Xiaomi Inc., which has earned the moniker, "China’s Apple," launched its new flagship phablet, the Mi Note, with a screen larger than that of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, and priced at 2,299 yuan ($371) for the 16GB version.
The Mi Note, with its 5.7-inch screen, is also thinner than iPhone 6 Plus, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said at the launch event of the new Note. The event was webcast live from Beijing and Lei had put up slides on a large screen behind him on the stage, similar to Apple product launches.
Mi Note comes equipped with a six-element, 13-megapixel primary camera sourced from Sony Corp., with optical image stabilization, and a two-tone flash from Philips. The selfie camera offers a 4-megapixel shot.
The phone is 6.95 mm thick, wrapped on both sides with Corning Gorilla glass, and has a 3,000 mAh battery from Sony or LG Electronics. At 161 grams, the Mi Note is also lighter than iPhone 6 Plus.
While the standard Mi Note delivers 1,920 x 1,080 pixels display with 386 pixels per inch (PPI) resolution, along with 3GB of RAM and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a Pro version bumps up the specs to 2,560 x 1,440 pixels display with 515 PPI, 4GB RAM and a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor along with an Adreno 430 graphics processing unit.
Both the stock Note and the Note Pro handsets support 4G LTE technology, but the fancier version costing 3,299 yuan ($532) also supports a standard called category 9 that allows for considerably higher rates of data transfer that can be as high as 450 Mbps.
In the four years since its birth, Xiaomi has risen to become the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, shipping more than 60 million handsets in 2014, almost all of which were sold in China. India is the company’s next biggest market where it sold over a million phones in the last six months since its entry into the market.
The privately held company recently raised $1.1 billion in fresh funding, at a valuation of $45 billion, making it one of the most valuable technology companies today.