Xiaomi Mi 11 assessment: A strong rival to high Android flagships

Xiaomi Mi 11 review: A powerful rival to top Android flagships

Xiaomi lastly made a cellphone that does not lag behind different Android flagships in any significant method.

Xiaomi Mi 11 has the quickest Qualcomm processor you may at present get, the Snapdragon 888. It has a robust, 108-megapixel digital camera, an enormous battery that lasts for days, and an enormous 6.81-inch AMOLED show. These are all main enhancements over its predecessor, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Professional. It has just a few new options, too, resembling wi-fi charging. 

The Mi 11 represents a change in Xiaomi’s technique. The corporate used to supply pretty priced smartphones with high specs however just a few lacking options. However this cellphone, similar to its fiercest competitor, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Extremely, has all of it. 

Quick • Handsome • Truthful worth

Digicam lags behind opponents • Huge digital camera bump

The Xiaomi Mi 11 is a robust cellphone with all the newest bells and whistles at a good worth. It is a pity its digital camera is one step behind the competitors.

Lots of the options that look good on the spec sheet are turned off by default, doubtless as a result of Xiaomi thinks most customers will not even discover. For instance, the cellphone’s large AMOLED show has a 3,200×1,400 pixel decision and a most 120Hz refresh fee, however each settings are lowered by default. I used the cellphone with out them for some time, then turned them on, and the distinction could be very refined. 

That is one large digital camera bump.

Picture: stan schroeder/Mashable

Identical goes for the brand new, ultra-snappy Snapdragon processor. Every part feels super-fast on this cellphone, but it surely additionally did on the final one. And although the model of the cellphone that I bought solely had 8GB of RAM (you may get it with 12GB as effectively), it by no means felt prefer it wasn’t sufficient. 

Xiaomi Mi 11 battery life and different options

In truth, the great thing about such a robust cellphone is that it gives you decisions. The 4,600mAh battery is nice sufficient to final by way of the entire day even with the best decision, 120Hz refresh fee, and always-on show, however when you flip these options off, the cellphone will final two days. The battery additionally costs actually quick; you will get from zero to 100% in lower than an hour. 

The reverse wi-fi charging — a staple on at this time’s high smartphones — is a cool function that I by no means actually use. But it surely’s there, so perhaps it will be value it for that one time when your wi-fi earbuds are out of juice and there is not any energy outlet close by (sure, I am optimistic about us touring once more sometime). 

A function that most individuals will not care about, however I do, is aptX HD and aptX Adaptive which is able to enhance sound high quality for Bluetooth audio streaming — and it is also one thing that Samsung’s high telephones do not have. The variations in sound high quality could be refined, however they’re there, particularly when you have high-quality headphones. 

Xiaomi Mi 11 additionally has twin stereo audio system that are loud and sound fairly good, even higher than those on the iPhone 12 Pro

Two issues which might be lacking: Water resistance, and reminiscence card assist. Neither are a dealbreaker for me, however they’re necessary. 

The Xiaomi Mi 11 is de facto large

This case is fairly thick, and still it doesn't fully protect the rear camera's main lens.

This case is pretty thick, and nonetheless it would not absolutely shield the rear digital camera’s predominant lens.


Now that we have established that the specs do not matter — within the sense that the cellphone has just about each function you could possibly consider — what’s it like to make use of?

One factor I’ve in subject with is the show. At 6.81 inches diagonally, and largely bezel-less, the show is spectacular to have a look at, however not probably the most sensible. I choose giant shows, and this one is true there on the sting of consolation for me. In case you have smaller palms, neglect about working this cellphone one-handed. 

Aside from that, the cellphone was a pleasure to make use of. The cellphone is Gorilla Glass on either side (it additionally comes with a leather-based again, when you choose it to glass). It’s extremely slippery, however Xiaomi despatched me a pleasant, grippy, textile case that I used virtually on a regular basis. The under-the-display fingerprint scanner is hit and miss. It could work 10 instances in a row, after which it might repeatedly fail me, for no obvious purpose. Turning on the face unlock function removed that subject, fortunately. And the show itself is nice; I’ve in contrast it to the one on my iPhone 12 Professional and may barely see a distinction when it comes to distinction, coloration vibrancy, or sharpness. 

MiUI 12: Not perfect, but easy enough to get used to.

MiUI 12: Not good, however simple sufficient to get used to.


Software program-wise, the mixture of Android 11 and Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 labored effectively sufficient for me — as soon as I might gotten used to the menus and eradicated a lot of the pre-installed crapware the cellphone got here with. MIUI 12 is a mix of vanilla Android options and a few iOS options, and I discovered the combo pleasant. 

Typically, Android customers fall into two camps; those that discover each little distinction between consumer interfaces, and those that do not thoughts. I fall into the latter class, besides when the cellphone actually annoys me with a dumb function, which the Mi 11 by no means did. 

