Xiaomi unveils Mi Note and Mi Note Pro: 5.7-inch high-end goodness

by: Bogdan PetrovanJanuary 15, 2015
4.8K

xiaomi-mi-note

Xiaomi’s latest flagships are here. At the company’s Beijing event today, CEO Lei Jun revealed his latest weapons against Samsung and Apple: the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro.

Xiaomi Mi Note

The Xiaomi Note is not the successor to the affordable Redmi Note. The device is a high-end offering, with a 5.7-inch Full HD display made by Japan Display, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3 , a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 13MP rear camera with OIS, a 4MP front camera with large 2-micron pixels (just like HTC’s UltraPixels), a 3,000-mAh battery, and LTE dual-SIM.

xiaomi mi note

Speaking of design, the Mi Note sports beautiful glass on both the front and the back. The protective screen glass is 2.5D, meaning that its edges are slightly curved, just like on the Note 4 or iPhone 6 Plus. The glass on the back is positively curved however, gently hugging the phone’s sloping side. We’ve seen glass-backed devices before, but this is the first design with a curved glass back – it sure looks interesting, but durability may take a hit, even with the sleek metallic frame of the device.

Xiaomi Mi note specs features (8)

On stage, Xiaomi’s Lei Jun took potshots at Apple, which seemed to be his primary target, and not Samsung and their Note 4 as one would expect. One of the jabs referred to the iPhone 6’s notorious protruding camera. There is no such thing on the Mi Note, which is a svelte 6.95 millimeters. The camera itself is sourced from Sony (IMX214), with a 6-lens f 2.0 aperture, OIS, and a two-tone flash. Thanks to the large size of the pixels, the 4MP front shooter should do great in low-light selfie situations.

Other features highlighted by Xiaomi include Hi-Fi audio thanks to a ESS audio decoder and fast charging.

With Xiaomi devices, the price is always a big part of the story. The Mi Note will be available for 2299 yuan ($370) for the 16GB storage, and 2799 yuan ($450) for the more spacious 64GB model. This isn’t the rock bottom pricing Xiaomi used its customers with, but then again, the Mi Note isn’t a budget affair, and that is visible in everything from specs to design.

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro

Xiaomi is kicking things up a notch with the 3299 yuan ($530) Mi Note Pro, which features similar design and specifications with the following improvements: a 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor,  a Quad HD display, 4GB of RAM, and LTE-Cat 9 support for download speeds of up t 450Mbps. The Mi Note Pro will be available with 64GB of storage.

xiaomi mi note pro (1)

The Mi Note will become available from Q2 (at least in Singapore), while the Mi Note Pro’s availability will be announced at a later point.

What do you think of the new Mi Pro and Mi Pro Note? Are they what you were expecting? What about the price?

  • Haik

    OMG, I want that wallpaper so bad :D Can someone link it here, pleas ?

  • Damien Reed

    Mi not barely sounds better than my OnePlus One. Only plus I see is the OIS on the 13mp cam and the hi fi audio coming out of the earphones.

    • dude

      Yeah, I was looking to see how it compared to my OnePlus One as well. The only other noticeable improvement is the dual-SIM. But for $100 more? Just seems like Xiaomi is playing catch up with the wrong competitor in sight.

  • karan

    Note pro

  • xiao

    external sd card?

    • David Košič

      Denied

  • jasoncosantos

    I think it’s a 64gb not 32gb that comes with the price of 2799 yuan :-) . Sorry for my english

  • crutchcorn

    Not bad! Impressed! :) I’d buy.

  • Maiquel Ricardo Borges

    looks like a bastard child by crossing a Galaxy Note 4 and an iPhone 6+

    But taking the best of each.

    • Iron Man

      Really, there’s no AMOLED, s pen, metal unibody, IMX240, Fingerprint scanner, multi window multitasking, great apps and optimisation of iOS.

      This doesn’t take the best of them. This is just a beefed up big phone.

      • Maiquel Ricardo Borges

        Sorry man, but i was talking exclusively about the phone design

        • Iron Man

          Still, none of them use full capacitive buttons or glass at the back. Plus, this doesn’t have the physical home button.

