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Xiaomi Mi 11 Review – What can it offer as a flagship contender?

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Xiaomi released some interesting devices like the Redmi Note series which are in the entry-level and mid-range category, as we all know, they are known for releasing value-driven devices. The new Xiaomi’s Mi 11 is an offering in the flagship category although our unit is the vanilla version. Still, it is equipped with the latest Snapdragon 888 5G and the high numbers like 120Hz refresh rate, 108MP camera with 8K video recording, and a 55W fast charging.

Pro

  • Featured pack display
  • entertaining camera features
  • 5nm flagship chipset
  • elegant design
  • impressive macro

Cons

  • not so perfect ultrawide
  • low storage
  • bloatware and ads

READ: OnePlus 9 with SD888, 120Hz AMOLED, Hasselblad Cameras priced at ₱38,990

Design

The design on the back of the Mi 11 kinda resembles the Redmi Note 10 series but with more style and the corners of the square shape module are curved. Though it doesn’t have the same glossy finish but instead of a matte-like feel which is still prone to fingerprint smudges if your hands are sweaty. It has Gorilla Glass 5 protection for its back but I really wish they also used Gorilla Glass Victus as it has on the display already. Meanwhile, the Mi 11 doesn’t feel heavy, and the matte-like finish plus the curved frame does give comfort in the hands. The way the back curves towards the sides makes the device look thinner and it feels really premium.

The Mi 11 has lots of color variants to choose from, Horizon Blue, Cloud White, Midnight Gray There are also special edition colors which are Blue and two eco-leather Gold and Violet. Our unit is the Midnight Gray which is quite simple but still classy.

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We get an aluminum frame and on top of the second speaker, secondary microphone, and IR blaster. On the right side are the volume rocker and the power button. There’s nothing on the left side while on the bottom it has the bottom-firing speaker, USB-C port, microphone, and SIM slot. Yes, it has dual stereo speakers — top and bottom — and it is sound by Harman Kardon. They sound great bassy sound but it is not balanced well.

The build is very elegant and everything has been sealed against water, as was revealed by the recent teardowns. It doesn’t have an IP rating though for dunk and spill protection but a lot of tests are going on online and they showed that there is waterproof protection around the frame. Much better if you don’t use it underwater.

READ: Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G with Snapdragon 775G To Be Priced at ~P23K?

Display

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Heading to the front, Xiaomi Mi 11 has a very slim bezel since it has a curved screen. Its display boasts a 6.81″ Wide QHD+ AMOLED dot display. It is rich in colors, deep blacks and it offers us great viewing angles. The display also supports HDR10+, a fast 120Hz refresh rate which all flagships must-have, and up to 1500 nits of brightness outdoors. Even if you are out in the sun you still get a good view of the display. You don’t have to worry about the protection of your screen since it is protected by gorilla glass Victus–the latest glass protection to date.

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The 120Hz refresh rate is paired with a 480 touch sampling rate which is a blazing fast response time so playing fps games you will surely hit headshot. Scrolling feels fluid, fast, and responsive and the display is also adaptive so it will adjust based on how you use your device to save up battery. On the display settings, you have 2 options on your display resolution–FHD+ to save up battery and Wide QHD+ for more clarity on the display.

READ: Huawei Nova 8 Pro 4G features 120Hz Refresh Rate, 64MP Quad-Camera, 66W Fast Charging

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While the display has high-end specs and numbers, it also has an AI image engine with four features to better improve the viewing experience.

  • Super-resolution upscales the resolution of videos in exchange for an increase in power consumption. It upgrades low-resolution videos up to Wide QHD+ quality without increasing data consumption.
  • AI image enhancement enhances images on your gallery but in exchange for a slight increase in power consumption.
  • AI HDR Enhancement processes videos to bring out more details in the light and dark areas.
  • MEMC adds frames to videos to make them appear smoother and transitions lively. It only works if the video toolbox is on, plus it also increases your power consumption a little.

Those are impressive and great features to feel the liveliness of the screen for the best viewing experience and it is really worthy of attention.

Camera

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Heading to the cameras, the Xiaomi Mi 11 has a 20MP selfie camera inside the punch hole cut out on the top left of the display. On the back is a triple camera setup that is equipped with a 108MP main cam, 13MP ultrawide, and 5MP macro.

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Almost all photos on the main cam output the same sharp and detailed image. The 108MP outputs good colors and a wide dynamic range. Even with HDR off, Mi 11 outputs very detailed and sharp images with shadows that aren’t that deep. With HDR ON, colors are more true to life and don’t get over-saturated while balancing the overall exposure.

READ: Lenovo ThinkPad X13 2021 with 11th Gen Intel Core i7 debuts in China

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Heading to its 13MP Ultrawide, It also outputs good colors, detailed images, and a wide dynamic range. There is some noticeable softness on the edges but all in all, the quality of the photos is pretty much acceptable.

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Heading to its 5MP macro lens. Results are very impressive, we get sharp and detailed results. It has an impressive bokeh on the back and it looks like it enhances the clarity of the output to furthermore show details.

