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Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro Review: A Strong Galaxy Tab S9+ Alternative?

My Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro review shows whether it’s really a good 12-inch alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+ flagship.

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Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro review

With the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro, the Chinese manufacturer has finally released a real high-end tablet. It’s 12.4 inches in size, houses a very fast Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and comes with a great keyboard and stylus. At around 600 Dollars, it costs much less than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+, which is its direct competitor. Something can’t be right, can it? That’s exactly what we’ll learn in this Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro review.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 on* Amazon

Design & Build Quality

At first glance, the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro looks like it’s built to a very high standard, and on closer inspection, it is. We get a nice metal casing that weighs only 590g and is 6.26mm thin.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro Design

The transitions from the display to the body are of very high quality, just as you would expect from the iPad Pro or the Galaxy Tab S9+. The latter are a little thinner and the Samsung tablet is protected against water and dust. The Xiaomi is not.

There are four speaker grills, a USB C 3.2 Gen 1 port and a volume rocker on the sides. It’s also equipped with a magnetic place for the stylus and a power button with a built-in fingerprint reader. It works quickly and accurately.

There is no microSD card slot and no headphone jack.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro from the side

At the back there is a PIN connector for an optional keyboard cover, as well as a rather thick camera. This conceals a 50-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor, as well as an LED flash. The pictures look pretty good.

A 32-megapixel front camera is built into the center front, which also takes very solid pictures and has a nice wide angle. Unfortunately, you can record videos in FullHD only.

Display & Speakers

The 12.4-inch display is a major highlight. It’s a traditional LCD, but very bright at 700 nits. A peak brightness of 900 nits can even be achieved with HDR content. HDR10 is supported, even with Netflix.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro display

At 700 nits, the Pad 6S Pro is brighter than the 13-inch iPad Air and it’s even brighter than the Galaxy Tab S9+. The new iPad Pro, on the other hand, is brighter. In addition, the OLEDs of the iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S9+ naturally have a significantly better black level. The black of the Xiaomi looks more like a dark gray.

The Xiaomi is really bright, especially for this price range. I’ve already worked with it a lot outdoors and really enjoyed doing so, simply because I can see what I’m working on thanks to the bright display. The 3:2 aspect ratio is also great for working.

The resolution of 3048 x 2032 pixels is nice, so texts look very sharp. With this resolution, we get a pixel density of 294ppi on 12.4 inches, which is really good. I also think it’s great that it supports up to 144Hz, while the competition only manages 120Hz.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro speakers

The sound quality of the 6 speakers is pretty good, but doesn’t reach peak levels. Although you can listen to music loudly, the sound of the Galaxy Tab S9+ is much more pleasant in direct comparison. The bass is stronger and the treble is more pleasant on the Samsung. So Xiaomi has saved a little here.

The Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro is still suitable as a large entertainment tablet. Sure, an OLED would have been nice and the sound is not perfect. But it is much cheaper than ist competition.

Hardware & Performance

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro Geekbench

Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor with 8GB or 12GB of RAM. The internal storage can be 256GB or 512GB and there is no version with 5G.

My Geekbench 5 benchmark immediately shows that the performance is almost identical to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+. No wonder, because the two tablets have exactly the same chipset. This means that the performance is significantly better than that of the simple Xiaomi Pad 6 and the graphics performance of the inexpensive iPad 10 is better.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 3D Mark

My 3D Mark comparison shows exactly the same. Here, too, the performance is very similar to Samsung’s flagship tablet, but Apple’s flagships are more powerful.

Since the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip is inside, there shouldn’t be a game in the Play Store that the tablet can’t handle. I played Call Of Duty Warzone and was able to play it well on high graphics settings and it looks great. The same goes for Diablo Immortal.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro PUBG Mobile

I had problems with Fortnite. It should actually be playable with the highest graphics settings. But I didn’t even get to that because I couldn’t log in. As usual, when I start the game for the first time, a pop-up appears asking me to log in. But after I’ve done that, nothing happens. This is either a bug from Epic Games – or from Xiaomi with their own multi-window view. I almost suspect the latter, because I have encountered small software bugs more often.

Xiaomi Pen vs S Pen

You can buy the Xiaomi Focus Pen for around 100 Dollars. This is an active pen that is made of plastic, but makes a high-quality impression and above all has a stylish design.

It has a pressure-sensitive tip at the front that recognizes 8192 pressure levels, which is twice as much as most pens. The latency is said to be 3ms and it actually responds very well – not quite as fast as the S Pen in some apps, but still surprisingly good.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro handwiriting

I actually think the writing experience with the stylus very pleasant. I really enjoyed writing with it, it works well, is beautifully precise and is on a similar level to the Samsung S Pen or Apple Pencil.

