Mi Are Family: A side by side look at the latest Xiaomi phones

mi are family

Xiaomi are one of the most talked about Chinese smartphone makers of the day, and they have some of the most wanted phones on the planet. Here we take a look at 3 of the most recent Xioami phones, the Redmi 2, Mi4i and Xiaomi Mi Note.

The current Xiaomi line up consists of the Xiaomi Mi Note, Mi4, Mi4i, Redmi Note, Redmi 2 and Mi Pad. For this side by side look, we are going to be focussing on just the latest 3 Xiaomi phones, the Redmi 2, Mi4i and Mi Note. I would have like to have included the Mi4 too just for comparisons sake, but we don’t have one to hand at the moment.

These 3 Xiaomi phones are designed to specifically fit in different ends of the market. For those wanting an entry-level phone there is the Xiaomi Redmi 2, the Mi4i is the mid range device (and newest Xiaomi at the time of writing) while those with a bit of cash in their pockets can go for the Xiaomi Mi note flagship phone (or the Pro version).

Despite being aimed at different customers and different prices each phone has similarities. They all run MIUI version 6 (although there are different features available in the ROM depending on the phone you have), they all come with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and they all boast 4G LTE.

Xiaomi Redmi 2

xiaomi redmi 2

The Xiaomi Redmi 2 is a budget phone and of the three new Xiaomi phones this one has been on sale the longest. The version we have here is the original model with just 1GB RAM, but now a 2GB version is on sale and we fully suggest you go for that one if you are planning on buying a budget Xiaomi.

A 4.7-inch display is a full 1-inch smaller in screen size to the Mi Note, and has a resolution of just 1280 x 720, but that’s fine on a phone of this size.

Specs of the Xiaomi Redmi 2 include an 8 mega-pixel F2.2 main camera, 2 mega-pixel front camera, laminated Sharp display, SD card memory expansion, dual LTE SIM card slots and a removable 2200mAh battery.

xiaomi redmi 2

In fact of the 3 phones on the list the bargain basement Redmi 2 is the phone Xiaomi phone with dual SIM, removable battery and space for an SD card. The SD card being especially useful.

A Snapdragon 410 running at 1.2Ghz with Adreno 306 GPU handles processing, plus this SoC offers FDD-LTE, WCDMA and GSM network support.

Xiaomi Redmi 2 – who is is for?

The Redmi 2 no longer commands the low-cost market like the original Redmi once did but it is a solid and well made device with good features.

The Redmi 2 is for customers who want good bang for their buck. If dual SIM, SD card, frequent updates are what you want then the Redmi 2 covers those basis.

Xiaomi Redmi 2 availability and price

The Xiaomi Redmi 2 if officially available through Xiaomi’s own online store in China, HongKong, India, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Philipines and Indonesia. Those of you wanting to get your hands on the Xiaomi Redmi 2 in other countries will need to use a reliable reseller where prices start from around $139.99.

Xiaomi Redmi 2 Gallery

Xiaomi Mi4i

xiaomi mi4i

The Xiaomi Mi4i is a mid range, plastic bodied phone and the first Xiaomi phone to ever launch outside of China! The Xiaomi Mi4i first launched in India and has since been available in a number of territories outside of Chinese mainland including Hong Kong.

Xiaomi wanted to create a good looking, comfortable and lightweight phone with the Xiaomi Mi4i and after using the larger Mi Note for a few weeks ago I can confirm that the Xiaomi team have done a great job. Although I have come use to using a large screen phone, it is nice to go back to a well designed 5-incher from time to time. If feels great in your hand, easy to use and much more comfortable in your pocket.

Like the Redmi 2 the white Mi4i has a smooth finish, but unlike the more affordable Redmi phone the rear is not removable. Instead a small tray for dual SIM cards is located in the left and the built-in battery size has been generously increased to 3120mAh.

