While many crave a Galaxy Note 7, myself included, because of how beautiful the phone is plus the powerful S-Pen, some who are willing to settle might actually be glad to see that the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is readily available in town for just under $700.
Don’t expect the same S-Pen prowess that the Samsung Note series allows. In fact, there is sadly no pen apparatus included in the Mi Note 2, although it carries the “note” name and is almost identical in terms of looks.
The Mi Note 2 looks gorgeous, mostly because it looks like a Galaxy Note 7 which you can’t get your hands on at all right now.
This means that the Mi Note 2 is as close as you can get to a phone like that.
Without a stylus though, what can the Mi Note 2 achieve? Let’s have a short look at some of its features.
The 5.7-inch device has a 1920×1080 resolution, and includes Xiaomi’s “3D glass” design which has a curved screen on the front tapering off to the sides. The bezels are thicker than you would find on a Galaxy Note 7, but overall it has a metal chassis with metal buttons on the sides.
The oblong button at the bottom of the device is an actual physical key, whilst the two capacitive buttons on the sides are interchangeable with each other, meaning back and recent apps can be on either side depending on how you set it up, so there are no icons, just two lighted dots.
Although the screen is not a qHD and just a full HD, the AMOLED screen has super deep blacks as expected where images still look simply gorgeous. You would be hard pressed to tell that it’s just a full HD screen anyway.
Additional benefits of an AMOLED full HD is the lesser battery life being eaten up by the device. The Mi Note 2 has a huge 4,070 mAh battery. Full-day use on a device, yeah, this would probably do it.
The Snapdragon 821 processor is accompanied by 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage (this is for the aforementioned price point mentioned). This is an extremely fluid device, whilst allowing you of the full day use because of the massive battery.
In terms of cameras, the 8-megapixel selfie shooter should be able to do a decent job for those who like that sort-off thing, and the rear 22-megapixel f/2.0 acts like how a flagship smartphone camera should. It’s fast and it’s accurate. Zooming in on pictures really shows off the 22-megapixel camera’s prowess with very little detail loss in the process.
As for the interface, you will expect the MIUI8 which is Xiaomi’s skin running on Androud 6.0. So the most bizarre thing is something called “dual-app” which I have seen on Huawei’s P10 as well.
The phone allows you to run two instances of an application which are totally separate from one another. Imagine this, you have a two phone lines, Progresif and DST. You try to register your WhatsApp of your secondary line because that’s your work phone, or because that’s for your private life, etc, whatever the reason is, it’s not possible. Whatsapp will log you one from one, when you are registering the other.
The dual-app functionality of the Mi Note 2 will allow you to have two instances of Whatsapp running at the same time. This will also work with Facebook if you want to manage multiple accounts.
So does the Note 7 clone stand up to Samsung’s lost device? On the exterior, yes. When you start using the phone, it’s a totally different thing. MIUI could frustrate you with missing features here and there, but at the same time, could surprise you pleasantly with its capabilities.
If you fell in love with the Note 7 for the looks, the Mi Note 2 can definitely fill that void. In terms of being a flagship smartphone, for just under $700 this can still be a pretty decent pick-up due to its battery life and screen.