Best phablets: the chief Xiaomi Mi Note and Mi Note Pro competitors

Best phablets: the chief Xiaomi Mi Note and Mi Note Pro competitors
Xiaomi just took to the stage today, and announced the Mi Note phablet and its Pro version. The handsets are chock full of new features, and share an extremely thin 6.95mm body, which is thinner than the Note 4, and even the iPhone 6 Plus. We also get aluminum frame and trimmed bezels with the new Mi Notes, resulting in pretty compact handsets, relative to their screen diagonal.

What's more, if you opt for the Pro version, you will get a Snapdragon 810 chipset and 4 GB of RAM, and it comes with the very generous 64 GB storage out of the box plus dual SIM support, too. The Xiaomi Mi Note will be on preorder January 20th, and start shipping next Friday, January 27th, while the Note Pro is said to be slated for a March release, when the Snapdragon 810 production will typically ramp up. They will cost you the equivalent of 3300 yuan (about $532) for the decked up Note Pro, and the more modest 2299 yuan for the 16 GB Mi Note model (about $372), while $450 will get you the 64 GB Mi Note version - a very competitive pricing scheme as you will see when you compare to the phablets below. In fact, at this price for the basic Mi Note, the only direct alternative is the $350 OnePlus One, if you can find it at this tag, and even that one is less spec'd-out, not featuring superior Hi-fi audio, for instance.

What are there main competitors, though, will the new Mi Note phablets be able to sink or swim with these price tags and specs sheets? You be the judge, as we are listing a few of their chief alternatives together with their current price tags below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ($680)


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the fourth instalment in the Note phablet series. It brings a much sharper, 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560-pixel (Quad HD) display, a powerful Exynos 5433 8-core system chip running at up to 1.9GHz, 3GB of RAM and a plentiful 32GB of internal storage in the basic model. The Note 4 is also the first in the Note series to get optical image stabilization for its main camera. In the Note 4, there is a 16-megapixel cam and a 3.7-megapixel front shooter for more detailed selfies.


Apple iPhone 6 Plus ($750)



The iPhone 6 Plus is Apple's largest smartphone ever, with a 5.5-inch display and a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels -- good for a pixel density of 401 ppi. The rest of the highlights of Apple's first phablet include a 64-bit dual-core A8 processor with an M8 co-processor, an 8-megapixel iSight camera with optical image stabilization and a two-tone LED flash, and, for the first time for an Apple device -- an NFC chip that facilitates mobile payments through the company's Apple Pay service.


Huawei Ascend Mate7 ($520)


The Ascend Mate7 sports a 6-inch display with 1,080 x 1,920 pixels, and has very thin bezels. It runs Android KitKat and offers LTE connectivity. A 5MP front-facing camera, 13MP rear camera, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory are also available. The handset is powered by an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 925 SOC.



Google Nexus 6 ($650)


The Nexus 6 is powered by the Snapdragon 805 system chip, the jewel in Qualcomm’s 32-bit crown. This is the last iteration of Qualcomm’s Krait CPU core architecture, with four cores running at up to 2.65GHz, along with 3GB of RAM, and Adreno 420 graphics. The devices sports a 5.96" AMOLED screen with 1440x2560 pixels resolution, a 13-megapixel shooter capable of capturing 4K videos, a secondary 2-megapixel unit can be found on the front alongside the two front facing speakers.




Huawei Honor 6 Plus ($450)



Huawei's first dual camera phone is a reality - the Honor 6 Plus. The phone flaunts a 5.5" 1080p display, 1.8 GHz octa-core Kirin 925 chipset, which is a brand new silicon from Huawei, with dedicated image signal processor (ISP). The phone sports the hearty 3 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage plus a microSD slot for expansion. All that funky jazz is backed up by a pretty generous 3600 mAh battery unit. The rear camera can take 13 MP shots, but actually consists of two 8 MP sensors with huge 1.85 micron pixel size, and the dedicated ISP is tasked with the merging and interpolation shenanigans. One of the cameras dons f/2.0 aperture and autofocus, while the sidekick sports f/2.4 and a fixed focus setup.



Oppo Find 7 ($550)


Oppo Find 7 is offering resolution of 1440 x 2560 on a 5.5 inch display (protected by Gorilla Glass 3). Powering the device is a quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU along with the Adreno 330 GPU. 3GB of RAM is on board with 32GB of native storage. A 128GB capacity microSD slot is included for those needing more storage. The 13MP rear camera features a IMX214 Sony Sensor with dual LED flash and an aperture of f/2.0 to help capture shots taken in low lighting.


OnePlus One ($350)


Wrapped within a magnesium chassis, the One is a relatively compact 5.5-incher, measuring 152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm, and weighing just 162 grams. The 1080x1920 pixel resolution screen is literally slapped on top of the chassis, so the top and bottom bezels are actually recessed. At the back we have a 13-megapixel Sony IMX214 sensor with 6 lenses and a wide, f/2.0 aperture. Lastly, the OnePlus One is powered by a customized version of CyanogenMod OS, which has been redesigned with a minimal, completely flat UI.


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