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For the depth sensor or portrait mode, subject to background separation is clean and accurate. The depth really feels natural with true-to-life colors with all details preserved.

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As for its night mode, it has an auto mode for its night mode, And the results are outstanding. It output detailed photos and excellent colors. Though if you use the night mode, it takes 3 to 5 seconds before taking the photo. So sometimes results are blurry however most of the photos are sharp even it is handheld.

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Switching to the front cam, again, Mi 11 has a 20MP selfie cam. I really love the results of the selfie shots with portrait mode. The subject to background separation is quite good enough but If you look closely at the sample images, the hair’s edges aren’t dramatically processed and it looks natural. The only problem we experience is the exposure compensation when the sky is so bright. Nonetheless, the images have good skin tone colors and sharpness.

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As for video recording, Mi 11 can shoot up to [email protected] and 24fps, 4K at both 60 and 30 fps. Both the Ultra Steady and Ultra Steady Pro are only available at [email protected] We also have a pro mode on each lens.

READ: Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G – The Better but Imperfect Flagship (Honest Review)

Camera Features

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Xiaomi Mi 11 is advertised as a movie magic smartphone. It has 8 cinematic filters and movie effects. On the movie effects, you get a Magic zoom that adds a dolly zoom effect to your videos. Slow Shutter works best at night, Time freeze, Night timelapse, Slow Shutter, and Parallel World. Both the parallel world and slow shutter is a very unique and useful feature on this flagship, it is for a non-technical type of user. If you want to see each feature watch our video review below.

Overall, we get more flexible options in taking our videography to the next level, thanks to Mi 11’s Advance AI and cutting-edge software. But for me, I think the only useful movie effect is the magic zoom and the slow shutter. Others are just gimmicky. There are ups and downs on its main and ultrawide sensor. but for its macro, it is very unique as you can shoot at a very close distance compared to other macro lenses.

READ: Lenovo to announce Next-Gen Legion devices with AMD Ryzen 5000 H-Series

Performance

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The Xiaomi Mi 11 is powered by the top-of-the-line chipset, Snapdragon 888 5G with a 5nm process. It is also paired with 8GB of ram and 128GB of internal storage. Although the storage is a bit small compared to other flagships but still, the performance on this device is great. A high-end chipset plus a high-resolution display is a good combo for your gaming and entertainment needs.

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As for the software it runs on Android 11.0 with MIUI 12 on top. MIUI for me is one of the best UI out there and it keeps getting better every time. Animations are becoming smooth and fluid. It is also interactive plus everything looks clean and colors are punchy. But we can’t deny that it has bloatware and ads which you can turn off in the settings menu. But if you’re not that tech-savvy you may find it very annoying.

READ: Upcoming Samsung Galaxy M32 to Pair 90Hz Super AMOLED and 6000mAh Battery

Battery

As for the battery, Mi 11 is backed with a 4600mAh power battery and paired with a 55W fast charging, 50W fast wireless charging, and 10W reverse wireless charging.

Charging the device from 0 to 100% took us around 1 hour and 5 minutes. And since it has an AMOLED screen plus a 120hz adaptive display and the fact that we can lower the display resolution as well to FHD+ to save more battery, is very useful. So despite having a small battery for a flagship, you still have options to prolong its battery life for more screen time.

Overall

Overall Xiaomi Mi 11 offers Gorilla Glass Victus and a stunning, featured-pack viewing experience as of date. The MIUI 12 and the 120Hz refresh rate do offer a seamless and smooth experience for me. The camera has a wide variety of features as well and can shoot 8K clips however the internal storage is low.

But Xiaomi Mi 11 has plus points in terms of display, camera features, and performance compared to other flagships and for the price of P36,990 (8GB,128GB) it is a worthy opponent and an impressive flagship that is worth buying.

READ: Xiaomi Mi 11 vs Galaxy S21 vs Galaxy S21 Plus Specs Comparison – Flagship Battle!

Xiaomi Mi 11 specs, price, availability in the Philippines

  • Display: 6.81″ AMOLED 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1500 nits peak 
  • Design: metal frame, Gorilla Glass Victus front, Gorilla Glass back or eco-leather back
  • Dimension and Weight: 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.1-8.6mm, 194-196 g
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (5 nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.XX GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.XX GHz Kryo 680
  • GPU: Adreno 660
  • RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
  • Storage: 256GB UFS 3.1 non-expandable
  • Main Camera: 108 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
    13 MP, f/2.4, 123˚ (ultrawide)
    5 MP, f/2.4, (macro) 
    | video up to [email protected] with EIS
  • Selfie Camera: 20 MP, 27mm (wide), 1/3.4″, 0.8µm | up to [email protected]
  • Connectivity & Ports: 5G, 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, USB-C
  • Security: face unlock, in-display fingerprint scanner
  • Battery: 4600mAh(55W – 100% in 45min, 50W Wireless – 100% in 53 min, 10W reverse wireless)
  • Audio: dual stereo speakers
  • OS: Android 11, MIUI 12.5
  • Colors: Black, White, Blue, Purple, Khaki
  • Price: Php36,990
  • Release Date: January 2021 (China), March 13, 2021 (Philippines)

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