Samsung may be getting all of the media attention today with the announcement of its new Galaxy phablets but it's not the only company introducing new handsets on this Thursday. Chinese rival Xiaomi has been giving competing smartphone makers fits in the entry-level market and its latest handset will only further drive that narrative.
What they've done is more or less taken the power plant of the HTC One M9+ (an $800 handset) and crammed it into a phone they plan to sell for just $129. Ouch.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2, as it's called, is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio x10 SoC clocked at 2.0GHz. Worth noting about the Helio x10 is that unlike most octa-core chips, this one doesn't use the big.LITTLE configuration that typically pairs four higher-end cores with four lesser cores to handle light loads. Instead, it consists of eight Cortex-A53 cores which are the "little" cores in the big.LITTLE design, all of which run at the same clock speed.
The Redmi Note 2 also includes 2GB of RAM and ships with a 5.5-inch, 1080p display. Around back is a 13-megapixel f/2.2 camera that uses phase detection auto-focus opposite of a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter with an aperture of f/2.0. The phone features a removable 3,020mAh battery, dual SIM card slots, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and 16GB of internal storage that's expandable via microSD card slot.
It'll ship running Xiaomi's MIUI 7 OS which is based on Android.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 is the entry-level version of the device. The next model up at $140 includes faster LTE connectivity while the Redmi Note 2 Prime bumps the processor speed up to 2.2GHz and doubles local storage to 32GB for just $155. Look for it to go on sale starting August 16 in China. No word yet on when or if it'll make its way stateside.