Xiaomi (roughly pronounced "Shiao-Me") is probably the most important company in the smartphone industry right now. The upstart OEM is the number one vendor in the world's biggest smartphone market—China—where it makes five of the top eight models. Xiaomi saw 227 percent growth last year, and, despite only doing business in about six countries, it's currently battling for third place in worldwide share behind Samsung and Apple.
The company caught our attention last year, and when we reviewed its flagship, the Mi 4, we were expecting a cheap iPhone knockoff. However, we came away extremely impressed by the device—especially the build quality. That was a 5-inch device, but now Xiaomi is targeting the iPhone 6 Pluses and Galaxy Notes of the world with a flagship phablet, the Mi Note.
Like the Mi 4, the Mi Note is hard to beat if you want bang for your buck. You get a 5.7-inch, 1080p LCD atop a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 with 3GB of RAM—nearly top of the line specs—for $370.