Xiaomi launches sleek, powerful alternative to the iPhone 6 Plus
By Stan Schroeder
China's smartphone maker Xiaomi, which recently raised $1 billion at a staggering $45 billion valuation, has launched a new flagship phone — the Mi Note.
It's a 5.7-inch device, making it an obvious competitor to the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, but unlike Xiaomi's iPad-like Mi Pad, it doesn't closely resemble an Apple device. Nevertheless, it's a looker, with a metallic frame squeezed between two panes of curved Gorilla Glass 3.
SEE ALSO: Xiaomi's Mi Pad Is Almost a Spitting Image of the iPad Mini
As Engadget points out, the company doesn't shy from comparing the Mi Note directly to the iPhone 6 Plus, pointing out at its presentation Thursday that it's both slimmer (6.95mm) and lighter (161g) than Apple's premium offering.
The device will come in several variants: The base model, hitting China on Jan. 27, comes with a 1080p screen, a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera (coupled with a 4-megapixel one at the front) and dual-SIM capability.
One feature that stands out is the use of a Sabre DAC (digital-to-analog audio converter) and dual audio amps, promising great audio quality on both small and large headphones.
The premium "Pro" model, due out in March, will be a true powerhouse, with a quad HD, 2,560 x 1,440 pixel screen, a 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM, an Adreno 430 GPU, and 64GB of storage. That model will cost ¥3,299 ($533), while the base model is priced at ¥2,299 ($371).
Xiaomi gave no info about the availability of either device in markets outside of China.