Xiaomi's new phablet seeks to outdo Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

The new phablet, called the Xiaomi Note, will arrive Jan. 27.

The Xiaomi Note is meant to be thinner and sleaker than the iPhone 6 Plus.

The Xiaomi Note is meant to be thinner and sleaker than the iPhone 6 Plus.

The latest Android handset from Xiaomi aims to overshadow Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, with a sleek design, cutting edge specs, and a starting price at less than half that of the competition.

The Chinese handset maker unveiled its new phablet on Thursday, calling the device the Xiaomi Note. It's meant to compete against other high-end big-screen smartphones. Xiaomi will be offering it in China on Jan. 27 for a starting price of 2299 yuan (US$376), when bought without a contract.

The 5.7-inch device is 0.15 mm thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus, and includes a back covering built out of glass that curves along the edges.

The phone has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1080p display, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.5 GHz processor, along with 3GB of RAM. Built with 4G LTE connectivity and room for two SIM cards, it also has a 3000 mAh battery.

Xiaomi plans to offer a more powerful edition of the phone that will arrive in late March. It will come with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 2K display, all for 3299 yuan.

Xiaomi has announced the new device at a time when phablets have become quite popular in China.

The company already offers another 5.5-inch smartphone, but it is for the lower-end market at a price of 899 yuan. That device has been a top selling phablet in China, which ranks as the world's leading market for big-screen smartphones with displays larger than 5.5-inch, according to research firm IDC.

"China leads the world, with more shipments of phablets than the next ten largest phablet markets combined," said IDC analyst Melissa Chau back in November. Part of the reason is because there are so many phablets in the local market from domestic vendors, and many come at low prices, Chau added.

For example, other big screen phones such as Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus can cost consumers in China over twice the amount of Xiaomi's latest phablet.

Xiaomi's new phablet will help the company grow its ever-increasing market share. In last year's third quarter, it ranked as the world's third largest smartphone vendor, behind Apple and Samsung, according to IDC. The company mainly sells its phones in mainland China, but its been expanding rapidly outside the country to Southeast Asia and India.

Founded in 2010, the Chinese company has been on a quick rise that's disrupted the Chinese smartphone market. It's done this by selling products packed with cutting-edge components, but at low prices that have undercut the competition.

The strategy has paid off, attracting throngs of devoted fans in China while making it one of the hottest tech firms on the scene. But the company has also drawn controversy for allegedly copying designs from Apple and other electronics vendors.

For instance, the company's other flagship smartphone, the Mi 4, uses a metal frame that has drawn comparison to the aluminum design found in Apple's older iPhone 5.

In its defense, Xiaomi has said that all tech companies are constantly borrowing ideas from their competitors, including Apple.

"Point me to a product in our industry, a new product that came out that had completely unique design language. You're not going to be able to find one," said Xiaomi vice president Hugo Barra back in October.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphonesAndroidconsumer electronicsXiaomi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?