Mi Note 2 Comprehensive Review: Unveiling Xiaomi's First Dual Curved Smartphone!

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    • Mi Note 2 Comprehensive Review: Unveiling Xiaomi's First Dual Curved Smartphone!

      Mi Note 2 Comprehensive Review: Unveiling Xiaomi's First Dual Curved Smartphone!
      by mitch002 (follow me on Twitter @MI_mitch002 for my latest Xiaomi Reviews and Tutorials)

      After exactly 21 months (1 Year and 9 Months) after the widely popular release of the Mi Note and Mi Note PRO last January 2015, Xiaomi finally decided to release its predecessor! I am honored and proud to introduce to you the first ever dual curved smartphone from Xiaomi in the form of Mi Note 2. This unit finally got on sale last November 1, 2016 and got wiped out in just 5 seconds according to news from Weibo.

      Introduction Video

      What's In the Box

      We can see that Xiaomi went back to its old days, reminiscing the plain brown box with a printed MI logo on top, this time its having a plain white box and a carved MI Logo at the middle of the box. It used to be a plain brown box with a MI Logo print on the top. And for the second time in History, Xiaomi gave away a free back case for the Mi Note 2 (After giving away one inside the box of Mi 5s Plus), it seems things are getting brighter inside the package of Xiaomi Flagship phones thesedays.

      Unboxing Video

      Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Specs:
      · Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor 2.35 Ghz
      · Adreno 530 GPU 653MHz
      · 4GB / 6GB of RAM LPDDR4 1866MHz
      · 5.7-inch AMOLED display ultra bright, energy saving display, (~74.2% screen-to-body ratio), 1080 x 1920 pixels (~386 ppi pixel density)
      · 110% color gamut of the NTSC
      · Polished Brushed Aluminum Metal Back Finish
      · 64GB / 128GB of storage
      · 22.5 MP, f/2.0, EIS (gyro), phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
      · 8 MP front camera, f/2.0, autofocus
      · Finger print scanner
      · Dual SIM (nano sim size)
      · 3G, LTE, 4G+, VoLTE
      · Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, A-GPS, NFC, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
      · 4070mAh battery
      · Android Marshmallow, MIUI 8
      · USB-C port, UFS 2.0
      · Black, Gold, Silver

      The Mi Note 2 sports a glass back similar to that of the Mi5, in terms of appearance, I should say it looks somewhat like that of the S7 Edge. We are used to see the camera placement of the Mi Series on the upper left corner of the phone but this time around its in the middle, striking a resemblance to that of the Redmi Note 4 and Redmi Pro. Now similar to Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus, the Mi Logo in front is missing and probably it will be the case for future Mi Flagship series phones to come.

      The dual curved glass is really curved to impress as their slogan said, it feels good on the hand and not edgy at all, unlike the older Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, its a bit edgy on the corners and not as smooth as this one. But I have to warn you that this phone is pretty slippery similar to the Mi5 wherein the phone can slide on an uneven table when not noticed, so be careful on that aspect.

      Above the frame we have the the 3.5mm audio jack, IR Blaster and the noise cancellation Mic. We are glad they did not take it off, otherwise our Pistons headset collection will all go to waste. And gladly they did not put the noise cancellation Mic at the back of the phone like on Mi 5s which make it looking so awkward.

      On the right side we have the volume rocker and the power button. We are not sure about the breaking lines above the volume up and below the power button if it is the antennae or it’s just a design patterned to the Iphone 6S, but we believe probably its just a design coz its being deployed to most Xiaomi released smartphone as of this year.

      On the left side we have the sim tray which supports 2 Nano sim cards and sadly it’s not the same as Mi Max which sports a hybrid sim 2 slot for either a Micro SD card or a Nano Sim. But all Xiaomi flagship never had a micro sd card expansion slot anyway. There are those enthusiast who were able to fuse the Nano sim to the body of the Micro SD card and made sim 2 and expansion storage work at the same time, but there is a risk of stuck up upon ejecting the sim tray. At the end of the day, we will suggest that you buy the 128GB version in case you need more storage or buy an USB-C OTG Plug to use your thumbdrive/flashdrive anytime for added storage on the go.

      Under the phone we can see the USB-C charging port as well as the loudspeakers, which pretty much resembles that of the Iphone 6s.


      The Mi Note 2 comes with an AMOLED, 5.7-inch display coupled with a 2.5D curved glass and probably a Corning Gorilla Glass 4 equivalent protection for maximum resistance against scratches. We loved the display on the Mi Note 2, very sharp and clear, the first Xiaomi Phone sporting an AMOLED is the Redmi Pro. We tried to watch a video Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 1080p resolution, it was nice having to watch a video on a a 5.7-inch phone. What more if we watch it on the Mi Mix? Hmm....

      Snapdragon 821
      One of the many adopter of the latest Snapdragon 821 after the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus is the Mi Note 2 and Mi Mix. This said SoC has 4 cores and can run up to 2.35Ghz of computing speed. Now of course powered together with the powerful Adreno 530, it will give you the best experience in gaming up to date. This powerful processor combined with the power of Adreno 530 makes this phone one of the beast to look out for this 2016. Especially that Samsung Note 7 has been out of the picture for good, we highly recommend the Mi Note 2 as one of the best alternative for Samsung Galaxy Note Savy users. We ran several stress test on this unit and we did not see any lags nor any slowdown on the opening of any apps in the Mi Note 2. This SoC is already supporting the 64-bit architecture which means it can compute at a very fast phase. So good graphics, good multitasking plus fast processing makes Snapdragon 821 on of the beastly SoC we have handled. We tried playing NBA2k17 and all we can say is that it was really Awesome! No lags inside the gameplay I can say.

