Do we have a good one for you today – the just announced Xiaomi Mi Note Pro goes up against a perennial favorite, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Can the 'NKOB' topple the king of the Phablets and knock it off its rightful throne? That is what we are here to find out today about Xiaomi's newest flagship – the largest selling company in China goes up against South Korea's mighty Samsung…still the largest seller of smartphones in the world.
These two devices do have a few things in common – both use the same size display, both are Quad HD (QHD) in resolution, although the Mi Note Pro uses the LCD technology and the Galaxy Note 4 uses Samsung's Super AMOLED technology. Both devices offer a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but a different model. Both devices are almost identical in size – within a 2mm – although the Galaxy Note 4 weighs in at 15 grams heavier. The Mi Note Pro and the Galaxy Note 4 both have Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, Quick Charge 2.0 technology, 2.5D Gorilla Glass for their displays, a dedicated microphone for noise cancelling and they come with 4.4.4 KitKat with their own skins.
Please take a cursory look at the detailed Specifications in the table below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro
Xiaomi's big event in Beijing today was full of information and the announcement of two new high-end smartphones, one of which is the new Mi Note Pro – no relation to the Galaxy Note – and it is truly Xiaomi's highest spec'd smartphone they have ever produced. CEO Lei Jun made many references to the iPhone 6 Plus, but let Samsung off the hook for the most part.
The new Mi Note Pro truly is a work of beauty with a Gorilla Glass 2.5D display – which means that the glass edge is slightly angled down – and the back of the device is also Gorilla Glass 3D – which means that it actually curves around. These two pieces of glass are 'strapped' together by a metal band and it fits and feels great in your hands…not to mention looks very premium.
The Mi Note Pro sports a 5.7-inch QHD IPS LCD display with the same resolution as the Galaxy Note 4 – 2560 x 1440 pixels and 515 pixels-per-inch (PPI). For processing power, Xiaomi tapped into Qualcomm's latest 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 clocked at 1.5GHz and 2.0GHz. This is the next generation of the 32-bit Snapdragon 805 quad core used in the US Galaxy Note 4. The Mi Note Pro finally brings us 4GB of RAM to work with that 64-bit processor and 64GB of fixed internal storage with no room for expansion.
The camera uses a 13MP sensor with autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash and OIS that compares quite nicely with the 16MP shooter found on the Galaxy Note 4. The Mi Note Pro uses a nice 4MP front-facing camera (FFC) for social media selfies and video chatting. The 3.7MP FFC on the Galaxy Note 4 is also adds a wide-angled lens to make for a better group shot or conference room video chat. The battery comes in at 3090mAh (non-removable), which is slightly smaller than the removable 3220mAh battery found in the Galaxy Note 4.
Besides the usual features we mentioned in the introduction, I need to mention that while the Mi Note Pro does have LTE capabilities, it is not compatible with the 4G LTE in the US. It is also a dual-SIM device so you can use more than one phone number – good for traveling in foreign countries. It does have a large bottom mounted speaker that has enhanced audio circuits for better sound. It is running Android 4.4.4 KitKat with Xiaomi's MIUI 6 running on top and comes in black, white and gold and will run you approximately $532 unlocked.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
After the problems Samsung had with the sales of their Galaxy S5, they needed a homerun with their new Galaxy Note 4…and that is exactly what they got. Was it a perfect homerun, no, but it still left the ballpark. The full metal frame and sculptured metal trim, along with small bezels and the faux leather backing (sans the fake stitching) gave it a premium look and feel to the device. Samsung wisely kept the display at 5.7-inches but increased the specs all around.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4's 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display was chosen at the best display that DisplayMate ever tested and with the same 515 PPI of the Mi Note Pro, I will give the edge to the Galaxy Note 4. When it comes to processors, the US version of the Galaxy Note 4 uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 32-bit 805 quad-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz, while other models use an Exynos 64-bit octa-core processor. Using either one of these processors we would have to give a slight edge to the Mi Note Pro. The Mi Note Pro wins out with 4GB of RAM versus the 3GB found in the Galaxy Note 4 and while the Galaxy Note 4 only has 32GB of internal storage and the Mi Note Pro 64GB – the Galaxy Note 4 has an expansion slot to add an additional 128GB, so the nod goes to the Samsung.
The camera areas are very close, but again there is a slight nod to the Galaxy Note 4 – it has a 16MP sensor versus 13MP, they both have OIS and autofocus and an LED Flash (dual-tone on the Mi Note Pro), but the Galaxy Note 4 also uses Samsung's ISOCELL technology for low-light pictures and you can also shoot live HDR shots. The FCC camera also includes a wide-angle lens for better group selfies or video chatting when there are more than just you in the frame. The 3220mAh battery is also larger than the 3090mAh battery found in the Mi Note Pro.
When it comes to added features, the Galaxy Note 4 really rocks – VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling are ready to go, and we have a built-in IR Blaster, Three microphones, Download Booster, Fingerprint scanner, Heart Rate Sensor, UV and Oxygen Saturation Sensor, and of course the improved and versatile S-Pen and Multi-tasking features. It is also available on all major US networks and will work on 4G LTE and will cost you $299 on a two-year contract or $700 – $800 off contract, depending where you purchase the device.
…And The Winner Is…
This is really a close comparison, and while the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is a beauty to behold, I just cannot give it the win, so I am choosing the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 the winner of this comparison. I give the Super AMOLED a slight edge in looks, the camera is slightly better, there is memory expansion, a removable battery, slightly larger battery, VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling, the IR Blaster, extra microphone, Download Booster, Fingerprint scanner and Heart Rate Monitor. The two biggest reasons are the S-Pen and Multitasking capabilities that give this Phablet the right to call itself a 'Note' and the fact that the Galaxy Note 4 can be used on the 4G LTE networks anywhere in the US.
Is the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro a great device with awesome specs…a resounding, YES! But, all of those specs mean nothing to me if I cannot use it on my own LTE network. The price is wonderful for the specifications that you are receiving and if it worked on the US LTE networks, I would have to give the win to the Mi Note Pro for its value. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know which device you would pick as the winner of this comparison and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.