Around this time final 12 months, Xiaomi started testing the waters of the ultra-premium smartphone section with the Mi 10 5G. It was a strong providing that acquired most issues proper, nonetheless it was shortly overshadowed by the OnePlus 8 Pro. Xiaomi went on to launch extra inexpensive fashions in the identical sequence, the most recent one being the Mi 10i, which has reportedly done wonders for the corporate. Xiaomi continues to have nice success within the funds and mainstream segments, however this 12 months, it is aiming to disrupt the flagship section too.
The not too long ago launched Mi 11 sequence boasts of spectacular options at costs which are typically nicely under these of the competitors. We’ve already seen the good worth supplied by the Mi 11X, and now it is time to take a more in-depth have a look at the Mi 11 Ultra. On paper, this smartphone exceeds expectations for a flagship priced at Rs. 69,999, however there’s nonetheless a model notion hurdle that Xiaomi wants to beat. When you’ve got flagships such because the OnePlus 9 Pro, iPhone 12 mini, and Samsung Galaxy S21 all promoting on the similar worth because the Mi 11 Ultra, does it make sense to go along with the newcomer?
Mi 11 Ultra worth and variants
Xiaomi has launched the Mi 11 Ultra in only one configuration in India, with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, and it’s priced at Rs. 69,999. This is Xiaomi’s costliest smartphone in India but, and the value is perhaps so much to digest for a lot of given the ‘worth’ notion that the model has created for itself through the years.
The Mi 11 Ultra relies on the Mi 10 Ultra, a equally geared up flagship from final 12 months which did not launch in India. Xiaomi is taking an excellent larger gamble with the Mi 11 Ultra than it did with the Mi 10 5G, however will it repay?
Mi 11 Ultra design
The design of the Mi 11 Ultra is beautiful. We’ll get to the large digicam hump in a bit, however leaving that apart, it is as premium as telephones get today. It has an aluminium body, a curved show with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, and a ceramic again. The glass on the entrance is definitely curved on all 4 sides, which is a novel design alternative. The good thing about that is that gestures carried out from the underside of the display are smoother as your finger would not hit any sharp edges. In reality, the steel body, entrance, and again mix into each other completely so you do not actually really feel any edges in any respect when dealing with the telephone.
All these premium supplies contribute to the 234g weight of the Mi 11 Ultra. It’s very heavy, however fortunately it is not very thick at 8.38mm. Most of the load is concentrated on the high making one-handed use a bit difficult. The rectangular digicam module seems to be so much just like the Poco M3’s digicam bump, simply thicker. The major purpose for this awkward bulge is the large major digicam sensor within the telephone, which we’ll get to later.
A aspect good thing about that is that the Mi 11 Ultra is secure when utilizing it on its again on a flat floor. You may even use the underside of the digicam module as assist to your finger when utilizing this telephone one-handed. Fingerprints are a giant drawback on the Ceramic Black variant, however you too can get the Mi 11 Ultra in white, which ought to disguise them higher.
On the precise aspect of the digicam module is a 1.1-inch (126×294 pixel decision) OLED show. This mini touchscreen mechanically lights up if you place the Mi 11 Ultra face down on any floor. It might be customised to point out the battery degree, notifications, date and time, a customized message, or a picture. You may use it to reply or reject an incoming name. Most importantly, you need to use it as a viewfinder for taking a selfie with both of the three rear cameras. It’s largely a gimmicky addition, and appears prefer it was added primarily to fill the empty area on the again. I additionally did not like the truth that the menu system for customising this show is buried within the Settings app and never simple to get to.
Coming to the primary show on the entrance, the Mi 11 Ultra makes use of a 6.81-inch QHD+ (3200×1440) AMOLED panel with a 120Hz variable refresh fee, a 480Hz contact sampling fee, and assist for common HDR codecs similar to HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Xiaomi says it has used Samsung’s newest E4 AMOLED panel kind, which on the Mi 11 Ultra, can obtain a formidable peak brightness of 1,700 nits. You get an in-display fingerprint sensor nevertheless it is not the quickest or essentially the most constant one I’ve used. What’s extra intuitive is face recognition on the Mi 11 Ultra, which is lightning fast and works even when the telephone is the wrong way up.
The energy and quantity buttons on the Mi 11 Ultra have good tactile suggestions and are positioned nicely. At the underside, there’s a dual-SIM tray, a USB Type-C port, and one of many audio system. The earpiece doubles up as a second speaker for stereo sound. Xiaomi has additionally thrown in an infrared emitter on the highest for controlling IR devices and home equipment.
I did not obtain my evaluate unit in a retail field, however this telephone ought to include a Type-C to three.5mm headphone adapter, USB cable, case, and quick charger. The Mi 11 Ultra usually comes with a 67W charger, however attributable to certification constraints on the time of launch, the Indian models may have a 55W charger within the field.
