Xiaomi Pad 6 review: Multimedia consumption done right
In 2014, Xiaomi launched the Mi Pad 7.9. Next year, in 2015, we got the Mi Pad 2, followed by 3 and 4 in the next couple of years. But then in 2021, Xiaomi Pad 5 launched with a Snapdragon 800 series chip, 6GB RAM, and up to 256GB storage. Come 2023, Xiaomi is building up on the Pad 5’s success with the Xiaomi Pad 6, and that’s how we get to this Xiaomi Pad 6 review.
For starters, the Pad 6 gets a slightly better display, a faster Snapdragon 870 chip, 8GB RAM for the top variant, and a slightly bigger 8,800mAh battery. But Xiaomi could’ve given us this tablet in 2021 when it launched the Xiaomi Pad 5 Pro. The Pad 5 Pro never made it to India, but the Pad 6 has almost all the essential specs.
Xiaomi Pad 6 specifications
|Cameras||Rear camera: 13MP
4k | 30fps
1080p | 30fps
720 | 30fps
Front camera: 8 MP
1080p | 30fps
720p | 30fps
|Processor||Snapdragon 870 with Adreno 650 graphics|
|RAM and Storage||6GB + 128GB; 8GB + 256GB
LPDDR5 RAM + UFS3.1 Storage
|Charger||33-watt USB-C fast charger
100 percent in 100 minutes
|Keyboard||Optional Folio keyboard (sold separately)|
|Stylus||Xiaomi Smart Pen 2 (sold separately)
Attaches and charges magnetically on tablet
4096 pressure sensitivity levels
150 hours battery life
|Dimensions and weight||Height: 253.95mm
|Colours||Graphite Gray, Mist Blue
– Mist Blue only available for 8GB +256GB model
|Box contents||Xiaomi Pad 6, 33-watt fast charger, USB-C cable|
|Price||Starts at Rs 26,999|
Design and build
The Xiaomi Pad 6 comes with a metal unibody chassis that looks and feels premium. There are magnetic connectors at the back to connect the keyboard. You’ll find neat Xiaomi branding next to the magnets, and really massive camera bump.
This camera bump is the one thing I find out of place here, but I understand why Xiaomi went for this. There’s only a single camera and flash in this housing, so the other cutout is just there for looks. I think Xiaomi put this bump there because it makes the tab look more premium (read: more iPad Pro-like). However, it makes the tablet wobble on a flat surface, and will most likely scratch the camera over time.
Volume buttons and the Xiaomi Pen connector are on the right-side long bezel. The power button rests on the top, and you get a USB 3.2 Type-C port at the bottom. It gets four speakers, two at the top and two at the bottom bezel. These are powered by Dolby Atmos and are actually good speakers.
It is a handy tablet with and without the keyboard connected. At 490 grams and 6.51mm thickness, the Xiaomi Pad 6 is also light and easy to hold. Coming to the front, we have just enough bezels to hold the tablet, which is good.
Display and speakers
The Xiaomi Pad 6 has a great display on paper, and I’m happy to report that it is equally good to use. This 2.8k resolution screen has 550 nits of brightness. And the 11-inch size means you have enough real estate to work and consume content.
You can choose between 60, 90, and 144Hz refresh rates to prioritize between battery and smoothness. It is amply bright to use in outdoor use if you have some shade, but you won’t be able to use this on a sunny day. While the depth and details are good, the display doesn’t go dim enough. So, if you are someone who wants to use this for bedtime reading, or watching videos in a dark room, you should know this.
Coming to the speakers, I’ll be quick. I cannot say enough to appreciate the speakers on the Xiaomi Pad 6. They have the Atmos badge, and they perform better than expected. These speakers have good detail, ample bass, and enough loudness to act like a Bluetooth speaker at a house party. The Pad has 4 speakers, and watching videos with stereo sounds is a joy on this setup.
Now, the Xiaomi Pad 6 comes with Android 13 with MIUI for PAD, so there’s bloatware or ads or anything else other than the apps you need. This is well-optimized for moderate multitasking. But if you’re into using keyboard shortcuts, there are issues that need to be sorted. Native Xiaomi apps work well, and most third-party apps that are tablet-optimized work well too.
Xiaomi has worked to keep this tablet clean, and it shows. There’s virtually no bloatware, and the OS is optimized for the big screen. The first thing I noticed is the uncanny similarity to iPadOS. From the top left and top right swipes to the floating windows, and no app drawer, everything looks inspired and fresh. Some gestures like a three-finger side swipe to bring up the app drawer are a nice touch.
