Xiaomi is going after Apple and Samsung with the 5.7-inch Mi Note and Note Pro.
Chinese upstart Xiaomi unveiled two powerful new flagship smartphones today, in a bid to compete with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung’s stylus-toting Galaxy Note 4. Dubbed the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, both devices offer 5.7-inch displays and high-end specs packaged under what is the first truly premium body to be seen on a Xiaomi phone.
The Mi Note Pro is the more interesting device here. It features a 5.7-inch display with Quad HD (2560×1440) resolution, and is powered by a Snapdragon 810 processor (an octa-core unit that is 64-bit enabled). There’s also 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and 4G LTE support up to 450Mbps, making the Note Pro as future-proof as a smartphone can be today. Imaging is taken care of by a 13-megapixel Sony IMX214 sensor with optical image stabilization and a dual-tone LED flash, and the battery is a 3,000mAh unit, which is similar to what we find on most phablets out there today
A 4-megapixel camera with a 1/3″ sensor is there on the front, with a 2 micron pixel size similar to HTC’s UltraPixel sensors. In terms of build, the Note Pro features a body that is metal on the sides and fully glass (Gorilla Glass 3) on the front and back. The front has a 2.5D glass with a curve around the edges, while the back is similarly curved but has 3D glass. At 6.95mm, the Mi Note Pro is thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus, but being a phablet, it’s not exactly the lightest with a weight of 161g.
The Mi Note shares most of the specs of the Mi Note Pro, but will arrive with a Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB of RAM, 16/64GB of internal storage, and a lower-resolution (Full HD, 1920×1080) display. Both handsets run on Android 5.0 Lollipop with Xiaomi’s MIUI 6 skin on top, which comes with features like one-handed usage mode to enable easier handling of the decidedly large screens on offer, and have dual 4G SIM slots that can be active at the same time.
The Mi Note is priced at CNY 2299 ($371) and CNY 2799 ($451) for the 16GB and 64GB models, while the Mi Note Pro will set consumers back by CNY 3,300 (roughly $530). Both devices will go up for pre-order on January 20 and will begin shipping on January 27; the features and pricing are sure to make the Mi Note and Note Pro massive hits in China, and it remains to be seen how long consumers in other markets will have to wait before they can get their hands on either device.