Announced back in January of this year, the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro has finally been unveiled. The new smartphone is being pushed as the company’s most advanced smartphone to date, and takes a step further by putting the device at par with some of the leading smartphones available in the market at the moment, such as, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. But, if we know anything about Xiaomi, its more than just pomp and talk for the smartphone manufacturer, which has been one of the major reasons for its success not only in the Chinese market, but in other countries as well. So, what’s so special about the new Xiaomi Mi Note Pro? Well, let’s take a look and find out.

Design
For those who love their numbers, according to mobile tech reviews, the Mi Note Pro is 77.60mm wide and 155.10mm high. It has a depth of 6.95mm and is said to be thinner than your average smartphone. In fact, The Mi Note Pro is the thinnest phone in the market, even after its put into its case, which is a pretty tall claim live up to. But, the Mi Note Pro surprisingly lives up to its claim. The device weighs around 161 grams, and is again surprisingly heavier than the average smartphone of its size, which is mainly due to the much larger battery that has been added to the Mi Note Pro to boost its efficiency.

Xiaomi seems to have done its homework this time around and has designed the Mi Note Pro to look something a lot similar to the iPhone 6 Plus, with its curved glass front and back, along with the rounded edges to make it more visually appealing. The curved glass design that has been used in the Mi Note Pro for the rear resembles the Samsung Note Edge, the only difference being, that it is on the back and not part of the display.

What you get is a really good looking phone, with a top-shelf build quality. The Mi Note Pro is available in two colors, black and white. While the White model manages to stay clean, smudges can easily be seen on the black version, so frequent wiping will be in order to keep your handset clean. That is, if you choose to use the black one.

When it comes to the strength of the glass, it is without a doubt that Xiaomi has gone the extra mile with the new Mi Note Pro. The durability and general toughness of the display glass has been well documented in videos for us to know that it’s far from something fragile. Since we’ve mentioned videos, Xiaomi had recently revealed the strength of the glass display by first dropping the phone from a height of five feet, then dropping ball bearings on the glass. Apart from the tough as nails glass display, the aluminum frame of the Mi Note Pro also does its part in selling the phone as a premium product, which offers a not-shelf feel.

Display
We’ve covered the display already, but that was from the outside. Now, we go in to see what powers the Mi Note Pro. For starters, the Mi Note Pro sports a 5.7-inch display, which makes it a part of the larger size phones, and also makes it qualify as a phablet as well. It also means that the Mi Note Pro could be difficult to use for some users who have small hands, and especially those who want to use the device with one hand. The 5.7-inch display features a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel, which makes it a 2K HD screen. The display is where the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro really shines. The device has a cool 515 ppi, meaning that the phone is around 120% sharper than your average mobile devices that are available in the market.

Hardware
The Mi Note Pro works with an Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip, with a clock speed of 2 GHz, which is pretty impressive for a smartphone of its price point. The Mi Note Pro also comes along with 3MB of RAM, which is also more than what you will get from your typical smartphone. In fact, the high RAM gives the Mi Note Pro an added advantage when it comes to processing time, which is a good thing. Apart from that, the phone also boasts of 16GB and 64GB storage options, and comes along with 4G LT-FDD support as well. And last but not least, the Mi Note Pro also houses the Adreno 430 GPU, which offers superior graphics and makes watching movies or playing games on the display a visual treat.

Software
As far as the software goes, MIUI has been chosen as Xiaomi’s skin, which is operating over the Android 4.4 KitKat Operating System. While the user interface is flat and lacks some important apps which are expected to be pre-loaded. Besides that, the Mi Note Pro also lacks an app drawer that keeps your apps more organized. But, this is something that is common amongst Chinese smartphone manufacturers.

On the bright side, users who are familiar with the iOS interface will find it very easy to make their way through the Mi Note Pro, and will even find it easier to switch products since both have some striking similarities in the software department. One nifty feature in the Mi Note Pro allows the user to collect the apps they want to move and send them off to a new screen with a flick of a finger. Those who want to move a particular app just need to tap and hold the app with one finger. Then swipe to their screen of choice, rather than having to move the app to the edge for it to change.

Camera
With a 13MP rear snapper, you get to produce some fine quality shots which are crisp, sharp and offer great detail in every picture. The front-facing camera is no slouch either. A 4MP camera makes those average looking selfies a bit more special than those from its contemporaries. It is also able to capture images in 1080p HD video. According to mobile tech reviews the brand has been boasting of its camera’s prowess, and based on what we’ve seen so far, they weren’t joking. On the physical side, the camera lens is flush, with the chassis, which means that it doesn’t rise outwards. The clever addition of optical image stabilization makes each shot count and especially helps while taking photographs in low light environments. As far as photo quality is concerned, the Mi Note Pro does have Auto HDR tolerance, but that seems to be on the low side. But, the HDR images are just great to look at, with dark areas shown clearly. The twilight mode also helps a lot when taking those night shots, but the result is not as good as the iPhone. But, that would be asking for too much.

Storage

On the storage side, the Mi Note Pro does will with a good 64GB of internal storage space. So, it’s safe to say that the Mi Note Pro works well for those who want to store an abundance of pictures, audio and video files on to their handsets.

Speaker and Audio Quality
The Mi Note Pro has some great speakers as well. The speakers are nice and loud and don’t give out a flimsy sound which is something that is expected with mobile phone speakers. In fact, you might have to turn it down if you’re in the room with other people. The calls are nice and crisp, and more importantly, they are clear enough for both parties to understand what the other person is saying. This clarity is possible with the inclusion of the ESS audio chip, which has also been paired with the Mi headphones that have the beryllium diaphragm speakers. While you don’t need to be an expert in sound quality, it’s easy to see why the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro has done well since its release.

Price and Availability
So, what’s the verdict then? With the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, you get a powerful operating system along with a powerful camera and great build quality. You also get to use a premium quality smartphone at a really affordable price, which makes it an attractive choice for most consumers. With the Mi Note Pro, Xiaomi has certainly set the bar high for its future releases, and has been able to do it in a budget. The 16GB version of the Mi Note Pro is selling in China for 2,200 RMB, which is roughly the equivalent of $260, while the 64GB version of the handset will cost you around $450, both of which are very affordable rates considering the amount of specs you get for the price point.