This is Xiaomi’s stunning answer to the iPhone 6 Plus

Is the Mi Note Xiaomi's prettiest smartphone yet? Photo: Xiaomi

Is the Mi Note Xiaomi’s prettiest smartphone yet? Photo: Xiaomi

Xiaomi’s more affordable answer to the iPhone 6 Plus is here, and if you’re shopping for a flagship phablet, you should be interested. Not only is it incredibly attractive, it’s also thinner than Apple’s offering, and it’s packing some impressive specifications. It also starts at just $370.

At this point, we know Xiaomi’s devices are going to be heavily influenced by Apple’s, so it should be no surprise to you that the Mi Note takes some design cues from the iPhone. It’s not a complete ripoff, though; Xiaomi has also introduced some of its own design innovations, and in some ways, the Mi Note is actually better than the iPhone.

Take its rear-facing camera, for example: Xiaomi was keen to highlight during the Mi Note’s unveiling that unlike Apple’s latest smartphones, the Mi Note’s camera does not protrude out of its body — it’s completely flush with the back of the device. And yet, the Mi Note is thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus at just 6.95mm.

Xiaomi has also made the back of the device out of a curved panel of “3D” Gorilla Glass, which wraps around at the edges and looks fantastic. You’ll probably need a case to ensure it doesn’t shatter when you drop it, though. On the front of the Mi Note, you’ll find “2.5D” Gorilla Glass, which is slightly curved at the edges, like the glass on the latest iPhones.

Beneath that glass, the Mi Note has a 5.7-inch 1080p display, a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHz, Adreno 330 graphics and 3GB of RAM. There’s also a 13-megapixel Sony camera on its back that boasts optical image stabilization, a 4-megapixel camera on its front, and a 3,000mAh battery.

The Mi Note will be available in 16GB and 64GB variants, and prices start at 2,299 yuan (approx. $370). If you have a little more to spend, however, you can get the even more powerful Mi Note Pro, which costs 3,299 yuan (approx. $520).

The Mi Note and the Mi Note Pro look the same, but they're different under the hood. Photo: Xiaomi

The Mi Note and the Mi Note Pro look the same, but they’re different under the hood. Photo: Xiaomi

The Pro model looks just like the regular Mi Note, and shares a lot of the same specifications, but it has a sharper Quad HD display, a faster octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor that runs on 64-bit architecture, Adreno 430 graphics, and 4GB of RAM. It also has 64GB of storage as standard, and faster CAT 9 LTE.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking — will these devices be available in the U.S.? Well, Xiaomi is yet to offer anything outside of Asian markets like China and India, but of course, you can still buy its devices from third-party retailers. We’re expecting that situation to remain the same for these handsets, but Xiaomi could surprise us.