Boy do we have a good one for you today – The new Xiaomi Mi Note Pro goes up against a Chinese upstart device, the OnePlus One. The Mi Note Pro is full of glitz and glimmer with glass on the top and back and all metal frame. The OnePlus One's utilitarian design and plastic outer shell might not rival the HTC One's smooth lines and aluminum body – which it imitates – but it creates a handsome style all its own.
The size of the displays, the use of a Qualcomm processor, 64GB of storage, same 13MP sensor in the main camera, close front-facing cameras, nearly the same size batteries, bottom mounted speakers and nearly the same physical dimensions and weight are all shared between these two remarkable smartphones. They also have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer.
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
The new Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is certainly their most ambitious device to date – it not only has killer specs, but is a work of art with an 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. 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 sports a phablet size 5.7-inch QHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and 515 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the One's 5.5-inch FHD display with 401 PPI. The Mi Note Pro uses 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. The Mi Note Pro finally brings us a full 4GB of RAM to work with that 64-bit processor. It comes with 64GB of fixed internal storage with no room for expansion.
The camera uses a 13MP sensor with autofocus, dual-tone LED Flash and OIS compared to the 13MP sensor on the One minus the OIS and dual-tone Flash. The Mi Note Pro uses a nice sized 4MP front-facing camera (FFC) for social media selfies and video chatting compared to an even larger 5MP FFC on the One. The battery weighs in at 3000mAh (non-removable), which is slightly smaller than the non-removable 3100mAh battery found in the One.
Besides the usual features, we discussed in the introduction, 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 and has enhanced audio circuits for better listening through headsets. The Mi Note Pro features LTE Cat-9 capabilities, a dedicated microphone for noise cancellation. It is running the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop with Xiaomi's heavy MIUI 6 running on top, comes in black, white and gold, and will run you approximately $532 unlocked…it should be available in March.
The OnePlus is a Chinese startup company that has taken off faster than even they could have imagined – so much so that they were initially unable to keep up with demand. The small profit margins dictate that a smaller inventory is a necessity. The OnePlus One is a high-end device with a mid-range price tag – a combination that everybody loves. It is not being sold directly in the US market, but you can still order the One online and have it shipped here.
The OnePlus One sports a beautiful 5.5-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 PPI, which is not up to the 515 PPI of the Mi Note Pro's QHD display. The OnePlus One uses a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz – a tried and true processor, but the Mi Note Pro has a two generation jump to the newest Snapdragon 810. The One has a solid 3GB of RAM, a 16GB or 64GB storage option and no room for expansion. The Mi Note Pro jumps us up to 4GB of RAM, only a 64GB option in memory, but shares the One's inability to expand.
The camera is good, but not great – it has a 13MP sensor, autofocus, and a dual-LED flash, but is still has no OIS or dual-tone flash like the Mi Note Pro. It offers up a great 5MP FFC for those social media selfies and video chats. The OnePlus One does have a 3100mAh battery, slightly larger than the 3000mAh in the Mi Note Pro, but either battery will get you through a full day of usage.
As I said in the Introduction area, both have the usual Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. The OnePlus One has dual, bottom mounted Bose speakers, NFC and while it uses Android 4.4 KitKat as a base operating system, it runs CyanogenMod 11S UI. It runs on the GSM Bands on AT&T and T-Mobile, including 4G LTE. It will cost you $299 for a white 16GB version or $349 for a black 64GB model.
…And The Winner Is…
This was a tougher decision that I originally thought, because the quality and value that the OnePlus One offers cannot be ignored – it is a lot of smartphone for only $349 for the 64GB model. I still had to go with the flashier, more up-to-date, Xiaomi Mi Note Pro.
The Mi Note Pro has a much better QHD display with over 100 PPI more than the One, it has the newest 64-bit Snapdragon octa-core processor, more RAM, dual-tone flash and OIS in the camera area. It also features Quick Charge 2.0, a dedicated microphone for noise cancellation, LTE Cat-9 capability, and it runs the newest Android 5.0 Lollipop – all of this for only $532.
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.