Xiaomi, China's top smartphone vendor is known for creating stylish, Apple-like designs at more affordable prices. That has worked quite well so far in its swift upward trajectory. This time around the company is also taking a page from Samsung in naming its latest phablet flagships the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro.
Both devices are just 6.95mm-thick (0.15 mm thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus), feature a 5.7-inch display and come with high-end specs all around.
The Mi Note starts at the relatively low price of 2299 yuan ($376) for a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 3000 mAh battery and a 13-megapixel camera. Meanwhile, the Mi Note Pro ups the ante to a Snapdragon 810 processor, 1440p display and 4GB of RAM for 3,299 yuan, or about $520. By comparison, Apple's iPhone 6 Plus starts at 6088 yuan in the country.
The world's third largest smartphone maker was also eager to emphasize the Mi Note has a Sharp-made display, a Sony-made camera, a Philips two-tone flash and a Sony or LG-made battery – likely in an attempt to make sure people won't equate its lower prices to cheap components.
Xiaomi doesn't seem to be skimping on design either with a metal construction and a slightly curved glass front and rear. Moreover, CEO Lei Jun wasn't afraid to take a few jabs at its rivals noting that the Mi Note doesn't have a protruding rear camera like the Apple iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 despite being thinner and having Optical Image Stabilization.
The Mi Note is going on sale in China on January 27, while the Mi Note Pro doesn't have a launch date yet. It's unclear if the device will see a wider release as so far Xaiomi is yet to venture beyond Asian markets like China and India.