You may not know much about Xiaomi, the Chinese hardware manufacturer, but it's on a swift upward trajectory in China and the rest of the world. Its new flagship, the Mi Note, may explain why. The iPhone 6 Plus-sized handset is sleek, high-specced and not too expensive either.
The 6.95mm thick smartphone features a 5.7-inch 1080p display, shrouded in gently curved glass (in fact, Xiaomi refers to the Gorilla glass covering the front of the phone as "2.5D"). Inside, there's a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 3000mAh battery and a 13-megapixel camera.
Perhaps even more compelling is the pricing. The basic Mi Note will cost 2299 yuan, which is about $450. There will also be a Pro version, with a Snapdragon 810 processor, 1440p display and 4GB of RAM, which will cost 3299 yuan, or about $650. Not cheap, sure, but certainly priced keenly compared to the likes of Apple and Samsung given the specs on offer.
Whether you'll be able to buy one outside of China remains unclear. So far, Xiaomi is yet to venture beyond Asian markets. While Xiaomi has caught some flack for aping Apple in the past, this new handset seems to change that trend. Let's hope that change in approach extends to where you can buy the thing too.