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Xiaomi Mi Note Pro review: Flagship phablet gets even better with souped-up specs

"Laurene MacCullagh" (2020-03-10)


81e3ba467e7dad4de5614f272fd0e0c12e05b68bid="cnetReview" section="rvwBody" data-component="indepthReview"> Despite being cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus -- while sporting comparable specs -- the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is one of the best flagship handsets in the market today. It's just too bad that it won't be available to everyone.

The earlier Mi Note was a clear challenge to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus, and while aesthetically the Pro looks exactly the same, it packs current-generation hardware including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and a sharp 2K display. There's also the dual-SIM LTE capabilities, 64GB of onboard storage and a whopping 4GB of RAM to round off this great phone.

Factor in a 13-megapixel camera with built-in optical image stabilization that takes great pictures and a trim frame that's slightly thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus, and Xiaomi easily has a winner here. The phone is priced at 2,999 yuan, which converts to roughly $483, £310 and AU$630, a tad more expensive compared with the normal Mi Note, but that's to be expected with the upgraded specs.

As one of the leading smartphone makers in China, the five-year old Xiaomi has surprised many with its affordable but high-quality handsets. The company sells its phones almost at cost, allowing it to quickly gain market share at the expense of some profit. This strategy, as well as relying on word of mouth and flash sale tactics, has led Xiaomi to grow to become the world's most valuable startup with a valuation of $45 billion, besting even companies such as Uber.

The Mi Note Pro is currently on sale in China, but the only chance anyone outside of China has of getting one will be through third-party resellers -- and you'll have to be prepared to pay a premium. Because it's a phone made for China, it does not include pre-installed Google services, so you'll have to to do some work if you want apps like Gmail on the phone.

We could eventually see the Mi Note officially hit western markets, given how xiaomi mi note 10 has established its first non-Asian market in Brazil, but that time may still be be far off. Don't hold your breath if you're hoping to see the Mi Note Pro officially released in the US or the UK.