Interface and Functionality

The simple and elegant layout is something to like about MIUI 6.0, but it lacks the diversity that power users crave.

Since the last time we’ve encountered a Xiaomi smartphone, there hasn’t been any notable changes with the experience – albeit, the Mi Note Pro is lucky enough to be in Lollipop territory now. At the core of it all, we’re still exposed to the MIUI 6.0 skin, which is undoubtedly an experience that few folks in the US are accustomed to using. MIUI is one of the most profound and deep attempts at customizing the stock Android interface to the point where it’s hard to recognize you have Android running on the phone. Honestly, though, our first impression tells us that it tries to emulate iOS with its icon-filled homescreen.

Some of the signature features include the fact that it is well optimized to run, with smooth, good-looking animations, extensive customization options, and support for themes. With Xiaomi’s clear focus on the Chinese market, though, the nagging question about the MIUI skin is whether it’s well-adapted for use to those outside of China. The answer is ‘not really’. That’s because the experience is riddled with some bloatware tailored for the Chinese market.

Yes, the simple and elegant design language of the experience is favorable on so many levels, but it doesn’t have a deeper roster of features to sell it to power users.

Processor and Memory

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 chip shines brightly with the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro.

Just like its decision to go with Quad-HD resolution with its screen, in order to remain relevant, the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro makes for a good argument with its 64-bit based octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994 SoC accompanied with a generous 4GB of RAM and the Adreno 430 GPU. It’s almost insane at how smoothly it performs when navigating around the platform, which is a testament to the optimizations done to the software. Over on the gaming side, it’s a champ at graphics processing, where it accrues slightly more frames than the Note5 in the GFXBench tests. It just means that this thing will handle even today’s most demanding titles out there.

The lack of a microSD card isn’t anything new nowadays, but it’s comforting to know that Xiaomi is generous enough to provide an ample 64GB of internal storage with the Mi Note Pro.

AnTuTu Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 53798
Samsung Galaxy Note5 67207
LG G4 50330
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 2494
Samsung Galaxy Note5 2532
LG G4 2369
Vellamo Browser Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 4737
Samsung Galaxy Note5 5476
LG G4 3948
Sunspider Lower is better
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 663.9
Samsung Galaxy Note5 677.7
LG G4 730.2
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 365.2
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 35
Samsung Galaxy Note5 37
LG G4 25
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 40.9
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 17
Samsung Galaxy Note5 15
LG G4 9.4
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 18.4
Basemark OS II Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 1614
Samsung Galaxy Note5 1765
LG G4 1549
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 1382
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 1176
Samsung Galaxy Note5 1431
LG G4 1112
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 1625
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro 4256
Samsung Galaxy Note5 4717
LG G4 3559
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 2918

Internet and Connectivity

You can choose to go with Xiaomi’s stock web browser, but you’re better off just downloading Chrome for that richer experience. As with most high-end phones, the Mi Note Pro is a champ when it comes to surfing the web with its buttery smooth navigation, tight page rendering, and lickety-split page loads. Add to that, the ample amount of real estate and detail dished up by its Quad-HD display ensures it delivers the goods with the experience.

A global traveler it is, thanks in part to its GSM radios and support for LTE-A Cat 9, the only limitation here is the lack of CDMA support, which means that you’ll be out of luck trying to get it to work with Verizon or Sprint here in the US. Connectivity-wise, it’s packed with all the essentials, such as aGPS with Glonass, Bluetooth 4.1, and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, but it’s rather disappointing that NFC isn’t part of its arsenal.

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