Back in August, Xiaomi launched the colorful plastic Redmi Note 2 phablet. The device featured a powerful 64-bit octa-core Helio X10 processor along with a full HD 5.5-inch screen, dual SIM support, 13MP Samsung camera and a huge 3,060mAh battery. On the specification side, the phone seems like a winner. Apparently, it just didn’t look like one. A leaked set of images from TENAA (China’s FCC equivalent) reveals the company is about to launch an almost all-metal version with a fingerprint sensor.
From the shape, and a number of design features — like the long rectangular speaker grille on the back — we can see the phone is virtually identical to the already-announced Xiaomi Redmi Note 2. But there are a couple of traits that make this phone unique.
First off, the back is primarily made from metal, although it does seem to have color-matched plastic ‘windows’ on the top and bottom. What’s more, there’s the aforementioned fingerprint sensor as well as a new pill-shaped dual LED flash below the camera. At 8.75mm thin, it looks like it’ll be slightly thicker than the non-pro model and will be a few grams heavier too.
When the Redmi Note 2 launched, it did so with a maximum price of 999 Yuan for the Prime model with 32GB storage and a processor clocked at 2.2GHz. That’s the equivalent of around $155 based on today’s exchange rates. Since the Note 2 has three versions at 100 Yuan intervals, it wouldn’t be crazy to assume the Pro model will be 100 Yuan more than the Prime version, putting it at 1,099 Yuan ($172). Of course, any guesses at pricing are completely speculative.
What we can say, however, is that Xiaomi is doing all it can to ensure it challenges Huawei, which recently overtook the company as the biggest-selling smartphone maker in China. By including a metallic design and the fingerprint sensor, it’s bringing the Redmi Note line up to date with the current smartphone flagships, except it’ll be doing so at a far lower price point.