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Mi Note 2 first impression: Xiaomi’s Galaxy Note 7, but better

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Xiaomi’s Mi Note 2 is a phone that will remind you of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. That’s what I thought the moment I tried it today when the Chinese smartphone maker launched the Mi Note 2 at an event in Beijing. As ironic this is, the fact of the matter is that Samsung’s phone is out of the equation and Xiaomi’s is seemingly quite fantastic at first brush.

Xiaomi has crafted an incredible phone which has 3D glass curves on both the front and back much like Samsung’s Note 7, but done in a more tasteful way. These phones are also super slim at 7mm and yet, you get a 4,070mAh battery which is one of the biggest I have seen on a smartphone leave alone on a phone of this size.

The screen looked quite delightful. It has a 5.7-inch 1080p resolution which according to the company ensures provides the perfect balance between battery life and legibility. It is an OLED screen just like Samsung’s which means that it bends on the sides and joins the frame. It is a nice screen.

The frame itself is made from series 7000 aluminium and the back looked quite gorgeous in its glass finish. The phone felt handy and it was quite comfortable for a phone of its size. That being said, I found the back to be a magnet for fingerprints. Heck, Xiaomi had a person in the experience zone dedicated to cleaning it.

On the back the phone has a 22.56-megapixel camera with a f/2.0 aperture. The phone lacks optical image stabilisation, but leverages Qualcomm’s Electronic Image Stabilisation. This works for video, but for stills there’s no solution, but Xiaomi claims that the phone has big 1.55um pixels which compensate for light sensitivity.

The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 821 processor coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. The phone feels very responsive and like one may imagine, the performance is right up there with phones likes the Google Pixel.

It also comes with a new type of GPS called SAP which works in places like tunnels. On the front, the phone also has an 8-megapixel camera which has auto focus and in the couple of photos I took, it did perform quite adequate.

The top of line version of the phone also supports 37 LTE bands which is the most in a smartphone. It also adds support for HD audio at 24 bits, which is another nice touch.

Overall, this is the phone one would’ve thought the Galaxy Note 7 to be. In this case, I find the Mi Note 2 be a little bit better than what Samsung created, but without the water resistance and a price that’s much lesser. Unfortunately, it is such a pity that the phone isn’t coming to India.

Disclosure: Xiaomi paid for the writer’s travel and stay in Beijing

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