While the overall experience is smooth, the built-in apps sometimes don’t live up to expectations. For instance, the Notes app is good for basic note-taking, but there are not many options to sketch or draw using the Xiaomi Pen. You can also connect the tablet to a keyboard, but the shortcuts don’t work as expected. An example is when I tried to use Alt + Tab to switch between apps. It just summoned the recent tasks menu. And I believe it defeats the purpose of keyboard shortcuts if you have to lift a finger from the keyboard.
Coming to performance, the Xiaomi Pad 6 has the horsepower to multitask, work, and play. I used MS Office to edit a couple of scripts, binge-watch on YouTube and Netflix, and played Angry Birds, Asphalt 9 and some Genshin Impact.
Office workflows with multiple Chrome tabs run smoothly. You can easily play games like Angry Birds and Asphalt 9. I also tried to play Subway Surfers in multi-window mode, and it ran smoothly. However, more demanding titles like Genshing Impact take a toll on the tablet and it starts to heat up slightly. Other than that, there are no heating or throttling issues.
Xiaomi’s software optimizations directly translate to performance. The Game Turbo/Game Space app allows you to control the tablet’s performance for different games. There are two settings you can tweak from this app, but the possibilities do impress. You can change GPU settings to balance between frame rate, picture quality, and performance. Go to the Additional Settings page, and you can fine-tune Swipe response, Sensitivity to continuous touch, Aiming accuracy, and Tap stability.
This customization is available for every game, so you can set the tablet to the highest frame rates and better aiming accuracy for games like BGMI, and maximum performance and swipe response for Asphalt.
Xiaomi Pad 6 accessories
Xiaomi Smart Pen (2nd Generation)
This pencil has had some interesting inputs during my review. I showed this Xiaomi Pad to a bunch of long-term iPad loyalists. Two of them compared this to the second-gen Apple Pencil, which is a compliment as it costs twice more than the Xiaomi Smart Pen.
You can use the Pencil with Xiaomi’s built-in Notes app or go for any other app like Evernote and Bamboo Paper. The Xiaomi Notes app has 3 pen options, along with a highlighter tool, selector, and ruler to help you draw and take notes more accurately.
The Pen works well with most apps, but the software part is a slight let-down. For instance, you can’t write with the Smart Pen in search fields. There’s no handwriting-to-typing converter either. And I think Xiaomi should add one because this tablet has plenty of hardware power to handle such features.
You may have to slightly adjust your grip to not mistakenly press the buttons but get used to it once and the experience is smooth. The Xiaomi Smart Pen works well and has a pretty solid magnetic connector on the Pad’s side where it charges.
If you pair a powerful tablet with a good keyboard, you’re halfway to a laptop replacement. The Xiaomi Pad 6 keyboard is halfway there to being a good keyboard. You get 64 keys with 1.3mm travel, which is a decent key travel. There’s a multitasking key that allows quick switching between apps, and if you long press it, you will see a whole list of shortcuts you can use it for.
It is a Folio-style keyboard and connects with the Xiaomi Pad 6 via pogo pins and magnets at the back. I like the placement of the connectors, as you don’t need to keep the tablet properly docked at all times to use the keyboard. However, I call it a halfway-good keyboard, because there is no trackpad. But seeing the Rs 5,000 price tag, and the protection of a folio case, it is a good addition to the Xiaomi Pad 6 accessories.
In my mixed-moderate usage, I got nearly two days of battery life out of the Xiaomi Pad 6. The 8840 mAh battery does the job really well. Games and binge-watching drain the battery faster, but it can still go on for one full day, and then some. The Pad has 33-watt fast charging, so you can go from zero to full charge in under two hours.
You can save even more juice with the built-in battery optimizations and limiting the screen refresh rate to 60Hz. But I don’t think you need to do that since everything is already well-optimized.
Xiaomi Pad 6 review: Pros & cons and Verdict
Good specs, good accessories, optimized software, and a solid battery life to back it all up. That sums up the Xiaomi Pad 6 for me. There should’ve been a 3.5mm headphone jack and expandable storage, but the current price and packaging do just fine for most users. Xiaomi needs to work on the keyboard shortcut optimization and introduce more use cases for the smart pen. A new keyboard with a trackpad is also on my wishlist for future iterations, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
While the MIUI for PAD is optimized for the most part, there should be more clarity on the OS updates. However, the outgoing Pad 5 got two major Android updates, so we can expect two major OS updates with three years of security patches.
So, rounding up this Xiaomi Pad 6 review, I am certain that if you’re looking for a tablet for multimedia consumption, light office work, and travel, the Xiaomi Pad 6 is a solid device that checks the right boxes. This is also a good option for users who want an iPad 10th gen alternative without burning a hole in their pockets. I believe this also answers the question of who should buy the Xiaomi Pad 6, but if you have any other questions about this device, reach out to us on Twitter, and we’ll answer those.