After the success of the Note 1, Xiaomi has finally revealed the Mi Note 2, its entry into the mid-priced smartphone war. Xiaomi’s new phone looks strikingly similar to the Galaxy Note 7. It’s bold, curved edges, camera placement, and button placement all strike home with Samsung’s disastrous flagship. We hope that the Note 2 does not end spectacularly like the Korean phablet. Let’s take a look at it:
The Mi Note 2, as expected of the Chinese company, comes packed with flagship level specs.
- Snapdragon 821
- 4 or 6 GB RAM
- 64 or 128 GB ROM
- 1080 x 1920 AMOLED display
- 4070 mAh battery
- USB Type-C with fast charging
- Rear-facing 22.56 megapixel, f/2.0 camera with a Sony IMX318 sensor
- Front-facing 8 megapixel, f/2.0 camera
- Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
As shown, the phone is expected to offer top-of-the-line performance. It’s also priced like a mid-ranged phone: $413 for the base model, $490 for the premium model, and $516 for the premium model with global bands. The Snapdragon 821 will offer blazingly-fast performance; its quad-core architecture has already shown amazing benchmarks. There is plenty of RAM if you go for any of the models (for reference, the Note 7 had 4GB of RAM). The 5.7-inch flexible OLED display, while nothing special, will be good enough to enjoy clear entertainment and multi-media, but I wouldn’t recommend it for VR if you’re serious about it.
The VR headset Xiaomi is releasing alongside the Mi Note 2 is called the mi VR, a $30 steal that includes motion tracking if you are looking for a casual immersive experience. It includes USB Type-C, which is quickly becoming the norm with Android phones and also packs fast charging, a quickly rising standard in all flagships. It will power a 4070 mAh battery that will surely last for a day’s use (unless Xiaomi’s skin will seriously bug performance). Now, the camera is nothing to laugh at. However, more megapixels do not account for better pictures: the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 both pack 12 MP cameras. Cameras have always tended to be the downfall of mid-range phones. Notable exceptions include the Oneplus 3 and the ZTE Axon 7. The camera quality can only be tested with the release of the unit.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is beefing up to be the direct contender to the Oneplus 3 and the ZTE Axon 7, the clear winners of the 2016 mid-price race so far. The Mi Note 2 offers premium hardware with a price that rivals the previously mentioned smartphones. The camera will be the deciding factor, as the Oneplus 3 has set a very high bar. Should you buy this phone? Well, are you looking for a mid-priced phone that offers top-quality specs? Are you willing to sacrifice software updates? Then yes, this is the phone for you.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Luke Choi