Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S8 went on sale today. The Galaxy S8 is arguably the best Android smartphone currently available on the market. Meanwhile, Chinese vendor Xiaomi unveiled its latest flagship Xiaomi Mi 6 on Wednesday. The Mi 6 will officially launch in China on April 28. Interestingly, the Mi 6 costs only half as much as Samsung’s S8, but has the same processor. Just like any other Xiaomi smartphone, this one packs powerful hardware at an affordable price tag.
Here’s how the Mi 6 stacks up against Samsung’s flagship S8:
Galaxy S8 vs Xiaomi Mi 6: Design
Both devices have a glass and metal body, but they are poles apart from each other. The S8 has a gorgeous edge-to-edge futuristic display. There are no side bezels, and no room for a physical home button. The top and bottom bezels have been shrunk considerably. The virtual home button offers tactile feedback. Thanks to its bezel-less design, the Galaxy S8’s display covers nearly 83% of the front panel.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 doesn’t have a great design. The Chinese company has previously built Mi Mix, a bezel-less smartphone. But the flagship Mi 6 has a generic design with chunky bezels on the top and bottom. It looks similar to the Huawei Honor 8 from behind. Xiaomi has added an ultrasonic under-glass fingerprint scanner in the Mi 6. In contrast, the Galaxy S8 houses the fingerprint sensor on the back.
The Mi 6 feels heavier at 168g. Xiaomi also offers a limited ceramic edition that weighs 182g. On the other hand, the Galaxy S8 weighs just 152g. Samsung’s flagship smartphone is covered with the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. The Mi 6 comes with a generation older Gorilla Glass 4 cover.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 design pales in front of the Galaxy S8’s sleek looks.
What about the display?
The Galaxy S8 sports a huge 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution. The screen is curved on both sides. Samsung has opted for a unique 18.5:9 aspect ratio with the S8 display rather than the regular 16:9. It also features Samsung’s Always-on functionality.
The Xiaomi Mi 6, on the other hand, sports a 5.15-inch IPS LCD full HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. Xiaomi has improved the display technology. The Mi 6 screen features reduced glare for eye care and 0.15-nit adjustments. Though its brightness tops out at 600 nits, the brightness can be automatically adjusted down to just 1-nit to reduce the eye strain.
Both phones have the same processor
The Xiaomi Mi 6 is powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset with 2.45GHz clock speed. The Snapdragon 835 is built using 10nm FinFET architecture. For graphics performance, Xiaomi uses Adreno 540 GPU. The Mi 6 packs 6GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. There is no memory card slot.
The US version of the Galaxy S8 is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and Adreno 540 GPU as Mi 6. But the devices sold in other countries use the octa-core Exynos 8895 processor, which has a clock speed of 2.3GHz. The Exynos variant features Mali-G71 MP20 GPU instead of Adreno 540. Both versions of the Galaxy S8 feature 4GB RAM and 64GB of built-in storage. There is a microSD card slot to expand the storage up to 256GB.
Galaxy S8 vs Mi 6: Camera
The Galaxy S8 sports a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel main camera with optical image stabilization and f/1.7 aperture. The main camera is the same as last year’s Galaxy S7, though Samsung has enhanced the post-processing software to yield better results. The Korean company has added some new animations in the camera app for AR effects. The S8 has an 8MP front camera with autofocus.
Following the footsteps of the iPhone 7 Plus, the Xiaomi Mi 6 sports a dual-camera setup on the back. It has a 12MP telephoto lens and a 12MP wide-angle lens. It sports 8-megapixel front camera. Xiaomi claims the Mi 6 dual-camera offers 10x digital zoom and 2x optical zoom. The rear camera lenses sit flush with the back panel.
You can use the Mi 6’s dual-camera system to take pictures with professional-looking bokeh effects, similar to the iPhone 7 Plus.
The Mi 6 has a bigger battery than S8. Samsung’s flagship phone ships with a 3,000mAh battery. It also features wireless charging and fast-charging technology. Mi 6, on the other hand, comes with a 3,350mAh battery. It supports fast charging through Quick Charge 3.0 technology.
The Mi 6 comes with an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for authentication and security. The Galaxy S8 features a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, an iris scanner, and facial recognition for added security.
Both the Mi 6 and S8 offer 4G LTE, USB Type-C port for charging and data syncing, and dual-SIM functionality. Both phones run Android Nougat, but with a custom skin. Samsung has added Samsung Experience skin while Xiaomi Mi 6 runs Android-based MIUI 8.
The Mi 6 has ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack. Xiaomi’s device has a stereo speaker system while the S8 features a mono speaker.
Galaxy S8 vs Mi 6: Price
Over the years, Xiaomi has positioned itself as a flagship-killer. It launches phones with high-end specs that cost only about half as much as competing devices. The Mi 6 costs RMB 2,499 (about $362) for the 64GB variant and RMB 2,899 ($420) for the 128GB version. The limited ceramic edition Mi 6 has been priced at RMB 2,999 ($435).
In contrast, the Galaxy S8 has a starting price of $720 in the United States. People in the US and Europe may not be able to buy the Xiaomi Mi 6. The Chinese company is releasing its latest phone in its home country next week, but there is no word on whether Xiaomi would expand into the Western countries.
If you plan to import Mi 6 from China, you should know that it lacks band 20, which is needed for Europe. It also lacks the band 12 and band 17 needed for T-Mobile LTE and AT&T LTE, respectively. Sprint and Verizon users will also not get proper LTE connectivity. So, the Mi 6 is good mainly for Xiaomi’s key markets such as China and India.
The Xiaomi Mi 6 packs impressive specs, especially considering it costs only half as much as the Galaxy S8. However, impressive specs do not always mean excellent real-world performance.