Ever since Xiaomi released their first smartphone in August 2011 , the Tech giant rapidly gained market share in China to become the country’s largest smartphone company in 2014. Fast forward to 2021 and we get the Mi 11, Xiaomi’s latest flagship killer. Launched in February 25 2021, there have been numerous reviews on the phones so I wont be going too in-depth on the specs. What I want to know is, what’s it like as a whole. So I’ve been using the Mi 11 for a little over a month and here are the interesting things I noticed.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 was the first announced smartphone with the new Snapdragon 888 chipset by Qualcomm, and it is the first one we get to test in our office (also the first phone we reviewed) . The Snapdragon 888 processor should deliver up to 25% better performance over the SD865 CPU and better power efficiency as well as a 35% performance increase over the Adreno 650 inside the SD865 of the Mi 10. Xiaomi Mi 11 uses 128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1 storage, non-expandable, and can be bought with 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM . The model we have is the 8GB ROM with 128GB of storage.The phone has 5G capabilities with Wi-Fi 6 support. The new Snapdragon 888 is indeed the most powerful Android chipset to date.
The phone has a Triple Camera set up at the back with a 108mp Main sensor , 13mp Ultra wide and 5mp Macro. Taking photos is a great with good saturation on the photos. Colors are vibrant and crisp with an excellent level of detail on subjects. The Mi 11 shoots video at up to an impressive 8K resolution at 30 fps, however we tested at 4K at 30 fps, where overall performance was better with good dynamic range . Videos can be captured with HDR10+ encoding for more dramatic dynamic range on displays that support it, and quarter-speed slow motion is also available at 1080p. The only thing I noticed is when zooming in where you would notice the camera switch from optical to digital zoom . It’s not performance impacting but the clear switch is noticeable and the high resolution of the sensor isn’t enough to keep quality near what you’d expect from longer focal-length lenses. Of course, if zooming in isn’t a priority for you, this weakness may not matter.
Here are some sample photos that we took with the camera .
Macro , HDR set to auto with Ai mode turned on : Flower shot Rock formation
108MP mode turned on , no other settings turned on : Flora
Portrait mode , HDR auto with AI mode turned on : Portrait flora
Selfie Camera , HDR auto , Beautify on: Selfie under bright conditions
Ultra wide angle , HDR auto with AI turned on : Wide shot
Main camera (not in 108Mp mode) , HDR auto with AI turned on: Rabbit Close up Random shot
Main Camera Night Mode , HDR with ai turned on : Night mode
The Mi 11 boasts of an Amoled Display with 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ and a maximum brightness of 1500 nits which after using on a daily basis , I can confidently say is definitely more than enough to see under brightly lit areas . Gaming and watching videos on the 6.81 inch display is very enjoyable since it has an Amoled display which means colors are vibrant and accurate. With a resolution of 1440 x 3200, I often find myself just turning on the display just to look at the stunning clarity of the icons. Pixels are not noticeable and swiping left and right on the 120Hz screen is buttery smooth .
Although the only gripe I have with the screen is if you have 120Hz and WQHD+ turned on , it does eat away at the battery much faster . Thankfully I work at home so a charger is never a mile away from where I sit . You can unlock the screen via the under-display fingerprint scanner. The reader is easy to set up, pretty fast, but the accuracy is not ideal. 2D Face Unlock is available too and the unlocking process is quick although personally I’d still go for a physical fingerprint scanner preferably on the power button as it makes more sense naturally .
First, let’s start by saying that there is no better chip for Android on the market – meaning the Mi 11 is running on the fastest hardware currently available. There are other phones that use the SD 888, sure, but the Mi 11 has what it takes to play any game or do whatever tasks you can come up with during the next at least two years.
The heating issue is probably not a deal breaker – the Mi 11 is a super thin phone with everything important crammed around the top part, behind the high-end and probably warm screen. We aren’t saying this behavior is normal – no, it should not happen. What we meant is that the regular user will probably never experience this issue. But if you are the type of person who pushes their phones to the limit – this is something you need to keep in mind when buying the phone.
The Mi 11 got a lot of things right – from the attractive design with a premium build, through the breathtaking screen and fast chipset, all the way to the versatile camera experience and cool video software it comes with. The Mi 11 ships with a charger, one way or another, despite the initial intentions, and it’s plenty fast at that.
Long story short, the Mi 11 delivers flagship performance when it matters and will continue to do so in the future.
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About Xiaomi Corporation
Xiaomi Corporation was founded in April 2010 and listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on July 9, 2018 (1810.HK). Xiaomi is an internet company with smartphones and smart hardware connected by an Internet of Things (IoT) platform at its core.