When it was launched in Malaysia, it was the most expensive Xiaomi device yet at RM2,499. Although it had great specs with a generous 128GB of storage, not many are willing to fork out that much money on a Xiaomi phablet.
For its successor, Xiaomi is making the Mi Note 3 a “Plus” alternative to the current Mi 6 while maintaining the same price tag. On top of that, they have also added something extra to pit it against the selfie kings like OPPO and vivo.
On the surface, the Mi Note 3 should very well be called the Mi 6 Plus. Just look at the similarities of the two phones above. It’s bigger at 5.5″ and it also pushes a Full HD resolution. Despite its bigger dimensions, the Mi Note 3 is priced at 2,499CNY (about RM1,608), which is the exact same price tag as the Mi 6 in China for 6GB RAM and 64GB of storage. In Malaysia, the Mi 6 (6GB RAM + 64GB RAM) is officially going for RM1,899.
If you’re wondering what’s the trade-off, it is the processor. Instead of a high-tier Snapdragon 835 unit, the Mi Note 3 gets a 14nm 2.2GHz Snapdragon 660 processor. While it’s more of a mid-tier processor, the Snapdragon 660 is a step above your typical Snapdragon 625/626 series. It also gets 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM but it comes with either 64GB or 128GB of eMMC 5.1 storage instead of faster UFS.
Over at the rear, you get the same 12MP dual-camera setup as the Mi 6 flagship model. The primary unit is a 12MP f/1.8 shooter with 4-axis OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) for wide angle shots, while the second camera is a 12MP f/2.6 camera for 2X Optical zoom.
To differentiate the Mi Note 3 from the Mi 6, it comes with a 16MP front camera with Adaptable AI Beautification feature. Xiaomi wants you to think of it as your personal makeup artist that can provide your selfies with a 3D facelift. For better low light performance, the 16MP sensor can merge 4 pixels to increase its pixel size to 2 microns.
You can tell that Xiaomi is trying to get itself into the serious selfie-centric game. If it isn’t obvious enough, Xiaomi even compared the specs against the OPPO R11 during its presentation.
Powering the Mi Note 3 is a 3,500mAh battery which supports Quick Charge via USB Type-C. Like the Mi 6, there’s no headphone jack and it also gets dual-SIM slots with no microSD expansion. Despite the bigger screen, the Mi Note 3 is actually lighter than the Mi 6. This is due to its use of 7000 series aluminium instead of stainless steel for the frame.
The Mi Note 3 also features an under the glass fingerprint sensor. If you can’t use your fingerprint, it will also support Face Unlock as well. In China, the Mi Note 3 is priced as follows:
Mi Note 3 6GB RAM + 64GB Storage (Black) – 2,499CNY (about RM1,608)
Mi Note 3 6GB RAM + 128GB Storage (Black) – 2,899CNY (about RM1,865)
Mi Note 3 6GB RAM + 128GB Storage (Blue) – 2,999CNY (about RM1,929)
Of course, if you prefer something more powerful, the Mi 6 would be the better option. However, if taking selfies and having a bigger screen is more important to you, the Mi Note 3 might be the phone you’re looking for. Assuming the base model is coming to Malaysia at RM1,899, does it stand the chance to compete with other selfie-centric smartphones? Let us know in the comments below.