Xiaomi Mi 11 review - the first flagship of the new wave
Review of Xiaomi Mi 11 (Xiaomi Mi 11) - a review of the flagship phone from Xiaomi
Xiaomi Mi 11 review is next. Towards the end of 2020, the premiere of the new titular flagship, Xiaomi Mi 11, took place. This time, the company decided to do without the simultaneous premiere of the Pro version, which is rumored to be seen no earlier than the Chinese New Year.
The positioning of the smartphone is clear and unambiguous: the flagship with some of the best specifications and the main product in the Android world of the first days of 2021. The device has become more powerful, modern and stylish. True, it should be clearly understood that it is not the most advanced creation of mobile engineering, because here they tried to keep the price tag from taking off to heaven. Nevertheless, the fastest processor from Qualcomm is installed here, almost the best display of all possible at the moment, high-speed memory, pumped sound and other important features of a modern smartphone.
As we found out, there are gizmos in the new Xiaomi Mi 11 that are implemented better than in any other smartphone at the moment, but there were also vile marketing frills. Get ready for a sheet of text with a breakdown of Xiaomi's new flagship "spill" of 2021. In relation to Xiaomi Mi 10, which was released a little over 10 months ago, the progress is obvious, and there are no real competitors around. So maybe Xiaomi has finally hit the bull's-eye and hit the jackpot in the segment with a price tag above $600? The list of attractive traits beckons and is it worth giving in to temptation?
The successor of the family did not look like something radically different. And why? Nevertheless, the exterior of the Xiaomi Mi 11 is no less modern and solid than that of the top-end smartphones of competitors. To "attach" and "hook" to the eye in the good sense of the word is offered on the performance of the rear camera. It turned out a fashionable "chip" on the body, which was designed in the form of a square with "licked" corners, and the two main sensors received an oval black halo, and the main module is outlined with a silver halo. Decide for yourself how aesthetically pleasing and pretty it turned out, but one thing cannot be taken away from Xiaomi Mi 11 - the solution is original.
To please the show-offs, the flagship received a curved display, an aluminum frame, the thickness of which is hidden due to curves, both in front and behind, tempered glass on both sides and a front camera inscribed in the “window” – in this case, round and in the left corner of the screen. The Xiaomi Mi 11 looks and feels like a $600+ smartphone, cool and expensive. The frames around the elongated screen are minimal and the device weighs “only” 194 grams, but compared to Xiaomi Mi 10, whose weight is 208 grams, the new product clearly looks more refined and advantageous.
Case materials are among the innovations in design, and here, it seems, there was a desire to catch up and overtake, and also to give the smartphone a deliberate premium at the expense of practicality and durability. There are two versions: a glass lid and a plastic "back" with leather imitation. In the first version, the flagship may have a white case, blue and black. Those who want the eco-leather option will have to choose between a smartphone in lavender and gold. Subjectively, the version with a lilac tint was the best for the Chinese - it looks rich and unusual, but with a twist on the color palette from Samsung flagships.
Other design elements are not surprising: everything is in the usual places - and the volume rocker on the right side, the speaker, the SIM card slot and the USB Type-C port on the bottom. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is missing - but this is already a recognized trend and marketing, there is no moisture protection in Xiaomi Mi 11.
On the top edge you will find another speakerphone and next to it the proud inscription Harman Kardon, like a screaming "brand" about who "rocked" and finely tuned the speakers. It sounds like a novelty at the level of its predecessor, and for this it was absolutely not necessary to involve the manufacturer of acoustics, whose name appears solely for advertising purposes and to give solidity to the device.
The fingerprint scanner is located under the display - still in a strictly designated place at the bottom. The sensor is optical, it works stably and quickly, there are no complaints. There is a funny feature of the sensor - it is able to track the heart rate. It is worth holding your finger on the scanner for 15 seconds and you can find out the pulse rate.
Xiaomi Mi 11 received a curved AMOLED display with a diagonal of 6.81 inches and a resolution of 3200x1440 pixels. The company claims that this is perhaps the best and most expensive mobile screen today - and, apparently, is not exaggerating.
In addition to using a QuadHD + OLED matrix, HDR10 + support, a refresh rate of 120 Hz, a touch surface that works at a record frequency of 480 Hz, and 10-bit color are announced. A special charm is the peak brightness of 1500 nits and the tempered glass Gorilla Glass Victus protects the display.
Theoretically, the steepness of the Xiaomi Mi 11 screen is undeniable. In practice, too, everything looks decent. The colors are bright and juicy. The viewing angles are wide, the contrast is excellent and the top-end oleophobic coating, a protective film is glued to the screen by default, which is not necessary to remove. Xiaomi Mi 11 screen settings are up-to-date: you can enable Always on Display mode, special reading mode with warm tone, font adjustment, dark mode and advanced color rendering settings.
In order to take full advantage of 2K resolution, Xiaomi Mi 11 added a new AI master image quality engine, which supports super-resolution display enhancement, AI intelligent scene optimization, video enhancement, dynamic image compensation and other functions. They also proposed MEMC technology, which is responsible for motion estimation and compensation. It analyzes the movement in a particular frame and predicts what the next frames will look like, compensating for the flaws in the picture by adding additional frames.
In the settings, the user can select a refresh rate of 60 Hz or 120 Hz, but the manufacturer claims that the panel is able to independently adapt to the image on the display, giving out an additional 30 Hz or 90 Hz.
The new flagship offers the "freshest" hardware - Snapdragon 888. And at the moment you will not find this chip in any other smartphone. In this regard, Xiaomi Mi 11 is exclusive and will remain so until the release of iQOO7 and the Samsung Galaxy S21 line. It breaks performance records in the AnTuTu benchmark, the operating system works smartly, all games run without problems, applications load quickly. There can be no talk of slowdowns or “stuttering”, everything flies according to the principle “keep me seven” and power is one of the clear advantages of Xiaomi Mi 11.