          This looks more like the cross over of their mi 4 and Xperia z2.

          • john

            Alright we get it
            bow down to the all knowing iron man

          • Maiquel Ricardo Borges

            and you, sir, deserve a cookie.

          • wtfawkes

            I for one am glad there’s no physical home button. It’s unnecessary. With GMD gesture control, a simple pinch of the fingers on the screen takes you home

          • Jovan Cummings

            And how exactly you going to pinch the screen to go home when you are using the phone with one hand?????? The phyiscal buttons are awesome and samsung still has small bezels

          • Airyl

            Xperia Z2 and Xiaomi Mi4 is still pretty good.

      • crutchcorn

        I was praying for those… At LEASE a pen… Oh well.

        • wtfawkes

          What percentage of people with note phones actually use their pens often, really

          • crutchcorn

            I hate this argument. Sorry if I’m not as kind or whatever as normal, but I FLUNKING HATE this argument. EVERY LAST PERSON that I know that has bought a Note, has done so ONLY for the SPen instead of another phablet. It’s the de-facto of purchases for me. Like I have this chart and do math and that = 5 marks easily. I don’t care if you don’t use it – just loose it and there won’t be a problem! :P But to be serious, it’s huge for me and for SO MANY others that I know. So to answer your question – a TON

          • wtfawkes

            I seriously doubt it’s “a ton”. I’m sure you can still buy a pen accessory, but if it’s between a bigger battery, slimmer phone and a pen, I’ll take the first two every time thanks

          • crutchcorn

            The reason why the pen accessory =! no support. Try writing with an SPen, then try writing with a foam thing pen on another smartphone… It sucks. The only thing that I could see where we both win is something like the Z Ultra with an accessory pen that has buttons and can link to the phone using NFC (maybe even bluetooth and it could be a media controller as well, that could be cool) AND a heavy duty (and a lighter one, I just like nice cases) case that adds a way to integrate it. My issue is not that it doesn’t have a pen, but rather that it doesn’t have the OPTION to have one.

          • Airyl

            Most people I know that own Galaxy Notes love using the S-Pen. It’s immensely useful.

          • crutchcorn

            Right?

          • Jovan Cummings

            Yup I agree. I love it.I feel like I cant buy another phone without it.

          • toboev

            Count me in. With a large screen I mostly view the web in desk-top display. That is great for reading the webpage, but still difficult to click small links accurately by finger. I also find the pen very useful for navigating menus which only drop-down when you hover a mouse (or pen) over them. I do also use it to scribble shopping lists, etc.

          • crutchcorn

            Exactly! There are just so many reasons I see to get and enjoy it!

          • OneMoreAnon

            I agree with crutchcorn. Many people buy the Note not just because it’s big but because it makes use of it’s generous size the best. :)

          • Jovan Cummings

            I use my note 4 pen quite often. The smart select is awesome, the copy and paste is the easiest you can get on a phone, screen writing is superb. I even use it while scrolling to give my wrist a rest when laying on my bed. I use my pen so much, its turning off white (Yea unfortunately I bought the white Note 4). The pen also gives great precision in different circumstances, for example i do plenty photo editing on my phone. My Finger would be to big for the precision I need.

      • Josef Kvita

        You think Amoled is an advantage? It’s the only thing that keeps me out of buying Samsung Phones. Yeah, the colors and contrast are great, even the brightness now, but I can’t get over the burn-in effect. I wanna use the phone for a long time and Amoled can damage itself in a days (pointing at Nexus 6 now).

        • toboev

          Burn-in? What’s that? Should I be getting that on my near-3 year old Note 1? How do I get some? What have I failed to do? I feel cheated, three years, and still no burn-in!

