Xiaomi funder and CEO Lei Jun speaks at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing, July 22, 2014. / Reuters

Apple of the East's new flagship phone is looking a lot less like Apple's

Xiaomi has launched a new iPhone 6 Plus competitor — but this time it won’t be facing the usual charge of copying Apple.

The company is often called the “Apple of the East”, and has been said to copy the company’s designs. But its new phones avoid the trap of aping Apple, and look more like an Android device.

This morning it launched two 5.7-inch phones, one called the Mi Note and another the Mi Note Pro.

The Mi Note comes with a 5.7-inch screen that uses Gorilla Glass, has a 2.5GHz processor and 3GB of RAM. The specs are largely better than the iPhone 6 Plus’s.

And the Pro is even more high-spec, with 1GB more of RAM and faster download speeds.

The phones start at the equivalent of about £250, for the smallest Mi Note, and run all the way to £355 for the 64GB Mi Note Pro. That was more expensive than some customers had expected, with one user writing on the Facebook page for the launch that he had hoped the new phone would be more “economically priced”.

Post by Mi.

The phones were announced this morning along with a range of new products — headphones and a small set top box like an Apple TV.

Launching the phones, Xiaomi called them the “most epic flagship phone the year”.

The company’s previous flagship device was the Mi 4, released in July last year.