Mi 11 Ultra Review: A Leap of Faith

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Round this time final 12 months, Xiaomi started testing the waters of the ultra-premium smartphone section with the Mi 10 5G. It was a stable providing that obtained most issues proper, nonetheless it was shortly overshadowed by the OnePlus 8 Pro. Xiaomi went on to launch extra inexpensive fashions in the identical sequence, the most recent one being the Mi 10i, which has reportedly done wonders for the corporate. Xiaomi continues to have nice success within the price range and mainstream segments, however this 12 months, it is aiming to disrupt the flagship section too.

The lately launched Mi 11 sequence boasts of spectacular options at costs which can be usually properly beneath these of the competitors. We have already seen the nice worth provided by the Mi 11X, and now it is time to take a more in-depth have a look at the Mi 11 Ultra. On paper, this smartphone exceeds expectations for a flagship priced at Rs. 69,999, however there’s nonetheless a model notion hurdle that Xiaomi wants to beat. When you have got flagships such because the OnePlus 9 Pro, iPhone 12 mini, and Samsung Galaxy S21 all promoting on the similar worth because the Mi 11 Extremely, does it make sense to go along with the newcomer?

Mi 11 Extremely worth and variants

Xiaomi has launched the Mi 11 Extremely in only one configuration in India, with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, and it’s priced at Rs. 69,999. That is Xiaomi’s costliest smartphone in India but, and the worth may be loads to digest for a lot of given the ‘worth’ notion that the model has created for itself through the years.

The Mi 11 Extremely relies on the Mi 10 Ultra, a equally outfitted flagship from final 12 months which did not launch in India. Xiaomi is taking a good larger gamble with the Mi 11 Extremely than it did with the Mi 10 5G, however will it repay?

Mi 11 Extremely design

The design of the Mi 11 Extremely is gorgeous. We’ll get to the huge digicam hump in a bit, however leaving that apart, it is as premium as telephones get today. It has an aluminium body, a curved show with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, and a ceramic again. The glass on the entrance is definitely curved on all 4 sides, which is a singular design alternative. The good thing about that is that gestures carried out from the underside of the display are smoother as your finger would not hit any sharp edges. In actual fact, the metallic body, entrance, and again mix into each other completely so you do not actually really feel any edges in any respect when dealing with the cellphone.

All these premium supplies contribute to the 234g weight of the Mi 11 Extremely. It is very heavy, however fortunately it isn’t very thick at 8.38mm. A lot of the weight is concentrated on the prime making one-handed use a bit difficult. The oblong digicam module appears to be like loads just like the Poco M3’s digicam bump, simply thicker. The principle motive for this awkward bulge is the huge important digicam sensor within the cellphone, which we’ll get to later.

mi 11 ultra review camera bump ww

The Mi 11 Extremely’s digicam bump is huge, which might be a turn-off for some

 

A facet good thing about that is that the Mi 11 Extremely is secure when utilizing it on its again on a flat floor. You’ll be able to even use the underside of the digicam module as assist in your finger when utilizing this cellphone one-handed. Fingerprints are a giant downside on the Ceramic Black variant, however you can too get the Mi 11 Extremely in white, which ought to cover them higher.

On the suitable facet of the digicam module is a 1.1-inch (126×294 pixel decision) OLED show. This mini touchscreen mechanically lights up while you place the Mi 11 Extremely face down on any floor. It may be customised to indicate the battery degree, notifications, date and time, a customized message, or a picture. You can too use it to reply or reject an incoming name. Most significantly, you should use it as a viewfinder for taking a selfie with both of the three rear cameras. It is largely a gimmicky addition, and appears prefer it was added primarily to fill the empty area on the again. I additionally did not like the truth that the menu system for customising this show is buried within the Settings app and never simple to get to.

Coming to the principle show on the entrance, the Mi 11 Extremely makes use of a 6.81-inch QHD+ (3200×1440) AMOLED panel with a 120Hz variable refresh fee, a 480Hz contact sampling fee, and assist for fashionable HDR codecs resembling HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient. Xiaomi says it has used Samsung’s newest E4 AMOLED panel sort, which on the Mi 11 Extremely, can obtain a powerful peak brightness of 1,700 nits. You get an in-display fingerprint sensor however it is not the quickest or probably the most constant one I’ve used. What’s extra intuitive is face recognition on the Mi 11 Extremely, which is lightning fast and works even when the cellphone is the wrong way up.

mi 11 ultra review display ww

The show on the Mi 11 Extremely is huge and imposing with wonderful brightness and colors

 

The facility and quantity buttons on the Mi 11 Extremely have good tactile suggestions and are positioned properly. On the backside, there’s a dual-SIM tray, a USB Sort-C port, and one of many audio system. The earpiece doubles up as a second speaker for stereo sound. Xiaomi has additionally thrown in an infrared emitter on the highest for controlling IR devices and home equipment.

