Update #2: Xiaomi unveils its incredibly low-priced flagship Android phablets. The unoriginally-named Mi Note and Mi Note Pro start at just $376 in Xiaomi's home market, but are packed with high-end hardware and great design.
Apple's equivalent iPhone is 3–4 times as expensive in China. No wonder Xiaomi is already the world's #3 smartphone maker.
In IT Blogwatch, fanboi bloggers battle it out.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Who can break Beijing news? Michael Kan can: [Surely not this gag again? -Ed.]
The latest Android handset from Xiaomi aims to overshadow Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus. ... The Chinese handset maker [is] calling the device the Xiaomi Note. ... In China [it'll have] a starting price of...$376 when bought without a contract.
The phone has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1080p display...a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.5 GHz processor...3GB of RAM...4G LTE connectivity...two SIM card [slots, and] a 3000 mAh battery. ... Phablets have become quite popular in China. [Xiaomi] already offers another 5.5-inch smartphone, but it is for the lower-end market at a price of [$40. It] has been a top selling phablet in China, which ranks as the world’s leading market for big-screen smartphones.
“China leads the world, with more shipments of phablets than the next ten largest phablet markets combined,” said IDC analyst Melissa Chau. ... Many come at low prices, Chau added. MORE
And Jon Russell leaves this here: [*facepalm* -Ed.]
Xiaomi...recently became the world’s most valuable startup...and the comparisons to Apple are likely to flow.
The Xiaomi Mi Note...is the company’s response to Apple’s iPhone 6+. That’s a comparison that Xiaomi positively encouraged [with] CEO and co-founder Lei Jun...pointing out that...the rear-facing camera on Xiaomi’s new device doesn’t stick out...it is just 6.95mm thick and weighs in at 161g...packs a 3,000 mAh battery [and] the device’s glass...is curved on its edges [which] gives the phone more sleek curves.
Jun also...hit back at common refrains in the media that Xiaomi is weak on patents. He claimed that the company filed 2,318 last year. ... In ten years, he said, Xiaomi will hold “tens of thousands of patents,” [and] become the world’s biggest smartphone maker. MORE
While disambiguating, Aloysius Low prices devices: [No; this is your final warning -Ed.]
The new Mi Note is not to be confused with the company's budget friendly line, the Redmi Note, nor the large-screened devices of the same name from...Samsung.
The new phablet, if Lei Jun is to be believed, is set to go head-to-head with Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, at less than half the price. ... Xiaomi claims it has a patent for the rear 13-megapixel camera. ... For the selfie-loving crowd...the front camera uses a 4-megapixel sensor.
Power users...can look forward to the the Mi Note Pro, which will be one of the first few phones to sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor. ... It will retail [at] $530. MORE
So Bogdan Petrovan describes the curved glass for us: [Yes; better; good work -Ed.]
The Mi Note sports beautiful glass on both the front and the back. The protective screen glass...edges are slightly curved, just like on the Note 4 or iPhone 6 Plus. The glass on the back is positively curved however, gently hugging the phone’s sloping side. ... This is the first design with a curved glass back – it sure looks interesting, but durability may take a hit.
Other features...include Hi-Fi audio thanks to a ESS audio decoder and fast charging. ... The Mi Note isn’t a budget affair, and that is visible in everything from specs to design. MORE
Meanwhile, here's this from Richard "likes big phones and he can not" Lai: [You're fired -Ed.]
For once, Xiaomi can legitimately mock Apple. MORE
Update: The aforementioned Michael Kan can has hands-on:
We were quite impressed, especially with its polished and compact design that stands out from other big-screen smartphones. ... Despite the product's low price, Xiaomi hasn't made any major compromises...we found that the device was surprisingly light and thin [and] comfortable to hold.
[It's] 11 grams lighter than the iPhone 6 Plus [and] 0.15 mm thinner. [But] we didn't feel like we were handling an iPhone at all. ... It has a glass back that curves around its edges [which] made the phone feel less like a large block, and easier to grip.
We enjoyed having such a large and sharp screen...but even at full brightness, we found it a little dim at times. [It] was fast and...the software ran without a hitch. ... Clearly, Xiaomi is stepping up with its smartphone design, and its new phablet goes to show that the company is no slouch. MORE
Update 2: Carly Page turns to colorful release date news:
The Mi Note will be available in China from 27 January in black or white. The 16GB model will cost ¥2,299...while the 64GB model will cost ¥2,799.
Unlike the standard version, the Mi Note Pro will be made available in a gold version when it goes on sale in March. It comes with 64GB storage only, and will cost ¥3,299. MORE
You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or email@example.com. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.