Is the Xiaomi Mi 6 same as the Huawei Honor 8?
Xiaomi
Xiaomi was tipped to be the Apple of China back when it was starting to become popular. The company, with its range of affordable smartphones that did not compromise on the hardware and features sat plump on top of the market. But in 2016, a shakeup happened in the smartphone market in China. In the second quarter of 2016, according to analyst firm IDC , Shenzhen-based Huawei peaked overshadowing Xiaomi in terms of shipment volumes. That meant more people in China bought Huawei phones than ones made by Xiaomi.

With the Mi 6 which was unveiled in Beijing today , Xiaomi aims to clinch back its position on top. The phone is Xiaomi's flagship for this year and succeeds the highly successful Mi 5. Now, unlike the highly experimental Mi Mix which stunned the world with its bezel-less design and ceramic build, these flagships have been more mainstream, packing cutting edge hardware and incorporating the most demanded features to offer a package that is both affordable and attractive. The Mi 6 ships with the top-end Snapdragon 835 processor which is coupled with 6GB of RAM with a 5.15-inch IPS LCD display on top and dual cameras on the back.

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Xiaomi was tipped to be the Apple of China back when it was starting to become popular. The company, with its range of affordable smartphones that did not compromise on the hardware and features sat plump on top of the market. But in 2016, a shakeup happened in the smartphone market in China. In the second quarter of 2016, according to analyst firm IDC, Shenzhen-based Huawei peaked overshadowing Xiaomi in terms of shipment volumes. That meant more people in China bought Huawei phones than ones made by Xiaomi.

Now, dual cameras are what helped Huawei take the top spot. Apart from the iPhone 7 Plus, Huawei is among the most accomplished in terms of dual camera technology courtesy the expertise it has thanks to a collaboration with legendary smartphone maker Leica. So, it's no wonder that Xiaomi, which is now chasing after Huawei, will look to beat Huawei at its own game. And it has. At least on paper. The Mi 6 is the first 5.15-inch phone to ship with the same camera as the iPhone 7 Plus. Twin 12-megapixel sensors- one wide-angle, another telephoto, allowing 2X optical zoom. But in its quest to trump over Huawei, did Xiaomi become Huawei?

A closer look at the overall design aesthetics and the materials used to make the Mi 6 reveals lots of similarities with Huawei's Honor 8 .

Let's start off with the common thread between the two- the dual cameras. Both phones have the cameras seamlessly integrated into the body with the ugly camera bump avoided. They are even positioned the same at the back. Both phones have the camera sensors located at the top left.

Even the dimensions are essentially the same. Both the phones have the same thickness of 7.5mm while the Mi 6 weighs a tad bit more because of the bigger 3,350mAh battery.

The Honor 8 touts a design involving an diamond-cut aluminium frame sandwiched between two 2.5D contoured glass which renders excellent ergonomics when the phone is cradled in our palms. The glass cover on the front and back is made to go through a 15-layer crafting process which ensures the glass catch light but isn't too shiny. The Mi 6, too uses similar materials in its design. The Mi 6 touts 3D curved glass on all four sides which renders the rounded corners with excellent ergonomics. There is a glossy, stainless steel outline running around the edges which Xiaomi claims is resistant to wear and tear, meaning the phone will look just as new even after some months of rough use. As a result, it could be argued that Xiaomi took cues from the design of the Honor 8 and attempted to refine it to make it more premium.

Gone are the days when it was hard to tell two phones apart because of the same hardware everyone used. With the spec-sheet war over, the attention is now on improving the usability and the design of the smartphone becomes the prime spot for battle. As a result, it's no surprise that Xiaomi has trained its eyes on one of the most ergonomically comfortable phones out there, which also happens to be from its closest rival in the Chinese market.

Critics will argue that the Mi 6 essentially competes with the iPhone 7 Plus courtesy the similar dual camera tech and the missing 3.5mm headphone jack. But it doesn't need to. And in all probability, Xiaomi doesn't intend to either. It makes more sense for the company to compete with Huawei, its closest rival, and with Oppo and Vivo becoming more popular than the both of them , it is only fair for Xiaomi to concentrate on its own market than have ambitions that can prove to be too lofty.