Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, which has steadily grown to prove itself as a worthy challenger to industry leaders Apple and Samsung, has released its latest product, the Mi Note.
Xiaomi is hoping that the Mi Note will continue its success in the cutthroat smartphone industry. The company has overtaken its rivals to become the top seller in its home country of China, which is the largest smartphone market in the world.
The Mi Note packs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB RAM. It has a 5.7-inch Gorilla Glass display and a glass back cover, with a form that makes it thinner compared to the iPhone 6 Plus by 0.15 mm. The Mi Note also features dual SIM slots, 4g LTE connectivity and a 3,000 mAh battery.
These specifications make the smartphone a promising one, but will it be able to live up to the hype surrounding it?
The Verge: "The Mi Note is intended to be a showcase of what this five-year-old company is capable of... I'd describe the design of the Mi Note as an amalgam of the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy Note 4, with a little bit of Xiaomi originality mixed in... I wasn't as impressed with the camera... The 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 and 3GB of RAM seem to keep things moving along at a nice clip, though I was underwhelmed with MIUI's built-in web browser... If the world needs "an Apple of Android," then Xiaomi is certainly in a good place to fill the role."
GSM Arena: "Unlike the Mi Note Pro, which uses all the latest tech such as a QHD display and the controversial Snapdragon 810 chip, the Mi Note is still one foot in 2014 with a 5.7" 1080p screen and Snapdragon 801... Our hopes that Xiaomi would eventually consider microSD card slots on its flagships were left unanswered... The Xiaomi Mi Note has a clear purpose: provide flagship-worthy performance at an affordable price... The Xiaomi Mi Note has great build quality and credible design, but the handling is compromised... Audio output quality is excellent, the Hi-Fi output is the loudest we've met..."
Ars Technica: "Xiaomi goes all out in comparing the Mi Note to the iPhone 6 Plus, where it seems determined to match or beat Apple's spec sheet... After spending some time with the Mi Note, Xiaomi has again blown us away with its ability to make a better product for less money... Our biggest complaint is with the hardware buttons, which are just all-around odd... The most impressive aspect of Xiaomi is how it listens to user feedback and uses it to improve its products... There are enough unique design touches now that it's not immediately identifiable as a rip-off of anything."
Reviews on the device, which will cost only $370, have generally been good early on. However, the worst part of it is that it will not be on sale in the United States, and will only be made available mostly only in China. Xiaomi has opened shop in the U.S. but smartphones are not part of the initial product list. So, perhaps in the future?
The Mi Note was released in China last January, with its more powerful version, the Mi Note Pro, expected to be released in the country next month.