Xiaomi Mi 11 review: The best premium phones you should buying

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Xiaomi is making no secret about who should buy the new Mi 11. “The Mi 11 is for movie lovers,” says Xiaomi boldly on its website. Whether you’re watching movies on the luscious display or shooting your own movies with the pixel-rich camera, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is all about the cinematic experience. The Xiaomi Mi 11 is one of the best premium phones you should consider buying, as it’s well-specced in almost every department: it has super-fast processing, a high screen resolution with extra display modes, and some camera modes and features the competition lacks. It’s just a shame that the sub-par battery life and unreliable fingerprint scanners mar the experience. Find out in Xiaomi Mi 11 review.

Xiaomi Mi 11 review

Xiaomi Mi 11 review: Overview

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The Xiaomi Mi 11 is part of the Chinese manufacturer’s Mi series of flagship phones, with these phones usually launching early each year. The Mi series has traditionally offered affordable flagships, but last year saw the Mi 10 series take a price hike.

Xiaomi has gradually been adding more premium features to the Mi series over the years. This has seemingly culminated in the Mi 11, which packs flagship-style features like ultra-fast wireless charging, a QHD+ OLED screen, and a 120Hz refresh rate.

The Mi 11 does miss out on a couple of significant premium features though, such as a proper telephoto camera and water resistance. And no, there’s no headphone port here either.


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Xiaomi checked off all the boxes as it designed the Mi 11. It boasts a thinner, lighter build than last year’s Mi 10 and it comes in attractive frosted glass colorways. If you want sleek, the Mi 11 has you covered.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 isn’t the company’s largest flagship smartphone – the Mi 10T takes that crown – but it’s still fairly large, with dimensions of 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.1mm. At 196g, it’s fairly lightweight for a phone of its size. The phone is a metal and glass sandwich. Contoured glass slabs are fitted to the aluminum frame snugly.

The Mi 11 is long and thin as phones go – it’s not quite a Sony Xperia phone in that regard, but it’s not a million miles off. As such, despite its size, it’s fairly comfortable to hold and use one-handed, though people with smaller digits may still find it a stretch to reach the upper part of the screen.

The Mi 11 has a glass front and back, and aluminum frame – the glass is called Gorilla Glass Victus, and the company that makes it (and most glass phone bodies) says it’s extra-protective. Since most glass phones can be fragile, this sturdiness is welcome, and the phone remained free from scratches and marks through our testing. A solid drop or knock could still crack it though.


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The main snapper is 108MP f/1.9 – this is the fifth Xiaomi phone to use such a high-res sensor, and they’ve all used this same Samsung one. That doesn’t mean photos look exactly the same as before though, as the results of our testing seemed slightly better, with improved contrast and an overall lighter tone. This is likely the result of improved AI optimization.

The Mi 11 seems to be packing the same camera gear as the Mi 10, though Xiaomi has added a few new video tricks in the bag for those keen on making trending movies with Hollywood-like effects. The 108MP primary, the 13MP ultrawide, and the 20MP selfie snappers seem to be lifted from the Mi 10 with minor changes, but the macro camera has been updated with a higher-res 5MP sensor with autofocus and 48mm macro lens.

Battery life

The battery has also seen some improvement – while it’s a hair smaller (4600mAh vs. 4760 mAh), it’s been split into two parts, and that’s why it can be recharged fast both wired and wirelessly at 55W and 50W respectively. Xiaomi is even giving you the right 55W GaN charger for that.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 is packed full of features, and these features take their toll on battery life, resulting in the phone losing juice fairly rapidly.

It’s likely the phone’s large display, high refresh rate, always-on display, and other such features are to blame for this less-than-stellar battery life, and while you can disable one or more of these features if you want, if you do so you’re not really making the most of your feature-packed flagship smartphone.

Xiaomi Mi 11 price and availability

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The Mi 11 has already launched in China, starting at 3,999 yuan (~$618) for the 8GB/128GB option, 4299 yuan (~$664) for the 8GB/256GB variant, and 4,699 yuan (~$726) for the 12GB/256GB model.

The phone is also available in Europe, but much like the Mi 10 series, it’s significantly more expensive here. The 8GB/128GB phone costs €749 (~$901), while the 8GB/256GB model will set you back €799 (~$961). Xiaomi says they’ll also offer a two-year warranty and a one-time free screen repair within the first year of owning the phone.