Same, same but different: Xiaomi takes on Apple with Mi Note

Xiaomi has released the Mi Note phablet, which has been compared to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, despite there being some noticeable differences.

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi looks set to continue its trend of undercutting its competitors with the release of the Mi Note phablet, which sports a similar look to the iPhone 6 Plus, but at half the price.

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun unveiled the Mi Note at an event on Thursday in Beijing.

According to CNET, while Jun compared the Mi Note to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus during his presentation, it is noticeably different.

The Mi Note is a 5.7-inch Android phone with round edges, and features full high-definition display and a 13MP rear camera. Other specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 3,000mAh battery, and either 16GB or 64GB of storage.

IDC analyst Bryan Ma told CNET that Xiaomi's decision to make a phablet was no surprise.

"It was an obvious gap in their portfolio that was only being serviced by a low-end Redmi Note before. High-end users need their phablets, too," he said.

Expected to go on sale in China on January 27, an unlocked Mi Note will be sold for AU$455. This is a fraction of the price of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, which costs AU$999 unlocked, and Samsung's Galaxy Note 4, which is price tagged at AU$949.

Xiaomi finished 2014 with 227 percent handset growth, where it sold 61.12 million smartphones during the year, earning the company 74.3 billion yuan in revenue before tax.

Co-founder and president of Xiaomi Bin Lin said: "This puts us at the top spot for smartphone manufacturer in China."

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