Do we have a good one for you today – the newest Xiaomi Mi Note Pro goes up against a rather cult classic…the Sony Xperia Z3. A true battle of glass and metal with flagship specs in both devices – remembering that the Xperia Z3 has been available exclusively on T-Mobile since August 2014. Sony is always slow to get their devices to the US and even when they finally arrive, are generally limited to one or two carriers.
Other than being smartphones, these two devices have very little in common. They are very similar in size with the Mi Note Pro slightly larger. The Mi Note Pro's 3000mAh battery is close to the 3100mAh battery found in the Xperia Z3 and both are non-removable. They both have the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Quick Charge capability from their Qualcomm heritage, and the both have 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
At a January event in Beijing, China, Xiaomi announced their new Mi Note Pro to the world. This is the highest spec'd phone that Xiaomi has ever introduced and it competes quite nicely with any mainstream device on the market. You still have to order the device through their website, as Xiaomi has not officially begun to cross the ocean at this time.
The new Mi Note Pro truly 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. 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 sports a 5.7-inch QHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and 515 pixels-per-inch (PPI) versus the Xperia Z3's 5.2-inch FHD display with 424 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 step improvement over the 32-bit Snapdragon 801 quad core used in the Xperia Z3. 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 compared to the huge 20.7MP sensor on the Xperia Z3 minus the OIS and dual-Flash. The Mi Note Pro uses a nice sized 4MP front-facing camera (FFC) for social media selfies and video chatting compared to the more standard 2.2MP FFC on the Xperia Z3. The battery comes in at 3000mAh (non-removable), which is slightly smaller than the non-removable 3100mAh battery found in the Xperia Z3.
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.
Sony Xperia Z3
The Sony Xperia Z3 came out only six months after the Xperia Z2 to update it a bit to make it more competitive with the Galaxy S5 and LG G3. Except for the larger Sony bezels, it is a great looking device, with a glass top and bottom and held together by a rounded metal band, and it feels great in your hand. Sony has always made a great device, but has always had trouble getting it on a U.S. carrier, but this time around, T-Mobile is selling the device.
The Xperia Z3 comes with a 5.2-inch FHD IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 424 PPI versus the 515 PPI on the QHD display on Mi Note Pro. It uses the Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz with 3GB of RAM. It is a terrific processor, but not as technically advanced as the 810 found in the Mi Note Pro, which has better power management, Quick Charge 2.0 and a better GPU for graphics. The Xperia Z3 only goes up to 32GB of internal storage versus the 64GBs available on the Mi Note Pro…however, the Xperia Z3 has a microSD card slot for expanding that 32GB by an additional 128GB.
The camera on the Xperia Z3 uses a Sony 20.7 (21) MP sensor and they both offer autofocus – the Xperia Z3 uses a single LED flash and the Mi Note Pro uses a dual-tone LED flash and includes OIS. It uses a 2MP FFC versus the Mi Note Pro that uses a larger 4MP FFC for social media selfies and video chatting.
As I mentioned earlier, both devices are about the same size with the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro slightly larger. The Xperia Z3 is fully IP65 and IP68 certified for being dust and water proof. The Xperia Z3 also has a built-in FM radio and front-facing stereo speakers, compared to the single one on the bottom of the Mi Note Pro. If you are a PS4 gamer, than you will also appreciate the fact that with the purchase of a special game control mount, the Xperia Z3 can snap in and be used for Remote Play with traditional controls. The Xperia Z3 is on T-Mobile for $630.
…And The Winner Is…
I love Sony products, but their smartphones, while beautiful to look at, have always been a double edged sword – by the time their new device gets to the US, it is usually old by one generation. I never like exclusivity either, but for some reason, the networks and Sony could never play nice and their devices always end up going to one carrier. That being said – if you purchase an Xperia Z3, I honestly believe that you will be very happy with your decision, however, when comparing the specs and pricing of the Mi Note Pro, it definitely wins this comparison.
The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, as the name suggests, is a professional grade smartphone. It has the looks and build (so does the Z3), a better display, a better processor, more RAM, double the internal memory (although no room to expand), a dedicated microphone for noise cancellation, Dual-SIM, LTE Cat-9, enhanced audio, and it comes with the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop. It works on 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.
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.