Xiaomi isn't particularly known in Western markets, but it's a huge name in China and at some point it's likely to make a move on the rest of the world.
That's worth getting excited about if its latest handset is anything to go by, as the Chinese company has just announced a phablet that on paper should be able to rival the best smartphones around.
That phone is the Xiaomi Mi Note and it comes in two different flavours. The first and less impressive flavour launches in China on January 27 and has a 5.7-inch 1080 x 1920 display, a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM.
It also has a 13MP camera with optical image stabilisation and a dual-LED flash and on the front a 4MP snapper with large 2-micron pixels the equivalent of HTC's UltraPixels. Rounding out the specs there's a 3000mAh battery and 16 or 64GB of storage. Plus as a nice bonus it supports hi-fidelity 24-bit/192 kHz lossless audio.
Those are some solid specs, they're no better than current flagships but then the phone is retailing for just 2,299 RMB (around £243 / $371 / AU$451). But if that doesn't impress you then how about the Mi Note Pro.
This one is due to launch by the end of March (though again only in China for now) and has a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 display, a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, plus the same camera and audio features as the standard Mi Note and costs 2,799 RMB (roughly £297 / $452 / AU$554), so it's still fairly affordable.
Both versions also look the part of a flagship with curved glass panels on the front and back, a 3mm bezel and a metal frame. The only question is whether it will come to the UK and the answer sadly is probably not, but with phones like this hopefully Xiaomi won't wait too much longer to head outside of China.
- The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 suddenly doesn't look quite so impressive.
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