I did not obtain my evaluate unit in a retail field, however this cellphone ought to include a Sort-C to three.5mm headphone adapter, USB cable, case, and quick charger. The Mi 11 Extremely usually comes with a 67W charger, however attributable to certification constraints on the time of launch, the Indian items could have a 55W charger within the field.

Mi 11 Extremely specs and software program

The Mi 11 Extremely makes use of Qualcomm’s present top-end Snapdragon 888 5G SoC. One factor value mentioning is that the Mi 11 Extremely helps a complete of 13 5G bands, not like different telephones which have launched with the identical SoC such because the OnePlus 9 Professional, which solely helps two. This could guarantee most compatibility when 5G finally does launch in India, or for those who occur to journey to a different nation. The cellphone additionally helps NFC, Wi-Fi 6e, and Bluetooth 5.2.

The Mi 11 Extremely boasts of many different creature comforts that you just’d usually discover in a premium flagship. The stereo audio system are tuned by Harman Kardon, there’s an IP68 ranking for mud and water resistance, Hello-Res Audio assist for each wired and wi-fi headphones, and a linear haptic motor for extra exact vibration suggestions. It has a 5,000mAh battery with assist for 67W wired and wi-fi charging. You will have to buy a particular wi-fi charger from Xiaomi to attain this pace. This cellphone may reverse wi-fi cost different units at as much as 10W.

mi 11 ultra review speakers ww

The Mi 11 Extremely has stereo audio system tuned by Harman Kardon

 

My evaluate unit of the Mi 11 Extremely was operating MIUI 12.0.2 based mostly on Android 11. Throughout my evaluate interval of a couple of week, I had a largely ad-free expertise. I did not encounter a whole lot of unsolicited notifications from Xiaomi’s inventory apps both. The Music app did break protocol a few times, however flipping a number of toggle buttons within the settings appeared to do the trick.

There are many methods to customize your MIUI expertise. From themes, to the always-on show, to transition results, to setting the extent of the areas close to the sides that may reject unintended touches. You’ll be able to even change the structure of the toggle switches within the notification shade to imitate iOS.

Mi 11 Extremely efficiency and battery life

It took a few days to get used to the Mi 11 Extremely’s off-centre weight, however after that, it was simply as comfy to make use of as some other massive smartphone. I truly discovered it a tad extra comfy than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, because of the entire lack of sharp edges on the physique. The shiny floor would not provide a lot when it comes to grip however utilization is manageable with two fingers. Common cellphone duties resembling calling and texting had been dealt with very properly.

The haptic motor gives nice suggestions when typing and when performing gestures. Unintentional presses on the sides of the show are a little bit of a problem at first however that is fixable by choosing wider margins for contact rejection. The secondary show is helpful in case you are within the behavior of putting your cellphone face down. I observed a software program bug on my unit, due to which the mini show would default to exhibiting the time even after I had set a picture or message.

mi 11 ultra review gaming ww

Video games run very properly on the Mi 11 Extremely, even at QHD+ decision

 

The principle show on the Mi 11 Extremely is well among the finest on the market. Colors regarded vibrant however not oversaturated, and the excessive brightness meant content material was simply legible even beneath harsh lighting. Studying mode tones down the distinction and color tone, which Xiaomi claims can cut back eye pressure, and that is helpful for late gentle studying. You’ll be able to set the display to imitate the look of paper, which is cool, however I want this might be triggered mechanically when utilizing sure apps resembling Kindle, the way in which OxygenOS permits.

The Mi 11 Extremely enables you to run its show at 120Hz and QHD+ decision on the similar time. AI video enhancements resembling Tremendous Decision (upscales low decision movies), MEMC (movement smoothing), and so forth, may be toggled through a Video Toolbox menu in any video participant app. You’ll be able to even launch mini variations of different apps on prime of your movies to shortly test an electronic mail or your Twitter feed, for instance.

HDR movies look good when performed domestically and even on YouTube. The Mi 11 Extremely may shoot 4K HDR10+ or 8K HDR10 movies, however these do not look nice. Colors look closely oversaturated even on the Extremely’s show and extra so when considered on a non-HDR show. My unit additionally appeared to have a software program bug which tousled the playback of HDR10+ footage recorded on the cellphone itself. Somewhat than rising the distinction and brightness, it could decrease it. Movies streamed from Amazon Prime Video had the same darkened look, however Netflix appeared wonderful. I am hoping Xiaomi rectifies this within the subsequent software program replace.

