Xiaomi may not like being called a copycat, but it’s hard not to make the association when its latest flagship, Mi Note 2, looks a whole lot like a Samsung Note7 wrapped in the iPhone 7’s signature polished black finish.
But this update to last year’s lauded Mi Note is interesting because it brings, in Xiaomi’s typical fashion, better specs than the competition, and at a lower price.
Unveiling the phone on stage in Beijing on Tuesday, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun showed the curved 5.7″ screen wrapping around both left and right edges of the screen, similar to the now extinct Samsung Note7.
The screen is also pressure sensitive, which Xiaomi calls 3D Touch, and will open the door to developers catering to new gestures, like the iPhone’s Force Touch screen.
The Mi Note 2 is powered by a Snapdragon 821 chip, running at a slightly faster 2.35 Ghz to the Note7’s Snapdragon 820 at 2.15 Ghz. Taking things up a notch, the Mi Note 2 comes with a 128GB storage variant running on 6GB of RAM — similar to a souped up Note7 that was rumoured, but never came to fruition before Samsung declared it dead.
The series 7 aluminium frame Mi Note 2 also comes with a large 4,070 mAh battery (the Note7’s is 3,500 mAh) and quick charging 3.0 technology, which is touted to juice up a phone four times faster than regular chargings speeds.
And in a big leap forward from its previous devices megapixel-wise at least, the Note 2 bumps up the camera to 22.56 megapixels — but it axed optical image stabilisation (OIS) for electronic image stabilisation (EIS).