Over the past few years, we've seen a major shift in the smartphone market. While Samsung has remained at the top in terms of global shipments, other phone makers are closing the gap. One company making leaps and bounds and closing the gap faster than others is Xiaomi.
Late in 2020, the company unveiled its 2021 flagship with the Xiaomi Mi 11, and since then has introduced several more devices that fall in the Mi 11 family. The Mi 11 was the first device to launch with the latest Snapdragon 888 chipset from Qualcomm, providing all the power you could want in a flagship handset.
But power is not the prime focus of the Mi 11, as Xiaomi has included quite an impressive spec-sheet when it comes to the camera hardware and software. The Mi 11 is headlined by a 108MP primary lens with an f/1.9 aperture, accompanied by a 13MP wide-angle shooter, and a 5MP macro lens. While we continue to see other phone makers push the limits of adding cameras, Xiaomi provided the right combination here.
While the Xiaomi Mi 11 uses this triple camera array to take some of the best pictures on a smartphone, that's not even the most impressive part. The phone's tagline is "Movie Magic", and that's where the Mi 11 really excels. Between the QHD+ display resolution, along with being able to create a series of movie effects with ease, you can practically use this smartphone for anything. From creating YouTube Videos, to capturing life's most precious moments, the Mi 11 is up to the task.
It's in the software where the Mi 11 excels for professionals and the "everyday" person alike. The combination of hardware specifications and seamless software integration turns the Mi 11 into a dream phone.
While the Mi 11 is great in many regards, there are a few key pitfalls that you should be aware of if you intend to make this your next "daily driver". The biggest of which is the lack of any IP protection rating. It's unlikely that you'll find yourself needing to be too concerned when getting caught in the rain, but it's something to be mindful of with the Mi 11.
And as for battery life, despite the great strides made in the software department, Xiaomi has run into a bit of an issue as you might struggle to make it to the end of the day. For all of the power offered under the hood, this comes at a price, as the 4,600mAh cell just isn't large enough to last you more than a day, if that. But that's where the benefit of the 55W wired or 50W wireless charging can come in handy.
Recently, we've also seen a surge in usefulness for 5G connectivity. Every phone maker from Apple to Samsung and everyone in between has released phones compatible with this new technology. Although it may not be as wide-available as the old 4G / LTE standard, Xiaomi is leading the way to ensure that its customers are future-proofing themselves with devices like the Mi 11. By bringing the Mi 11 to carriers like Vodafone and Three, along with releasing an unlocked model for everyone else, Xiaomi is trying to make it easy to get the Mi 11 for yourself.
Without even diving into the design, you can already see the appeal of the package offered by the Mi 11. But if you take one look at the Mi 11, and it's simply something that cannot be overlooked. Xiaomi makes some of the most well-designed and elegant products in the world. And this part of the reason why we have seen Xiaomi's market share continue to grow, as the company recently overtook Apple as the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in Q3 2020.
Instead of trying to nickel and dime its customers without outrageous profit margins, the Xiaomi Mi 11 represents something different. The goal is to put a fantastic smartphone into the hands of as many people as possible, without any sacrifices. The Mi 11 is an embodiment of that goal.
Xiaomi has also gone to great lengths in an effort to improve the software it uses on its devices. Along with featuring integration with features like Google Lens, MIUI has been refined to the point where it's become a fan-favorite alternative to Google's stock Android experience.
As you can see, the blend from design and hardware to software integration shows just how much Xiaomi cares about its brand and more importantly, its customers. It's why we have seen the Mi 11 Lite for those who want a fantastic smartphone at a fraction of the cost. It's also why Xiaomi swung for the fences with the Mi 11 Ultra for those who want the most feature-rich smartphone that money can buy.
A powerhouse in its own right
The Xiaomi Mi 11 may not be readily avaialble here in the U.S., but it's quite a formidable opponent to the Galaxy S21's and OnePlus 9's of the world.
Get the best of Android Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Android Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.