Xiaomi Pad 6

Xiaomi Pad 6

Xiaomi Pad 6 is the best mid-range Android tablet you can buy, and a convincing rival to the 10.2-inch iPad. Even the tablet version of Xiaomi’a MIUI operating system is decent, though software support is unclear.

For a company that primarily focuses on premium products, Apple has surprisingly excelled in producing relatively inexpensive tablets.

The standard iPad has long been regarded as the gold standard, although the 2022 model experienced a significant price hike. Even now, as of writing, the more economical 2021 version remains the preferable choice for most individuals.

This creates an opportunity for an Android tablet to fill the gap. Samsung dominates the premium tablet market, and while there are several good options under £250/$250, finding something in between is a challenge.

Enter the Xiaomi Pad 6. Priced at £369, it doesn’t fall into the cheapest category but still holds promise in delivering excellent value. However, its suitability varies for different users.

Design & Build

The Pad 6’s design draws inspiration from the iPad, aiming to establish itself as the Android equivalent. Its appearance, with rounded corners and a slim, uniform bezel around the display, resembles Apple’s tablets. Despite being somewhat uninspiring, it’s a commendable look for an affordable device.

In terms of build quality, there's no compromise. The aluminium back and frame convey remarkable durability, while Gorilla Glass 3 ensures the screen is well shielded against drops and scratches. Using the Pad 6 without a case was hassle-free, a rarity among tablets.

It boasts an IP53 rating, safeguarding it against most exposure to dust and light water sprays. Although it can withstand rain or beachside use, it’s not suitable for more extreme conditions.

The only fragile area is the protruding camera module, causing instability when placed face-up on a surface. Xiaomi could have improved this by making the cameras sit flush with the device's back, even if it meant a slight increase in the 6.5mm thickness.

Despite premium materials, the Pad 6 remains impressively lightweight at 490g, making it easy to handle with one hand or for extended gaming sessions. However, attaching the official cover, available separately for £29, adds to the weight.

The attractive rear design, especially in the ‘Mist blue’ variant, avoids fingerprint smudges and catches the light beautifully. The ‘Gold’ and ‘Gravity Gray’ versions seem to share a similar finish.

Unfortunately, the absence of a fingerprint sensor is a genuine letdown. Although there’s an indent on the device’s right side that resembles one, it’s merely a design element. Face unlock stands as the only alternative to traditional PINs, patterns, or passwords, offering fast but less secure unlocking.

Screen & Speakers

The Pad 6’s display stands out as its most remarkable feature. Despite being LCD rather than OLED, it proves that not all compromises are detrimental.

Xiaomi focused on maximizing other aspects, offering a 2880×1800 resolution on an 11-inch panel. This high resolution ensures text and images appear sharp and clear, while the vibrant colours make it ideal for social media browsing or video consumption.

While not at the top-tier level, the Pad 6’s display surpasses most tablets in this price range (the Galaxy Tab S9 FE costs £449 and features only a 90Hz LCD). Similarly, its audio capabilities are commendable.

The quad stereo speakers, positioned in each corner, deliver robust sound, especially excelling in music playback with impressive warmth and depth. Although lacking in bass, these speakers serve as a great alternative to Bluetooth headphones or a separate speaker. However, the absence of a 3.5mm audio jack eliminates wired connectivity.

Specs & Performance

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset, the Pad 6 offers impressive performance, particularly for gaming, despite being an upgrade from the Snapdragon 860 in the Pad 5 but having debuted in phones in 2021.

The UK variant pairs the chip with 6GB of RAM, sufficient for most daily tasks. Navigating between web browsing, messaging, videos, and music felt smooth and responsive, aided by the 144Hz display.

Positioned as a device for work, the Pad 6 leans more towards entertainment due to its stellar performance. It facilitates split-screen multitasking effortlessly, enhancing productivity.

Additionally, its gaming prowess is noteworthy. Running demanding titles from the Google Play Store like Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile felt as smooth as on flagship tablets, with minimal frame drops and only a slight warmth in the device.