          • Josef Kvita

            I own Galaxy S1 (i9000) for 5 years and I couldn’t notice either, but when I compared my screen to the brand new one, it was very obvious. Not that much of a burn-in (I use screen for the lowest brightness possible for that purpose), but overall colors and white temperature are pretty off and the display looks awful compared to the new one. You just don’t notice. BTW that’s why Samsung still uses HW keys and not on-screen ones -> it reduces the burn-in effect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivx7M252CM4 -> This is how can Samsung phone look like, after hours of on-screen time. That’s the extreme, with everyday usage it’s not that bad, but when is your mobile supposed to serve more than one year, I wouldn’t recommend (or buy) Amoled. There is the Nexus 6 screen which I was talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKAWr9PjWjw

          • toboev

            Well, if like you say you don’t actually notice it until you go looking for it after 5 years, how bad can it be? I keep my phones a long time, so far it hasn’t troubled me in the slightest. Meantime, I enjoy all the benefits of AMOLED, plus I get a physical home button and am spared the pernicious evil of on-screen ‘soft’ keys – Bonus (I never knew that was the reason for them, thanks!)

            I’ll take the distant prospect of ‘burn-in’ over the immediate, daily costs of LCD – battery consumption, washed out blacks, etc

          • Josef Kvita

            Well, I live in Europe. :) You just need to find the “right” shop and you can buy Galaxy S1, which costs 80% of the Galaxy S4. :D

            Battery consumption of the Amoled ain’t necessarily lower – it depends on circumstances. When displaying more black, the Amoled draws less power than LCD (LEDs are off), when displaying whites Amoled actually draws more power than LCD (All of organic LEDs are emitting light.) So Android 4.4 was pretty good for Amoled, with Android 5.0 and everything whiter LCD’s have the advantage. (Touchwiz looks the same, so there ain’t much of a difference.)

            The burn-in is related to the type of your usage of the phone. If you used it for example as GPS every day, there would be burn-in after days or weeks – you’d be displaying static images (like speed limit in the corner) for a long time, possibly on the highest brightness. Same if you’d play one game fore huge amount of time, or was texting 24/7. (There are many videos on Youtube to show it.) If you use all applications evenly, the display wears evenly and you don’t notice.

            The truth is, that Samsung actually has the best Amoleds out there, I’d say the only usable ones, but they are not faultless. The problem is in the word OLED – Organic light emitting diode itself. You just need to consider every aspect and decide if you prefer the advantages of it against the disadvantages…

            (forgive my bad english please)

          • toboev

            Your English is good. Your maths is the problem. 20%, no?
            Thanks for your helpful insights. Seriously though, from what you say, to get the burn in shown in that video, they must use their phone to look at the home screen icons 24/7. And I do use mine for long sat nav journeys. No issue so far.

          • Josef Kvita

            Not 20%, but 80% :D I’ve found Galaxy S1 priced at 7500 Kč (our currency), when the S4 costs about 10000 Kč. I just can’t understand, how can someone actually buy it. :D

          • Anthony Evans

            Calling bullshit on this. Never had burn on any AMOLED device and we have seveal gs5s and note 3s in this house

        • Edgardo A. Soto Rodriguez

          Sure you’re not pointing at mine,, 3 months on the road with NO burning at all..the only thing burning is you of hating on the Nexus 6. So don’t generalized if you don’t own one…

          • Josef Kvita

            I actually wanted to buy one, before I saw the video. Every Amoled eventually burns out, it’s only matter of time, manufacturing technology and type of usage.

        • Maiquel Ricardo Borges

          man, my 1y old MotoX already have a burn… that’s just makes me nuts

          • Josef Kvita

            You should try to use your warranty. (At least we have 2y long warranty for pretty much everything in our country.)

        • JayQ330

          Almost forgot the ghost notification bar on the top of my first amoled screen phone

      • wtfawkes

        None of the items you mention really matter, other than the AMOLED. S pen, who really uses theirs, metal body? Who cares, it’ll be in a case. Fingerprint, Meh.
        Then again you said iOS so that’s says a lot

      • xdapao3

        Agree with most of what you say, save for “metal unibody” (which I positively HATE) and “great apps and optimisation of iOS” which must be some kind of joke…
        I also would add NO REMOVABLE BATTERY, an instant deal breaker to me, and no wireless charging (I use both on my Note 3, the second best smartphone in the world, BY FAR, after the Note 4).
        P.S. And forgot to mention removabkle storage too… Thanks to which, I have (AND USE) 96 GB of total storage on my Note 3 and 144 GB of total storage on my Tab S 10.5″ LTE.

