Xiaomi Mi 6 survives, redeems its predecessor in torture test

Partly because of history and partly because of still ongoing practice, Chinese-branded smartphones are often derided not just for being knock offs but also for having cheap quality. Things have changed for the better these past years but, as JerryRigEverything's Zack Nelson found out last year, that's not always the case. The Xiaomi Mi 5, or rather what was left of it, was inducted into his hall of shame. So how does a more premium, and fragile-looking, Mi 6 fare? Even Nelson was surprised.

The Mi 6's all-glass exterior undeniably gives it a very classy look. But not all glass is made equal, and some, like the HTC U Ultra, crumpled under Nelson's powerful hands. Considering the disappointment that was the Mi 5, Nelson is being cautious this time.

Talk about setting your expectations low! The Xiaomi Mi 6 nearly passed all his excruciating test with flying colors. Nearly. The screen started scratching only at a level 6, meaning it's safe from keys and coins. The glass that does that trick also protects almost everything else, including the home button and the cameras. The metal edges didn't fare well against a razor blade, but they do seem to be a lot sturdier than last year's Xiaomi flagship.

As for the final and most telling test, the Xiaomi Mi 6 showed an unyielding character that earned it Nelson's rare praise. It did flex a bit, but nothing permanent or even damaging.

So the Xiaomi Mi 6 is one JerryRigEverything's most durable smartphones of the year. And with nearly, just nearly, the same high-end specs as most premium flagship but at only half the price, the Mi 6 may be the smartphone to beat this year as well. That is, if you could actually get your hands on one, especially in the US.