Xiaomi Mi 11 Review: Cheaper, Top-Spec Phones Are Out of Competition | Technology

With Mi11 XiaomiOne of China’s largest electronics companies, is trying to beat Samsung with significantly lower-priced premium top-spec phones.

The £ 750 Mi 11 is the first of this year’s new top-spec phones from Xiaomi to replace the 2020 Mi 10 series.

Xiaomi may not be well known in the UK, but you may have seen one of the popular electric scooters on the streets of cities across the country. The company manufactures a wide range of products, from toothbrushes to laptops. The range is a bit more modest in the UK, including phones and the electric scooters mentioned above.

The curved glass back makes it a little easier to hold a big phone.Photo: Samuel Gibbs / Guardian

It has the same glass and metal sandwich design as most smartphones. A large phone with a huge 6.8-inch screen, the Mi 11 feels slimmer and easier to hold than some of its super-large rivals, thanks to its curved back and 196g weight (31g lighter). Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra..

The QHD + OLED screen is stunning and comparable to Samsung’s best. The very high peak brightness makes it quite useful in direct sunlight, and the 120Hz refresh rate (twice the iPhone) keeps scrolling very smooth. The screen is covered with the latest, more destructive Gorilla Glass Victus, matching your best rivals.

Xiaomi Mi11 Review

The fingerprint sensor in the display is great, but not very fast
Samsung’s Or
Oppo’s latest device.. Given the number of times you unlock your phone, even a small delay will grate.Photo: Samuel Gibbs / Guardian


  • Main screen: 6.81 inch QHD + OLED (515ppi) 120Hz

  • processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

  • sheep: 8GB RAM

  • storage: 128 or 256GB

  • operating system: Based on Miui12 Android 11

  • camera: Triple rear camera: 108MP wide, 13MP ultra wide, 5MP macro. 20MP front camera

  • Connectivity: 5G, dual nanosim, USB-C, wifi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and location

  • water resistant: None

  • Size: 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.1mm

  • weight: 196g

Best performance, reasonable battery life

xiaomi mi11 review

It takes 52 minutes to fully charge with the included 55W power adapter, reaching 40% in 13 minutes. The phone also supports 50W wireless charging and 10W power sharing.Photo: Samuel Gibbs / Guardian

The Mi 11 is one of the first smartphones with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage, in addition to Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 chip, making it one of the most powerful Androids of the year.

Therefore, the phone is clean and responsive and can deliver the latest games at maximum frame rates.

Battery life is reasonable, but not class-leading. I set the screen to maximum resolution and refresh rate, and set the charging interval to about 32 hours. That is, it lasts from 7 am on the first day to 3 pm on the second day. This includes apps, simple games, less than 5 hours of screen-on time on video, 2 hours on 5G, and about 20 photos. The less you use, the closer it will take to 35 hours.


Xiaomi does not provide an estimate of the number of full charge cycles the battery needs to last. Batteries for similar devices can typically last at least 500 cycles while maintaining at least 80% of their original capacity.

Phones are usually repairable at a service center and come with a 24-month warranty and a free screen repair once a year for the first year.Not covered by warranty Click here for details on repair costs For services in the UK, including battery replacement. Mi11 was only awarded 4 out of 10 for repairability However, it is due to specialist iFixit.

Xiaomi does not yet offer trade-in or recycling schemes in the UK, but in Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands. The company has not commented on the use of recycled materials in smartphones and is not currently publishing an environmental impact assessment.

Miui 12

xiaomi mi11 review

Miui is packed with options that allow you to customize almost every element of the look and feel of your interface.Photo: Samuel Gibbs / Guardian

The software was Xiaomi’s Achilles heel in the western market, but the company’s latest Miui 12 – Based on Android 11 – Very smooth, palatable and has few pre-installed garbage apps.

