We got a good one for you today – the newest Xiaomi Mi Note Pro (the FDD-LTE version) goes up against the venerable Motorola Nexus 6. These are the newest and most powerful devices from these two manufacturers, in fact, the Mi Note Pro is not yet available for sale on Xiaomi's website…we have only seen it at their private event in Beijing.
The two devices are very similar in size, although made quite differently – the Mi Note Pro is made from all glass (display and back) with a metal frame holding it all together while the Nexus 6 has an all metal frame, but a more traditional back that has a curve to it. I say 'traditional' back, although with the curve, it fits very comfortably in your hand. Both devices have a solid feel and premium look that comes from great build quality.
Their main cameras are very similar and they both have the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and a microUSB port for charging or data transfer. They both have Quick Charge 2.0 thanks to their Qualcomm processor and both devices have enhanced audio circuitry. They both use the latest Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, although the Mi Note Pro has Xiaomi's MIUI on top.
Please take a close look at the detailed Specification Comparisons below and really dig down to see exactly where these two devices differ – click on "View Full Comparison" at the bottom of the insert. After that, we will look at each individual smartphone and pick out some pros and cons in our search to justify the winner of this comparison.
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro
We are looking at the newest Xiaomi Mi Note Pro with 4G FDD-LTE bands 3 (1800MHz) and 7 (2600MHz) – it is so new that they are not yet available on their website. The device was revealed at a private viewing in Beijing and it was the talk of the show – with 2.5D Gorilla Glass on the back and 3D Gorilla Glass on the front…all held together by a metal frame, sort of ala early iPhone.
The new Xiaomi Mi Note Pro comes with a 5.7-inch Quad HD (QHD) IPS LCD Display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 515 pixels-per-inch (PPI). This slightly out does that Nexus 6 only because its larger display reduces the PPI to 493. The Mi Note Pro uses the newest Qualcomm 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor clocked with four cores at 2.0GHz and the other four cores at 1.5GHz. Xiaomi wasted no time in adding a full 4GB of RAM (versus 3GB in the Nexus 6) and there will be only a 64GB model, and like the Nexus 6, there is no room for expansion.
The main cameras are about identical – they both use a 13MP sensor, autofocus, dual-tone LED flash on the Mi Note Pro, while the Nexus 6 uses just a dual-LED, and both have OIS. The front-facing camera (FFC) is a different story…the Mi Note Pro has a larger 4.0MP FFC to improve the quality of selfies and video chatting, whereas the Nexus 6 has the more traditional 2.0MP sensor
A large 3090mAh battery powers the Mi Note Pro. It has an extra microphone for noise cancellation, Dual-SIM capability, it can handle LTE Cat 9 speeds (if you can find any), the speaker is on the bottom end of the device and it is running 5.0 Lollipop with Xiaomi's MIUI 6 custom shell. It will work on AT&T or T-Mobile (some LTE bands) and it will cost you only $532 off-contract and should be available later in March.
Motorola Nexus 6
The new Motorola Nexus 6 came as a real shock to loyal Nexus fans – never has Google let loose and gone wild when it comes to their Nexus smartphone. Motorola builds the Nexus 6, so it has its roots in a favorite of ours, the Moto X. Think of a Moto X on steroids and you pretty much have the Nexus 6 – it is bigger and improved in every way – starting with its huge 6-inch Quad HD (QHD) AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and 493 PPI and it still maintains the Moto X's shapely curved back…but straight display. However, all of these improvements came in a much higher priced device than Nexus owners were used to paying – gone are the days of $350 and say hello to $650.
They used the best processor at the time of the Nexus 6's design – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, a 32-bit quad-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz. It is a terrific processor and also used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge and Motorola Droid Turbo, but does not have the 64-bit nor the features of the Snapdragon 810 found in the Mi Note Pro.
The main cameras' hardware is about identical – 13MP, autofocus, dual-LED flash (although Mi Note Pro also has dual-tone) and both have OIS. The front-facing camera is a different story…the Nexus 6 has the more traditional 2.0MP size for social selfies and video chatting, whereas the Mi Note Pro has a larger 4.0MP FFC to improve the quality.
As far as extras go, the Nexus 6 enjoys dual front-facing stereo speakers, a full metal frame, a nano-coating for water resistance, built-in wireless charging and shares the latest Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, but completely unskinned with the fastest upgrades available. It is available on all major US Carriers for $249 on a two-year contract or $649 off-contract in the Google Play Store.
…And The Winner Is…
This was a tough decision, especially not to choose the pure Android experience and Motorola made device, but if you go step-by-step and look at the specifications and pricing, the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro simply wins in this comparison. True, the Nexus 6 will work on more 4G LTE bands than the Mi Note Pro and run stock Android, but the Mi Note Pro out-specs it and costs less than the Nexus 6.
The Mi Note Pro matches the Nexus 6's QHD display, has a newer 64-bit processor, more RAM, more in the camera specs, especially the FFC, can handle LTE-Cat 9, great sound system, and a large battery to easily get you through the day. It is a well-made and beautiful device that definitely competes head-to-head and then some against the Nexus 6.
Xiaomi will sell many of their new Mi Note Pros, especially once they add all the bands for the US LTE. The Mi Note Pro is a beautiful looking, designed and well-built smartphone. If you live in the US and do not mind using AT&T or T-Mobile, or if you live outside the US, then you would be very happy with the Mi Note Pro, especially at $532.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know which one of these devices you would pick as the winner of this comparison and WHY…as always we would love to hear from you.