Starting price: €749
Display size: 6.8 inches
Display refresh rate: 120Hz
Rear cameras: 108MP main, 13MP ultrawide, 5MP macro
Front camera: 20MP
Chipset: Snapdragon 888
Battery: 4,600 mAh
Charging: 55W wired, 50W wireless
Size: 6.5 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches (164.3 x 74.6 x 8.1 mm)
Weight: 6.9 ounces (196 grams)
If you're in the market for Android excellence, the Xiaomi Mi 11 looks like it could be an tremendous left-of-field option, especially for those wanting to get the best hardware available.
We already know most of what Xiaomi's offering thanks to the Mi 11's reveal event back in January. But with the phone not launching until March, and a U.S. release likely not happening, it's flying under some customers' radar.
Xiaomi is using many of the same components found in the Samsung Galaxy S21 series for its Mi 11. However, the Mi 11 looks to have a lower starting price, and offers a lot more than the closest-priced S21. Read on to check out the specs for yourself, and to see why we're keen to try this phone out for ourselves once it gets released.
Xiaomi Mi 11 price and availability
The base price for the Mi 11 has been confirmed in euros at €749. To make things clearer, the Mi 10, last year's model, sold in the U.K. for £799, and in Europe for €799. It seems that Xiaomi is following Samsung and Apple's example of reducing flagship prices.
While it's been launched in China, it won't be until March that Xiaomi brings the Mi 11 to the U.K., and even then we don't know the exact date yet. American readers won't be able to get a Mi 11 as easily, since Xiaomi isn't established in the U.S. yet. And with Xiaomi's current disputes with the U.S. government over the company's alleged connections to the Chinese military, it doesn't seem tensions will smooth over any time soon.
Xiaomi Mi 11 design
The Mi 11 has an unassuming but elegant design. It's keeps the punch-hole display from the Mi 10, basically the standard for Android phone panels these days. However rather than just keep its curved left and right edges, the display now flows over the edge of the phone on all sides.
On the back there's a square camera bump in the top left corner, a departure from the slimmer camera block on the Mi 10. The back is left as an unadorned glass surface, aside from the Xiaomi logo.
There's a choice of two normal colors - Horizon Blue and Midnight Gray, for the glass back version. However Xiaomi offers in other markets a third Cloud White color and two "eco-leather" options, either Gold or Violet, if you prefer a softer, grippier surface.
Xiaomi Mi 11 display
At 6.8 inches, the Mi 11 is one of the largest smartphones available at the moment, rivalling the size of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Like the S21, Xiaomi is using Gorilla Glass Victus as its material of choice. The glass has a rating of six on the Mohs hardness scale. That means it can resist scratches from a knife or glass, but not steel.
The panel itself has a 2K resolution (1440 x 3200). It means that, in theory, it gets slightly better visuals than the more common QHD resolution phones like the S21 Ultra. The other key spec for the display is the 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. 120Hz makes navigating a phone feel smoother, but it also drains battery. To combat this, the phone is able to dynamically lower its refresh rate depending on the application. It's kind of like when your car's engine shuts down to save fuel.
Accompanying the display are stereo speakers, tuned by audio experts at Harman-Kardon, plus an under-glass fingerprint sensor which doubles as a heart rate sensor.
Xiaomi Mi 11 cameras
The main camera in the Mi 11 is a 108MP model. That's the same one found in the S21 Ultra and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, except those phones cost several hundreds more.
Also, on the back of the Mi 11 you'll find a 13MP ultrawide camera and a 5MP "telemacro" sensor. All three of these cameras can use Xiaomi's night mode in both photo and video modes, and AI cinema effects and editing tools built-in to make your film clips look all the more impressive.
For selfie-taking purposes, the single front camera notch houses a 20MP sensor.
Xiaomi Mi 11 performance
Armed with a Snapdragon 888, the Mi 11 looks poised to offer some of the best performance available on an Android phone. The exact figures will vary between models, however, as you can spec 8GB or 12GB RAM. But it looks like only the 8GB versions will be coming to the U.K.
On the software side, the Mi 11 offers Android 11 in the form of MIUI 12.5.
Xiaomi Mi 11 battery and charging
You get a 4,600mAh battery in the Mi 11, which isn't huge for a phone of this size. Fortunately Xiaomi makes up for it with some impressive charging speeds.
The Mi 11 offers 55W wired charging, plus 50W wireless charging when used with a compatible charging pad. Plus there is 10W reverse wireless charging if you want to transfer power from the Mi 11 to another phone or accessory. Unfortunately, there's no included charger in the box, so you'll have to use your own power brick to charge up the phone.
Samsung probably doesn't need to worry too much about Xiaomi stealing sales from the Galaxy S21, given the trouble Xiaomi is facing in the U.S. at the moment. However in the U.K., Xiaomi looks to be offering a convincing alternative to the S21.
The Mi 11 matches many of the specs of even the S21 Ultra, yet starts at a much lower price. And should Xiaomi introduce a Pro version, as it has for past models, then we should expect even more impressive performance. We'll be interested to see how the Mi 11 compares in everyday areas like battery longevity, display quality and photography - areas where the Galaxy S21 is very strong. As it stands, you might want to hold off on buying a new Samsung for now.