The Xiaomi Mi 11 is making waves in the news and many pundits have called it a serious contender to beat the Samsung S series. When we reviewed the Samsung phones, there was no doubt that the phones couldn’t be beaten. But today we change our minds.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 launched on the 3rd April in Singapore and is available in all the leading retailers including Red White Mobile as well.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 is priced at around S$999 for the 128GB version and S$1,029 for the 256GB version.
By no means is this a budget device and it’s a premium flagship aimed at dethroning Samsung, which the Mi 11 seems to be doing.
The Mi 11 is very different from the Mi 10 when it comes to certain features. Xiaomi has decided to improve the screen resolution. They have improved the quality of the loudspeaker, which is generally a feature that no phone maker cares about.
The camera has some specific feature additions that help with close-up shots. And is certainly a big upgrade on the Mi 10. The processor has been ramped up as well and that makes it faster.
MIUI has been the bane of Xiaomi for years and has been the black sheep in an otherwise perfect ensemble of hardware and software. Although Xiaomi has ironed out some of the kinks. Some issues still remain.
When compared to the Samsung, the specs on the Mi 11 look incredible. But it does have it’s problems. The battery life in our tests is pretty abysmal and that’s the consensus amongst many pundits.
The other major concern which is definitely an irritating point for most users is the inconsistent fingerprint scanner.
The Mi 11 is a perfect phone with a few imperfections and you’ll see in the review below, whether it’s worth buying or not!
Design & Display of Xiaomi 11 Singapore
Honestly the Xiaomi Mi 11 isn’t particularly a great looking device. It looks like your average premium smartphone. But during the review, we definitely loved the way the camera was housed at the back.
The curved design also added a certain look to it. These are subtle things and will not probably sway the end user in terms of a decision. But it’s still something.
Firstly, let’s talk about what’s good. The weight at 196 grams is quite light and we certainly expected it to be heavier.
In terms of the look, there’s nothing much to write about except that it’s long and sleek and doesn’t feel chunky at all. If you like thin phones, you’ll like the Mi 11.
The body of the phone is a mix of Glass & Aluminum. Glass on the front & back, aluminum adorning the sides as the frame. This is pretty standard for a premium smartphone.
The aluminum also makes the phone sturdy and will protect it during regular falls. When you hold the phone, you do feel the sturdiness of it which is good.
The Mi 11 does have an IR sensor on top which can convert your smartphone into a remote control that can actually control quite a few devices.
It doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack. The back of the phone is where it looks remarkably different. The camera slot looks unique and immediately makes it stand out.
One of the deciding factors is the Display of the phone. The Mi 11 is actually a unique offering from Xiaomi, because it’s the biggest smartphone they’ve made in terms of the screen size.
The 6.81-inch AMOLED screen has a commanding presence and has a screen to body ratio of 91.4%, which is almost all screen and you can tell by the display.
The bezels are quite thin compared to some of the other premium smartphones out there. This makes it really good while gaming.
Going by numbers, the Xiaomi has a 1440 X 3200 resolution, which makes the image much more crisper and in fact, it’s probably the best in this segment. It beats Samsung in this department, hands down.
It’s got the HDR10+ support, a 120Hz refresh rate, which is the gold standard as refresh rates go and it does have an interesting feature for gamers, which is the 480Hz touch input rate.
With a touch rate that is so quick (Faster than most smartphones), the gaming is more real time and your gaming response is picked up by the phone a lot quicker.
The display also has a punch hole camera on the top left corner. The Mi 11 does eerily look like a Samsung phone.
There is a lot of tech wizardry going on behind the display that really makes the visual experience pop. From enhancing videos through frame rates, adding HDR quality to images and improving the resolution, generally the content you are seeing is much better because of the ‘imagine’ engine.
Chipset and Software
If you want to beat the king, you need to bring the arsenal and that’s the case with the chipset for the Xiaomi 11. It has the Snapdragon 888. If you check out the specifications of the Snapdragon 888, it’s the latest and greatest amongst chipsets and the best an Android phone can get at this moment.
If you do care about Geekbench scores, then you’ll be surprised to know that it performs better than most flagships out there, including Apple’s very own iPhone 11.
It is a ridiculous quick chipset that is perfect for the power user who loves to game, loves to multi-task and do things rapidly.
We put it to test by using heavy gaming apps and video processing and it worked like a dream. If you are a power user, you won’t be disappointed by this chipset.
The MIUI has a reputation and not a good one and rightly so. Primarily because Xiaomi does a very poor job with the bloatware.
The Mi 11 runs on MIUI 12 with the core Android 11 OS. Android 11 is amazing by itself, but the MIUI 12 is not half as bad. The expectations were subpar, but this is quite a decent addition to the stock Android.
