- Our video test of the Xiaomi Mi 11
- Price and availability date
- Design and handling
- Screen quality
- Interface MIUI
- Performance and in-game experience
- Autonomy and recharging
- Photo and video
A little over a month after the officialization of the Mi 11 in China, Xiaomi confirmed its arrival in Europe on February 8, 2021. Successor of the Mi 10, it takes over not only the price positioning, but also some technical elements. It is the first smartphone marketed in Spain with the Snapdragon 888. Is this its only asset? Answer in this comprehensive test.
Best price comparison Xiaomi Mi 11
Cinematic 108MP, improved night modes. Featuring a 108MP wide-angle main sensor,...
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In 2020, Xiaomi had, in our opinion, made a strategic mistake by releasing the Mi 10 Pro before the Mi 10. For two reasons. First, the Mi 10 Pro was marketed very expensive compared to the usual prices of the brand: 999 euros (launch price). And the fans were scalded. A few weeks later, Xiaomi wanted to be reassuring with the Mi 10. Sold 200 euros cheaper than the “Pro”, it promised a very qualitative experience. And there, second error: the experience offered by the Mi 10 was much lower than that of the Mi 10 Pro. Technophiles have certainly found less interest in it.
Read also – Xiaomi Poco M3 test: the youngest shows increased longevity
Added to this was a real misunderstanding. The Mi 10 turned out to be 300 euros more expensive than the Mi 9, its direct predecessor, while here too it offered a degraded experience, especially in photography where the optical zoom disappeared in favor of less qualitative (and less useful) elements. Admittedly, the Mi 10 brought a 5G modem and a better battery. But that could not justify this price difference and the concessions made elsewhere.
Less than a year later, at the end of December 2020, Xiaomi presented the Mi 11 to replace the Mi 10. A smartphone that stands out from the others because it is the first to integrate the Snapdragon 888, the latest high-end SoC from Qualcomm. A smartphone that also tries to improve some aspects of its predecessor. But does it correct its flaws? Are there other arguments in this Mi 11 than the presence of the Snapdragon 888? And above all, is it worth the price at which it is sold? These are some of the questions we will answer in this test.
Our video test of the Xiaomi Mi 11
Price and availability date
Xiaomi announced on February 8, 2021 the arrival of the Mi 11 in Spain. However, the Spanish subsidiary has not announced the availability date and the price of the smartphone in France. This information will only be communicated from February 16th. It is very likely that the date of February 16 corresponds to that of the commercial launch in Spain.
The price of the Mi 11 in Europe is 749 euros for the 128 GB version and 799 euros for the 256 GB version. This would mean that the Mi 11 would be sold cheaper than the Mi 10, certainly in response to the price drop at Samsung. Note, however, that the communication from Xiaomi Spain suggests that the price of the smartphone will be logically different. We expect the 128GB version to be offered at 799 euros, like the Mi 10 at launch, and the 256 GB version at 849 euros, even 899 euros. Prices would then still be high.
For this price, you will find three accessories in the smartphone box: a flexible plastic shell, a USB type-A to USB type-C cable and a charger. The presence of the charger is a nice surprise, because Xiaomi no longer systematically delivers it to China where each customer chooses to take it or not, for the same price.
|Xiaomi Mi 11|
|Dimensions and weight||164,3 x 74,6 x 8,1 mm (glass version)
164,3 x 74,6 x 8,6 mm (vegetable leather version)
196 grams (glass version)
194 grams (leather version)
QHD+ (1440 x 3200 pixels)
515 pixels per inch
|chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (5nm)|
|OS||Android 11 + MIUI 12.5|
|Warehousing||128 / 256 Go|
|Main sensor||108 MP, f/1.9, 26mm (principal), 0,8µm, PDAF, OIS
13 MP, f/2.4, 123˚ (wide angle), 1,12µm, 123° angle of view
5 MP, f/2.4, (macro), 1,12µm
|selfie sensor||20 MP, 27mm, 0,8µm|
55 watt wired fast charging
50W fast wireless charging
10W reverse fast charging
|biometrics||Optical fingerprint scanner under the screen|
Design and handling
Physically, the Mi 11 builds on the achievements of its predecessor. Changes are minimal up front. They are few on the edges. And the most visible change is obviously at the rear : this is the format of the photo module. Moreover, this block leaves no doubt about the nature of the Mi 11: it is an evolution of the Mi 10, responding to the convolutions of fashion (and to some marketing imperatives).
