's really not).
Where's the jack?
The Mi 6 joins the list of phones with no dedicated headphone jack. Instead, you'll have to use the USB-C charging port for wired headphones, or use a set of wireless Bluetooth headphones. However, the phone does come with a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack converter in the box. Honestly, I'm not as bothered by the lack of an audio jack, since I prefer using wireless headphones to cut down on loose cables anyhow. You may feel differently, of course.
Smooth performance and long battery life
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 836 processor keeps the Mi 6 buttery smooth. You won't notice any lag when switching between apps or playing 3D games such as Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed. You'll love how snappy everything is. Battery life is superb as well. It lasted 17 hours 35 minutes in our lab tests and chugged through a full day of relatively heavy use without dying on me. For reference, the Galaxy S8 lasted an average of 16 hours in our video drain tests, and the S8 Plus went 18 hours.
Hardware specs comparison
||Xiaomi Mi 6||Apple iPhone 7 Plus||Samsung Galaxy S8||OnePlus 5|
|Display size, resolution||5.15-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels||5.8-inch; 2,960x1,440 pixels||5.5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels|
|Pixel density||428 ppi||401 ppi||570 ppi||401 ppi|
|Dimensions (Inches)||5.69x2.7x0.28 inches||6.2x 3.1x0.29 inches||5.86x2.68x0.32 inches||6.1x2.92x0.29 inches|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||5.93 oz,168 grams||6.63 oz; 188 grams||5.5 oz; 155 grams||5.4 oz; 153 grams|
|Mobile software||Android Nougat 7.1.1||Apple iOS 10||Android 7.0 Nougat||Android 7.1.1 Nougat|
|Camera||Two 12-megapixel||12-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (wide)||12-megapixel||16-megapixel standard, 20-megapixel telephoto|
|Processor||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (2.45GHz+1.9GHz)||Apple A10 chip (64-bit)||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (2.35GHz+1.9GHz) or Octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 (2.35GHz+1.7GHz)||2.45GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB||32GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB||64GB, 128GB|
|RAM||4GB, 6GB||N/A||4GB||6GB, 8GB|
|Expandable storage||None||None||Up to 2TB||None|
|Battery||3,000mAh (nonremovable)||21 hours talk time on 3G, 16 days standby, 13 hours internet use LTE||3,000mAh||3,300mAh|
|Fingerprint sensor||Home button||Home button||Back||Home button|
|Special features||Dual-SIM, fast charging||Water and dust-resistant, portrait mode mode||Water-resistant (IP68), wireless charging, Gigabit LTE-ready||Portrait mode, notifications toggle, dual-SIM, Dash Charging|
|Price off-contract (USD)||Converts to $365 (64GB), $420 (128GB) or $435 (ceramic,1288GB)||$769 (32GB); $869 (128GB); $969 (256GB)||AT&T: $750; Verizon: $720; T-Mobile: $750; Sprint: $750; U.S. Cellular: $675||$479 (64GB), $539 (128GB)|
|Price (GBP)||Converts to £280 (64GB), £330 (128GB) or £340 (ceramic,1288GB)||£719 (32GB); £819 (128GB); £919 (256GB)||£689||£449 (64GB), £499 (128GB)|
|Price (AUD)||Converts to AU$485 (64GB), AU$560 (128GB) or AU$580 (ceramic,1288GB)||AU$1269 (32GB); AU$1419 (128GB); AU$1569 (256GB)||TBA||Converts to AU$636 (64GB), AU$715 (128GB)|