As always, I also handed the tablet with stylus to an artist and she had a similar opinion. The Pad 6S Pro is great for digital drawing.

There are a total of three buttons on the side. You can use the first two to start a quick note or cut out an area of the screen and write on it. The third button is a laser pointer that works in every app.

I also think it’s great that you can use the pen as a remote control in apps such as PowerPoint, just like with Samsung. This is also a useful feature together with the laser pointer.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro drawing

Of course, these functions require a battery, so you have to charge the Focus Pen occasionally. This is done via induction by placing the pen on the tablet.

On the software side, Xiaomi has built in a few more features for the pen. For example, there is a notes app that looks almost exactly like Apple Notes and actually offers surprisingly good handwriting recognition. There is also a pre-installed drawing app that you can launch quickly at the touch of a button even when the screen is off.

Software: HyperOS vs OneUI

And then we come to the software. The Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro runs Android 14 out of the box, including HyperOS UI version 1, which is what Xiaomi calls its own interface.

I don’t know how often the tablet will get major software updates. But in the past they have been pretty good with their tablets, even the simple Redmi series got some. I therefore assume that we will get at least two updates. But I can’t make any promises.

With HyperOS, Xiaomi has heavily customized the interface and it hardly differs from its predecessors. Sometimes it looks a bit like a mixture of Android and iPadOS, but it’s just normal Android, of course.

I think it’s a shame that there is no taskbar, which Google introduced with Android 12L. However, there is a kind of desktop mode in which apps are opened in small, movable windows. These also work without desktop mode, so multitasking is supported.

Read: The Best Xiaomi Tablets Tested

It is disaspointing that there are always minor bugs with Xiaomi’s customizations. I think it would have been much better if they had just used normal Google Android and not customized it. I’ve already mentioned the problem with Fortnite. I’ll explain another one in a moment.

Keyboard Cover Comparison

In addition to the stylus, Xiaomi also offers an official keyboard cover as an accessory for the Pad 6S Pro. This is significantly better than the one for the simple Pad 6.

The tablet is magnetically attached to the cover and when folded, the display and back are protected. If you unfold the cover, you can pull out a kickstand that allows you to set up the tablet at any angle. That’s great.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro keyboard cover

Thanks to the 12-inch display, the keyboard can be quite large and I was able to write very well on the keyboard. It’s just a shame that there is no backlight. However, there is a touchpad under the keyboard, which also works well.

However, the mouse is not perfect on the software side. The mouse looks like a circle – just like Apple’s – but unlike Apple’s, this does not change when you are writing documents in Microsoft Word, for example. If you want to move the cursor between individual letters, you have to guess exactly which gap the thick circle is hovering over. You also can’t select words with the mouse by clicking and dragging. Really strange.

Well, that changes in Xiaomi’s own notes app. Here, the mouse works exactly as you would imagine and as we know it from Apple. It’s a real shame that this isn’t the case in every app.

Battery Life

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro battery life

In my battery test, the Pad 6S Pro had a runtime of 7.5 hours. Considering the bright display and the 144Hz, this is a very good result. For this test, I always run an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness and in this case at 144Hz in an endless loop.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro Test: My Final Verdict

So, is the Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro a worthwhile alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9+? Yes, I think so. Although we only get an LCD, it is a very bright one. The stylus works well, the processor is very powerful, we get a lot of storage and a high-quality design.

I think the Pad 6S Pro is good for the price.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro Test

However, it’s also clear that you have to make a few sacrifices compared to the Galaxy Tab S9+. It’s definitely not a better alternative, but it is a cheaper one. It’s not equipped with an OLED screen, the housing is not protected against water, the speakers are not quite as good and the software is not as sophisticated as Samsung’s. You saw that with the mouse. But games run just as well and again, the display is really nice and bright.

If you want to save money, the Xiaomi is a good alternative. But if you want a real flagship, the S9+ offers some better features.

Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro
Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro 12.4 Review: The Xiaomi Pad 6S Pro is an excellent flagship alternative to the premium devices from Samsung and Apple. It offers a high-quality design, a very bright display with good stylus support and powerful internal hardware. The optional keyboard cover is also great. However, some premium features such as an OLED are missing.
  • High quality design
  • Pretty & bright display
  • Powerful hardware
  • Good stylus
  • Great keyboard
  • Up-to-date software
  • No OLED
  • Some software bugs
Buy at* Amazon
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