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Xiaomi has been taking Notes, announces 5.5-inch, octa-core phablet (Updated)

Redmi Note Side

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has announced a new device, and if the name and spec is anything to go by, it wants some of Samsung’s action in the smartphone/tablet hybrid space. The device is the Redmi Note, a big-screen phablet with an octa-core processor, which will go on sale in China by the end of the month. You can see the first teaser image of the device below.

Xiaomi last hit the headlines in mid-February, when its Redmi smartphone was released in Singapore, marking the company’s first major expansion outside of China. It’s also well-known as the firm ex-Googler Hugo Barra joined late last year, where he is tasked with co-ordinating Xiaomi’s international efforts. 

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Redmi Note Front RearThe Redmi range represents Xiaomi’s budget offerings, so we shouldn’t expect the Redmi Note to match the Galaxy Note 3’s impressive spec list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting. The screen measures 5.5-inches, and is described as having an HD resolution. 

Powering the phone is a MediaTek MT6592 octa-core processor, running at either 1.4GHz or 1.7GHz, but there are rumors of a Qualcomm Snapdragon variant with 4G LTE connectivity too. Not only will this boost its appeal in China, it’s also an important addition should Xiaomi decide to put the Redmi Note on sale internationally in the future.

Already known for its unusual marketing techniques, Xiaomi hasn’t confirmed how much the Redmi Note 3 will cost yet, and is instead asking its fans to guess the price. It has 50 phones to give away to those who correctly guess the figure. It’s not going to be expensive, as the standard 4.7-inch Redmi is the equivalent of around $130, while the upper range Mi2 starts at $230. Somewhere in-between these two prices seems likely. Pre-orders for the Redmi Note begin on March 19, and the phone will go on sale March 26.

Update on 3-20-2014 by Andy: Hugo Barra has posted the complete specs and the price for the Redmi Note on his Facebook page. He confirms the 5.5-inch display has a 720p resolution, and provides more details on the two versions of the phone, differentiated by processor speed and RAM. The first comes with a 1.4GHz MediaTak MT6592 processor and 1GB of RAM, while the second increase to 1.7GHz and has 2GB of RAM. The camera on both models has 13-megapixels, and is joined by a 5-megapixel front camera, plus the battery is a hefty 3200mAh cell.

The slower 1.4GHz version has been priced at a very competitive $130, while the faster model comes in at $160. Barra also confirms the Redmi Note will soon be released in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, then adds other markets will come soon. 

Article originally published on 3-17-2014

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Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4 is proving a popular device in China, but that's not the only market in which it's expected to flourish. In January, the 5.5 inch-phablet device went on sale in India, where its predecessor, the Redmi Note 3 was already a big hit.
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Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4 is priced at 899 yuan for the 16GB and 2GB RAM variant, which translates to about $135 U.S., or 8,900 rupees. The 64GB variant with 3GB of RAM costs 1200 yuan/$180/11,900 rupees. It originally went on sale in China at on August 26, and is now also on sale in India in a number of different variants. If you live in India, you'll be able to get the 32GB version for 10,000 rupees (about $155), the 32GB version for 11,000 rupees ($170), and the 64GB version for 13,000 rupees ($201).

In May, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 was made available in Mexico starting at 5,500 pesos ($288). The company also debuted an online platform for Mi users known as Mi Community LATAM, which can be accessed by way of a mobile app. The handset can be purchased at retailers like Coppel, Best Buy, and Sam’s Club by the end of May. Online, customers in Mexico can head over to Amazon, Best Buy, Soriana, Elektra, and Walmart.
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Xiaomi's Mi 5 flagship phone is still on the cards, if rumors are to be believed, but in the meantime the Chinese brand hopes to tempt buyers with the Redmi Note 3. There are two different models and despite being announced several months apart, they're almost identical. To make sure you know which one's right for you, here's everything we know about them.

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After revealing the Redmi Note 3 back in November 2015, Xiaomi revealed a slightly updated version in early January. The Redmi Note 3 Snapdragon, or Redmi Note 3 Pro as some have labeled it, unsurprisingly has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor instead of MediaTek's octa-core Helio X10 processor inside. This provides faster 4G connectivity in countries where it's supported.

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