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Slim, powerful, and cheaper than expected, the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro officially launches in China

Xiaomi launched the Mi Note and the Mi Note Pro at an event in Beijing in early 2015. Two huge flagship challengers to the iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, and Meizu’s MX4 Pro. While the Mi Note went on sale soon afterwards, the Mi Note Pro took longer to make its official debut.

Updated on 05-06-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news of the Mi Note Pro’s release, including finalized specs and price.

Powerful Mi Note Pro goes on sale in China

In a sleight of hand worthy of the best showmen, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun spent the majority of the launch presentation talking about the Mi Note, before revealing the more powerful Mi Note Pro near the event’s close. After a longer than expected wait, the phone is now ready for sale, and the specs have been slightly tweaked, and best of all, the price slightly lowered. Here’s what you need to know about the Mi Note Pro.

Related: Read our review of the Apple iPhone 6 Plus

It has a massive 2.5D, 5.7-inch Sharp/Japan Display touchscreen with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, wrapped in a 6.95mm thin glass body. The rear is 3D glass, which gives the phone a higher resistance to damage. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor powers the phone with a huge 4GB of RAM to help it out. Xiaomi says it had problems with overheating, but has solved them using graphite cooling fins, and a clever heat dissipating body shape.

On the rear is a 13-megapixel, 6-element camera from Sony, complete with optical image stabilization, and a Philips-produced two-tone dual-LED flash, designed to bring out more natural colors even in low-light conditions. A 4-megapixel camera above the screen has a larger, 2-micron pixel sensor for great selfies.The 3090mAh battery can be recharged to 70% capacity in a single hour, there’s 64GB of internal memory, and Cat-9 4G LTE in certain markets. Other features include support for several lossless audio formats including Flac, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, and Wi-Fi.

Mi Note still impresses

The Mi Note has the same size 5.7-inch touchscreen as the Note Pro, with a 3mm thick bezel, encased in a 6.95mm thin body that weighs 161 grams overall. This makes it slightly thinner and 11 grams lighter than Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus. The Mi Note has a 1080p resolution, and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5GHz processor, supported by 3GB of RAM. The camera setup is identical to the Mi Note Pro, plus it has a clever double SIM card tray, and 4G LTE. The Mi Note is powered by a 3000mAh battery, which is the same capacity as the one inside the existing, mid-range RedMi Note.

Xiaomi Mi Note Coors

The basic 16GB Mi Note costs 2300 yuan in China, which is about $370, and a 64GB version can be purchased for 2800 yuan, or $450. Initially, the Mi Note Pro was priced much higher at 3300 yuan, or about $530, but Xiaomi has lowered this to 3000 yuan, the equivalent of $480. It’ll be on sale May 12 through Xiaomi’s website. Sadly, as always, there’s no word of an international launch for the Mi Note Pro.

In the lead up to the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro’s launch, rumors suggested we’d see the rumored Xiaomi Mi 5 announced at the event. There’s a chance the Mi Note Pro is the Mi 5 under a different name, but because the Mi 4 is less than a year old, we could still see a follow-up later in 2015.