I bought my iPhone 6s in January of 2016. It was a late Christmas present for myself and it was probably the most expensive purchase that I made that year. Because I’ve heard that batteries usually last up to 3 years, I knew it was time when my battery started dying more quickly in December of 2018. It was time for a new phone.
Should I replace my battery?
I first considered keeping my iPhone by changing the battery to a new one. But after I discovered that the discounted Apple battery replacements were ending and prices were going to hike up to 59,000 KRW (for iPhone 8 and older), I became less motivated. I did not want to make the effort to go to the Apple Store and pay money for keeping my old phone. If I were to pay money, I wanted to at least get some new features.
Then what are the other options?
When I looked at my other iPhone friends upgrading to iPhone X, I was jealous of their Face ID technology, but was unimpressed by the expensiveness and size. My friend liked how it was bigger, but definitely felt her hand was more tired from how heavy it was compared to the iPhone 6s (143 g vs 174 g). That gave me a bigger reason for not paying the expensive price because I also wanted to save money.
While I was being too lazy about researching more Android phones, my husband recommended Xiaomi’s Redmi 6 because he has been satisfied with his Xiaomi phone for the past few years. At first, I was not very convinced, but after I made sure that the phone was not too big or heavy (146 g) and the features were at least slightly better than the iPhone 6s, I just went with it. I did not hesitate mainly because it was so affordable.
Transferring My Apps and Accounts
The first five hours with this phone was a nightmare. Turning on the phone and setting up the password and fingerprint was easy, but I kept on trying to touch the non-existent iPhone home button, pressed “enter” when I wanted to press “delete,” and was annoyed with the constant asking of permission for apps. The most frustrating part was that most of the time there was really no choice because the app would not open if I did not approve its access to my phone calls and files. I guess it’s just a way to let users know that these apps are collecting personal data?
First I opened the Play Store. Backing up my data on Google saved a lot of time in this process because it suggested the apps that I used on my old phone. I was able to find most of the apps, but there were 2 apps that I needed but were unavailable in the Korea store. Thanks to my husband’s knowledge and patience, we were able to use a VPN app to download those apps.
Then most of my time was spent on a constant repeat of finding passwords that I automated on my iPhone but now had to enter manually on the new phone. Whenever I had passwords that I did not remember or save, I simply logged out and clicked on “forgot my password.” Maybe this process would have been easier if I had overcome my illogical fear of apps that put all account passwords in one place.
All of the data transferring process was successful except LINE. I was able to transfer my friend list and account but could not carry over the chat history. Apparently this is the case when the transfer is between Apples and Androids. I don’t understand why they can’t make this work when similar apps like Kakao Talk has no problem with that.
I still have to transfer my iTunes music in my macbook to the Redmi 6… but I will get to that later.
Personalizing the Settings
It took me over 24 hours to try to get used to this phone and adjusting the settings to match my needs… and here’s why.
Keyboard: As a person who uses three languages on my phone all the time, the default Google keyboard (Gboard) was not up to par. The English keyboard was okay, but the Japanese and Korean keyboard was inconvenient because there were no options to change the keyboard type. I had to go through the process of experimenting by downloading different keyboards for each language’s best version of a keyboard. And then I encountered another problem. The default Gboard English didn’t give me the button to switch between other companies’ keyboards.
So I deleted all three keyboards and finally settled with SwiftKey. SwiftKey gave me the option to choose between different types of Japanese and Korean keyboards, made it easier for me to switch between languages, and the English auto-correct suggestions were much more accurate than the Korean keyboards.
Notifications: This was a long tedious process. I had to go through each app to choose whether I wanted new messages to show on the lock screen, float on top of the screen, or only show up as a badge. Then I noticed that once I opened the app, the badge number disappeared even if I had not opened the message itself. I was bothered by this because I was afraid that I’d start forgetting to reply to messages if the “unread messages” number was not showing. Was there a way to keep the badge number on there?
Push Notifications Problem on Xiaomi Phones: From research, I found that this became a common issue with some Android phones because of an update. The push notifications, which is the red circle with the number that shows the number of messages I received, was not just disappearing but also incorrect.
When I received one message or e-mail, it showed the number “2” and when I received more messages, it would either show the wrong number or not show up at all. Very annoying.
I did more research and ended up finding many threads with no solutions. I also tried the steps in this article, but I did not see any changes with it. Another thread said that I needed to download a separate paid app called the Nova Launcher, and use another add-on called the TeslaUnread to allow the phone to show accurate numbers of unread messages. Seriously? It felt like I was building my own phone because I had to download all these apps just to make my phone function properly.
I thought every problem would be solved when I updated to the newest version (MIUI Global 10.2)… and then I had the opposite problem. No matter how many messages I received, the badge number was 1. This was driving me nuts. I needed a break.
I sought help from my tech-savvy husband again and we decided that we needed a new launcher. What was a launcher? I had no idea. We downloaded the free Microsoft Launcher and it solved all my problems.
I thought that the apps I installed on the phone would disappear, but that was not the case, and I only had to drag the downloaded apps on to the home screen again. It was very easy to change the notification badge settings, and I was even able to specify the settings per app. It was also nice to have the option of personalizing the icon shapes on the screen.
Overall Satisfaction of the Redmi 6
Size and Weight: Because I have smaller hands, I would need to use both hands to be able to touch the buttons on the top half of the screen, but I’m satisfied with how light it is.
Color: I got the Rose Gold, but compared to the iPhone 6s Rose Gold, it seems like there is a hint of purple mixed in it.
Camera: I was pleasantly surprised with the portrait mode, which blurred everything but the person. It doesn’t work as well with objects, so it’s not what I hoped for like the bokeh effects on the iPhone X or the Galaxy Note 8, but I am happy to have a feature that was not on the iPhone 6s default camera.
I also noticed that the portrait mode automatically removed my freckles, wrinkles, and dark circles on my face. After I took the photo, I was able to choose the “beauty” level of my photo, but I could not “un-beautify” to show a more realistic reflection of myself.
Speaker: When I watched YouTube videos on the phone, I felt that the speaker was not as good as the iPhone 6s. The quality seemed to go down as I put the volume down. Perhaps my impression will change later, but that was my first impression.
Now that all my settings are personalized, I am more happy and excited about using this new, pretty phone.
Hope this information helps anyone who is thinking about switching from an Apple phone to a Xiaomi or any other Android phone.