The Mi 11 Extremely may be a wonderful gaming cellphone. All of the heavy titles I attempted resembling Name of Obligation: Cell and Asphalt 9: Legends ran easily with out skipping a beat. The again of the cellphone did get a bit sizzling after some time however not severely sufficient to hamper efficiency. Video games regarded improbable and you’ll entry MIUI’s Recreation Turbo toolbar in-game for issues resembling display recording. The stereo audio system deserve a particular point out right here too. They get actually loud and sound nice. Benchmark numbers had been stable all through, with the Mi 11 Extremely scoring 7,90,971 factors in AnTuTu.

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The Mi 11 Extremely can cost shortly as much as 67W wirelessly for those who use Xiaomi’s proprietary charger

 

Precise battery life was greater than passable through the evaluate interval. My typical utilization concerned a little bit of gaming, watching movies, social apps, and loads messaging over Slack and Telegram. The Mi 11 Extremely would usually run for greater than a full day with about 4-5 hours of screen-on time. Oddly, the cellphone carried out quite poorly in our HD video battery loop take a look at, operating for simply over 13 hours.

Charging the Mi 11 Extremely is tremendous fast, even with the 55W adapter. I used to be capable of cost the battery as much as 99 % in an hour. I did not have Xiaomi’s 67W wi-fi charger with me, however the Mi 11 Extremely nonetheless charged fairly quickly utilizing the corporate’s older 30W wi-fi charger.

The Mi 11 Extremely carried out splendidly and gave me little motive to complain. Nonetheless, now comes the true take a look at: the cameras.

Mi 11 Extremely cameras

The Mi 11 Extremely has three rear cameras however each has an vital position to play. The first 50-megapixel sensor is the biggest utilized in any smartphone but with a dimension of 1/1.12 inches. Together with a big pixel dimension and vast aperture of f/1.95, it ought to do very properly in low gentle. It is optically stabilised (OIS), helps HDR10+ video recording, and has Twin Pixel Professional autofocus, which is claimed to be very efficient. The 48-megapixel ultra-wide digicam is claimed to have the widest area of view of any cellphone, at 128 levels. It has PDAF and in addition doubles up because the cellphone’s macro digicam. Lastly, the 48-megapixel telephoto digicam has OIS, 5X optical zoom, PDAF, and as much as 120X digital zoom, which additionally occurs to be the very best magnification degree for a cellphone digicam but. Within the entrance, the Mi 11 Extremely has a 20-megapixel selfie digicam.

mi 11 ultra review rear display rr

The rear show on the Mi 11 Extremely can be utilized as a viewfinder within the digicam app

 

The Mi 11 Extremely boasts of spectacular video capabilities too. It may well shoot as much as 8K video with all three rear cameras, however solely at 24fps, and you’ll’t change between cameras whereas recording. Sluggish-motion movies may be captured at a powerful 1,920fps at 1080p. There’s additionally a loopy Multicam mode which helps you to report simultaneous feeds from any two of the cellphone’s cameras as a mixed video or as two separate movies. What’s even wilder is that you could truly mix a feed from a second Xiaomi cellphone that helps ‘Twin cellphone recording’ for a synchronised multi-cam, multi-angle shoot. There is a lengthy checklist of different capturing modes to select from too.

Daylight panorama pictures typically turned out nice with excellent element. Colors regarded pure with the AI scene detection off, dynamic vary was good, and there was no seen noise or texture distortion alongside the sides of the body. The ultra-wide digicam managed to cram a whole lot of any scene in a single body, which may be nice for some events. Nonetheless, objects alongside the sides did seem a bit distorted and particulars had been a lot softer.

Mi 11 Extremely digicam pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

Mi 11 Extremely ultra-wide digicam pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

Mi 11 Extremely close-up digicam pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

 

Shut-ups is usually a problem since because of the massive sensor and vast aperture, the airplane of focus is way narrower than traditional. This implies something that is even barely out of the focal airplane finally ends up getting blurred. There two sides to this — on one hand, the Mi 11 Extremely produces such superb pure depth of area that you just actually by no means must trouble with Portrait mode, however alternatively, for those who miss your focus level even by a bit, there is a good probability of blurring the realm that you just wished in focus.

Macro mode was a little bit of a hit and miss for me. The Mi 11 Extremely is unable to get shut sufficient to a topic for a satisfyingly composed shot. I discovered the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and even the OnePlus 9 Pro to be a lot better. Coming to zoom, the Mi 11 Extremely will often change to its telephoto digicam at 5X magnification if there’s sufficient gentle on the topic, in any other case it continues to make use of the first digicam until about 10X.

mi 11 ultra review zoom test ss

Mi 11 Extremely telephoto digicam take a look at

 

Nonetheless, this isn’t assured, and at instances I observed the cellphone utilizing digital zoom at 5X even in daylight. Pictures are often the sharpest at 5X and 10X magnification, after which high quality begins trailing off. Photographs are nonetheless usable even at 40X magnification however there is a seen loss in sharpness and element. At 100X and even 120X, textures look mushy, and textual content, if any, is not recognisable. 120X zoom is nice for bragging rights, however similar to the Galaxy S21 Extremely’s 100X, it isn’t notably helpful usually.

