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Xiaomi’s Mi Note 3 is a bigger, slower Mi 6

Xiaomi’s Mi Note 3 is a bigger, slower Mi 6

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Alongside the Mi Mix 2 and Mi Notebook Pro, Xiaomi also announced the Mi Note 3 in Beijing today. But while it sounds like part of an entirely separate line, the Mi Note 3 is extremely similar to the Mi 6 announced earlier this year — it just has a bigger screen.

This runs in contrast to the Mi Note 2, whose Galaxy Note-inspired design was notably different to last year’s Mi 5 flagship. And the Mi Note 3 isn’t that much bigger — the screen is 5.5 inches versus the Mi 6’s 5.15, which makes somewhat of a difference in the hand but isn’t enough to make it feel like an entirely separate class of device like, say, the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus does to the 4.7-inch iPhone 7.

Here’s how they look next to each other:

As you can see, it’s a meaningful but not profound size disparity.

And don’t just take my word for it — Xiaomi literally calls it “a Mi 6 with a larger screen”: 

Still, the Mi 6 is a really good phone, and the Mi Note 3 might be a better bet if you prefer the screen size. I only say “might be” because the processor has been downgraded a bit to the Snapdragon 660 from the Mi 6's 835.

But otherwise you're looking at the same dual 12 megapixel cameras with a secondary telephoto lens, the same 6GB of RAM, andthe same sleek design with four-sided glass back panel. The battery is appropriately bigger, however, at 3500mAh, and Xiaomi has also upgraded the front-facing camera to 16 megapixels complete with “Adaptable AI” beautifying modes.

The Mi Note 3 is available in China this week from 2,499 yuan (about $380) for a 64GB black model with 6GB of RAM, topping out at 2,999 yuan ($460) for a 128GB blue/gold model. That pricing is very close to that of the Mi 6, meaning you're basically trading a little bit of speed for a little bit of screen size.