Xiaomi excites Chinese smartphone market with Mi Note phablets

15 Jan 2015

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Xiaomi's Mi Note. Image via Hugo Barra/Google+

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Chinese mobile-device manufacturer Xiaomi has unveiled two new large-screen smartphones at less than half the cost of an iPhone 6 Plus.

The 5.7-inch Mi Note houses 3D curved Gorilla Glass 3 and a Full-HD display from Sharp/JDI inside its metal frame.

The guts of the new smartphone are a Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB LPDDR3 RAM.

The rear camera on the Mi Note was built by Sony and shoots a flagship standard 13MP with optical image stabilisation. On the front is a generous 4MP camera with large 2-micron pixels.

The Mi Note is also generous in terms of battery power, with a 3,000mAh 4.4V lithium-ion battery with quick charge capabilities at its disposal.

Pricing in China starts at 2,299 yuan renminbi (€316) for the 16GB Mi Note up to 2,799 yuan renminbi (€384) for the 64GB version.

For comparison, the launch price of a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus in China was 6,088 yuan renminbi (€841).

The Mi Note is “super epic” and “the most powerful Xiaomi smartphone we have ever built”, according to Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra.

“It is also the most beautiful product we have ever designed,” he added.

Mi Note Pro

Not to be outshone by Apple’s dual release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Xiaomi also unveiled the Mi Note Pro, a deluxe version of the Mi Note with a 2K display at the same size, giving this smartphone a resolution of 515 ppi.

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro. Image via Hugo Barra/Google+

The Mi Note Pro also updgrades the chipset to an octo-core 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor and Adreno 430 GPU, along with 4GB LPDDR4 RAM.

Hinging on high-performance and power users, this model is only available as a 64GB version for 3,299 yuan renminbi (€456).

Mi Box Mini and Mi Headphones

Other products unveiled at Xiaomi’s press event include the Mi Box Mini, a set-top box the size of a phone charger and Mi Headphones.

Xiaomi Mi Box Mini

Xiaomi Mi Box Mini. Image via Hugo Barra/Google+

Inside the small Mi Box Mini is a Cortex-A7 processor, 1GB RAM and 4GB Flash memory. It powers 1080p resolution with Dolby and DTS audio and comes in at the low, low price of 199 yuan renminbi (€27).

The Mi Headphones target slightly bigger spenders to the tune of 499 yuan renminbi (€69) for a pair of 50mm cans with interchangeable over-ear and on-ear covers.

Xiaomi Mi Headphones

Xiaomi Mi Headphones. Image via Hugo Barra/Google+

Currency conversion rates as of 15 January 2015 via XE.

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com