Do we have a good one for you today – the classic HTC One M8 goes up against the new Xiaomi Mi Note Pro. The first all metal Android smartphone line that convinced a lot of people that plastic was bad and metal was good versus an all glass phone with just enough metal to hold it all together.
Can two smartphones, that have practically nothing in common, really compete with one another? They both certainly have the looks to pull off a win – the all metal body and design (other than the large bezels) has garnered praise from practically everyone. The glass top and bottom with its all metal frame has people comparing the Mi Note Pro's design to the Sony Xperia Z series or the Apple iPhone. Naturally they both have the mandatory Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and microUSB port for charging and data transfer, but little else. Oh, they can both make phone calls and weigh within 1 gram of each other.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. 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
Up until now, Xiaomi's devices were always well-built and nice looking, but the new Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is a real work of premium art with its all glass and metal construction. It uses Gorilla Glass 2.5D for the display – which means that the glass edge is slightly angled downward – and the back of the device is Gorilla Glass 3D – which means it actually curves up, in a 'cup-like' fashion. After the innards are placed inside, these two pieces of glass are 'strapped' together by a metal band and it fits and feels great in your hands…not to mention giving it a very premium look.
The Mi Note Pro is high-end throughout its design – it sports a 5.7-inch QHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and 515 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the One M8's 5-inch FHD display with 441 PPI. Xiaomi tapped into Qualcomm's latest 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 with four cores clocked at 1.5GHz and the other four clocked at 2.0GHz. This is a two-generation improvement over the 32-bit Snapdragon 801 quad core used in the One M8. The Mi Note Pro finally brings us a full 4GB of RAM to work with that 64-bit processor and 64GB of fixed internal storage with no room for expansion. This is twice the RAM and internal storage found on the One M8, although the One M8 does allow room for expansion of the internal storage.
The camera uses a 13MP sensor with autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash and OIS compared to the more oddly configured Duo camera with 4MP (UltraPixels) found on the One M8. The Mi Note Pro uses a nice sized 4MP front-facing camera (FFC) for social media selfies and video chatting compared to the even larger 5MP FFC on the One M8. The battery comes with a non-removable 3000mAh, which is larger than the non-removable 2600mAh battery found in the One M8.
Besides the usual features we discussed in the introduction, it is also a dual-SIM device. It does have a large bottom mounted speaker and has enhanced audio circuits for better listening through headsets or external speakers. The Mi Note Pro features LTE Cat-9 capabilities, a dedicated microphone for noise cancellation and has Quick Charge 2.0. It is running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop with Xiaomi's heavy MIUI 6 running on top and comes in black, white or gold. It works on US LTE networks that use 4G FDD-LTE bands 3 (1800MHz) and 7 (2600MHz) and it will cost you only $532 off-contract and should be available later in March.
HTC One M8
When HTC first introduced the One M7 in 2013, it was well received – a sleek, all-metal body, dual-front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound and small side bezels made it an instant hit. When the new HTC One M8 came out early last year, we were expecting a refinement of the design and an upgraded camera – we got both, but not what we were hoping for in the camera area (see below for more details).
The HTC One M8 comes with a 5-inch FHD LCD type display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 PPI – quite a bit down from the QHD display on the Mi Note Pro with 515 PPI. For most users, it is a better size for a daily driver, but the HTC's large top and bottom bezels make it almost as tall as the Mi Note Pro. The Snapdragon in the One M8 is the older 32-bit, 801 model clocked at 2.3GHz with only 2GB of RAM…versus the newest 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM found in the Mi Note Pro. The One M8 does shine with its microSD card slot to add an additional 128GB of internal storage to its base 16GB or 32GB.
HTC decided to go a different route than most smartphone manufacturers when it comes to a main camera. Rather than using regular megapixels, they use what they call, an UltraPixel, which is larger than a normal pixel and HTC put four of them in the One M8 – 4MP UltraPixels. This is basically the same camera that was in the One M7 – and rather than adding more UltraPixels, they added a second camera…called a Duo Camera. HTC did this, not to make the picture quality better, but to add special effects or more depth to the photos. It does come with a dual-tone LED flash and auto-focus; however, there is still no OIS. The FFC was jumped up to 5MP, which is a nice size for social selfies and video chatting…compared to a respectable 4MP for the Mi Note Pro.
Other observations and extras over the Mi Note Pro – only a 2600mAh battery powers the HTC One M8, compared to the larger 3000mAh in the Mi Note Pro. Both devices are close to the same size (the Mi Note Pro is larger) and even with the larger battery, the Mi Note Pro only weighs one gram more. The One M8 has the usual Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. It also sports an IR Blaster, the dual stereo front-facing BoomSound speakers, a built-in Stereo FM radio and HD Voice with its 4.4.4 KitKat upgrade. It is currently receiving its 5.0.1 Lollipop with Sense 6 UI. It is available on all major U.S. networks and is $199 on a two-year contract, although you can sometimes find this model discounted down to $0.
…And The Winner Is…
As far as a win goes, this was really a tougher decision than you may think. The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro certainly beats the HTC One M8 in terms of raw specifications. It has a better display, better processor, double the RAM, double the internal storage (on-board), a better camera, larger battery, Quick Charge 2.0, a noise-cancelling microphone and LTE Cat-9 capability…not to mention running Android 5.0 out-of-the-box.
It is those reasons above that I picked the Mi Note Pro over the HTC One M8 – however, depending what you are looking for in your smartphone, the One M8 is a terrific buy on a two-year contract…usually $0. For no money, you get a beautifully designed phone, a 441 PPI display, Snapdragon quad-core processor, memory expansion via microSD card, a decent camera, dual stereo front-facing speakers with Boomsound, an IR Blaster, and it is upgrading to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
So if you are choosing a winner with the latest technology, the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro takes the prize, but if the other features on the HTC One M8 tickle your fancy, then you would be very happy with that selection as well. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know what you think about these two devices. Which one you would pick as the winner of this comparison and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.