Xiaomi Mi 11 Hands-on Review

Last Update 2020-12-28


Xiaomi Mi 11 has now been officially unveiled as the company's newest flagship phone — weeks after being a part of the rumor mill. We haven't heard anything about the rumored Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro, or any kind of Mi 11 Lite. Xiaomi Mi 11 is the world’s first smartphone powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC that was unveiled earlier this month and is expected to power a list of premium phones early next year. The Mi 11 also comes with triple rear cameras, with a 108-megapixel primary sensor. Alongside this phone, Xiaomi also announced the MIUI 12.5. The company claims that MIUI 12.5 is lighter, faster, and more efficient as compared to MIUI 12.

Price, colors, and availability

The Xiaomi Mi 11 comes with a lot of impressive specs and features but what makes it a compelling buy is its price. The flagship starts at $600 for the 8+128GB version; goes up to $657 for the 8+256GB version, and stops at $719 for the 12+256GB variant. The Xiaomi Mi 11 comes in Blue, Black, and White colors. There is a special Lei Jun Signature Edition that has a different finish (scodix crystal), a special retail box, and is only available in 12+256GB for $719. There’s also a special leather edition that will be offered in orange and purple colors. The smartphone is up for pre-orders starting today and will go on sale in China on January 1st. Interestingly, Xiaomi has announced that it will sell the Mi 11 smartphone in two retail boxes, one with the charger and one without it. Both these versions will cost the same, i.e. buyers can get the charger free of cost.

Design and display

It seems that the Xiaomi Mi 11 design builds on the Mi 10 - it looks fairly similar on the front, with a 'punch-hole' cut-out in the top-left corner of the screen for the selfie sensor. However, that screen doesn't just curve on the left and right edges as in the Mi 10, but on all four sides. Another big design change from the Mi 10 to the Mi 11 is its camera setup. Rather than having a slim vertical design, there's a squarish module here.

The flagship phone has a 6.81-inch 2K WQHD (1,440 x 3,200 pixels) curved AMOLED display with 1500 nits of peak brightness, 5000000:1 contrast ratio, and 515ppi of pixel density. The display with a hole-punch design also includes up to 120Hz refresh rate that can go even down to 30Hz — depending on the usage. There is also a touch sampling rate of 480Hz. Moreover, the display of the Mi 11 offers DCI-P3 color gamut as well as supports HDR10+ and Motion Estimation Motion Compensation (MEMC). There is also the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on top, and 8,192 levels of brightness adjustment. Xiaomi says that the Mi 11 has already achieved the A+ rating from screen analysis firm DisplayMate.

Front and rear cameras

The camera is also impressive. While the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Ultra attempted to pack in four cameras, Xiaomi is rightfully cutting down on the numbers to focus more on the size of the sensor. Xiaomi Mi 11 comes with a triple rear camera setup that houses the 108MP primary sensor with a pixel size of 1.6 microns, along with an f/1.9 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS). The 1/1.33-inch primary camera sensor is touted to be 3.7 times bigger than what's available on the iPhone 12. It is designed to capture up to 8K videos. The camera setup of the Mi 11 also includes a 13MP ultra-wide sensor with an f/2.4 aperture and a field-of-view (FoV) of 123 degrees. Additionally, there is a 5MP tertiary sensor with an f/2.4 macro lens that has a focal length equivalent to 50 millimetres. There is a Super Night Scene video mode that allows you to record videos in low-light using Night Mode. The phone also comes with a professional mode, Video LOG mode, support for HEIF format, Cinematic Lens, and a bunch of classic movie filters. The much-loved sky-filter is also available. The front camera is a 20MP sensor.

Software, processor, and battery

The Xiaomi Mi 11 is the first launched smartphone with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, which will be the processor used in most top-end phones in 2021 like the Samsung Galaxy S21 and OnePlus 9. The 5nm Snapdragon 888 SoC which scores 745,942 points on AnTuTu is coupled with 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 high-speed storage. It also comes with stereo speakers that are backed by Harman Kardon audio. As well as impressive speakers, the Xiaomi Mi 11 may be a music fan's dream smartphone because it comes with a feature called Bluetooth Audio Sharing. This means audio can play from multiple Bluetooth-connected outputs at once, so two people can listen to music or watch a movie on the same phone from different pairs of headphones. The phone has an in-display fingerprint sensor, and other than unlocking your phone and authorizing payments, Xiaomi says it can also measure your heart rate. Connectivity options on the smartphone include 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, NFC, Infrared (IR), and a USB Type-C port.

Xiaomi Mi 11 runs MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11 OS. It brings some minor changes to MIUI 12 including new wallpapers, security improvements, and seemingly improvements to the user interface. As for battery and charging, this is a flagship, so you get some great specifications here too. The 4,600 mAh battery can be charged up to 55W with a wire or up to 50W wirelessly.