Even the dimensions of the product confirm this. A little less than 2 mm more in height. A small millimeter gained in thickness. And a negligible difference in width. The Mi 11 gains 12 grams on the scale in its version with mineral glass back and 14 grams in its version with vegetable leather back. On the material side, we find Corning Gorilla 5 glass on the back (when it is not leather) and aluminum on the edges. In the front, the Gorilla 5 is replaced by Gorilla Foods.
The slices accommodate the same elements as before. First speaker, USB port, main microphone and dual-SIM drawer at the bottom; volume control and power on right; second speaker, secondary microphone and infrared port on top; nothing right.
At the rear, two changes. The photo block of course. It is no longer rectilinear, but square. A "tribute" supported by Apple, which uses the same format for its iPhones. Fortunately, Xiaomi offers a variant with this division into two zones : two sensors on the left in the black area; a third sensor and the LED flash on the right in the area which takes up the color of the hull (here gray). The main sensor is, like the previous Mi, always highlighted thanks to a strapping (which is just aesthetic). We will come back to these elements in the section dedicated to photography.
This photo block is triply protruding. A first layer for the white part. A second for the black part. And a last one for the optics of the main sensor. Some have fun showing that smartphones are wobbly with this kind of equipment. This is perhaps not the most disturbing: it is the fact that the smartphone is based directly on one of its photo lenses. There is therefore clearly an increased risk of an accident.
The second change to the back of the phone is branding. You no longer simply find the brand's logo, its visual signature for three years, but His full name. We attribute this change to a need for notoriety among audiences who are not used to buying Mi or Redmi and who used to buy Huawei. Remember that Xiaomi is now number 3 worldwide in sales and number 4 in Spain.
Overall, the Mi 11 is a user-friendly smartphone, even if its size does not always allow use with one hand. It's a smartphone that looks like many others, with ergonomics that meet current standards. No exuberance in design. No mechanical drawer. No additional button.
At the front, you find a large touch screen, of course. Like that of the Mi 10, it has a hole in upper left corner to house a selfie sensor. Another technical feature retained, the screen of the Mi 11 is curved on the side edges. A less and less common detail in telephony since Samsung decided to use completely flat screens in its Galaxy S21.
The Mi 11's panel is technically quite different from that of the Mi 10. It is slightly larger, the diagonal going from 6,67 inches to 6,81 inches. The ratio goes from 19,5/9th to 20/9th. The width remains the same, but the length increases very slightly. The ratio between the screen and the front of the phone goes above 90%, to reach 91,4%.
Cette from AMOLED displays images in 1440p, or Quad HD +. 1440 pixels wide. 3200 pixels in height. This is an improvement over the Mi 10 which was “only” Full HD+. The resolution thus passes from 386 pixels per inch to 515 pixels per inch. It will certainly help all Asians to read kanji, kana, hanzi and other hangeul on this screen without damaging their eyes (and those who can read them, of course).
The screen of the Mi 11, compatible HDR10 + unsurprisingly, also presents two other improvements with respect to the Mi 10. First, the refresh rate can reach the 120 Hz. This means that the animations are smoother when this mode is activated. Note that 120Hz is not enabled by default; it must therefore be activated in the “screen” menu. Note that 120 Hz mode is compatible with Quad HD+ definition. Pay attention to energy consumption.
The Mi 11 is compatible with the technology AdaptiveSync, discovered with the Mi 10T Pro: the refresh rate is variable depending on the content displayed. This feature is enabled automatically by MIUI and you cannot disable it manually. Also, we don't know how low the rate can go (60 Hz, 30 Hz?). But you can also choose to limit the refresh to 60 Hz to further relieve the battery.
Now let's talk about the measurements made on the screen with our probe. We will discuss here the luminosity and the respect of the colors. Before starting, remember that the Mi 11 offers three display modes: automatic, natural and saturated. We performed measurements in the three modes to compare them. Also note that the Mi 11 offers a palette of tools to modify the colorimetry according to your tastes, by changing the temperature of the palette or by modifying the balance of the primary colors.
