Xiaomi launches the Mi 11 flagship 5G phone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888
The fateful year is drawing to a close. And just when you thought we have seen everything there is to see this year in tech, Xiaomi is here with its “one more thing”, and it’s their biggest reveal from the dedicated launch event in China today. Meet the new Xiaomi Mi 11, Xiaomi’s next flagship and the first smartphone with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888.
Xiaomi Mi 11: Specifications
|Specification||Xiaomi Mi 11|
|Dimensions & Weight||
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888:
|RAM & Storage||
|Battery & Charging||
|Security||In-Display Optical Fingerprint Sensor|
|Front Camera(s)||20MP, f/2.4|
|Port(s)||USB Type C|
|Audio||Stereo Speakers tuned by Harman Kardon|
|Software||MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11|
The Xiaomi Mi 11 picks up where the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro left off, even though Xiaomi had the even crazier Mi 10 Ultra launching later in the year. So while the device is not as overkill as the Ultra, it still pulls in specifications that are known for a stellar experience in the premium flagship space.
If you have been following Xiaomi’s flagship smartphones, you’d see a familiar package up front on the Mi 11. The display curves over the edges, but now the back also flows in more drastically. The end result is a svelte figure through the 1.8mm metal frame that needs more surface area around the power button and volume rocker. On the back, the camera island is a combination of familiarity and uniqueness — familiar because we have seen such designs on other phones, and unique because of the 108MP primary camera that lends it a large footprint and attracts attention with its silver ring accent. The Xiaomi branding on the bottom is subtle, and we definitely prefer the clean look over the large obnoxious branding exercises that we have seen on more budget offerings.
The display is a 6.81″ quad-curved QHD+ AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. Unfortunately, there’s no variable refresh rate here, though the display can switch between 30Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz depending on the content. The panel is 10bit capable and is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus on the front. The curve on the top and bottom edges is very slight, and you need to see the phone very carefully to realize that those edges are, in fact, not flat.
Even though the Mi 11 has technically been released in 2020, it still qualifies to be called a 2021 flagship. The sole reason for this is because it uses the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, and also because the device will become commercially available only in 2021, which is about 3 days away. As Idrees notes in his deep-dive and Mishaal concludes in the benchmark followup, the chip is a respectable step forward for Qualcomm, with a lot of attention on the AI Engine and the Spectra ISP alongside the usual CPU and GPU increments. It’s very likely the Snapdragon 888 becomes the best Android SoC in 2021, and the Mi 11 can take it to that position thanks to the complementing LPDDR5 RAM (clocked at 6400Mbps compared to the previous 5500Mbps clock) and UFS 3.1 storage.
The camera is also impressive. While the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Ultra attempted to pack in four cameras, Xiaomi is rightfully cutting down on the numbers to focus more on the size of the sensor. The primary sensor is a 108MP sensor, flanked by a 13MP ultra-wide angle sensor and a 5MP tertiary sensor. The front camera is a 20MP sensor.
As for battery and charging, this is a flagship, so you get some great specifications here too. The 4,600 mAh battery can be charged up to 55W with a wire, or up to 50W wirelessly. However, one regression creeps into the package, as Xiaomi has removed the charger from the box, as expected after Apple’s move. But but but, Xiaomi will give you a 55W GaN charger (worth CNY 100 (~$15)) separately, outside the box. Customers can opt to forego the same if they have an abundance of chargers with them.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 is also the first phone to launch with MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11. This MIUI update collates all the relevant features added since the introduction of MIUI 12. The Mi 11 is also capable of sharing audio with two connected Bluetooth audio accessories, allowing your friends to listen to the same music from your phone without disturbing others.
Xiaomi Mi 11: Pricing and Availability
The Xiaomi Mi 11 will be available to pre-order in China for CNY 3,999 (~$612) for the 8GB + 128GB variant, CNY 4,299 (~$657) for the 8GB + 256GB variant, and CNY 4,699 (~$719) for the 12GB + 256GB variant. Pre-orders begin today in China, with open sales from January 1, 2021.
The phone is available in Midnight Gray, Horizon Blue, and Frost White in anti-glare frosted glass, as well as Lilac Purple and Honey Beige in vegan leather.
While the company has not explicitly confirmed any plans, we can confidently presume that the device will make its way to the international markets of Europe and India at least. After all, this is Xiaomi’s flagship, and it does make a splash.