Xiaomi is called the Apple of the East and has often been said to duplicate the company’s designs. But its 2015 flagship model looks more like an Android device.
The Mi Note is an entirely new device and is not to be confused with the company's existing budget friendly line, the RedMi Note. It’s also not related to the South Korean electronics giant Samsung’s similarly named devices. According to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, the new phablet is set to go head-to-head with Apple's iPhone 6 Plus.
The smartphone maker is hoping that consumers in markets such as India who want phones similar in quality and size to the 6 Plus will opt for the Note instead.
The Xiaomi Mi Note packs a 5.7-inch full HD Retina display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 386 PPI. Produced by Sharp/JDI, the display comes with a 95% NTSC color gamut, along with a contrast ration of 1400:1. Because of the inclusion of dynamic contrast the screen is 30% more battery efficient. The metal body of Mi Note has 3D curved Gorilla Glass 3 as the display. It runs on Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 3 GB RAM. On the memory front, the Note will be available in both a 16GB and 64GB variant and offers dual 4G SIM (micro/nano) with dual standby. In terms of cameras, the Note comes loaded with a Sony 13 MP rear camera with optical image stabilization and dual-LED flash as well as an f/2.0 aperture and six lenses on top of each other. In the front it has a 4 megapixel camera which sports the same 2µm pixel size. This should make for better-looking selfies, especially in low-light conditions. The Xiaomi Mi Note offers a 3000 mAh battery.
Xiaomi says the16GB version of the phone will cost only 2,299 Yuan ($371) and the 64GB version will retail at 2,799 Yuan ($451). The device doesn’t come as cheap as the company's other products, and Xiaomi says it's due to the high production costs of the phone. The device will be available for purchase on January 27.
"Xiaomi 'going phablet' with the Note wasn't a surprise," says IDC analyst Bryan Ma. "It was an obvious gap in their portfolio that in was only being serviced by a low-end RedMi Note before. High-end users need their phablets too."