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Xiaomi Mi Note review

8.7/10 AVG.
RATING



8.7/10
Informr score
The Xiaomi Mi Note currently has an Informr score of 8.7 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 3 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Premium design and build quality
  • Fast performance
  • HD display
  • Excellent camera quality

What's bad

  • Glass back panel attracts smudges
  • Not available in all countries

The Xiaomi Mi Note is the company's flagship phablet and competes directly with the likes of Apple and Samsung. Reviewers note that it bears design hallmarks of both manufacturers – the metal frame of the iPhone 5 and curved back of the Galaxy Note Edge. Both the front and back of the device is protected by Gorilla Glass completing the premium look of the Mi Note. At 0.3 inches thick it is also thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus and weighs a scant 156 gram; almost too light and thin for some critics. The only niggle experts had with this was that the back panel attracted smudges. Besides this, however, they applaud its build quality and overall design calling it "gorgeous."

There's another area where the Mi Note emulates the iPhone – the UI. When experts compared them side-by-side the cosmetic similarities were obvious from the icons to the drop down menu. It does, however, run on Android so it has access to the Google Play store as well as its own Mi app store.

Despite its low cost, the Mi Note doesn't make any concessions in the hardware department. The most obvious feature is its 5.7-inch, 1080p LCD display. Critics had no problem with the screen sharpness, color balance or viewing angles. Sitting behind the screen is a 2.5GHz quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM. It offers two performance modes – balanced and performance – with balanced as the default. Based on benchmark tests, balanced mode throttled the CPU maxing it out at 1.7GHz while performance offers unhindered CPU and RAM usage. Regardless of what mode they used, experts didn't notice any slowdowns when swiping through the OS or performing basic task and even playing some casual games. The balanced mode is meant to get more life out of the 3,000mAh battery and, in fact, lasted experts a full day of moderate usage.

The Mi Note comes equipped with a 13MP rear camera and optical image stabilization technology. When put to the test, experts were able to take detailed and color accurate images in almost every lighting situation, though they point out it loses some detail in night time shots. Still, they commend its performance with Ars Technica stating, "There is nothing to complain about in the camera department."

Reviewers highly recommend the Xiaomi Mi Note for those that can get their hands on it. CNET states, "The Xiaomi is one heck of a phone…I'm very much taken with its design, performance and features." IB Times adds, "The Xiaomi Mi Note is what I wish the iPhone 6 looked like."


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.5 GHz
Screen Size
5.7"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Pocketnow

The Xiaomi Mi Note has top quality design and feel, but the insides don't live up to the outsides.

- Adam Doud, Pocketnow
Android Authority

This device certainly proves that Xiaomi is more than capable of competing in the over crowded US smartphone market, and it is actually quite unfortunate that it won’t be officially available there. All in all, the Xiaomi Mi Note is one very solid device from hardware to software, and is one o...

- Lanh Nguyen, Android Authority
GSMArena

The Xiaomi Mi Note set out to be an affordable flagship. When such claims are coming from China, the flagship is usually the less credible part of the phrase. Xiaomi are by no means the first to put quality ahead of affordability. Take a look at a Oppo's latest N3 and R5. The Mi Note isn't cheap and...

- GSMArena team, GSMArena


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.7"

The Xiaomi Mi Note's screen size is 5.7 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.5 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad core 2.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16/32 GB

Internal memory is 16/32 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
3000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3000 mAh battery. Xiaomi's performance ratings are 871 minutes, 379 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Mi Note Specs

Overview
Release date January 27, 2015
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
2100/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Yes
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 4.4 KitKat

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad core 2.5 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 392 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 379 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 871 minutes
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.5 x 7.8 x 0.7 cm (6.1 x 3.1 x 0.3 in)
Weight 156 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 386 pixels
Size 5.7 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Unknown
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer Unknown
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Multi-shot, Panorama, Smile detection, Burst mode
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, FLV
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Unknown
Calendar Yes
World Clock Unknown
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Unknown
Timer Unknown
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Unknown
Weather Yes
Stocks Unknown
Maps Yes
NotePad Unknown
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
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