The automatic mode, chosen by default, is a mode which adapts light, contrast and color according to use. It offers a pretty good experience. Manual maximum brightness is 614 cd / m² (of course it can go much higher in automatic mode and in direct sunlight). The color temperature is very high, since it exceeds the 7200° kelvin. On the other hand, the Delta E is rather measured: 3,3. The blues and greens are less well respected than the reds.
As with Samsung, the natural mode is the most respectful of colors, but also the least luminous. We measured 455 cd / m² for light, 6440 ° Kelvin for average color temperature and an average Delta E of 1,8. Here too, the least respected colors are shades of blue and green. But it's pretty well done.
Finally, the saturated mode is… saturated. Saturated with colors. Saturated with light. The brightness reaches the 609 cd / m². The color temperature reaches 7260 ° Kelvin. And, above all, the average Delta E is 6,1. No color, except dark blue, is respected. The light green and the orange burst the ceiling with a Delta E which borders on 10. Remember that the smaller the Delta E, the closer the color displayed is to the reference samples.
There is a fourth mode custom where you can choose your preferred color swatch (sRGB, DCI-P3) and adjustments (contrast, hue, saturation, etc.). It is an extremely complex mode that will delight experts. The others will pass by.
Finally, to be complete, the Mi 11 offers two other interesting screen modes: the anti-flicker, to avoid blinking, and the “ lecture which reduces blue light. Both of these tools are used to reduce eye strain.
Once the screen is on, you arrive at MIUI 12, the penultimate evolution of Xiaomi's ROM. It is based on Android 11, Of course. It therefore brings the new features of the Google OS, as well as the few additions specific to the interface of the Chinese manufacturer. The Mi 11 should be one of the first smartphones to benefit from the very latest version of MIUI, numbered 12.5. It will be deployed soon. We advise you to read our complete file on MIUI 12 including a part dedicated to version 12.5.
As always, we dedicate this part to all those who are unfamiliar with the interface of the smartphone, namely MIUI. MIUI is a custom Android ROM. Xiaomi has taken over Android (here version 11) and made many changes to create an alternative branch of Google's OS. Of course, Xiaomi certifies its smartphones with Google. This means that Google services are present.
Among the modifications, you will find the navigation in the interface, the features offered in the settings menu, the customization of the environment or even the preinstalled applications. It therefore goes much further than a simple overlay like One UI at Samsung. However, to make it easier for Western users to get started, MIUI is getting closer and closer to the pure Android interface.
MIUI is a complete interface, with some biases. The app drawer for example is not enabled by default. The notifications panel has a slightly different look. System apps are not updated with Google Play and evolve independently of OS updates. Themes are still important (features common to all Android ROMs customized by Chinese brands). And many applications are preinstalled.
Among these, you find commercial partners, such as Facebook, Amazon, TikTok, WPS Office, LinkedIn, Netflix, Opera, Agoda and eBay. You find three web browsers : Opera (already mentioned), Chrome (mandatory) and the Mi Browser. You will find a range of casual games and some marketing “applications” such as direct access to the Mi Store. MIUI would gain clarity by reducing the number of preinstalled software.
Two system apps caught our attention. First of all Mi Music. It looks like a simple MP3 player. But if you hit the "watch" button, you come across a YouTube encapsulation with a search engine. You can watch music videos, ad-free, but also any other video… like the TechnologiesTips channel, which has nothing to do with music… A very handy widget accompanies this application: it comes highlighted from the MIUI interface and sticks to one side.
Second application: it is called Safety and it is a Swiss army knife of maintenance. It is an application that you also find in other Chinese telephone brands. It mainly offers shortcuts to several modules scattered throughout MIUI. This is useful for finding where, for example, the memory manager is hiding. The modules are numerous. You find the main ones at the top and the secondary ones at the bottom. The “optimize” circle starts a routine that performs several usually separate tasks.
In the settings menu, you will find a menu called " Special Features ". In it you find access to the floating window functions (it's pretty good for exchanging messages on a separate screen), the "Second space" (an additional interface to separate private and professional life, for example) and Game Turbo, which allows you to adjust certain parameters to improve the experience of gamers (but which do not affect the performance of the platform…).
