Silicon Valley is home to the world's biggest tech companies - including Apple and Google. In recent years, Silicon Valley has been slowly and steadily losing out to Beijing - the new hub for tech innovation.
Sure, Silicon Valley will play a critical role in carving out the road map to align future growth. While Beijing was obviously not as important as Silicon Valley a few years back, it now seems that the former has emerged as the biggest gainer in several parameters - be it in the innovation front or getting acknowledged for coming up with cheaper products.
Hence it's clear, as others have noted, Beijing-based tech companies are ready to give American tech giants a cut throat competition.
Upping the ante against Apple, a Beijing-based upstart company, Xiaomi, has quickly emerged as the world's third largest smartphone maker from nowhere. In less than 4 years, the company grew from zero to hero, thanks to its impeccable marketing strategy.
Chinese handset maker Xiaomi wasn't too afraid to present its latest innovation handsets on Thursday. Notably, the company's new phones look a lot less like Apple's iPhone 6. In addition, the handsets will cost about half of that of the iPhone 6 Plus.
Out of the four products introduced in Beijing on Thursday, we particularly liked the Mi Note, a 5.7-inch smartphone that could easily give the iPhone 6 Plus a run for its money.
We decided to take a closer look at the device on the basis of specs, features, competition and overall value. Here are possibly the top 10 features of Xiaomi's Mi Note.
The Mi Note doesn't look like a copied device. It has got an original design with a metal frame around the phone's edges, and has a glass made back cover coupled with curved edges. Although the device still feels wide, so you will probably need two hands to operate.
This phone is insanely thin at just 6.95mm thick and 161g in weight. Apple iPhone 6 Plus, on the other hand, is thin at just 7.1mm and weighs in at 172 grams.
The Mi Note sports a 5.7-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The panel was supplied by Japan Display. The iPhone 6 Plus, on the other hand, comes with the highest resolution display ever on an Apple phone. It's a full HD screen - 1920 x 1080. Apple calls it Retina HD.
Under the hood is a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. The original Note had a Snapdragon 400 processor, paired with 2GB of RAM. The iPhone 6 Plus, in the meanwhile, is powered by Apple's A8 (dual-core) chipset and is supported by 1GB of RAM.
Like any other updated handset model, the Mi Note offers superfast download speeds, thanks to 4G LTE connectivity. Even the Apple iPhone 6 Plus is supported by LTE connectivity.
In addition, there is a 13mp camera sensor supplied by Sony, which is also equipped with the OIS and dual tone dual LED flash setup. Also, add a 4MP Ultrapixel camera sensor on the front side, which is the same as the one on the HTC One M8. The iPhone 6 Plus's camera, on the other hand, is supported by OIS, dual-LED feature.
The Mi Note comes in either 16GB or 32GB of storage capacities. The device also supports an expandable storage. The Apple iPhone 6 Plus comes in three capacities: 16GB, 64GB and 128GB
Xiaomi's native UI MIUI skin - v6.0 - with Android 5.0 Lollipop on top of Mi Note. The Apple iPhone 6 Plus, on the other hand, runs iOS 8. You won't notice many differences between iOS 7 and iOS 8 but there are many new features that add to the experience.
The handset features a 3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery with QuickCharge 2.0. So one should expect the battery life to be decent if not fantastic. The 2,915mAh battery packs enough juice to let the iPhone 6 Plus last two full days of reasonable use, according to some media reports.
The 16GB model of the Mi Note will be made available for ¥2299 (Rs.22,948), while the 64GB version will command ¥2799 (Rs.27,939) in China. The iPhone 6 Plus is excessively priced in several parts of Asia, including India. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6 Plus will cost you upwards of Rs. 62,000 in India.