In low gentle, the big main sensor within the Mi 11 Extremely does a great job with particulars and colors. It engages a sluggish shutter mechanically so you do not have to modify to Night time mode. The digicam app does are likely to artificially brighten photographs at instances, which does not at all times look true to the scene, however noise is stored at bay in darker areas, which is nice. The ultra-wide digicam additionally produces usable pictures at night time, supplied you utilize Night time mode.

Mi 11 Extremely low-light digicam pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

Mi 11 Extremely ultra-wide digicam pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

Mi 11 Extremely telephoto digicam (5X) pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

 

Utilizing the telephoto digicam at night time is a bit difficult since autofocus is a bit sluggish and the digicam struggles to meter the publicity and even lock deal with brilliant objects. Attributable to this, I discovered it almost not possible to get any usable footage of, say, the moon. There is a devoted Supermoon mode which solves this, however magnification is proscribed to 60X.

The Mi 11 Extremely can report 8K movies, which look good, however I did not find yourself utilizing this selection a lot for the reason that framerate is proscribed to 24fps. 4K movies taken within the daytime look excellent, with wonderful stabilisation. The utmost framerate is 60fps, however oddly, you can not change between cameras even at 4K 30fps or 1080p for that matter. Recording HDR movies is usually a little complicated as there’s an HDR toggle within the viewfinder in addition to one within the digicam settings. When utilizing the viewfinder choice, the decision is restricted to 1080p, however the different one enables you to seize HDR10+ movies at 4K or HDR10 at 8K. Neither of those settings yields good outcomes although, so it is best to go away them disabled.

Not like the OnePlus 9 Professional, the Mi 11 Extremely would not overheat when capturing movies at 8K. The cellphone does get fairly sizzling however the digicam app continues to be usable and would not shut you out. 8K movies are restricted to 6 minutes per clip, however there would not appear to be a restrict to 4K 60fps recording.

Mi 11 Extremely selfie digicam pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

Mi 11 Extremely low gentle selfie pattern (faucet to see full dimension)

 

The 20-megapixel selfie digicam captured respectable high quality photographs through the day. Pores and skin tones regarded pretty pure and HDR labored properly to steadiness the publicity on my face even when there was a brilliant background. Low-light selfies typically had weaker particulars and noise, even these taken in a comparatively well-lit space. Night time mode did not do something to repair the publicity or particulars. Fortunately, you possibly can merely use the rear cameras to take higher high quality selfies if wanted because of the secondary show on the again. Video recording with the selfie digicam is proscribed to 1080p 60fps.

Verdict

The Mi 11 Ultra gives every little thing one might probably ask for in a premium flagship smartphone and it does almost every little thing very properly. A few areas the place we might use some enchancment could be the pace of the fingerprint sensor, and maybe the digicam app might be extra versatile. There are different minor software program bugs that want fixing too. The areas through which this cellphone does excel embrace its wonderful construct high quality, the vivid high-refresh-rate show, all-day battery life, and the excellent set of cameras. The comparatively spam-free MIUI expertise can be refreshing.

For what the Mi 11 Extremely gives, Xiaomi appears to have priced it very aggressively too. At Rs. 69,999, it prices the identical because the top-end OnePlus 9 Professional and in addition the bottom variants of the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G and iPhone 12 mini. The Mi 11 Extremely simply trades blows with the OnePlus 9 Professional and manages to outdo it in some areas, resembling assist for extra 5G bands, higher telephoto efficiency, and a bigger battery. In comparison with the Samsung and Apple choices, the Mi 11 Extremely is extra of a competitor to their respective Extremely and Professional fashions, which price much more. In that regard, the Mi 11 Extremely is definitely higher worth for cash.

Xiaomi’s greatest battle with the Mi 11 Extremely is not going to be making an attempt to out-spec the competitors, which it simply does, however to persuade potential consumers to decide on it over a OnePlus, Samsung, or Apple smartphone. A dedication to delivering the following few variations of Android for the Mi 11 Extremely could be a great place to begin. Xiaomi already makes use of Google’s dialler and messages apps for the Extremely, so the following step needs to be eliminating extra redundant apps such because the Music participant and GetApps in favour of Google’s alternate options or at the least give customers the choice to uninstall them. Maybe the upcoming MIUI 12.5 update might handle this, which guarantees to be leaner and extra centered on privateness.

For most individuals, selecting the Mi 11 Extremely over the veterans of this section can be a leap of religion, and truthfully, it is one which’s value taking.


Is Mi 11X the perfect cellphone beneath Rs. 35,000? We mentioned this on Orbital, the Devices 360 podcast. Later (beginning at 23:50), we bounce over to the Marvel sequence The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Orbital is obtainable on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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