Performance and in-game experience
Now let's move on to performance. We were eager to test the Mi 11 for many reasons. One of them is the presence of Snapdragon 888, accompanied here by 8 GB of RAM. This is the first phone with Qualcomm's high-end SoC. And we couldn't wait to compare it not only to the Snapdragon 865+ that you find in the ROG Phone 3, for example, but also to Samsung's Exynos 2100 found in the European Galaxy S21 / S21+ / S21 Ultra.
What is it for real? You can find the results obtained with the Mi 11 opposite. The smartphone easily exceeds 685 points on AnTuTu, which is significantly higher than the 000 points of the Galaxy S626. The main difference is at the level of the GPU. We noticed during the Galaxy S000 test that the Exynos is a bit light on the graphics level. The Snapdragon 21 does not make this same mistake.
Geekbench confirms that the Snapdragon 888 CPUs are slightly more powerful, but not that much: a few dozen points separate them, in single-core or multi-core. On the 3D Mark side, it's the big surprise: the Mi 11 is the first smartphone to exceed the limits of the Slingshot test. Fortunately, the Wild Life test takes over. Surprisingly, on the latter, the Snapdragon 888 does no better than the Exynos.
Same observation with the Snapdragon 865+: the new component from Qualcomm outperforms its predecessor by around 50 points. And the big difference is on the Adreno part and not on the CPUs, the memory or the management of the interface. Note that all these tests were carried out with the screen set to Full HD+ and 60 Hz.
What about for real, once a game is launched? All games run admirably well. We tested Dead Trigger 2, Dead Cells, as well as Genshin Impact, which has a reputation for being very greedy. You can find some screenshots below. None of them presented any real difficulties to the platform. No surprises. On the other hand, our standard emulators, Citra and Dolphin did not benefit from the same treatment. We could hear some crackling in the soundtrack, sign of small slowdowns. It doesn't seem to be a power issue. We think the RAM might be a bit cramped. With 16 GB of RAM, the ROG Phone 3 does not suffer the same inconveniences.
The Wild Life stress test also confirms that the Snapdragon 888 is relatively stable when under pressure during a long gaming session: the power of the Snapdragon 888 only drops by 12% to 15% during the 20 minute test. The Snapdragon 888 therefore offers high performance that lasts over time. This is good news, although we were expecting a bit more.
Let's end this part on a disappointing point. And even annoying. It concerns the Snapdragon 888. The SoC heats up a lot when it is under heavy load. As you can see from the screenshots of 3D Mark's stress test, the internal temperature of the Mi 11 is rising rapidly above 45° and can even exceed 50°. It is of course the metal parts that also conduct heat and lead the hot air to the outside of the smartphone. The outline of the phone, especially in the corner where the selfie sensor is present, is particularly hot. A feeling that can become unpleasant... and worrying.
Autonomy and recharging
A smartphone that heats up is a smartphone that wastes energy. Even though heat generation is inherent to the operation of an SoC, it is still less energy used efficiently. We therefore naturally come to the part on the autonomy of the Mi 11. As a reminder, the battery integrated in the phone offers a capacity of 4600 mAh. Compared with the Mi 10, this capacity is down, but 4% only. Despite this drop, the Mi 11 therefore benefits from a rather generous battery.
As always, let's distinguish between typical uses and intense uses. If you want to play the most demanding games with this smartphone, or if you want to shoot in 8K, since it is capable of doing so (as we will see in the photo part of this test), you will have to deal with autonomy rather medium. The 3D Mark stress test reveals that the Mi 11 loses between 13% and 17% of battery in 20 minutes. That is a playing time of around 2 hours and 15 minutes with the most ambitious productions. With Candy Crush, you will have a little more time in front of you…
If your use is more classic (a little web, social networks, instant messaging, some common applications, photo, video or audio streaming), you can expect very good autonomy from the Mi 11: a little less than a day and a half with the screen in Full HD+, in automatic mode (colorimetry) and in 60 Hz. The SoC does not heat up. It offers a nice fluidity to the interface. Note that certain settings can obviously reduce this autonomy: screen definition, refresh rate, colorimetric mode, brightness, dark mode, etc. The battery management tool also offers many settings to optimize energy consumption.
