Xiaomi's Mi 11 is the company's newest flagship and what is likely its best phone yet. If you're looking for an affordable yet premium flagship to fill the gap left by Huawei, this is the phone to consider.
What's the Xiaomi Mi 11 got to offer?
Like all such phones from Xiaomi, this is a competent phone that follows up from the Mi 10 and Mi 10T with hardware that impresses and offers fabulous bang for your buck. Xiaomi first announced this phone in December 2020, so while we do not have a solid grasp of this phone's release in some Western markets just yet, we know just how well it performs in real life. It was the first phone with a Snapdragon 888 chipset, even beating out Samsung and its lovely but expensive S21 Ultra.
Design-wise, it's your typical metal and glass sandwich with a camera bump at the rear. It's a series of soft and round squircles which house a quad-camera layout. The phone has a nice 6.81-inch screen with an AMOLED display, a 120Hz refresh rate that's now become de rigueur for many of the best Android phones in 2021, and a 2K screen. Xiaomi's packing a lot of battery in this device as well. The company has famously shipped large batteries in all its phones, and this high-performer is no exception. You'll find a 4600mAh battery on board with 55W fast charging. There's also fast wireless charging. Not the air charging that Xiaomi's promising, but the more mundane place your phone on a pad and wait kind of charging. Fortunately, it's 50W as well, so your phone won't have to sit down too much.
As for colors, Xiaomi is offering the phone in Horizon Blue, Midnight Gray, and Cloud White tones.
I like this, but I want more — will there be a Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro or Ultra model?
Xiaomi has also announced a Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro and Mi 11 Ultra. Unlike last year's Mi 10 Pro, the Mi 11 Pro will remain a China-exclusive, but the Mi 11 Ultra can be expected to launch broadly in European markets.
For sake of completion, the Mi 11 Pro will keep the basic specs as the Mi 11, but it improves in some areas — notably the camera. It'll ship with a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL GN2 main camera, alongside an 8MP telephoto lens with 50x zoom and a 13MP ultra-wide lens.
It will be made available in China from 4,999 yuan ($760) for the base 8GB/128GB model, but you can expect to pay 5,699 yuan ($868) for the better specced 12GB/256GB version.
The Mi 11 Ultra is just more powerful. Sure, you get the same screen and SoC, but Xiaomi is throwing in 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB UFS 3.1 storage. There's a big 5, 000 mAh battery alongside 67W wired and wireless fast charging. Those are all big numbers, but the biggest thing is its camera. No really, we're being literal. The Mi 11 Ultra has a really large camera bump, so large that there's a secondary screen in there as well. Under that bump, you'll find a 50MP 1/1.12" "super sensor" alongside a pair of 48MP lenses, one for ultra-wide photos and the other being a periscopic lens with 5x optical zoom. It promises to be an excellent camera, and we'll have to review it to find out.
It's coming to Europe at some point later in the year from €1,199 for the 12GB/256GB model, but Xiaomi has yet to share a launch date at time of writing.
I like this, but I want a little less — is there a Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite?
Xiaomi is also selling a Mi 11 Lite for more budget-conscious customers. You'll find a smaller 6.55-inch FHD+ AMOLED display on this one, alongside a 90Hz refresh rate. Inside, there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 780G processor with up to 8GB of RAM and 258GB of storage.
It'll do everything you want, and it'll only set you back 2,599 yuan ($395) at most.
The only problem with this phone is that Xiaomi has yet to announce European availability. Just like with the Mi 10 Lite, we can expect this to come to the market later in the year; we'll just need to be patient.
This is good enough — where can I buy the Mi 11?
Should you want to buy the Xiaomi Mi 11, you can get it in the UK and Europe. If you want it in the U.S, you're out of luck. China and the U.S. have had a tempestuous relationship for a while. As a result, most Chinese OEMs don't hawk their wares there. Xiaomi does have some phones available in the US, but this isn't one of them. As already noted, it is available on Amazon's European stores, though, so you could buy a unit and have it shipped to you.
There's also the option of third-party resellers if you know where to look and are suitably motivated. Most would have the Chinese model, so the resellers would have tweaked it to add Google Play Services in the best case. In the worst case, you may find some more added bloatware inserted. There'll also be some waiting time when it comes to shipping, and there may even be customs fees involved, making it only something you'd do if you really really want this phone.
Learn more about the Xiaomi Mi 11
Not sure if Xiaomi is your thing? And maybe you're interested in learning whatever MIUI 12? Or perhaps you like the idea of a Xiaomi phone, but the Xiaomi Mi11 is just a little too rich for your blood? You can check out our Xiaomi Mi 11 review, read all about the best Xiaomi phones, or even just check the best Android phones coverage for more options.
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