RedmilogoRed Mi Note

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi debuts a low-cost phablet, Red Mi Note, on Tencent’s social platform Q-zone yesterday. The new product is opened up for preorder now and will be shipped on March 26 at 799 yuan (roughly US$130) for standard version and 999 yuan for enhanced version, basically on par with the price of Red Mi, a budget smartphone of the company.

Enabled by MIUI 5 OS, Red Mi Note standard version is powered by an octa-core MTK 6592 processor clocked at 1.4GHz and features 1G RAM, 8G ROM and 5.5 inch IPS screen. The camera is 5-megapixel on the front and 13-megapixel on the rear. The phablet is a dual SIM phone, supporting both TD-SCDMA and GSM cards. The enhanced version features 2G RAM, 8G ROM and the same processor, which is clocked at 1.7GHz.

It seems that Xiaomi is shifting to devices with bigger screens which has been on a roll since 2011 as tech-savvy consumers are devoting more times to browse web pages and download contents. In addition to the imminent phablet, Xiaomi recently released a MIUI ROM for Google’s Nexus 7 II and speculations swirled that the smartphone maker is going to release tablet soon.

But Xiaomi isn’t the only Chinese phone maker to eye this market. Huawei’s low-cost phablet Honor 3X which shares similar features with Red Mi Note in dual-SIM capability, octa-core processor and 5.5-inch IPS display, is on sale at Huawei’s ecommerce site Vmall and Yixun today. Huawei announced on the same day of Red Mi Note’s release that standard edition of Honor 3X is priced at 998 yuan. The company spun off Honor, a smartphone brand sharing similar positioning as Xiaomi, to run it independently since the end of last year.

image credit: Xiaomi, Huawei