Announced alongside its much more powerful brethren, the Mi Note Pro, the Mi Note actually made its debut here in Malaysia in January this year. However, instead of being released say in February or March, it only arrived six months later. I can only guess why it took so long, but nonetheless I’m still glad it’s still made its way here. Definitely one of the company’s best smartphone offerings to date. While this review may seem a little late and if you’re worried that the Mi Note is now “outdated” compared to the other alternatives available, it actually isn’t. Read on to find out why.
Design & Build
Much like a certain Korean branded smartphone that went from plastic to metal and glass, the Mi Note made me scream out “Yes!” as it no longer uses polycarbonate for its body. I’m not saying that there was anything wrong with phones made out of polycarbonate, but to me a flagship just needs to feel like how the Mi Note does, which is solid and at the same time exudes style and class.
Despite its 5.7-inch display the Mi Note still didn’t feel too uncomfortable in my very small hands. It could be due to its super thin 6.95mm body. It seems like with the Mi Note, Xiaomi decided to go for a minimalistic look and lo and behold, has made the phone very elegant. The aluminium sides also add to that elegance and of course makes it easier to hold.
Speaking of holding the phone, the one complaint we do have with the Mi Note is with its 3D back glass panel. While it makes the phone look good, it does make it extremely slippery in the hands or even on slanted surfaces. I’ve even had the phone slip and fall from tables that looked flat. So with that in mind, it is best you purchase a protective case for it, or try to get your hands on the one with the bamboo back (or find a replacement kit for it).
The buttons and ports are pretty much the standard fare on most smartphones these days. You get the capacitive Recent/Menu, Home and Back keys right below the display; you have the very easy-to-reach and tactile Volume rocker and Power/Lock button on the right side. The micro-USB port is placed at the bottom next to the speaker grill and the 3.5mm jack is on the top. Also, not forgetting the 4MP front camera next to the receiver and the 13MP camera on the back with a two-tone LED flash next to it.