As most true Android phones, there are good customization options on the MIUI 12. It’s quite quick and it has lesser bloatware compared to the other Xiaomi phone models.
The MIUI boasts the Mi Light Cone Animation Framework which helps with showcasing colours, and videos in a brand new light.
The buttons and settings are really intuitive, similar to that of Apple, which is welcome!
Xiaomi is also boasting the privacy capabilities of the MIUI 12. Overall it’s a pretty decent addition.
The cameras on the Mi 11 are a bit of a hit and a miss.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 uses Samsung’s cameras and it has a triple camera setup.
- The 108MP wide lens which is the high resolution sensor
- The 13MP ultrawide lens
- The 5MP macro lens
- 20MP wide lens
The cameras on the Mi 11 are better than the Mi 10, not because of the cameras itself, but because of the advanced AI features which have been vastly improved.
The night shots or shots with low light in them are decent, but not great. The great photos are captured with a lot of light and that’s where the Mi 11’s cameras shine.
The Mi 11’s cameras do use the Pixel binning technology which is combining different pixels to make a much better quality image.
The ultrawide camera is pretty standard. The 5MP macro lens has been dubbed the ‘Telemacro’ camera which is perfect for shooting close-up objects. The best part?
You don’t have to be that close to shoot a close-up which is a bit counter intuitive, but it works. There’s the standard digital zoom, but there isn’t a dedicated zoom lens, which is quite sad for a phone this expensive.
The Tele macro lens is a major highlight and will be loved by users who love to take up close up shots.
The front selfie camera is a pretty standard affair. It’s a 20MP shooter. It does have the portrait mode which is most sought after. The Bokeh effect is also quite decent with the Xiaomi phone.
If you are using the camera without the Portrait mode, it’s not going to be that great as per our experience.
Apart from the photo experience, the video experience has become huge with most people becoming influencers in their own right.
The Snapdragon 888 plays a huge role in video filming, as it makes it easy to shoot 8K videos without any fuss.
Mi 11 has provided a lot of video options and Movie Modes. The Movie modes offer various funky video shooting options which really help creative video makers.
Apart from that, there are filters and other settings that can be modified.
But what’s missing in the camera? The Telephoto Camera is a big miss for a phone this expensive, which is quite an issue for camera aficionados. The night shots are a bit below par as well.
But apart from this, the Mi 11’s cameras are on point and are absolutely worth the price.
The battery has become a contentious topic and that’s because it’s one of the few areas where the Mi 11 truly lacks.
The battery on the Mi 11 doesn’t even last a full day with moderate use and this is an area of concerns. It does have the fast charging capabilities with a 55W charger that’s a beast. And that can charge the device in about 30 minutes.
But why can’t the battery hold enough juice? That’s because the Xiaomi Mi 11’s display is massive at 6.81-inches and that sucks up the battery. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate which reduces it considerably as well, although that can be adjusted with choosing a lower refresh rate.
This is a major drawback as power users need to keep charging their phone.
Who is the phone for? Final Thoughts
The Mi 11 is an amazing package. It beats the likes of the Samsung S series in terms of specs and in a real world scenario as well, it beats them hands down.
If there wasn’t the minor niggles with the batteries and the poor battery life, this would be a perfect phone with nothing wrong with it.
Having said that, it’s still better than most of the options out there and it’s easily the phone to beat.
So should you be buying the Mi 11 Review? And who should buy it.
- People who love watching content on their phones should definitely get this phone because of its massive display with HDR capabilities and the Imagine Engine which rapidly improves the quality of videos showcased. Not a lot of phones can give this sort of user watching experience.
- This is a perfect phone for gamers. There are quite a few features that the gamers will love. Firstly, it’s the massive display with a lot of real estate and a good screen to body ratio
- Secondly the touch rate is said to be 8x faster than the other devices, which means every single action of yours while gaming is picked up quicker by the phone. This will literally make you a better gamer.
- Thirdly the processor, Sandragon 888 is perfectly suited for gaming as it’s the best chipset available for Android devices.
- People who love multitasking & using heavy apps. This is again a shout out to the Snapdragon 888 processor. With a processor like this, you can be video editing, gaming and watching videos all at once and the phone will still be seamless without having to struggle.
The ones who shouldn’t get this phone are the ones who truly care about all aspects of the camera experience. That is having a Telephoto camera and a Zoom. If you’re an avid smartphone photographer, then you should probably skip.
Another thing is, if you truly care about battery life and are bothered about charging your phone repeatedly, then the Mi 11 will not deliver.