On the charging side, the Mi 11 takes advantage of fast charging, wired or wireless. The maximum compatible power is 55 watts via USB cable and 50 watts on a Qi pad. Xiaomi had the excellent idea of providing a 55 watt charger with its smartphone. Which means you get the best charging experience possible. According to Xiaomi, the Mi 11 fully charges in 45 minutes. Our tests are very close: 46 minutes. Here are two intermediate readings: 40% in less than 10 minutes and 80% in half an hour.
Attention, two important elements to take into account to achieve this result. The smartphone must be switched off during these 46 minutes. And you must imperatively use the USB cable supplied with the Mi 11. We tried with another USB type-A to USB type-C cable. And the Mi 11 charges much less quickly: from 0% to 100% in 80 minutes.
Note that Xiaomi, unlike Oppo or Asus for example, does not yet offer tools to customize charging profiles. You are obliged to recharge the mobile with the fast charge and up to 100% of the capacity (unless you unplug the mobile first). To optimize battery life, other manufacturers offer trickle charging, programming charging cycles based on habits or blocking charging at 80% or 90% capacity. It might be a good idea for a future version of MIUI.
The audio experience offered by the Mi 11 is good, even if it could be improved. The main audio asset of the Mi 11 is its dual speaker. The first is positioned, as always on the lower edge, next to the USB type-C port. The position of the second is more interesting. Unlike some competitors (Samsung for example), Xiaomi does not hide it in the telephone earpiece, but positions it opposite the first: on the upper edge.
These two speakers are powered by Harman Kardon. As a result, the sound is not only powerful, but also rich on both sides. Usually you get more bass from the main (bottom) speaker. Here you have it on both sides. There is a nice balance between the two speakers, providing a good quality stereo system.
A slightly less positive note for our player readers: the speakers on the edges are often hidden by fingers, thus muffling the music and the sound of the games. Here the two speakers are on the edges. The risk is therefore twofold. So prefer to play with a wireless or wired headset, even if the cable interferes with the grip. Or better yet: with a controller!
The audio quality of the Mi 11 during phone calls is good. Your correspondent can hear you well. And you hear it well too, whether with the telephone earpiece or the loudspeaker. The secondary microphone, which is mainly used to muffle ambient noise, is effective. Your voice is well isolated.
Spanish law obliges Xiaomi to provide a hands-free kit with its smartphone. But our test unit did not come with one. So we don't know what model of headphones buyers will have in their box. This was also the case with our test copy of the Mi 10T Lite.
Photo and video
Let's finish this test with the photo part. Before showing you the different results obtained with the sensors integrated into the Mi 11, let's recall the nature of the phone's equipment. We find the sensor 108 Megapixel of the Mi 10 with phase detection autofocus. Its lens, always stabilized, opens a little less wide (f / 1.9 against f / 1.7). The pixel size is 0,8 microns, but thanks to the combination of several adjacent pixels.
We find the sensor 13 Megapixel stored behind an ultra-wide-angle lens opening at f/2.4, unchanged from the Mi 10. The viewing angle is 123°. And we find a third sensor of 5 Megapixel dedicated to macro, replacing the 2 megapixel sensor of the Mi 10 whose role is identical. This lens opens at f/2.4. The pixels of these two sensors measure 1,12 microns. The Mi 10's fourth sensor has been removed. Simply.
An LED flash completes the set. At the front you find a selfie sensor of 20 Megapixel with lens opening at f/2.2. It is not quite the same sensor as that of the Mi 10, the pixels measuring here 0,8 microns, against 0,9 microns previously. You will notice that only one of the four sensors present in the Mi 11 offers autofocus.
Let's move on to the results. The overall impression left by the Mi 11 in the photo is positive. Everything is not perfect. But, the set offers good results. The only real disappointment: the absence of a real telephoto lens, perhaps replacing the slightly less useful macro sensor. Several competitors, sold at the same price, offer an optical zoom. Recall that the Mi 9 had one. It was retired with the Mi 10.
Let's move on to the results. The 108 megapixel sensor (which does not capture in 108 megapixels by default, but in 27 megapixels) is obviously your best ally in very, very (very?) many situations : day photo, night photo, digital zoom, portrait, etc. You will use the other two sensors much less. And fortunately, the results are very satisfactory, with beautiful colors, light, contrast and sharpness. We had, on rare occasions, small problems with a drop in brightness. Then you have to change the focus.
