The Chinese giant wants in on the beefier flagship race as they release another iteration in the phone cum-tablet category. Do they have another contender? Read on.
The very first thing that will greet you is the curved 3D glass display as branded by Xiaomi. The metal frame is being sandwiched by the front and rear glass panels. Underneath the front protection will be the 5.7-inch OLED display together with the selfie camera, the earpiece, and LED notification light along the forehead and the chin houses the home button underneath the capacitive fingerprint sensor, and interchangeable capacitive back-lit navigation keys. The back portion houses the flush rear camera setup paired with two tone flash and the Mi logo located at the bottom portion.
Power button and volume rocker are found at the right side and on the opposite side is the dual-nano sim tray. Up top sits the headphone jack, noise cancelling mic and and IR blaster while at the bottom is the USB Type C port accompanied by two speaker grilles.
It’s a dated 1080p display but colors are crisp and bright with good contrast ratio. The curvature of the screen aids in viewing from different angles. Viewing in broad daylight won’t be a problem also.
The device feels thin and can fit slightly larger hands easily though finger gymnastics will be a necessary skill to navigate through the expanse of the phone. Often times, both hands will be required to use the phone or utilizing the one-handed mode feature will come in handy. Pun intended.
Xiaomi notes it includes a 22.56MP set at f2.0 aperture with laser autofocus and phase detection.
Shooting outdoor will provide you great quality images with natural colors but outcome will be on the paler side. The same story is shared with indoor shooting with slightly smoother details overall.
The Mi Note 2 is still dependable shooting in low-light being able to maintain sharpness and natural colors with some struggle on white balance.
Night shooting produced decent results with some noticeable grains on the image.
The 8MP f/2.0 aperture selfie shooter has no problem with sufficient lighting capturing accurate colors with smooth details. However, shooting at low-light will be a struggle.
Its main shooter can record up to 4K resolution with support for Electronic Image Stabilization that minimizes blur and video shaking in video processing.
Software & Performance
Equipped with the latest SoC the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core CPU paired with 6GB RAM, expect the device to handle everything from casual browsing to heavy usage.
It runs under Android Marshmallow 6.0 with the MIUI 8.0 skin on top. Xiaomi’s proprietary UI comes with pre-installed Chinese apps and may not have Google Apps pre-installed so manual installation may required if you’re getting your phone from certain regions like directly from China, for example.
The fingerprint sensor performs well with quick and accurate recognition. We got 8 out of 10 tries which should give a good benchmark.
We noticed that sometimes the usable RAM dips to less than 3GB, restarting the device provided a quick solution for the time being reverting it back to 4.3GB available to use. This is mostly likely a bug found in the software so we are hoping Xiaomi could provide a fix in the next update. Which also means that a third of the RAM is dedicated to support the graphic heavy Mi UI.
Battery & Charging
The Mi Note 2 is powered by a 4070mAh battery pack with Quick Charge 3.0 support via USB Type C. Lasting for about 28 hours on our endurance test with about 4 hours screen-on-time, a single charge a day would prove sufficient.
Support for Hi-res audio playback is found on the device using audio accessories via the headphone jack. Various setup for headphones are found on the settings along with the equalizer should you wish to tweak things up a bit. Using its speaker proved to be loud but lacks audio clarity.
Pricing & verdict
Xiaomi MI Note 2 is expected at P28,990 $580 for the version with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage while higher specced version will land at about P34,990 or $700 6GB/128GB variant.
The Mi Note 2 proves to be a good successor to the Mi Note of last year and has improved overall from design down to the performance.
What do you think of the Xiaomi Mi Note 2. Let us know at the comments section below.
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 specs, Philippine price, release date
- Display: 5.7-inch OLED 1080p HD IPS, 386 ppi
- Design: 3D curved glass, aluminum
- Size: 7.6mm, 166g
- CPU: Snapdragon 821, quad-core, 2.35GHz
- GPU: Adreno 530 GPU
- RAM: 4/6GB LPDDR4
- Memory: 64/128GB UFS 2.0
- Camera: 22.56MP f/2.0 IMX 318 sensor, EIS 4K video, PDAF + contrast autofocus
- Selfie: 8MP f/2.0 IMX 268 sensor, autofocus
- Connectivity: Global LTE Support, Dual Nano Sim, WiFi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
- Ports: USB Type-C, 3.5 mm audio jack
- Audio: AQSTIC audio, 192KHz/24-bit Hi-Fi
- Security: Fingerprint sensor
- Battery: 4070mAh with Quick Charge 3.0
- OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with MIUI 8.0
- Color: Piano Black, Glacier Silver
- Release date: October 2016 availability in China, December 2016 in Philippine online stores
- Price: expected at P28,990 $580 for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage while P34,990 or $700 for 6GB/128GB variant.