Tech: Still Looking For Note 7 Replacement? Xiaomi's New Phone Offers The Look, Feel, With Much More Power
Chinese phone companies have developed a reputation, especially to western tech media, for its tendency to “borrow” hardware design cues from iPhones. While that stigma is not unearned, it’s a bit dated because some Chinese phonemakers, chief among them Huawei, have developed its own design language and style. (Conversely, when Apple or Google borrow ideas from Chinese companies, western media seem oblivious – just check out all the pieces gushing about the new iPhone’s dual-camera “bokeh” trick, or Google Pixel’s “swipe on the fingerprint sensor to pull down notifications” shortcut … Huawei’s P9 offered those things half a year ago).
Plus, copying Apple is old news. Some Chinese companies have moved to Samsung for inspiration. Case in point: Xiaomi is set to announce a new phone on October 25, and as usual, all the key information about the device has leaked on Chinese social media, including its looks.
It’s a sexy device, right? Curved screen and curved back meeting in the middle for a symmetrical aesthetic. 5.7-inch quad HD AMOLED display. Very slim bezels. Sleek all-black look. Yes, the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 looks very similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
This is a good thing to most of consumers who really miss the Note 7′s excellent design. Digging inside, however, and it’s clear Mi Note 2 will offer superior specs to the Note 7 with additional features, like dual-cameras.
According to leaks on Weibo, the top-of-the-line model of the Mi Note 2 will be powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor and 6GB of RAM, both a step up from the Note 7′s internals. It will also offer force touch/3D touch/whatever you want to call it, hi-fi audio DAC and an iris scanner. The phone will run the latest version of Xiaomi’s own MIUI software, and while it’s a Chinese Android skin, I found it quite pleasant to use on the Mi 5.
The Mi Note 2 (probably) won’t come with a stylus, but otherwise, this phone seems to bring everything the Note 7 did and then some. And the cherry on top? The phone is rumored to be priced at 2,799 rmb for the base (64GB storage, 4GB RAM) and 2,999 rmb for the top model (128GB storage, 6GB RAM). That’s just $415 and $445 respectively. The Note 7 sold for $850.
Like I’ve been saying all year, Chinese smartphones have gotten so good, and so cheap in 2016, it’s become impossible to justify paying $800-plus for Apple/Google/Samsung phones unless you really can’t accept any other brand but the big three.