Xiaomi Mi 11 Review
The Xiaomi Mi 11 was announced in the final days of 2020 and made available to domestic Chinese customers in early January 2021. It was also launched globally in February, with prices revealed for European countries in particular.
You may be wondering where Xiaomi Mi 11 was in the news. It was actually the very first Snapdragon 888 device in the world, and to this day, it still is in many countries. In the last year or so, Xiaomi has been seeing a rapid increase in its customer base, especially in the European countries.
The new Mi 11’s 6.85-inch 3200 x 1440 screen comes with an integrated 120Hz refresh rate, which is made for a smoother and more responsive user experience. One thing however to mention is the fact that it is Xiaomi’s first QHD device with an AMOLED panel.
Although the Mi 11 series features an adaptive display with QHD resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and wide color gamut, its base model can be found starting at only 749€ – it is much cheaper than the Samsung’s S21 Ultra. Also, currently, there are very few in the market with such phenomenal quality displays.
The new phone runs on Qualcomm’s newest generation Snapdragon 888 SoC. It uses a new process node that provides some performance improvements this generation, but at the cost of reduced power, efficiency compared to last year’s generation. It is however interesting to see how far we have come from the earlier Snapdragon, 800 series processors.
RAM and Memory
Almost all versions of the Mi 11 (in other words, those with non-Chinese ROMs) are sold with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The 12GB RAM version, which only exists in China, costs 50€ more than the regular variant which is a great deal in my opinion. What this does is also forces other manufacturers to not charge an exorbitant amount of money for their higher storage variants.
The 1080p OLED screen has a pixel density of 428ppi, but the PPI is not sufficient at bigger dimensions especially of flagships. After several years of 1080p OLED flagships, Xiaomi also finally jumped over to QHD with AMOLED, which is a step in the right direction in my opinion. Also, there are have not been many new display technologies, and jumping on the QHD OLED panels is the only option left for premium smartphones.
Xiaomi advertises that this is a 10-bit panel, and as we all know it has better color graduations and brightness. One thing to note is that it lacks a variable refresh rate for both the software and the hardware types. It clearly means that the 120Hz display will consume a lot of power and you may need to plug in your phone in the evening.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 is quite attractive, with an almost completely rounded design. It has curved back and front glass that’s chemically etched and quite smooth. The design is upmarket and it will appeal to most of the users out there.
The metal frame really covers the majority of the phone’s thickness at the corners, as opposed to the sides where the front display curves around.
The phone’s side edges are incredibly thin and basic on both sides, resulting in great ergonomics and in-hand feel despite its 74.6mm width.
Xiaomi has managed to reduce the thickness of this generation’s phone from 8.96mm to 8.06mm, a notable reduction between generations. The phone’s weight has even been lowered from 208 to 196 grams. All this makes you feel that Xiaomi really takes care of its customers.
On the right side of the phone, you’ll find a power button as well as a volume rocker. The metal side frame here extends toward the back glass cover. This reminds me of Samsung’s aesthetic from recent years.
The main camera uses a Samsung sensor that natively captures 108MP shots. However, in general photography, it downsamples to 27MP. It doesn’t have the telephoto module of its predecessor, so it uses the raw resolution of this module. Samsung sensors are used in many other flagship devices and they are producing some great results. However, we need to see the software optimizations to further comment on it.
The wider aperture is more reasonable in my view, especially as the Mi 10 suffered from its optics. It still has optical image stabilization, which is good news. The ultra-wide-angle camera is a 13MP f/2.4 camera with a magnificent 123-degree field of view. The camera is one area where it completely annihilates its predecessor.
The camera island on the back of the Xiaomi Mi 11 is made up of three layers, each of which is only as thick as is necessary to accommodate the camera sensors. The primary camera module is still fairly hefty, although it is not as noticeable as it formerly was.
Two speakers are located on the device’s bottom-facing side. The phones top features a Hardman/Kardon branding, and the speakers are typically rather loud. They are now among the finest sounding on any device.
When I held the Mi 11 in my hand, the first thing that struck me was how small it was for a flagship smartphone. When I say small I don’t mean that it’s particularly thin, but just that it’s small in every dimension.
Overall, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is a great device and if you want a flagship phone at around 700 Euros then this is the phone for you. If you want a more sophisticated phone then you can definitely have a look at the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The smartphone market is not that buzzing anymore as it was in 2019. The pandemic has definitely affected this market which has caused disruptions in global supply chains. It has greatly impeded the fast-paced smartphone industry. However, all the manufacturers are trying their best and soon we will be able to see some great value-for-money flagships. Till then we need to go about with what we have.