Xiaomi Mi Note features a 13MP camera, equipped with a dual-tone LED flash. The sensor is also enhanced by optical image stabilization, which is supposed to with low light photography.
The camera interface is fairly simple, though it has certainly changed since MIUI v.5. Now you have three panes - the default one shows the viewfinder with a virtual shutter, flash trigger and front camera key. Slide to the top pane and you'll get a choice of 12 filters with live previews. A slide to the bottom hides the advanced modes such as Panorama, Refocus, Delay Shutter, Highlight tones, Hand-hand twilight, and Manual.
The HDR switch is now placed next to the virtual camera shutter and offers Live HDR, Auto HDR, Normal and Off modes.
The Manual Mode offers you manual settings for white balance and ISO.
The Face Detection switch is within the additional settings.
The Xiaomi Mi Note resolves plenty of detail and the noise levels are kept low. The white balance is right most of the time delivering accurate and lively colors. The dynamic range is above average and you may not need the HDR mode in some occasions - your camera will do just fine. There were a few times the autofocus failed us, so we suggest focusing manually for critical photos, otherwise you may miss some precious moments.
The HDR mode is conservative and rescues both the highlights and shadows without making a mess out of the image.
Panorama shots are available too - you can capture both landscape and portrait panoramic photos with a 180 degree field of view. Shooting is easy but the stitching takes a while to complete. The end result is rather disappointing though - the landscape shots come in 4400x700px pixels while shooting in portrait mode results in the more usable 3000x1300px. We like the portrait panoramic images though their white balance is a bit hit & miss.
Xiaomi Mi Note features a 4MP front-facing camera for high-res selfies. Judging by the specs - 1/3" 16:9 sensor size and 2Âµm pixel size - it does sound a lot like HTC's UltraPixel sensor. This one however doesn't have auto focus.
The images come out nicely detailed. This camera is among the best front snappers we've met - not because of the resolution, but due to the excellent color rendition and the high level of resolved detail.
The Xiaomi Mi Note is more than capable of pulling its own weight in our Photo Comparison tool. You can see it puts up a good fight against the other snappers we've tested and comes on top even against some far pricier options.
Xiaomi Mi Note camcorder has the same UI as the still camera. It supports slow-mo (the result is a 720p@16fps video) and time-lapse videos with customizable snapping interval.
The Xiaomi Mi Note is capable or recording up to 4K@30fps. The bitrate of the video recordings is about 40 Mbps, while audio is captured at 96 Kbps with 2 channels (stereo).
The resolved detail in the 4K videos is very good, while the detail levels in the 1080p videos are only average. The colors and contrast are good and the framerate is smooth and consistent at 30fps. The dynamic range is above average and while the high bitrate helps for artefact-free 4K videos, 1080p ones are hardly something to write home about.
Unfortunately, the automatic exposure is way too harsh and may ruin the overall video quality.
And here is a 4K video we've uploaded on YouTube.
And here is a 1080p video sample.
Video quality comparison tool
Here the Xiaomi Mi Note enters our video comparison tool. There are plenty of 4K and 1080p camcorders you can compare it with. It resolves an average level of detail, but contrast and colors are very good.