Xiaomi additionally has some good visible options to make the cellphone really feel a bit extra premium. One I cherished is known as Tremendous Wallpapers — dynamic wallpapers that zoom out and in of visible surroundings relying on the place you are at in a menu. One, for instance, begins by exhibiting you the planet Mars from afar when the cellphone is locked; unlock it, and the animation will breeze by way of Mars’ skinny environment and zoom right into a canyon. 

This sort of visible wizardry helps, as a result of the entrance of the Mi 11 appears to be like the identical as all Android telephones today, with small bezels and a punch-hole selfie digital camera within the higher left nook. On the again, the huge predominant digital camera sensor is by far probably the most noticeable function. It appears to be like highly effective, but it surely protrudes rather a lot; not even my (pretty thick) case was in a position to absolutely shield it. My unit had a matte again that glistens in icy white and lightweight blue; it appears to be like like frosted glass, and it is fairly fancy, though I do suppose that aurora results and gradient colours are a bit overdone on telephones today. 

Xiaomi Mi 11 cameras: Good, however not the very best

That's one big viewfinder.

That is one large viewfinder.


The cellphone’s large, 108-megapixel digital camera sensor, coupled with a 13-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 5-megapixel telemacro sensor, is first rate, however not so good as its measurement would lead you to imagine. 

Xiaomi’s final flagship cellphone, the Mi 10T Pro, was a little bit of a disappointment within the digital camera division. It was good, however not an enchancment over 2019’s Mi Word 10. The brand new Xiaomi Mi 11 is equally perplexing: Its digital camera has extra options and is usually nice, however typically it is an odd step backward. Additionally, it would not seem to be the digital camera system is an improve from the Mi 10T Professional in a {hardware} sense, apart from the shortage of a depth sensor and elevated decision of the macro sensor (5 as a substitute of two megapixels). 

In daylight, you will get lovely, detailed pictures, and if the lighting is de facto good, you may change to the 108-megapixel mode to get these further particulars (by default, the cellphone takes 27-megapixel pictures). For tinkerers, the digital camera’s Professional mode helps you to tweak each little element, which could truly be helpful given how typically the digital camera’s default settings did not work for me. 

In broad daylight, the 108-megapixel sensor shines.

In broad daylight, the 108-megapixel sensor shines.


Xiaomi made some enhancements to low-light images and added some new options. One is the Supermoon mode, which makes use of AI methods to make pictures of the moon seem higher than they need to be, even at most zoom. It additionally has automated evening mode — much like the iPhone 12 — which mechanically takes higher pictures in low-light situations, after just a few seconds of delay. 

This photo of the moon was taken in Supermoon mode with maximum zoom. Safe to say that AI had something to do with it looking this good.

This photograph of the moon was taken in Supermoon mode with most zoom. Protected to say that AI had one thing to do with it trying this good.


Nevertheless, low-light images on this cellphone is hit and miss. Some pictures I took on auto evening mode had a horribly unnatural greenish tint, and the Mi 10T Professional truly took a greater photograph. Devoted evening mode labored higher for me. 

Ouch. That's way too green.

Ouch. That is method too inexperienced.


The cellphone gives a default 2x zoom setting, although you may go a lot farther than that, as much as 30x, by pinching out on the digital camera display screen. The outcomes are alright, up to some extent; I would not go over 3x until crucial. You may as well go to 0.6x for these widescreen photographs. 

Zoom on the Mi 11  won't be as good as what you get on a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Zoom on the Mi 11  will not be pretty much as good as what you get on a Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely.


For those who like macro images, the Mi 11’s 5-megapixel macro digital camera will allow you to zoom in at near-microscopic ranges. It is a gimmick, but it surely’s a cool one, and never each cellphone has it. 

Macro mode won't be useful often, but it's tons of fun.

Macro mode will not be helpful typically, but it surely’s tons of enjoyable.


The selfie digital camera has a 20-megapixel sensor, and it does the job effectively. However even after I eliminated each potential beautifying possibility, it might nonetheless typically produce pictures that have been barely too mushy for my style. 

Turning beautifying options off is a must.

Turning beautifying choices off is a should.


Typically, the Xiaomi Mi 11 digital camera can produce nice pictures, but it surely would not at all times do it — you will typically need to take a number of mediocre pictures (or tinker with the settings) to get one which’s nice. Alternatively, regardless of the shortage of a depth sensor or a devoted zoom digital camera, it is nonetheless a lot versatile. 

On the video entrance, the cellphone gives 8K recording at 30fps, which is able to make you pine for that lacking reminiscence card assist. There are additionally a number of particular video recording modes, together with a Tremendous macro mode, and a mode that has the digital camera observe transferring objects. 

A superb deal, however not the very best cameraphone round

Frosty back isn't reflective and doesn't collect fingerprints very much.

Frosty again is not reflective and would not acquire fingerprints very a lot.


Xiaomi Mi 11 is the corporate’s finest cellphone thus far. It is highly effective, good trying, has a ton of options, and even beats high opponents in sure (albeit minor) regards. Its digital camera, nonetheless, is a step behind the very best cameraphones in school. The Xiaomi Mi 11 begins at 749 euros ($902), which is alright (in Europe), however not low cost sufficient to make it an prompt suggestion. 

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