Our Mi4i only arrived on Friday so we haven’t had long with it but so far can comment that it is a very well made phone and is pretty fast thanks to the 2nd generation Snapdragon 615 octacore with 2GB RAM on tap. As some other users have commented I have noted some heat up of the Mi4i, however there is an update on the way which should fix that.

xiaomi mi4i

I can also comment that although many reviewers are stating the 13 mega-pixel rear camera is the same as the Mi Note, this is not entirely true. The Mi Note seems to have much better optics, and perhaps more optimised camera application as there are certain situations where the Mi Note rear camera excels over the mid-range phone. On a whole though the camera performance is pretty terrific and about on par with the Vivo Xshot from last year!

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Xiaomi Mi4i – Who is it for?

The Xiaomi Mi4i is the first Xiaomi designed for customers outside of China and Xiaomi have included features that will make is especially appealing for those customers in sunnier climates. A Sunshine display, for example helps viewing in direct sunlight.

The Mi4i is the first international Xiaomi phone to be sent to us too, and its nice to see Google service already pre-installed and ready to go. The Mi4i is also the only of the 3 phones to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box!

If you are after great power, a wonderful camera and slim comfortable phone then the Mi4i is a great choice.

Xiaomi Mi4i – availability and pricing

Xiaomi are rolling out the Mi4i in India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore etc, and this time it is China that is left waiting for the phone. Again, if you are not in a Xiaomi Global launch area you will need to head over to resellers where the Mi4i is around $289.99. Interestingly this is only slightly less than the Mi4 with metal body and Snapdragon 801, but I feel the camera on the Mi4i is much better and performance is similar.

Mi4i next to Redmi 2

Xiaomi Mi4i Gallery

Xiaomi Mi Note

xiaomi mi note

There are two versions of the Xioami Mi Note, I have the standard model with 5.7-inch 1920 x 1080 display, 3GB RAM and Snapdragon 801 processor, and it is more than enough phone for all current applications.

I never wish for more power, or more RAM or more resolution, but I do wish for more memory as 16GB internal memory and not option for an SD card is a really pain now and then. Still the Mi Note is a killer phone and really in a league of its own.

Of the current Chinese Android phones on the market, there is really nothing that comes close to the Xiaomi Mi Note in design and build, and if it is those aspects of a phone that you focus on then the higher than average price of the phone is well worth paying.

Holding the Mi Note for the first time and you will be blown away by how thin if feels and how wonderful that display is. The speed of the phone is as fast as you could hope and the camera is by far one of the best on a Chinese phone so far. In fact I prefer the Mi Note camera to the Vivo Xshot and the Oppo N3 (two of the creme dela creme Chinese camera centric phones).

xiaomi mi note

There are a few downsides to the phone though. As mentioned above there isn’t room for an SD card, but dual SIM is supported. At 5.7-inch with narrow belles the Mi Note is only 77.6mm, but this can still be a little too much to use one-handed.

The all glass and alloy body is stunning, but it also worries me that it could just smash to a million tiny pieces if I drop it, but what scares me the most is just how smooth the rear of the phone is! I have often left the Mi Note on a table only to find it slowly slide along by itself, an accident just waiting to happen!

Xiaomi Mi Note – Who is it for?

The Mi Note is for people who want the best of the best. The phone boasts HIFI audio, a beautiful screen, class leading build quality, design and materials, killer performance and an incredible camera.

Xiaomi Mi Note – Availability and pricing

The Xiaomi Mi Note is currently only officially on sale in China, but will likely launch in other Xiaomi global launch areas in the coming months. If you cannot wait or you are not located in a launch area then resellers are the way to go again. The standard Xiaomi Mi Note (like ours) costs from $419.99, where as the 64GB model can be had for $459.99. The 2K Mi Note Pro costs an whopping $639.99!

Mi Note next to Mi4i

Xiaomi Mi Note Gallery


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Watch our for our Mi4i review, and are Mi4i vs Mi Note camera shootout.

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