However, the 128GB internal storage might feel limiting, especially with around 25GB reserved for system files and no option for expansion via microSD. Despite the Snapdragon 870 chip supporting a built-in 5G modem, the Pad 6 lacks mobile data connectivity, relying solely on Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, both of which perform admirably.


While the rear 13Mp shooter might not be the primary reason for purchasing a tablet, it surprisingly captures impressive images in well-lit conditions. Landscapes and architectural shots exhibit good detail, dynamic range, and balanced exposure.

However, like most mobile devices, the viewfinder’s image might differ significantly from the end result, necessitating adjustments. Yet, the absence of a telephoto lens limits zoom capabilities, and there’s no ultrawide sensor or dedicated portrait or macro modes.

The Night mode brightens images and retains essential details adequately. On the front, the 8Mp lens delivers decent selfies with good detail and color accuracy, albeit with overexposed backgrounds and an artificial beauty mode that can be turned off for more authentic results.

Battery Life & Charging

Equipped with an 8840mAh battery, the Pad 6’s battery life falls slightly short of expectations, likely impacted by its higher resolution and refresh rate compared to competitors.

Usage patterns significantly influence its endurance, providing 2-3 days with light web browsing or video watching but necessitating a charge after extensive use or prolonged gaming sessions throughout the day.

PCMark’s battery test recorded 8 hours and 15 minutes, respectable but not the best among tablets. Adjusting settings like brightness or refresh rate can extend battery life but compromises user experience.

Charging speeds, however, are faster than anticipated for a tablet, supporting 33W via USB-C and achieving 21% in 15 minutes, 40% in 30 minutes, and a full charge in under 90 minutes. Absent is wireless charging, a common omission in tablets.

Software & Apps

The Pad 6 runs MIUI 14 atop Android 13, offering a different experience compared to iPadOS. Android’s lack of optimization for larger screens affects many third-party apps, presenting as enlarged versions of their smartphone counterparts.

Xiaomi’s MIUI 14 interface, tailored for tablets, improves usability with a split notification shade, streamlined settings, and intuitive multitasking tools for the larger display. However, pre-installed apps and delayed Android updates remain drawbacks, clouding its software experience.

The company’s commitment to software updates remains uncertain, lacking a specific timeline. Like their smartphones, timely updates might not be guaranteed, leaving buyers in the dark regarding future software support.

Price & Availability 

At launch, the Pad 6 retails at £369 in the UK, offering 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, available through Xiaomi, Very, or Amazon. While not officially sold in the US, it can be purchased via Amazon, starting at $349.99, with options for higher RAM or storage configurations.

LTE connectivity is unavailable, ruling out network-contracted purchases. Alternatives include the 10.2-inch iPad from 2021 (starting at £369/$329. On the Android side, consider the Lenovo Tab P12 (from £399.99) or OnePlus Pad (£449/$499). 

Should you buy the Xiaomi Pad 6?

Want an affordable Android tablet that still performs to a high standard? The Xiaomi Pad 6 is the device for you. 

Its Snapdragon 870 chip might be a little dated, but you can still expect very good performance – including gaming. Combined with an excellent 144Hz display and good speakers, it’s got the fundamentals of a great entertainment tablet covered. 

If there’s one thing that might put you off the Pad 6, it’s the middling battery life. And I can’t understand why Xiaomi hasn’t included a fingerprint sensor. 

But unlike its smartphones, the very good hardware here isn’t let down by software. And that makes the Pad 6 easy to recommend if an iPad is off the cards for whatever reason.  


  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset 
  • 6/8GB RAM 
  • 128/256GB storage 
  • 11in 144Hz 2.8K (2880×1800) IPS LCD display 
  • Quad speakers 
  • 13Mp main camera, f/2.2 
  • 8Mp front camera, f/2.2 
  • USB-C 
  • WiFi 6 
  • Bluetooth 5.2 
  • 8840mAh battery 
  • Wired charging up to 33W 
  • 490g 
  • 253.9 x 166.2 x 6.5mm 
  • Android 13 with MIUI Pad 14