It is the 108 megapixel sensor that provides digital zoom shots. Up to the 5x ratio, the results are good. The definition of the sensor is sufficient to assume the reduction of the field. In 10x ratio, the result is average, with the presence of a lot of noise and artifacts. Going up to 30x, the photos are unusable. First because of the noise. Then because, despite the presence of the stabilizer, the tremors are impossible to compensate. Also beware of backlighting: the Mi 11 does not always manage them very well.
The sensor with panoramic optics also offers results with colors and details. There is a little less light and a little less contrast. But the difference is often negligible, especially during the day. Finally, there is the macro sensor which is activated by going through the “Pro” mode (far left). He makes pretty good shots. But its access is not as simple as the ultra wide-angle sensor, you will quickly forget it in favor of the main sensor for your close-up photos.
Portrait mode is similar to many others. It uses the 108 megapixel sensor of course and relies on the macro sensor to calculate distances. The bokeh effect is well pronounced and the isolation of the subject well done. Note that portrait mode is not compatible with the ultra wide-angle sensor nor with night mode. Too bad for the nocturnal portraits.
Let's talk about night shots. The 108 megapixel sensor is once again your best ally. These shots benefit good light and good balance. Obviously, given the lighting, the colors will be more or less pronounced. Thanks to the night mode, which can be activated manually (we advise you to insert it in the easily accessible menus, next to Portrait), you will obtain better results. The pause time varies between two and five seconds. Note that the automatic mode sometimes activates an extended pause time. But it is less efficient than the real night mode.
Let's move on to the selfie sensor. This produces beautiful images, with lots of detail, sharpness and contrast. Despite the absence of a second sensor for calculating depths and an autofocus, the selfie sensor is compatible with portrait mode. And the results are also quite good. Mainly during the day, but also at night. Be careful, when night falls, self-portraits tend to lose contrast. Note that for the photos opposite, we have disabled face filters.
Finally, a word about the video. The Mi 11 is capable of filming in 8K up to 30 frames per second. It can go up to 240fps in 1080p and 60fps in 2K. Videos can be taken with the main sensor and the panoramic sensor. And the results are bright and contrasting, with beautiful colors in the middle of the day. Stabilization is taken care of electronically by the phone's gyroscope. It is effective for light traveling. But if you walk a little fast, it's okay when heckling. Also, video mode is not compatible with night mode!
On the slice between 600 and 800 euros, Xiaomi was one of the excellent brands a few years ago. It offered a high-end experience at more competitive prices than competitors such as Samsung, LG, Sony or even Apple. While some brands have retained this positioning, this is no longer the case with Xiaomi. Since the high price inflation applied to the Mi range, especially with the Mi 10, Lei Jun's brand has lost its competitive aggressiveness.
The Mi 11 is proof of that. There are very few differences between the Mi 10 and the Mi 11. And the few differences between the two are not always just improvements. We lost a photo sensor. But we have not won an optical zoom, which is still sorely lacking. Xiaomi's refusal to integrate an optical zoom into the Mi 11 is very similar to Apple's strategy, which reserves this equipment for the Pro models of its iPhones.
We have also gained in resolution and refreshment, but not yet in terms of respect for colorimetry. We gained in power thanks to the Snapdragon 888, but the smallness of the RAM slows down certain applications. And the heat released is not well controlled. We gained in fast charging, but that only compensates for a slight drop in battery capacity and an increase in power consumption by the screen and SoC in certain situations.
The Mi 10 suffered because it was launched after the Mi 10 Pro. But the Mi 11, good smartphone, pleasant to use on a daily basis, could suffer commercially in the same way, because the Mi 11 Pro (whose existence is a virtual certainty) will erase some flaws of the Mi 11. It remains to be seen what the asking price will be to take advantage of these improvements.
Best price comparison Xiaomi Mi 11
Cinematic 108MP, improved night modes. Featuring a 108MP wide-angle main sensor,...
- 549.00 € See Fnac
- 597.48 € See Amazon
- 676.00 € View Darty
- 785.90 € See Cdiscount
- 799.00 € See Baker