      For more information about the Snapdragon 821, check this detailed explanation done by one of our Device Team member @rahul_09
      The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 supports 19 different LTE bands for Full Netcom Edition and 37 different LTE Bands for Global Edition.Its pretty easy to switch to LTE network inside the settings but once your do the second sim will be running on GSM connectivity only. You can freely choose which sim you want to use your LTE data, since this is a Dual LTE, Dual standby smartphone. This unit also has the 4G+ equipped, and also supports multiple carrier aggregation technology (should your network provider have this feature), you can take advantage of it. Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac is also smooth and it also supports Wi-Fi Direct. Wireless screen mirroring is also available via the Miracast protocol, tethering data is also working perfectly. Bluetooth 4.2,GPS, and GLONASS are all present, NFC (Near Field Communication) is also present as Xiaomi gears toward Mi Pay and it enables you to send data to a fellow NFC user with just tapping your phones together.

      Global Edition
      FDD-LTE ( B1,B2,B3,B4,B5,B7,B8,B12,B13,B17,
      TDD-LTE ( B38,B39,B40,B41)
      TD-SCDMA ( B34,B39)
      WCDMA ( B1,B2,B4,B5,B8)
      GSM ( B2,B3,B5,B8)
      CDMA ( BC0,B1,B10,B15)

      Full Netcom Edition
      FDD-LTE ( B1,B3,B5,B7)
      TDD-LTE ( B38,B39,B40,B41)
      TD-SCDMA ( B34,B39)
      WCDMA ( B1,B2,B5,B8)
      GSM ( B2,B3,B5,B8)
      CDMA ( BC0)

      Audio and Video
      The Mi Note 2 sports a pretty good speaker below the phone, loud and clear. We have compared the output audio of Mi Note 2 to the Mi 5s Plus and we proved that the loudspeaker of the Mi Note 2 plays the music louder than the Mi 5s Plus and seems more crisp and delightful to the ears too (playing the same music). Mi Note 2 supports a wide range of video format like MKV, MP4, M4V, AVI, XVID and more. I can even support 4k H265 videos in the process. While watching Tennage Mutant Ninja Turtle, we can conclude that Mi Note 2 has a good AMOLED display. We were able to see the phone clearly under bright sunlight as well for this unit.

      Supported Audio Formats:
      • MP4
      • M4V
      • MKV
      • XVID
      • WAV
      • AAC
      • MP3
      • AMR
      • FLAC
      • APE
      • DSD
      Support H.265 / HEVC (Main profile), H.264 (Baseline / Main / High profile), MPEG4 (Simple profile / ASP), \ VC-1 (Simple / Main / Advanced profile) video formats,
      support for PCM, AAC / AAC + / eAAC +, MP3, AMR-NB / WB, FLAC, APE, DSD, WAV and other audio formats

      The main focus of Xiaomi in Mi Note 2 is primarily in its 22.5MP Dual Rear Camera. We believe that this feature is one of the main highlight of the phone as Xiaomi finally releases its first 22.5MP Camera. Now let me present you the specs of the rear camera:

      22.56 million pixel camera
      • 6 lens, f / 2.0, FOV 80 °
      • color temperature flash
      • hardware level electronic image stabilization
      • dark quality enhancement technology
      • HDR high dynamic range adjustment Technical
      • Panorama mode
      • Burst mode
      • facial recognition
      • in real-time camera filters
      • Supports 4k Video Capture Image Stabilization Technology

      And the specs of the front camera as well

      800-megapixel auto-focus front camera
      • 5 lens, ƒ / 2.0, FOV 76 °
      • supports AF AF
      • third generation of intelligent beauty, support big eyes, thin face
      • photo preferably
      • facial recognition

      Actual Photos:

      Selfie Camera:

      4K Video Capture Sample:

      Battery and Benchmark
      While packing in 4070mAh inside a thin unibody is not in anyway easy to do, the Mi Note 2 has a pretty good battery life for a Note level smartphone. The Mi Note 2 now supports the Qualcomm Quick charge 3.0 and it takes in 2.5 Amperes based on our testing, this should be higher when you buy a Quick Charge 3.0 charger, the reason why Xiaomi only included a Quick Charge 2.0 charger is due to cost cutting to bring it to you at the lowest price possible. We were able to charge from 12% to 25% in less than 6 minutes out the box as that’s the only factory charge they gave us together with the unit. We were able to complete charging the phone in 1 hour and 31 minutes. We recorded a 9 hour endurance test Mi Note 2 128GB version under the PC Mark battery stress test. If these statistics are true on a normal daily use, then its really a good one to have.

      The benchmark of the Mi Note 2 6GB RAM 128GB ROM AnTuTu benchmark for 131,811 points which is a little lower than that of the Mi 5s Plus at 135,822 points.

      More Benchmarks:

      More Photos of the Mi Note 2:

      Mi Note 2 and Mi 5 side by side:

      Mi Note 2, Powerful both Inside and Outside

      Now the question is Mi Note 2 worthy to dethrone Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as the top Note level smartphone to buy for 2016? Simple answer, its definitely a yes, and Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is sitll far from the exploding #7 jinx that Galaxy Note 7 and Iphone 7 has. This new flagship of Xiaomi is pretty impressive both on the inside and on the outside. We recommend you to take an exploration on this unit for those who uses Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and we tell you that you will love the way this phone is built.

      The 64GB variant retails for 2799 RMB and the 128GB Full Netcom variant retails at 3299 RMB and the Global Variant retails for 3499 RMB.

    • Excellent review as always @mitch002 ! Can you please take some photos in the dark, where usually is the weakness with all xiaomi mobiles!? I want to buy this version 6/128 and till now I haven't seen anything discouraging.

      Thank you
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