Xiaomi Mi Note takes on Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus

China’s hottest smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has announced a new phablet, the Xiaomi Mi Note, which will tackle the iPhone 6 Plus head-on.

The Xiaomi Mi Note is a truly premium Android device, with a sleek 6.95mm-thick body, 161g weight, and curved glass panels on front and back.

The front glass panel is being referred to as “2.5D glass,” as it tapers off suddenly rather like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus equivalent. The rear glass panel has a more pronounced curve, and is being referred to as “3D glass.”

There are also shades of previous iPhone designs in the Mi Note’s flat metal rim.

As for specs, there are two iterations of the new phone announced by Xiaomi – the Mi Note and the Mi Note Pro.

The normal Mi Note comes with a 5.7-inch 1080p NEGA LCD display, a Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB of RAM, 16 or 64GB of internal storage, a 13-megapixel camera with OIS and dual-tone LED flash, and a 3,000mAh battery.

It also features a “Hi-Fi audio system” that supports 24-bit/192KHz lossless playback.

The Mi Note Pro is largely similar, but swaps out the 1080p display for a QHD equivalent, and the Snapdragon 801 CPU (which is rather 2014) for the new 64-bit Snapdragon 810. It also gets a meaty 4GB of RAM.

If there was any doubt that Xiaomi is gunning for Apple’s premium credentials in its home territory, then the Mi Note’s launch event should dispel that. Besides pointing out that the Mi Note is slimmer and lighter than its rival, CEO Lei Jun took the opportunity to openly mock the iPhone 6 Plus for its pronounced camera lens, comparing it to the Mi Note’s flat-as-a-pancake alternative.

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As you’d expect from Xiaomi, all of this high-end goodness comes at a relatively low price. The 16GB Mi Note will sell for 2,299 yuan (£243) when it goes on sale January 27, while the Mi Note Pro will start from  3,299 yuan (£349) in March.

Of course, both phones are designed for the Chinese market first and foremost, and will probably only make their way to a couple of other Asian markets at a later date.

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