Xiaomi's Version Of iPhone 6 Plus Is Lighter And Thinner With A Protection Plan

Apple, you better watch your back.

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They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and for Apple, they have to look over their shoulder now with Xiaomi hot on their heels

Xiaomi has always come under criticism for having designs closely resembling Apple products but they aim to change that perception this year

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By now, it’s obvious that Xiaomi is heavily inspired by Apple’s product design. The Chinese company’s founder even dresses up like Steve Jobs at events and uses the “One More Thing” presentation gimmick.

The company is often called the “Apple of the East”, and has been said to copy the company’s designs. But its new phones avoid the trap of aping Apple, and look more like an Android device.

The Chinese manufacturer has launched two brand new models for the year, the Mi Note and the Mi Note Pro and claims that they are better than the iPhone in terms of size and weight

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Xiaomi on Thursday unveiled the Mi Note, a 5.7-inch premium smartphone that company CEO Lei Jun specifically identified as slimmer and lighter than Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, while boasting a larger screen, Engadget reported.

Xiaomi is now going right after the iPhone 6 Plus with its very own high-end phablet, the 5.7-inch Mi Note. While kicking off today's keynote, CEO Lei Jun emphasized that his 6.95mm-thick, 161g-heavy phone is ever so slightly slimmer and lighter than Apple's offering.

Both phones sport a 5.7-inch screen. However, there are a few differences between the Mi Note and the Mi Note Pro: the type of processor used and the amount of RAM.

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But even without the cheeky comparison, the dual-SIM Mi Note is already impressive enough, given that it's mostly wrapped in Gorilla Glass 3 on both the front ("2.5D" curved) and back ("3D" curved), with an aluminum alloy frame exposed in the middle.

This aptly named device packs a large 5.7-inch screen, but you get two options for the resolution. The base model, due January 27th, has a Sharp / JDI 1080p (386 ppi) NEGA LCD, which boasts a 95 percent NTSC color gamut, improved outdoor performance and lower power requirements. The "Pro" model, slated for end of March, has the sharper Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440; 515 ppi) panel, though the company didn't go into detail about its other specs.
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The 6.95mm-thick smartphone features a 5.7-inch 1080p display, shrouded in gently curved glass (in fact, Xiaomi refers to the Gorilla glass covering the front of the phone as "2.5D"). Inside, there's a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 3000 mAh battery and a 13-megapixel camera.

But Xiaomi was quick to add that the company is coming out with an even more powerful version, called the Mi Note Pro. That device will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit processor and 4GB of RAM, in addition to having a 2K display.

Another major difference is the price. The Xiaomi Mi Note retails around RM1,322 while the Mi Note Pro comes at RM1,894 after conversion.

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Speaking of which, Xiaomi is sticking with its unbeatable value formula, offering the Mi Note for 2,299RMB or about RM1,322 in our money for the 16GB version. The 64GB version costs 2,799RMB or about RM1,607. The devices will be released in China first on January 27 and other countries later.

There are two options for the Mi Note: a lower-resolution model, on sale Jan. 27, and a premium resolution phone (Mi Note Pro), on sale by late March. Off-contract, the base phone starts at 2,299RMB (RM1,322) for the 16GB model, while the Mi Note Pro has 64GB of storage and is 3,299RMB (RM1,894). The Mi Note Pro is the most expensive phone ever sold by Xiaomi, which first became popular for making well-received phones at affordable prices.

The Mi Note Pro is further pimped out with a gold coloured metal frame. The Mi Note Pro retails for 3,299RMB or about RM1,894.

Apple is known for their after sales service, notably Apple Care. Xiaomi takes it one step further by introducing an all-round protection plan for your phone. For just a small fee, Xiaomi will replace your phone should the screen break or if it dies by water.

AppleCare does not cover accidental damage such as drops, spills, or liquid immersion.

Every iPhone comes with one year of hardware repair coverage through its limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary support. AppleCare+ for iPhone extends your coverage to two years from the original purchase date of your iPhone1 and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a $79 service fee plus applicable tax.2

AppleCare+ provides repair or replacement coverage, both parts and labor, from Apple-authorized technicians. Coverage includes the following:

- Your iPhone

- Battery

- Included earphones and accessories

- Coverage for up to two incidents of accidental damage,2 each subject to a $79 service fee plus applicable tax

At the same time, Xiaomi is unique in being probably the only manufacturer that offers a comprehensive device protection program. For 199RMB/year (about RM114), Xiaomi will replace your Mi Note if its damaged be it broken glass panels or death by water.

As for the largely glass-covered body, even though Xiaomi showed off a video clip of the phone passing its steel ball drop test and free fall test, the company is still offering a CN¥199 annual insurance to cover screen damage plus glass damage for both sides of the phone, as well as accidental liquid damage for the clumsy users. Having said that, we're still skeptical about how tough the glass is in real life; we'll believe it when we see the Mi Note drop on a corner without cracking.

The Mi Note comes with a decent 13MP camera at the back while the front camera sports a 4MP "large-pixel" camera. They even made sure the camera does not protrude out like the iPhone 6 Plus.

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The cameras aren't too shabby, either. The main camera is a 13-megapixel f/2.0 module with optical image stabilization plus dual-color LED flash by Philips, coupled by a 4MP "large-pixel" front-facing camera that's said to be the same as HTC's efficient UltraPixel imager. With the latter, we're certainly seeing a trend here.

During this section of the presentation, Lei didn't waste another chance to poke fun at Apple by pointing out that the Mi Note's main camera is flush with the phone's body. What he didn't admit, however, was that the 8-megapixel image sensor on the iPhone 6 series has large 1.5-micron pixels (UltraPixel's are 2 micron), whereas the 13-megapixel counterpart on the Mi Note is stuck with a less-efficient 1.12-micron size.

In addition, the phone has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 3000 mAh battery, and MIUI, Xiaomi’s own version of Android. Built with 4G LTE connectivity, the device also has slots for two SIM cards.

In the camera department, you get a 13MP camera at the rear with optical image stabilisaion coupled to a 6-element f/2.0 lens. There’s also a Phillips-sourced dual-tone flash. The front camera is a 4MP unit with a 2 micron/pixel sensor that Xiaomi claims is larger than the average pixel size in a smartphone. The larger pixel size help capture more light and in theory, should produce better pictures under low light conditions with less noise.

For those looking forward to get the phone, Xiaomi has confirmed that the Mi Note will be hitting Malaysian shores in the second quarter of the year

Xiaomi Malaysia has confirmed that the Mi Note is coming to Malaysia in Q2 2015

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