China's much-lauded Xiaomi has a bunch of new cutting-edge Android smartphones and accessories, including one pretty damn special device, and we don't get them in Australia. Boo.
Xiaomi is one of the world's biggest technology companies, but at the moment it's really only interested in selling to its fanatical audience within China. Announced a few hours ago at a big event in Beijing, this is the Xiaomi Mi Note.
A 5.7-inch Full HD from Sharp's manufacturing plant is your window to the MiUI-skinned Android operating system of the Mi Note, while every other spec is just about as high-end as you'd expect of a late-2014 early-2015 big-screen smartphone. Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 with dual 4G SIMs, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, the oft-used Sony IMX214 13-megapixel camera sensor, a 3000mAh battery, and a slightly curved glass screen and properly curved glass rear.
If you're more of a visual thinker, this is everything the roughly-$450 Xiaomi Mi Note can boast, in a pleasant pictorial format:
For that kind of money, it looks like an amazing piece of hardware. For $100 more, you can jump up from the 16GB default storage to a stately 64GB -- as is the Apple model, there's no mid-range 32GB option.
Or you could step up to the powerfully brand new Xiaomi Mi Note Pro.
Unlike in MacBook world, the Mi Note Pro has a huge bump in specs, sporting the top of the line Snapdragon 810 64-bit quad-core chipset and including support for LTE-Advanced Category 9 -- currently the fastest mobile networking data standard in the world with potential 450Mbps speeds. Its 5.7-inch display is a 2560x1440pixel QHD one, it has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage straight out of the box.
And, again, for the visual thinkers:
Alongside those announcements came the nifty Mi Box Mini, Xiaomi's own version of the Chromecast.
At around $40, it's cheaper than Google's Android streamer, but takes a slightly different approach to that particular dongle. With its own ARM Cortex-A7 at 1.3GHz and 2.4/5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi handling video processing, the Mi Box Mini plugs directly into your powerboard (only US pins available at launch, though, it seems) with an HDMI output to connect video to your TV.
And Xiaomi also has some new over-the-ear headphones to join its current well-regarded in-ears, which look pretty nice as long as you're a fan of rose gold:
They look quite a lot like my old pair of Alessandro MS-1s, No price on those at the moment.
Beyond these pictures, information is a bit sketchy, but we imagine it'll trickle out as the day goes on.
Seeing this swathe of new products makes me really want Xiaomi to start selling directly to Aussies. We've had a few distributors set up shop here in the past and subsequently be sent packing, so maybe that's a sign that there are plans afoot. [Xiaomi]