The term ‘flagship killer’ denotes a smartphone which offers a flagship like experience at a price far below mainstream flagship smartphones from companies like Sony, Samsung and Apple.
Since the introduction of the OnePlus One way back in 2014, this segment has seen contenders from various companies. However, OnePlus’s flagship smartphone has more or less reigned supreme.
The latest addition to this lineup – the OnePlus 3T has reaffirmed the company’s position as the king of the premium-mid range segment. Now however, Xiaomi has unveiled the spectacular Mi 6, which aims to defeat the OnePlus 3T and take over its territory.
Does the Xiaomi Mi 6 have what it takes to give the OnePlus 3T a run for its money? Let’s find out!
The OnePlus 3T comes with the Snapdragon 821 processor clocked at 2.35GHz paired with the Adreno 530 GPU, 6GB of RAM and a 3,400mAh battery. The Xiaomi Mi 6 on the other hand, is powered by Qualcomm’s latest processor – the Snapdragon 835 paired with the Adreno 540 GPU, 6GB of RAM and a 3,350mAh battery.
On the storage front, both the OnePlus 3T and Xiaomi Mi 6 come with either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, depending on the variant. Both smartphones do not offer any way to expand the storage
On paper, the Xiaomi Mi 6 beats the OnePlus 3T fairly easily. It has a better processor, a better GPU and the same amount of RAM and battery. It must be noted however that the OnePlus 3T is 6 months old now and an update, in the form of the OnePlus 5, is expected soon.
Cut from a single slab of aluminium, the OnePlus 3T looks incredibly classy and suave with its metal unibody construction and all glass front. The smartphone looks especially premium in the recently introduced Matt Black version which gives the device a stealthy and sleek look.
Xiaomi has not followed in the footsteps of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 in equipping the Mi6 with a bezel-less design. Instead, the smartphone is encased in four-sided curved 3D glass. It comes with a stainless steel frame sandwiched between two layers of glass (on the front and back).
What might disappoint a lot of users is the fact that Xiaomi has followed in the footsteps of the iPhone 7 and removed the headphone jack from the Mi 6
Xiaomi claims that the frame has a polish which takes 12 days and over 40 different processes to achieve. The Mi 6 also comes with a perfectly symmetrical design. Examples of the same can be seen in how the antenna lines are aligned to the display and the SIM card slot is aligned with the volume keys.
Both smartphones look incredibly premium and far above their price range. The Mi 6 does edge out the OnePlus 3T slightly with its radical four-sided curved 3D glass.
Stock Android fans will favour the OnePlus 3T over the Mi 6 as OnePlus’s Oxygen OS is a very minimal skin that retains the soul of pure Android. The Xiaomi Mi 6 on the other hand comes with Xiaomi’s own MIUI on board, which while not as heavily skinned as skins from manufacturers like Samsung and Huawei, does stray quite a bit from stock Android.
The OnePlus 3T comes with a 5.5-inch fullHD optic AMOLED display, with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 4. The Mi 6 features a 5.15-inch fullHD display, which has a brightness of 600 nits and features 4096 levels of backlight adjustment.
The OnePlus 3T will be an attractive preposition for those who want their smartphones to come with a large display. The Xiaomi Mi 6 on the other hand will appeal to those who want a relatively compact smartphone.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 is splash resistant with all openings, including the SIM tray sealed and protected from splashes of water. While the OnePlus 3T is not certified for water and dust resistance, the company claims it can withstand light rains or being handled with wet hands.
The OnePlus 3T comes with support for 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11, NFC, GPS/A-GPS, dualSIM and Bluetooth 4.2. Additionally, it comes with a USB Type C port for charging and data transfer.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 supports 4G + networks with up to 600Mbps download and 100Mbps upload speeds and comes with a 2×2 dual Wi-Fi system. Additionally, the Mi 6 comes with NFC on board and also features a USB Type C port for charging and data transfer.
What might disappoint a lot of users is the fact that Xiaomi has followed in the footsteps of the iPhone 7 and removed the headphone jack from the Mi 6. Audio is routed via the smartphone’s USB Type-C port.
The OnePlus 3T on the other hand is one of the few premium handsets left in the market that come with a headphone jack. Audio purists should definitely stick to the OnePlus 3T.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 comes with a dual camera setup at the rear – a 12MP wide-angle sensor with 4-axis optical image stabilisation and a 12MP telephoto lens. Just like on the iPhone 7 Plus, the telephoto lens allows for 2X optical lossless zoom which exists along with the 10X digital zoom. On the front, there is an 8MP camera for selfies.
The OnePlus 3T on the other hand comes with a 16MP rear camera with a Sony IMX 298 sensor, PDAF autofocus and an aperture of f/2.0. Additionally, It comes with a 16MP front camera which has an aperture of f/1.0.
In terms of pure specifications, the Xiaomi Mi 6 beats the OnePlus 3T fairly easily. It has a better processor, a better GPU and dual cameras.
On paper, the Xiaomi Mi 6 has a clear edge over the OnePlus 3T thanks to its rear dual camera setup. On the other hand, the OnePlus 3T’s rear camera is no slouch and tested quite favourably when we reviewed the device last year.
While the final judgement will have to wait till we get our hands on the Xiaomi Mi 6, on paper the Mi 6 wins this round.
Price and availability
The Xiaomi Mi 6 comes in two variants – one with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage for CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs 23,500) and a higher-end variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage for CNY 2,899 (approximately Rs 27,000).
The OnePlus 3T also comes in two different variants – one with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage for Rs 29,999 and a higher-end model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage for Rs 34,990. While the Xiaomi Mi 6’s Indian pricing is not known at the moment, it is expected to cost less than the OnePlus 3T.