Hands On With Xiaomi's Mi Note Phablet

China's Xiaomi outed its latest smartphone, the Mi Note, yesterday, and we briefly managed to get our mitts on the 5.7-inch screen device. As the first phablet in Xiaomi's flagship Mi family, it is pretty easy to make a comparison with the iPhone 6+. Indeed, CEO Lei Jun did compare the specs of the two phones during the launch event, but there are plenty of differences between the two. The Mi Note uses curved glass to give it graceful edges, the phone actually has glass fronts on both sides, and its camera -- which sports an OIC -- doesn't stick out as it does on the Apple device. There's also a whopping 3,000 mAh battery to help the phone last as long as possible, though we haven't had a chance to do a takeaway review of its capacity at this point. The Mi Note feels great in the hand. This phone is seriously wafer thin at just 6.95mm thick and 161g in weight, but yet the build quality is sturdy. At 2,299 CNY ($370) for a 16GB model and 2,799 (circa $450) for the 64GB version, the device adheres to Xiaomi's super-competitive approach to price -- even the specc'ed up Mi Note Pro will retail for 3,299 CNY ($535), that's roughly half the cost of a top of the range iPhone 6+ unlocked. There's no word on when the new devices will appear in overseas markets at this point. Xiaomi sells its phones in seven countries, but it has plans to expand that number in 2015, most likely to Brazil, Turkey, Russia and other parts of Southeast Asia. If you're not living in those places, you're limited to marveling at these phones from afar, unfortunately. Bonus photos: Xiaomi also revealed a new set of $80 headphones. Don't expect to see them sold outside of China soon/perhaps ever though.
Jon Russell

Jon Russell is a Writer at Gigabuzz, focused on covering early-stage startups, especially those with a technology focus and great perks.

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