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Circuit Breaker

Xiaomi's Mi Note 2 is a Galaxy Note 7 that hopefully won't explode

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Xiaomi has announced the Mi Note 2, a phone that looks suspiciously similar to Samsung's ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 while presumably posing less of a fire risk. Here's the impressive (and earlier leaked) spec sheet:

  • 5.7-inch curved OLED display
  • 22.56-megapixel camera on the back, 8MP on the front
  • Up to a Snapdragon 821 processor
  • Up to 6GB of RAM
  • 4070 mAh battery
  • "Global LTE bands," so the top-tier model might just be import-friendly

The phone starts at 2799 yuan ($413) for a 4GB variant with 64 GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, going up to 3499 yuan ($516) for a global model with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM.

If you're thinking that sounds high for Xiaomi, it's worth reading this Bloomberg piece from last week on how premium phone makers like Huawei and Oppo are thriving in China at the expense of companies like Xiaomi, whose average selling price has plummeted. With more customers willing to pay more than $300 or $400 for phones, it makes sense for Xiaomi to offer more at the higher end — the question is how credibly its efforts in the premium space will be taken in the ultra-competitive Chinese market.