New Xiaomi Mi Note – It’s Samsung Note Killer, Not iPhone Killer

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Jan 16 2015
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Last month, Lei Jun revealed his company’s latest entry-level phone – Redmi 2 – but not before he boast about Xiaomi’s triple-digit growth. This month, or rather yesterday, the Steve Jobs wannabe announced yet another smartphone – Mi Note. Perhaps for the first time, Xiaomi smartphone doesn’t copy Apple phone, not entirely. Xiaomi has decided to copy both Apple and Samsung. Hence, Mi Note is the hybrid of both iPhone and Note 4 (*grin*).

Xiaomi Mi Note - Black and White

Just like the once super popular Samsung Note, Mi Note comes with 5.7-inch screen size, miles bigger than iPhone 6 Plus’ 5.5-inch. Taking the cue from criticism on earlier version of Samsung Note’s plasticky cheap looking phone, the sides of Mi Note are made out of metal. The major differentiator is the curved Corning’s Gorilla glass 3 on both the front and back panels, which the company proudly refers as “2.5D” (front) and the “3D” (rear).

Xiaomi Mi Note - Curved Glass and and Camera Spec

And just like the popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Xiaomi was eager to showcase their latest copycat – two phones – Mi Note and Mi Note Pro. The lower-spec Mi Note model is powered by a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, the Adreno 330 for graphics, 3GB of RAM, and either 16 GB or 64 GB of internal storage. Equipped with a 3,000-mAh battery, the power juice is more than enough to put iPhone 6’s 1810-mAh to shame. Resolution is at 1,920 x 1,080 for 386 PPI.

Xiaomi Mi Note - Display and Battery Spec

Now, the flagship is definitely Mi Note Pro. The supposedly premium version bumps everything up. The Mi Note Pro with its larger QuadHD screen will come with a 2 GHz 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810, the Adreno 430, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, LTE support, and an extra 90-mAh in the 3090-mAh battery. Resolution comes at 2,560 x 1,440 at 515 PPI. Xiaomi claims this guy could boost up to 450Mbps download speed.

Xiaomi Mi Note - Four Position and HeadPhones

Notably, Mi Note Pro will give Samsung Note 4 a run for their money. While Mi Note Pro is priced at RMB 2,799 (US$452; £298; RM1,614), the junior version Mi Note 16GB model is selling for RMB 2,299 (US$371; £244; RM1,326). Pre-orders open on January 20, while shipping begins on January 27. Obviously, these are the priciest phone models in Xiaomi’s portfolio. Still, it’s much cheaper than other Android premium phones.

Xiaomi Mi Note - versus iPhone

CEO Lei Jun knows the perception that Xiaomi is still a cheapo made-in-China phone, no matter how he foamed at mouth screaming about the premium phablets. Thus, he spent incredible amount of time talking about the best brands inside both Mi Notes. Screens from either Sharp or Japan Display, the Sony camera sensor, the Philips two-tone flash, and the Sony or LG battery were some of the pacifiers thrown in to instill confidence.

Xiaomi Mi Note - versus Samsung

Beside shamelessly promotes the various brands of parts from Japan and Korea, Lei Jun also poked funs at iPhone. Proudly, he mentioned that Mi Note Plus is slimmer (6.95-mm thick) and lighter (161-gm) than iPhone 6 Plus phablet. He also showcased Mi Note’s more powerful camera – optical image stabalization to the 13-megapixel rear camera and 4-megapixel front camera. Unlike iPhone’s obtruding camera, Mi Note’s doesn’t stick out.

Xiaomi Mi Note - Whites Standing

There is also new headphones for Xiaomi consumers, priced at RMB 499 (US$80; £53; RM288). Lei Jun also joked about Mi Note’s support for multiple SIM types, unlike iPhone. As much as Lei Jun tries his very best to position Mi Note as a new premium phones in the same league as iPhone, the fact remains that mainland Chinese would eventually migrate to iPhone after they saved enough money to do so.

Xiaomi Mi Note - Holding

One more thing – perhaps due to excessive jokes about how Lei Jun trying to become more Steve Jobs than Steve Jobs himself, he didn’t wear Jobs’ iconic blue jeans, black shirt and tennis shoes during product presentation anymore, at least not yesterday. Perhaps he realised Xiaomi has to start moving away from copy-and-paste jobs if the company wants to go into North America and Europe markets.

Xiaomi Mi Note - Lei Jun during Product Presentation

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