Xiaomi launched two new flagship smartphones a few days ago in Beijing, and while the unique Xiaomi Mi MIX concept phone stole some of the limelight, the company’s other high-end offering deserves as much, if not more, attention. Here is the first look, as we go hands on with the Xiaomi Mi Note 2!
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will seem familiar at first glance, with the curved glass, or 3D Glass as Xiaomi calls it, found at the front and back making this look a lot like the erstwhile Galaxy Note 7. There are some differences in the feel though, with the Mi Note 2 being a touch wider, along with the metal sides where the two curved glass panels being sharper.
The Mi Note 2 is a flagship smartphone, which is why some may be disappointed at the fact that the 5.7-inch AMOLED display comes with a 1080p resolution. Full HD more than gets the job done in most situations, unless you are planning to use this smartphone for VR, but Quad HD is an expectation that isn’t asking for too much with a high-end device.
Under the hood is where its flagship nature shines through, with the Mi Note 2 packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, backed by the Adreno 530 GPU and 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM, depending on which version you opt for.
There will be three different versions of the phone that will be available. The standard version comes with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage, while the two premium editions feature 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB built-in storage.
Among the two premium iterations, one is a Global edition, that, as the name suggests, features global LTE support, with a total of 37 LTE bands supported, so roaming will never be an issue. Worldwide availability of the Mi Note 2 is still unknown, but if you are looking to import the device from China, the Global edition is definitely the way to go to alleviate any concerns with network connectivity.
Keeping everything running is a 4,070 mAh battery, that should allow for impressive battery life, especially when considering the fact that the display is Full HD. The device comes with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support, which Xiaomi claims will allow for the battery be charged to 83% in only half an hour, which is really impressive. Power shouldn’t really be a concern, but we will reserve judgment until we can run the phone through its paces.
On the camera side of things, the Mi Note 2 comes with 22.56 MP IMX 318 sensor from Sony, while up front is an 8 MP shooter with a f/2.0 aperture. The rear camera comes with a powerful gyroscope-based electronic image stabilization that Xiaomi made a big deal about during the presentation.
In software, we get the latest version of the MIUI OS, which is one of the popular takes on Android when compared to other Chinese OEMs. Things like there being no app drawer remain the same, but the user interface is a lot more toned down that what is seen with other competing smartphones. We weren’t able to dive into any new features in the short time we had with the phone, but will definitely be covered in more detail in the upcoming review.
Xiaomi continues their penchant for aggressive pricing with the Mi Note 2, with the device priced at RMB 2799 (~$415) for the 4 GB of RAM version, RMB 3299 (~$490) for the 6 GB of RAM version, and RMB 3499 (~$515) for the Global edition. While the worldwide availability details of the Mi Note 2 are still unknown, if you are planning to import it, the Global edition is definitely the way to go.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is the company’s attempt to provide everything for everyone, and whether or not it’s going to live up to all those promises is something we will delve into in the upcoming comprehensive review.