Feature Articles

A closer look at the Xiaomi Mi Note and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus

By Ian Chee, Alvin Soon & James Lu - 20 Jan 2015

A closer look at the Xiaomi Mi Note and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus

 

Xiaomi's newly announced Mi Note phablet has drawn a lot of comparisons to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus (not least from Xiaomi itself). But are those comparisons warranted? We've already done our hands-on with the Mi Note, but now we'll be taking a closer look to see how it holds up to scrutiny when placed side by side with the iPhone 6 Plus.

Both phones are very similar in size and shape, with almost identically-shaped rounded corners. Impressively, on top of its slightly taller display, the Mi Note also boasts slightly thinner bezels.

While the Mi Note tapers at the sides, its top and bottom edge are flat unlike the 6 Plus, which has a uniform rounded edge all the way around.

Here you can see the amount of taper on the side of the Mi Note, as well as the chamfered edges previously championed by Apple, but now discarded for the 6 and 6 Plus.

The Mi Note's speaker is more centrally located, and resembles the old iPhone 5s speaker with its grille of dots. Another difference between the two is the location of the headphone port: On the 6 Plus, it's at the bottom with the Lightning port, whereas on the Mi Note it can be found at the top.

The location of the volume controls are switched on the Mi Note and 6 Plus. On the left side of the Mi Note, you'll only find the Micro and Nano dual-SIM card slot.

On the right side of the Mi Note, you'll find both the power button and volume rocker. As you can see, the buttons on the Mi Note bear a striking resemblance to Apple's buttons.

While officially the Mi Note is slightly thinner than the 6 Plus, the 0.15mm difference is almost imperceptible, although the exaggerated taper on the side of the Mi Note does sometimes create the illusion that it is thinner.

Viewed from the side, it's even more apparent that the difference in thickness is negligible.

As Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun was eager to point out, one of the Mi Note's crowning achievements is its camera module, which sits flush to the phone, unlike the 6 Plus' protruding camera bump.

Xiaomi has clearly raised its game with the Mi Note. The premium phablet looks just as good as Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, which we rated as one of the best built and designed phablets of 2014. In a few areas - bezel size, camera bump, screen size - the Mi Note actually outdoes the 6 Plus, an impressive feat. Of course, design and build is just one aspect of a phone's overall rating. How will the Mi Note perform in other areas? You'll have to wait for our full review, coming soon, to find out!