If you are looking for a powerful tablet for every purpose, you cannot ignore the iPad from Apple? That’s not entirely true, even though the disc computer with the apple is still unrivaled in many areas and is one of the most successful products in this category, there are more and more inexpensive alternatives with Android.
One of the most positive surprises in our tests last year was undoubtedly the Xiaomi Pad 5 (test report). For a price well below 400 euros, the device offers more than decent performance for an Android tablet and also trumps the iPad in some areas, such as the 120 Hertz LCD.
Now Xiaomi has launched a successor, the Pad 6. The bar is damn high. The display, which now flickers at up to 144 Hertz, once again draws a lot of attention. The drive is now almost four years old with the Snapdragon 870, but it is still a high-performance chip. Our test shows how well the tablet performs in practice.
The Pad 6 is very similar to its predecessor with its angular design. As usual, the devices with the apple from Cupertino were the inspiration for the design. The edges of the metal housing close to each other with an edge. The corners are again strongly rounded. The design of the camera is completely different and immediately catches the eye with its bulky design. This protrudes clearly and is embedded in a square with rounded corners – whereby one of the lenses is only a “dummy”. In terms of design, the Pad 6 approaches the Xiaomi 13 (test report).
The processing of the dark gray housing is absolutely high quality. There aren’t any gaps, the keys offer a solid pressure point. The power button is on the short side and the volume rocker is on the long side. This is a smart solution because it prevents you from accidentally turning off the display when all you really want to do is adjust the volume.
Compared to an iPad, the case is significantly wider and has a 16:10 format. This is ideal for watching films and series via streaming services (guide), but less practical if you want to hold the device upright to read. Compared to its predecessor, it has shrunk slightly (dimensions: 254.0 × 165.2 × 6.5 mm). It’s even a bit thinner than the iPad 10. At 490g, it’s a little lighter than the Xiaomi Pad 5, but it’s around 30g over the iPad. There is no IP certification for protection against water.
With 11 inches diagonally, the display is the same size as the predecessor. However, the resolution has been significantly increased and is now 2800 × 1800 pixels. It offers a razor-sharp image at 309 pixels per inch (ppi), beating every tablet in its price range (best list). Widevine Level 1 is available, which allows playback on Netflix & Co. in Full HD.
An IPS panel is used, which delivers good image quality with natural colors and well-balanced contrasts. Viewing angles remain stable from all angles. However, it reveals weaknesses when streaming pitch-dark film scenes. In connection with the highly reflective surface of the display, many details are no longer clearly visible. This is a pity for everyone who likes to watch series with the device on the couch. However, we noticed this phenomenon in almost all tablets with an LCD, one of the weaknesses of the IPS technology. An alternative would be the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 (test report) with OLED, which delivers better black levels.
The Pad 6 cuts a much better figure in games. This is where the 144 Hertz refresh rate comes into its own, delivering an extremely smooth picture. However, we cannot see a real difference to the 120 Hertz of the predecessor. The display is also fairly bright for a tablet, so we measured around 515 cd/m², one of the best results from our tests. The Google Pixel Tablet (test report) is similarly bright, while the outdoor tablet Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 4 Pro (test report) is even brighter.
At first glance, there seem to be two lenses on the back – but a look at the data sheet reveals: It’s a fake! More than one lens with 13 megapixels and f/2.2 aperture is not installed at the back. Unlike smartphones, we consider the camera of a tablet to be negligible. The camera is more than sufficient for occasional snapshots or for photographing a document – but you shouldn’t expect too much from it.
The selfie camera on the front edge of the display has 8 megapixels. Selfies are just about okay with it, videos are at least possible in Full HD.
Xiaomi Pad 6 – photo gallery
Xiaomi Pad 6 – photo gallery
The Xiaomi Pad 6 is powered by a Snapdragon 870. Admittedly, the chip is now four years old and showing its age. But the chipset is one of our editors’ favorites and combines good graphics performance with high efficiency. It doesn’t come close to the chips in the iPad 10, but also in the iPad 9. Among the Android tablets, the Pad 6 is still one of the strongest devices, apart from the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 (test report). The jump in performance compared to the predecessor Xiaomi Pad 5 is only slight.
We achieved around 14,000 points in PCmark’s Work 3.0 benchmark, which can even keep up with the Galaxy Tab S8. The graphics performance in 3Dmark’s “Wild Life” is a strong, if not outstanding, 4200 points. This is on par with the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro Gen 2 (test report). Only the Galaxy Tab S8 and S9 series and the iPad are better here. In combination with the high refresh rate, this makes the Pad 6 a really good gaming tablet.
We are less impressed by the working memory of 6 GB and the internal memory of 128 GB. This is also offered by cheaper devices like the Honor Pad 8 (test report). There is no larger variant, nor is expansion with microSD cards possible. This is a pity. The Type-C connection with USB 3.2, which is not yet a matter of course for tablets, is all the more pleasing. Wi-Fi 6 is finally available in home networks. For wireless devices like headphones, the Pad 6 uses Bluetooth 5.2. However, GPS is not on board, which makes the tablet of little use as a navigation system in the car. There is no version with LTE or 5G.
We really like the speakers, which offer an amazingly clear and powerful sound. Dolby Atmos can also do this, which ensures a breathtaking, spatial sound – provided the medium used also supports the technology.
However, we sorely missed a fingerprint reader. Unlike smartphones, this is not yet part of the standard for tablet PCs, but unlocking the device with a PIN or pattern is annoying. This is also possible with face recognition, but due to 2D technology it is not so safe from attempts at deception. There is no connection for wired headphones with a jack. Very annoying: The Pad 6 is incompatible with the pen of the predecessor – actually a no-go!
Software & Updates
In terms of software, Xiaomi has improved significantly compared to the past. The Pad 6 comes to the customer with Android 13 and also offers a current security patch. We are confident that Xiaomi will provide buyers with updates in the long term. Our Xiaomi Pad 5 (test report) now also runs Android 13, including regular security patches.
The user interface is based on MIUI 14, as we know it from the manufacturer’s cell phones. In other words, there is no app drawer, all apps end up on the desktop. The menus in the settings are also arranged slightly differently than in vanilla Android. Xiaomi is pleasantly restrained with bloatware.
At 8840 mAh, the battery capacity of the Pad 6 is slightly higher than that of its predecessor. The battery test results in about 9 hours. That’s around an hour shorter than the Pad 5, possibly due to the increased refresh rate. The runtime is not bad, but not excessively long either.
The RRP for the Xiaomi Pad 6 is 399 euros. You can now get the device from just under 360 Euro at Amazon. The memory is always 6/128 GB, LTE or 5G does not exist. Xiaomi offers Gravity Gray (dark grey), Champagne (silver gold) and Mist Blue (light blue) as colors.
The Xiaomi Pad 6 is one of the best Android tablets and impresses with strong performance and a 144 Hertz LCD as well as a really good price-performance ratio. The technical leap to the predecessor is not very big, but it does fix weaknesses in WLAN or USB. A fingerprint reader would have been nice though.