This is a major change from the standard Android experience, with many differences and weirdness compared to what you see on Samsung and Google. However, Miui is highly customizable and you can use a variety of options to change from a more Western-style Android to a more Asian-style Android, or even make it look like an iPhone.

The settings menu is a bit confusing with options that aren’t where you would expect to find them, while some more advanced features caused some issues with third-party apps.

It took me a while to get used to it, but after tweaking the customization settings, Miui 12 became a fast, engaging and adaptive experience.

Xiaomi will support Mi 11 with software and security updates for at least three years, including two major Android versions.


There are three cameras on the back of the phone: the main 108MP camera, the 13MP ultra-wide-angle camera, and the 5MP macro camera, but without the optical zoom.

xiaomi mi11 review

The camera app is pretty easy to take autofocus photos with some fun tools in case you want to be creative.Photo: Samuel Gibbs / Guardian

The main camera is excellent, allowing you to take detailed pictures in bright places with stable dynamic range and accurate colors. Performance is good even in dark places, but the camera has a little difficulty in medium light, such as indoors on cloudy days. Portraits come out often and there are many modes to play with.

Ultra-wide cameras are reasonably priced, but the digital zoom from 2x to 30x isn’t great. A simple 2x shot is fine, but there’s no substitute for a real optical zoom beyond that. The “Telemacro” camera is an interesting addition, essentially a zoom-in camera that focuses in the range of 3 cm to 10 cm from the lens. Getting into the right place can be a bit tricky, but it produces some interesting ultra-proximity macro shots in bright light.

Xiaomi Mi11 Review

The selfie camera goes through a small hole in the upper left corner of the display.Photo: Samuel Gibbs / Guardian

Selfie cameras are great and produce very detailed shots, but the “Beauty” mode is active by default, smoothing the skin and adjusting everything from eye and chin size to hairline.

Video taken with the main camera is generally good, shooting up to 8K video or 4K at 60 frames per second. The camera app is full of fun movie effects.

Overall, Mi 11 cameras don’t bother market leaders, but they’re generally pretty good unless you need zoom.


xiaomi mi11 review

The stereo speakers have been tuned by audio company Harman Kardon to be loud, clear and very good, beating most competitors.Photo: Samuel Gibbs / Guardian
  • The Mi 11 comes with a transparent TPU case and screen protector.

  • Miui’s “Super Wallpaper” is great, it orbits Earth and Mars when not in use, so unlocking it zooms anywhere on the surface of the planet.

  • The sky replacement feature of the photo editing app is very good, and you can insert a variety of still images and videos of the sky, from sunsets and dawns to double rainbows and star trails.


The Xiaomi Mi 11 costs £ 749 for 128GB of storage and £ 799 for 256GB.

For comparison Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra There is an RRP £ 1,149, Galaxy S21 + cost £ 819, Oppo Find X3 Pro cost £ 1,099, OnePlus 8 Pro cost £ 799 And that Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max cost £ 1,099..


The Xiaomi Mi 11 is a great value top spec phone with most of the bells and whistles you need, but well below the competition for just £ 749.

It’s a large phone with a big high quality screen, a good camera, an all-solid-state battery, and the best Android chip. The simple design is also attractive. But it’s not perfect. There is no formal water resistance and fingerprint scanners can be a bit slower than the best ones.

Miui is full of features and is great for those who like to tinker with options, but not so much for those who just need a standard Android experience. Three years of software support is minimal, far behind Samsung’s four-year and Apple’s five-year efforts.

Pros: Excellent value, best performance, excellent screen, excellent speaker, excellent camera, quick charge, weight less than 200g, reasonable battery life.

Cons: Disadvantages: No optical zoom camera, no water resistance, only 3 years of software updates, Miui makes some adjustments for the Western audience.

xiaomi mi11 review

The camera placement on the back is a surprisingly attractive feature of the phone.Photo: Samuel Gibbs / Guardian

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Xiaomi Mi 11 Review: Cheaper, Top-Spec Phones Are Out of Competition | Technology

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