There's a lot to like in the Xiaomi Mi 6, but one change that has frustrated potential customers is the removal of the 3.5mm jack. Xiaomi isn't the first company to ditch the ubiquitous port for USB-C audio, and we now have a clearer understanding of why the move was carried out.
In a statement to Android Central, Xiaomi revealed that the headphone jack was removed to facilitate a larger battery:
Smartphones are highly-integrated products and internal space is precious. By removing the headphone jack, we can save room for other components such as a bigger battery. Audio through USB Type-C is becoming more common, and will continue to provide excellent sound quality.
The Mi 6 has the same 5.15-inch screen size as its predecessor, but Xiaomi managed to increase the battery capacity by 10.5%, from 3000mAh to 3350mAh. The phone also has dual rear cameras even though the overall size of the chassis is roughly the same as the Mi 5. With the 3.5mm jack positioned at the top in the Mi 5, Xiaomi would have faced space constraints with the addition of dual cameras.
The removal of the 3.5mm jack also makes the Mi 6 splash resistant. There's no IP rating for the device, and Xiaomi was careful not to use the term water resistance, but it should withstand the occasional splash of water. While a bigger battery and better camera tech is always welcome, ditching the 3.5mm jack to achieve that is a shortsighted move by a company that has otherwise been very cognizant of its customers' needs.
If you're eyeing the Mi 6 as a prospective purchase, then you'll either need to switch to Bluetooth headphones or use a dongle to hook up your audio gear to the device. If you're opting for the latter, Xiaomi includes a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter in the retail box.
What are your thoughts on Xiaomi's decision to remove the 3.5mm jack in the Mi 6?