        • Jovan Cummings

          I would like all OEMs to go full body as it stops someone from stealing your phone and turning it off by pulling out the battery. There are apps to disable the power button once the phone is locked and therefore they would be unable to turn off a full metal body phone. This way you can track your phone before the battery dies.

    • JayQ330

      Strictly no innovation, just the best parts all bundled up, the most impressive part of their note pro is the fact that their using a 64 bit soc with 4 GB’S of ram witch is perfect for 64 bit processing. Most phones like galaxy 6,HTC m9 & iPhone use less than 4 gigs ram. It makes me wonder if there’s a S6+ or HTC M9 + on the way, when they could of just utilized 4 gigs for a full 64 bit experience.

  • boff the janitor

    the picture of the pro says 2k display yet the article states that it is a 4k?? which is it??

  • PoseS

    5.7… stop it please !

    • Azam Rehman

      5.7 display …. in 2016 we will be holding phones in 2 hands count the days

  • Christian Jocef Austria

    Why can’t they adopt the on screen button or at least multi tasking button? What a letdown.

    • David Košič

      Because the majority of people don’t like onscreen buttons.

      • Christian Jocef Austria

        They could at least change the menu button to multi tasking, I think that’s more convenient.

        • Maciek Buczkowski

          This IS a recent button. In MIUI v6, which will be on board, this button is by default multitasking.

    • Jovan Cummings

      I only came here to see the design of the phone because I heard the s6 is coming in a glass body. I definitely would not by Xiaomi of the Samsung Galaxy S line. Samsung has to many features i am not willing to give for a company that uses there phones for the govt to spy on you…..or most likely they stopped by now.

  • Mr Frog

    Nice specs but priced high for indian market.

    • soina

      high? are u high? note 4 which has a snapdragon 805 costs 58k in india, and this has a 810 and cost below 35k!!

  • Dragan Banićević

    Excellent phones … both of them … Note Pro especially …

    Note Pro could easily become a phone of the year (2015), but there’s a catch … Price is a bit greasy – 3299 RMB/ 600 $US …
    If only they could stack it down below 500$, they would have a winner (hands down) …

    In this case, I advise you people to wait for ASUS Zenfone2 (4GB version) – March is not too far away …

  • Jaded

    sounds great, anyone know if this will come with a full android experience and play store?

    • soram

      it’s been there the whole time on non chinese version like singapore, india, etc u can download it from their site and flash it even if u buy it from china

  • Robert Johnson

    Micro sd card storage????

    • David Košič

      Nope

  • wtfawkes

    It looks awesome, and if it performs to spec, it’ll definitely hurt apple and Samsung.
    Basically … I want it

    • abazigal

      Nah, it will definitely hurt Samsung way more than it hurts Apple.

      • Jovan Cummings

        Yup. Samsung needs to do something quick with Tizen.

  • Ian Huntly

    The Pro sounds great, a powerhouse.

  • das

    ugly and cheap chinese crap

    • toboev

      I’ll take cheap. What is so good about expensive?

      • das

        buggy software ,bad build quality ,no warrenty , no support … thats why its cheap

        • Sinan Cagrı Kurt

          Mui known for its buttery smoothness, even before Xiaomi.So it is at least better than tw and LG s UI.And Xiaomi known for its good build quality if you don’t mind plastic body. It is cheap because they don’t make advertising much and they don’t give much of guarantees but most importantly they sell their phones online without retailers which makes really good chunk of phones cost on the west.And these cost prices a lot.

        • Maciek Buczkowski

          The software is not buggy at all, quality is way better than Galaxy line from samsung, warranty – of course you receive one, and the support is there as well. Were you living under the rock in the last couple of months?

          • das

            ok so if phone breaks HOW ON EARTH DO I GET REPLACEMENT PHONE IF THERE ARE NO SHOPS THAT SELLS SUCH A POS PHONE

          • Maciek Buczkowski

            Where do you buy it from genius? You get the replacement from the reseller that you purchased it from, which is a plenty out there. Maybe some are to dumb to understand that Apple did not invent the smartphone and as it stands it’s not only Apple that sells them. Besides there is other world than US and Europe. And oh – Apple produce their phones in… China.

