The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is official, and it’s arrived with one main purpose: To take over from the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as the world’s most desirable big-screen smartphone. Xiaomi’s not messing around either, because although the phone won’t be sold outside China for now, it does come with plenty of international connectivity options, so if you decide to import one it should work on your network.
What do you get? The aluminum frame is sandwiched between two curved glass panels. On the front is a flexible 5.7-inch AMOLED screen, ensuring it curves under the glass screen edge, while the same shape is matched on the rear. This time, the glass is polished up for a mirror finish. The phone comes in piano black and glacier silver colors.
Related: Hands-on with the Mi 5 Pro
Powering the Mi Note 2 is a Snapdragon 821 processor, the same type used in Google’s new Pixel phones, but running at a slightly faster speed — 2.35GHz over 2.15GHz. There are three models, differentiated by RAM and storage: The 64GB version comes with 4GB of RAM, while the 128GB version comes with 6GB of RAM. International buyers will have to choose a specific ‘global’ 6GB/128GB Mi Note 2 to get all those LTE bands included.
Rumors leading up to the Mi Note 2’s launch spoke about two models, a Mi Note 2 and a Mi Note 2 Pro, but only a standard Mi Note 2 has been announced at the moment. The curved screen was believed to be a feature of the Pro model, which may mean the rumors were false. Additionally, the Mi Note 2 has a single camera lens, rather than the two rumored for the Pro model. It has 22 megapixels, an f/2.0 aperture, electronic image stabilization for 4K video recording, and a 77-degree wide angle lens. On the front is an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus, a beauty mode, and a mode for taking great group selfies.
Continuing with the specifications, Xiaomi has fitted a large 4070mAh battery with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 system, NFC for mobile payments, Hi-res audio support, and Google Android hidden under the MIUI 8 user interface. The basic 4GB/64GB Mi Note 2 will cost the equivalent of $415, the 6GB/128GB model around $490, and the global version with 6GB/128GB about $520. The release date hasn’t been provided yet, but we’ll keep you updated.
The similarity in design, size, and specification to the Galaxy Note 7 is obvious. Provided another, far less desirable similarity doesn’t show up after a few weeks, the Mi Note 2 may win plenty of fans around the world.
Article originally published on 07-11-2016. Harrison Kaminsky and Lulu Chang contributed to the first version of this report. Updated on 10-25-2016 by Andy Boxall: Rewritten with all official launch details regarding the Mi Note 2