Xiaomi Unveils The Mi Note 2, The Mi MIX Concept Phone and Mi VR
It has been an eventful day for Xiaomi, as the company took the wraps off several products at an event in Beijing. While the Mi Note 2 is what most people were expecting out of the event, Xiaomi did surprise all by releasing their own VR headset called the Mi VR, and unveiling a “concept phone” called the Mi MIX.
Starting off with the Mi Note 2, the device is just about everything that the leaks built it up to be (but with a single rear camera). The Mi Note 2 builds up on the curved glass back of its predecessor Mi Note, and brings the curves onto the front sides as well by making use of a flexible OLED display. The mid-frame of the device is made of aluminum, and the back is made of glass.
When it comes to specs, the Mi Note 2 comes with a 5.7″ FHD OLED display, curved on the sides. The device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC along with the Adreno 530 GPU. The device comes in two RAM (LPDDR4) + Storage (UFS 2.0) variants: 4GB + 64GB and 6GB + 128GB. There is a third variant as well, which is called the Global 4G+ variant although its memory specs are the same as the top variant. There is no support for microsd expandability on the device, though.
For extras, the Mi Note 2 has support for Qualcomm AQSTIC on-chip decoding with support up to 192kHz/24bit decoding. There is full NFC support, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm headphone jack, fingerprint sensor (integrated on the home button on the front) and an IR Blaster, among other features. The Mi Note 2 also has a USB Type-C port, and a 4,070 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support.
For the camera, the Mi Note 2 bears a single rear camera, with the 23MP Sony Exmor RS IMX318 sensor with an aperture of f/2.0 and support for EIS and PDAF. The front camera on the Mi Note 2 is the 8MP Sony Exmor RS IMX268 with an aperture of f/2.0.
The most interesting part about the Mi Note is the band support on the device. The device supports dual nano-SIMs, but 4G LTE is supported in the first SIM slot only. This is the first Xiaomi device with Global network support as it has support for 37 global bands, including 22 for LTE. However, although this information is not confirmed from Xiaomi, we suspect that the global band support is present on the aptly named “Global 4G+” variant only.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will be available in Silver and Black colors. The Mi Note 2 will cost CNY 2,799 (~$415) for the base 4GB/64GB variant, CNY 3,299 (~$490) for the 6GB/128GB variant and CNY 3,499 (~$520) for the Global 4G+ variant.
The question then remains, when can you buy the Xiaomi Mi Note 2? The Mi Note 2 will be available from the first of November in China. Availability and pricing of the device beyond China is unknown at this stage. Since the band support on this device is rightfully suited for using around the world, we strongly suspect that this will be the first flagship smartphone that Xiaomi launches in the USA.
The Mi MIX is an interesting device. Xiaomi is calling this a “concept phone”, which is a very curious term to use for a device that is actually in production and scheduled to go on sale in the very near future, and that too, at a price that is not obscenely expensive.
Xiaomi is using the Mi MIX as a ground for giving consumers a taste of the innovation processes that they are undertaking. The Mi MIX is a virtually bezel-less device, with a 6.4″ edgeless FHD OLED display with an astonishing 91.3% screen-to-body ratio. The device frame and even the buttons are made of ceramic. The device also does not use any adhesives on the inside, relying on just connectors to hold everything in place.
Since the front is almost entirely dominated by the display, Xiaomi had to move around or innovate around a few parts like the front camera, the proximity sensor and the earpiece. The earpiece has been removed in favor of a Pizoelectric ceramic unit, that converts the sound into mechanical energy which the phone’s metallic frame converts into sound. The infrared-based proximity sensor is replaced by an ultrasonic proximity sensor. The front camera module has been shrunk down and moved to the bottom right corner, though we doubt the practicality of the positioning.
The Mi MIX also gets rid of hardware-based keys in favor of software keys. The fingerprint scanner finds its place on the back of the device. The usual extras with Xiaomi flagships, like the IR Blaster, full NFC support, USB Type-C port and the 3.5mm headphone jack are also present on the MIX.
On the spec ends, the Xiaomi Mi MIX is no slouch either, which is what happens otherwise with niche and unique devices. The device brings the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC and comes in two RAM (LPDDR4) + Storage (UFS 2.0) variants — 4GB + 128GB and 6GB + 256GB. There’s a hefty 4,400 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support. The camera setup consists of a 16MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera.
The Mi MIX comes only in black color, and will be available for purchase in China from 4th November. The device will cost CNY 3,499 (~$520) for the base 4GB + 128GB variant, while the higher-end 6GB + 256GB variant will cost CNY 3,999 (~$590). The higher-end variant will also come with an 18k gold trim around the camera lens and fingerprint sensor. There is no word on global availability, and since this is a “concept” device, we would not be surprised if this remains restricted to China.
Xiaomi also made use of the event to unveil the second gen of their own VR headset. Dubbed the Mi VR, the headset builds up on the Mi VR Play by adding in a built-in dedicated motion sensor. The device also comes with a 9-axis inertial motion controller.
The Mi VR is compatible with the Mi Note 2, Mi 5s, Mi 5s Plus and the Mi 5. The device is priced at CNY 199, which comes out to be around $30.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 and the Xiaomi Mi MIX were the main highlights of the event. We are particularly excited about the Mi Note 2, thanks a lot to its global band support. With LeEco already entering the US market recently, it was just a matter of time before Xiaomi rolled up its sleeves.
What are your thoughts on the new Xiaomi launches? Do you look forward to purchasing any of these devices? Let us know in the comments below!