Xiaomi Mi Note 2 key features

  • Dual-curved 5.7″ OLED display of 1080p resolution; 386ppi
  • Snapdragon 821 chipset: quad-core CPU (2×2.35GHz + 2×2.2GHz), Adreno 530 GPU
  • 22.5MP f/2.0 main camera with hybrid phase-detect autofocus; 2160p at 30fps video recording
  • 8MP f/2.0 front-facing camera; 1080p at 30fps video recording
  • MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 64GB of built-in storage, 4GB of RAM; 128GB/6GB version available too
  • Cat.12 4G LTE (600Mbps); Dual-SIM; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.2; NFC; GPS, GLONASS and Beidou; IR blaster
  • Dual-microphone active noise canceling
  • 4,070mAh non-removable battery, fast charging
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Introduction

The Note is dead, long live the Note! Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard that the Samsung Galaxy Note7 is no more, but Xiaomi has a Note of its own to bring phablet lovers some solace this season – the Xiaomi Mi Note 2

The high-end Xiaomi Mi Note 2 from China will inevitably be compared to its Samsung namesake – you can’t escape that with the Note moniker and a dual-curved screen. Sure, those haven’t been exclusive to Samsung phones for a while now (wink, vivo Xplay 5), but they still manage to stand out and get us excited. Less thrilling is the resolution, but more on that later.

Curves and edges aside, the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is a true flagship and in the fall of 2016 that mandates a Snapdragon 821 chipset. We have the ‘low-spec’ 4GB/64GB version, but there’s another one with 6 gigs of RAM and twice the storage. Even 64GB is plenty though, so we won’t hold the lack of a microSD slot against the Note

Design

If you miss the design of the Galaxy Note 7, the good news is that the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 features the same design, albeit while not being as refined as what was seen with the former. For example, the bezels along the sides of the display are thicker, making for a phone that is wider overall, and there is a much clearer and sharper distinction with the way the glass and metal meet on the sides.

 

Display

The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 comes with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, but unlike other flagship smartphones, Xiaomi decided to stick with a 1080p resolution instead of Quad HD. The screen is definitely sharp enough though, and unless you’re planning to use the phone for VR, you won’t even notice the difference, and you get the inherent benefits of an AMOLED screen, including deep blacks, high contrast, and punchy colors.

Performance and User Interface

Precious few devices on the market today of Xiaomi Mi Note 2 have both a Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821 processor and a 1080p display. Most devices that use that processor employ a 2K display (2560 x 1440 or thereabouts). With a 1080p display and one of the best (and most optimized for all things mobile) processor on the market today, this device should have optimum processing power and battery life.

Battery optimizations – particularly with the latest Android optimizations with Doze in Marshmallow make for an intensely long battery life. Most of the extraordinary battery life you see here comes from having very little time with the display on during this test period and no SIM card in.

With the SIM card in, display on, and regular use in play, this device lasts right around the same length of time of basically every other device with this display size from the past year. That means around a day and a half on a single full battery charge.

camera

The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 comes with a 22.56 MP rear camera with a f/2.0 aperture, and a 8 MP front-facing unit. Unfortunately, there is no OIS to support the primary shooter, but it does at the very least have some form of electronic image stabilization.

The camera application is straightforward and simple to use, and comes with a handful of shooting modes like panorama, a group selfie mode, beautify, and a manual mode that gives you more granular control over certain aspects. The camera app is nothing out of the ordinary, but it could use some improvements. It is geared more towards the portrait orientation, so when shooting in landscape, only some of the UI elements rotate, while a good majority stay locked in portrait, which can be a touch annoying.

Wrap-up

If we were getting this Xiaomi Mi Note 2 for the price it goes for in China, converted directly to USD, it’d be a real deal. As it stands, we still need to go through 3rd-party retailers to get the device. I mean the standard 128GB version in China, which can be found for around RMB 3299 which is around $480 USD, compared to the version we have. We have the version called Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Global.

 

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Xiaomi Mi Note 2

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