Xiaomi Goes Premium with Mi Note, A 5.7-inch Sleek Phablet
Xiaomi, one of the fastest-growing Chinese handset maker, is now going to take on Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus with its very own high-end phablet, the Mi Note.
The new flagship device, unveiled at today’s keynote, is a 6.95mm-thick smartphone with a 5.7-inch 1080p display, shrouded in gently curved glass on both the front and back panels. The company refers to the front glass as “2.5D” and the rear glass as “3D.”
Although Xiaomi is very confident of the toughness of the glass material and even showed off a video clip of the phone passing its steel ball drop and free fall tests, the company is still offering a CN¥199 annual insurance to cover screen damage plus glass damage for both sides of the phone.
Under the hood, the Mi NOte features 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip, Adreno 330 graphics processor, 3GB LPDDR3 RAM, and a 3,000mAh battery. It has an internal storage of either 16GB or 64GB, and will come in black or white.
The device boasts a 13-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization, coupled by a 4MP “large-pixel” front-facing camera.
As for the price of this flagship device, the basic Mi Note will cost CN¥2,299 or about $370 for 16GB version, and CN¥2,799 or about US$450 for 64GB version.
There will also be a Pro version, which will cost CN¥3,299 or about $530, and it’ll come in gold color. The premium version will pack a 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810, Adreno 430 GPU, faster 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB of internal storage, plus a slightly larger 3,090mAh battery.
The price points are not cheap, sure, but certainly this new hadset is priced lower than the likes of Apple and Samsung given the specs on offer.
The Mi Note will likely be released in Xiaomi’s established Asian markets like China and India. Whether this flagship will make its way to the U.S. remains unclear. So, the world’s most valuable startup and the third-largest smartphone maker is yet to venture beyond its comfort zone.