Xiaomi has been stepping up its hardware game in recent years to compete with more established OEMs, and the newly announced Mi Note is the latest example of this commitment. This device is basically a higher-end version of 2014's Redmi Note. Not only is the Mi Note significantly more powerful than the Redmi Note, it's lighter and thinner too.
Here are the specs for Xiaomi's new flagship.
- 5.7-inch 1080p LCD from JDI
- Snapdragon 801 processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 16 or 64GB of storage
- 3000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
- 4G LTE with dual SIM
- 13MP camera with OIS, 4MP front-facing camera
- ESS ES9018K2M audio decoder
- 6.95mm thickness and 161g
Just going on specs, the Mi Note would be competitive with a lot of 2014 flagship phones from top-tier OEMs. Yes, it's 2015 now, but this is still solid hardware. The combination of screen and battery will probably offer fantastic longevity as well.
Xiaomi spent part of the announcement talking about how its 3D curved Gorilla Glass 3 design makes the Mi Note feel more premium. It has glass on the front and back, but it's curved inward toward the metal frame. It does look nice, and actually isn't aping the iPhone 6 Plus (yes, I'm as surprised as you are). The audio experience was also cited as a selling point of the new phablet. It will come with 24-bit/192KHz lossless audio support thanks to the ESS ES9018K2M audio decoder.
The Mi Note is running Android, of course, but it's wrapped up in MIUI 6. Being a Chinese company, Xiaomi concentrates on that market, which means no Google services (other Asian markets will have Google stuff). The Xiaomi Mi Note will be on sale in China soon for ¥2299 ($370) for the 16GB model and ¥2799 ($451) for the 64GB model
Update: Xiaomi isn't stopping with a phone packing hardware that's just pretty good—they're really blowing the doors off this announcement. There's also going to be a Xiaomi Mi Note Pro that shares a lot of specs and design with the standard Mi Note, but it's a true 2015 flagship. Here's what we've got.
- Snapdragon 810
- 5.7-inch 2560x1440 display
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB of storage
- Cat-9 LTE
This phone will cost more than the regular Mi Note, but it's not obscene. Xiaomi is asking ¥3299 ($532) for the Mi Note Pro.
Additionally, Xiaomi is announcing two accessories, the Mi Box Mini and Mi Headphones. The Mi Box Mini is a shrunken down version of the Mi Box, a set top box for watching video. This device is tiny—it looks like a wall adapter for charging a phone, but it has an HDMI port, Cortex-A7 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB storage, and dual band Wi-Fi 802.11n. It can output 1080P video, Dolby and DTS audio. It costs ¥199 ($32)
As for those headphones, they're semi-open and have large 50mm beryllium diaphragm speakers. There will be both on-ear and over-ear covers. These will cost ¥499 ($80).