The Snapdragon 888 is curious for a number of reasons. Firstly, this is one of the first solutions with a 5nm process technology. Secondly, the traditional flagship from Qualcomm delivers an impressive level of graphics performance. And here they pulled up work with neural computing to a new level.
Brief specifications of Qualcomm's 2021 flagship platform. Eight fresh Kryo 680 cores: one high-end 2.84GHz Cortex-X1 modified core, three performance 2.4GHz Cortex-A78 modified cores, and a quartet of power-efficient Cortex-A55 modified cores overclocked to 1, 8 GHz. The graphics subsystem is Adreno 660. Qualcomm claims a 25% increase in overall performance, and a 35% increase in graphics.
Everything is logical and the results in the benchmarks confirm the power of the system. For today, tomorrow and even the day after tomorrow, the performance of the platform will be enough to cope with any tasks and resource-intensive applications at maximum speed, without restrictions on graphic settings and frame rate.
Xiaomi Mi 11 does not have a slot for expanding memory via microSD cards, but 128 GB and 256 GB of memory are enough, and here it is also UFS 3.1 standard. With RAM - expanse of 8 GB or 12 GB. It is of the LPDDR5 standard and its operating frequency is 3200 MHz, and the data transfer rate was increased to 6400 Mbps against 5500 Mbps of its predecessor.
Xiaomi smartphones with high-quality cameras are the exception rather than the rule. For a long time, in terms of their photo capabilities, the top products of the company did not go very far from middle-class smartphones, and many “kicked” them precisely for the quality of the photo. Although during the presentation, Xiaomi pretended that the Mi 11 was “our flagship for photos”, but it has little chance to jump head and shoulders above its predecessor and competitors. What changed? They collected the best old and forgot to replace it with a good new one. There have been some changes against the background of its predecessor, but without a significant leap forward.
But first, I would like to praise the company for not putting a huge scattering of cameras on the back side in Xiaomi Mi 11. Despite the impressive size, the block itself looks neat and is created as if from a single piece of glass. And then the sadness begins:
- The main lens is 108 megapixels, an optical stabilizer works with it. This is a huge 1/1.33 inch Samsung S5KHMX sensor. It was introduced back in the summer of 2019, and we met it in Xiaomi Mi 10/Mi 10 Pro, Xiaomi CC9 Pro, Xiaomi Mi Note 10, Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro and Motorola Edge+. Yes, for the second year in a row, the company uses the same sensor, “pumping” it through algorithms.
- The ultra-wide shoots at 13MP with an f/2.4 aperture. And it is based on the OmniVision OV13B10 sensor. Also an old friend who registered in the budget Redmi 9.
- Macro camera 5 MP Samsung S5K5E9. And if you think that the sensor is new, then we hasten to disappoint. It was once installed in Meizu 16T and Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018).
The overall quality of the photo on the main module does not raise many questions - it allows you to count on decent shots both in perfect ambient light and in the dark. And this is true both with the activation of a special night mode, and without it. The sensor works well with color, captures more details, but blurs the image around the edges and does not always produce excellent detail. Fast optics, together with an impressive sensor size, allows you to get nice natural bokeh when shooting close-ups.
The 13-megapixel wide-angle module lacks autofocus and does not shine with dynamic range. It is difficult to shoot something intelligible and of good quality at dusk because of the low aperture ratio. The third camera is responsible exclusively for macro photography, and with proper dexterity, you can get decent photos that are not ashamed to upload to a social network and show on a computer screen. Image clarity is sufficient, but it is unlikely that someone often needs such a shooting mode.
In terms of the combination of qualities, the Xiaomi Mi 11 camera did not become head and shoulders above its predecessor and is inferior to the recognized camera phones of 2020. An excellent main 108 megapixel module does not “pull out” the overall average impression formed by not the most outstanding width and the lack of an optical zoom. One of the main omissions in Xiaomi Mi 11 is the rejection of the zoom periscope.
The flagship received a 4600 mAh battery and against the backdrop of Xiaomi Mi 10, this is a small step back. It is quietly enough for a day of work under normal load. No reserve, but enough. The new 5nm platform provides an enviable power efficiency boost over its predecessor.
For charging, Xiaomi Mi 11 uses the current USB Type-C port and has a 55W wired charging system that allows you to charge the battery up to 43% in just 5 minutes, and it takes about 45 minutes to fully charge. In addition, they offered 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse charging.
We won’t dwell on this topic for a long time, a lot has already been said. Yes, Xiaomi did not put the charging adapter in the box with the smartphone. But at this stage in China, early adopters can get the charging box at no additional cost. It is enough to choose the “extended” version when buying Xiaomi Mi 11 and in addition they give 55 W charging. What will happen next is unknown. Rumor has it that the freebie will end soon and the block will have to be bought in addition. Buying a charger will cost $ 14, which in general is not much.
Once again, Xiaomi did not turn a “simple” flagship into a model with a swing to the “best”, leaving the maneuver for Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro. Objectively, there are few compromises: the display is excellent, the power is prohibitive, there is enough memory and there are no serious complaints about autonomy. Only water protection was not delivered and the biggest compromise is the cameras.
The history of the past year is repeating itself. Xiaomi Mi 10 was cut according to the same scenario. Therefore, a potential buyer needs to answer one question: is he ready to put up with compromises or not. If so, then he will receive one of the best smartphones of 2021 without claiming to be a photo flagship. If not, an alternative will have to be looked for next year, where pricing will come to the fore, first of all. And with that in mind, the positions of Xiaomi Mi 11 look promising. Competitors should ask for more.