The Xiaomi Mi 6 is the fourth Snapdragon 835 smartphone to be announced after the Galaxy S8, Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Sharp Aquos R. But since the Xperia XZ Premium is not expected to ship before May and the Sharp Aquos R will most likely be limited to Japan and a few other markets, the Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi Mi 6 are the only two models who are going to see wider availability.
That’s why we thought comparing the Xiaomi Mi 6 to the Galaxy S8 would be helpful for those interesting in bringing a Snapdragon 835 flagship into their lives.
Design and Display
5.8-inch “Infinity Display” with 2960 x 1440 resolution vs 5.15-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
When it comes to the new Xiaomi Mi 6, don’t expect any mind-blowing design changes à la Xiaomi Mi MIX. Instead Xiaomi preservers the Mi 5 look and feel. The new phone takes advantage of a glass back that curves along all four ages and a metal frame. As for the Galaxy S8, it’s also a device mostly made out of glass. But in stark contrast with the Mi 6, the Galaxy S8 lacks a home button up front and takes advantage of a minimal bezel design which gives the impression of an edge-to-edge display.
The Mi 6 is more conservative, firstly because it preserves the physical home button which also doubles as a Qualcomm Sense ID-enabled fingerprint sensor. Secondly, the phone’s side bezels are pretty skinny, but the ones on top and bottom remain quite consistent.
The Galaxy S8 features a new 18:9:5 aspect ratio that is similar to the 18:9 screen on the LG G6, but taller and skinner than traditional 16:9 screens the vast majority of phones today have, the new Mi 6 included. Basically the Galaxy S8 offers a huge screen in a very small body, one that’s comparable to the iPhone 7 in portability.
The Mi 6 takes advantage of an unimpressive 5.15-inch display with 1080 x 1920 resolution, so customers looking to buy a flagship with media consumption in mind will probably be more impressed by the gorgeous display of the Galaxy S8. Still this doesn’t mean the Mi 6’s display isn’t good for running apps and games, browsing social media and doing everything else you need to do on the phone.
Snapdragon 835 vs Snapdragon 835
6GB of RAM vs 4GB of RAM
64GB/128GB of storage vs 64GB of stroage
In the processor department, the two phones are on-par, as they both take advantage of a Qualcomm’s first 10nm SoC, the Snapdragon 835. In case you don’t know the octa-core processor consists of four 2.35GHz Kyro cores and four 1.9GHz Kyro cores.
Still the Xiaomi Mi 6 should run smoother thanks to the presence of 6GB of RAM onboard. Like with last year’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, the Galaxy S8 only takes advantage of 4GB of RAM. It also has only a 64GB internal storage option, but owners can expand on that thanks to the microSD card slot onboard. The Mi 6 doesn’t have a microSD card slot onboard, but features a 128GB option.
Dual main 12MP+12MP camera vs 12MP main camera
8MP secondary camera vs 8MP secondary camera
The biggest attraction of the Xiaomi Mi 6 is the main dual camera assembly onboard which is composed of a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with 12-megapixel telephoto lens for 2x lossless zoom. Samsung on the other hand, didn’t put an emphasis on photo upgrades this year.
The phone features basically the same camera as the Galaxy S7 which is a 12MP sensor with f/1.7, phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilization and LED flash. Both handsets carry an 8MP self-portrait camera on the front.
Android 7.1.1 Nougat vs Android 7.0 Nougat
Some users where quite disappointed seeing the Galaxy S7 launch with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box – given that this software version is already 8 months old. However, an update to Android 7.1.1 Nougat seems to be in the cards for the Galaxy S8.
As for the Xiaomi Mi 6 the phone comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, with MIUI 8 on top – which as always heavily modifies the experience. As for the Galaxy S8, its interface has been heavily cleaned up, before being re-named Samsung Experience. It’s still not near stock Android, but at least it’s a lot less cluttered.
By now almost everyone knows that the Galaxy S8 comes equipped with Samsung’s homegrown virtual assistant, Bixby. While Bixby is not fully functional at this moment, which features like Bixby Voice expected to become available later this spring, the platform seems to be quite promising.
As for the Xiaomi Mi 6 – there’s no virtual assistant baked into model. But customers will be able to take advantage of the Google Assistant, so that’s not half bad.
The Galaxy S8 makes use of facial recognition or an iris scanner to authenticate users and is compatible with DeX – a special dock which allows users to hook the phone to an external display, keyboard and mouse for a full desktop experience. Another perk of the Galaxy S8 is that it works with the new Gear VR headset with remote controller. The Xiaomi Mi 6 has none of that. This is as good as place as any to mention, the Xiaomi Mi 6 does away with the 3.5mm headphone jack, while the Galaxy S8 retains it.
The Galaxy S8 also enjoys an IP68 rating, for dust particle and water resistance, but similar info about the Mi 6 has not been made available yet. Last but not least, we should mention the Galaxy S8 has Bluetooth 5.0 onboard.
3,350 mAh vs 3,000 mAh
Given that the Xiaomi Mi 6 has a larger battery, a less demanding screen and Android 7.1.1 Nougat onboard, we expect it to be able to sustain longer battery life than the Galaxy S8. Still, well have to wait and see how the Mi 6 behaves in real life.
Pricing is where the Xiaomi Mi 6 completely trumps the Galaxy S8. The new Chinese flagship is available for $360 and up, while the Galaxy S8 starts at $650.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 is a Snapdragon 835-fueled phones for first time flagship buyers, who aren’t yet convinced they want to spend all of their savings on a phone. The Mi 6 has very superior specs om=and a very attractive price-tag attached to it. On the bleak side of things, it will not be officially available in the US, so you’ll probably have to order it from sites like Geekbuying. But the Galaxy S8 feels more premium and certainly brings more options to the table, the center piece being Bixby and the DeX dock.