Xiaomi Mi Note 2
£472 • xiaomi-mi.co.uk
It’s nearly two years since Xiaomi unveiled its Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, and a lot has changed in that time. More akin to the recent Xiaomi Mi5s Plus than the original Mi Note, the Mi Note 2 was somewhat overshadowed at its launch by the awe-inspiring bezel-less Mi Mix (page 52), but it is nonetheless a fantastic Android phone.
Not as revolutionary as the bezel-less Mi Mix with which it shared its launch event, and with much in common with the now discontinued Galaxy Note 7 in terms of its design, the Mi Note 2 has in the most part been wrongly overlooked by the technology
media. That’s a real shame, because this is a really nice phone and, leaving aside its ‘only’ full-HD but still brilliant flexible OLED panel, a true competitor to better known flagships.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will prove a great buy for those looking for a big-screen phone with lots of power and a nice design, but unfortunately Xiaomi is releasing it only in China. Those in the UK and elsewhere can still buy through Chinese importers such as GearBest, from which we received our Piano Black review sample, but international buyers should be wary over cellular connectivity.
Actually that’s one of the things that most excited us about the Mi Note 2 upon its release: it’s the first Xiaomi phone to come with global LTE connectivity, but not as standard and sadly not in our review sample. The Global Mi Note 2 supports 37 bands and has full UK 4G LTE connectivity for bands 3, 7 and 20. It also matches the top-end Mi Note 2 version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you are buying outside China this is the Mi Note 2 to go for, and it currently costs £505.05 at GearBest.
Our review sample is the entry-level 4GB RAM, 64GB storage Mi Note 2 with support for UK 4G LTE bands 3 and 7. That means it won’t be a great buy for O2 and Giffgaff customers, which rely solely on band 20 for 4G connectivity, but for other users it’s a great phone. This version costs £472.99 from GearBest but, given the relatively small difference in price and increase in both storage and RAM, we’d encourage all UK users to go for the Global model, regardless of to which network they are subscribed.