          • das

            im not on about apple u idiot, im on about these crappy chinese phones are only bought from dodgy export websites that are very less likely to do warranties ,i shall only buy my hardware from VALID SHOPS in the high street or from phone network providers via contract

          • Maciek Buczkowski

            But you have a lot of those “crappy” chinese phones and experienced their shitty build quality, have you? Otherwise you wouldn’t assume, right? As I can imagine you experienced their lack of sales and technical support, as their are not in the high street, they cannot be legit, right? I’ve had 5 different devices from 3 chinese vendors, purchased from 3 different shops. These were OnePlus One (2 pcs), Meizu MX4, Xiaomi Mi3 and Xiaomi Mi4. Purchased on Aliexpress, Oneplus official store and ibuygou. I have experienced best sales support ever, the build quality is on par or even better than Samsung or Sony (you name it) and they were half the price of the QUALITY products from highstreet stores. You should know what you’re talking about first, dude.

            And oh, btw – I’ve never called you an idiot, so before you will offend anyone,think twice.

          • das

            hah u butthurt ,ill stick with samsung quality ,bye

          • Jaded

            Just don’t buy it then, go buy something else before you give yourself a heart attack

          • das

            dream on ,all these cheap phones people say they have crashy and slow full of bugs and no support ,samsung is the BEST for quality ,note 3 beats the htc in strength tests ,note 4 is better build and look than htc or sony or any crappy chinese CRAP with much better software ,fACT

  • kamiii161

    Xiaomi introduced today a new box HDMI. Taking a case following its Mi Box, but in a miniaturized format and under the nickname Mi Box Mini.

    http://androidphonehub.com/brands/mi-box-mini-micro-set-top-box-xiaomi-less-than-30-euros/

  • Ruby H.

    Note, (pun intended) these prices are exclusively for the Chinese market. $371 and $532 USD for the ‘RedMi Note 2’ and the ‘Pro’ respectively are hardly a bargain outside of China when you consider the typical 40-45% markup Chinese re-sellers will tack on to the price. Case-in-point is the recently introduced Xiaomi RedMi 2 which sells for just $110 USD in China, is being sold by popular online Chinese re-sellers for $155 USD. At these prices, Xiaomi may have succeeded at preventing Apple and Samsung from dominating the smartphone market in China but the added cost for international markets will prevent them from ever growing beyond their borders. Nice phone, good value – if you live in China.

  • Roberto Tomás

    the pro looks good. the regular note would be good if they’d given it a 64 bit processor..

  • Denco

    Why does Xiaomi have to use the name Note as Samsung Galaxy Note?

    Why not just create your own different phablet name identity?

    When Samsung created the Note, there was a real purpose for it: the useful integrated stylus and note-like productive capabilities.

    So, what REALLY makes the new Xiaomi Mi Note and Note Pro a ‘Note’ phablet?

    And aside being another big-screen phone, how does the new Xiaomi take full advantage of the screen estate? What are its productive features? What are its multitasking powers?

    The conclusion is that Xiaomi just did what Apple did in 2014. Consumers now want big-screen phones(and Samsung made a success of the category), let’s also do a phablet!

    All this without justifying the essence of a big-screen phone as Samsung rightly did when it SUCCESSFULLY first blazed the trail on that ground in 2011.

  • Kenneth Williams

    Still I would like to to see a US release on there devices

  • kritika

    mi note pro also have curved display ? :-/ ??

  • Robert Johnson

    Impressive tech but there is lack of a micro SD card slot and I think the ASUS Zenfone 2 when it debuts in March will give Xiaomi a run for their money.

  • flagship killer
  • Azam Rehman

    4gb ram …. and what we suppose to do with 4gb ram on a note?…. seriously all we need is a normal 5inch Phone with 3gb ram along with a (VERY GOOD)battery and quality camera is that so hard to to make ?

  • s2weden2000

    That’s right!

  • dakotaslt49

    If it doesn’t have a stylus it’s not a Note, no matter what they call it.