Mi 11 Ultra specs and software program
The Mi 11 Ultra makes use of Qualcomm’s present top-end Snapdragon 888 5G SoC. One factor value stating is that the Mi 11 Ultra helps a complete of 13 5G bands, in contrast to different telephones which have launched with the identical SoC such because the OnePlus 9 Pro, which solely helps two. This ought to guarantee most compatibility when 5G ultimately does launch in India, or when you occur to journey to a different nation. The telephone additionally helps NFC, Wi-Fi 6e, and Bluetooth 5.2.
The Mi 11 Ultra boasts of many different creature comforts that you simply’d usually discover in a premium flagship. The stereo audio system are tuned by Harman Kardon, there’s an IP68 ranking for mud and water resistance, Hi-Res Audio assist for each wired and wi-fi headphones, and a linear haptic motor for extra exact vibration suggestions. It has a 5,000mAh battery with assist for 67W wired and wi-fi charging. You might want to buy a particular wi-fi charger from Xiaomi to attain this velocity. This telephone may reverse wi-fi cost different gadgets at as much as 10W.
My evaluate unit of the Mi 11 Ultra was working MIUI 12.0.2 based mostly on Android 11. During my evaluate interval of a couple of week, I had a largely ad-free expertise. I did not encounter plenty of unsolicited notifications from Xiaomi’s inventory apps both. The Music app did break protocol a couple of times, however flipping a number of toggle buttons within the settings appeared to do the trick.
There are loads of methods to customize your MIUI expertise. From themes, to the always-on show, to transition results, to setting the extent of the areas close to the sides that may reject unintended touches. You may even change the format of the toggle switches within the notification shade to imitate iOS.
Mi 11 Ultra efficiency and battery life
It took a few days to get used to the Mi 11 Ultra’s off-centre weight, however after that, it was simply as comfy to make use of as every other giant smartphone. I really discovered it a tad extra comfy than the iPhone 12 Pro Max, because of the whole lack of sharp edges on the physique. The shiny floor would not supply a lot by way of grip however utilization is manageable with two fingers. Regular telephone duties similar to calling and texting have been dealt with very nicely.
The haptic motor gives nice suggestions when typing and when performing gestures. Accidental presses on the sides of the show are a little bit of a difficulty at first however that is fixable by deciding on wider margins for contact rejection. The secondary show is helpful in case you are within the behavior of inserting your telephone face down. I seen a software program bug on my unit, due to which the mini show would default to displaying the time even after I had set a picture or message.
The major show on the Mi 11 Ultra is definitely among the finest on the market. Colours regarded vibrant however not oversaturated, and the excessive brightness meant content material was simply legible even beneath harsh lighting. Reading mode tones down the distinction and color tone, which Xiaomi claims can scale back eye pressure, and that is helpful for late mild studying. You can set the display to imitate the look of paper, which is cool, however I want this could possibly be triggered mechanically when utilizing sure apps similar to Kindle, the best way OxygenOS permits.
The Mi 11 Ultra permits you to run its show at 120Hz and QHD+ decision on the similar time. AI video enhancements similar to Super Resolution (upscales low decision movies), MEMC (movement smoothing), and so forth, might be toggled by way of a Video Toolbox menu in any video participant app. You may even launch mini variations of different apps on high of your movies to shortly test an electronic mail or your Twitter feed, for instance.
HDR movies look good when performed domestically and even on YouTube. The Mi 11 Ultra may shoot 4K HDR10+ or 8K HDR10 movies, however these do not look nice. Colours look closely oversaturated even on the Ultra’s show and extra so when considered on a non-HDR show. My unit additionally appeared to have a software program bug which tousled the playback of HDR10+ footage recorded on the telephone itself. Rather than growing the distinction and brightness, it could decrease it. Videos streamed from Amazon Prime Video had the same darkened look, however Netflix appeared effective. I’m hoping Xiaomi rectifies this within the subsequent software program replace.
The Mi 11 Ultra might be a superb gaming telephone. All the heavy titles I attempted similar to Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends ran easily with out skipping a beat. The again of the telephone did get a bit scorching after some time however not severely sufficient to hamper efficiency. Games regarded unbelievable and you may entry MIUI’s Game Turbo toolbar in-game for issues similar to display recording. The stereo audio system deserve a particular point out right here too. They get actually loud and sound nice. Benchmark numbers have been strong all through, with the Mi 11 Ultra scoring 7,90,971 factors in AnTuTu.
Actual battery life was greater than passable through the evaluate interval. My typical utilization concerned a little bit of gaming, watching movies, social apps, and so much messaging over Slack and Telegram. The Mi 11 Ultra would usually run for greater than a full day with about 4-5 hours of screen-on time. Oddly, the telephone carried out fairly poorly in our HD video battery loop take a look at, working for simply over 13 hours.
Charging the Mi 11 Ultra is tremendous fast, even with the 55W adapter. I used to be in a position to cost the battery as much as 99 % in an hour. I did not have Xiaomi’s 67W wi-fi charger with me, however the Mi 11 Ultra nonetheless charged fairly quickly utilizing the corporate’s older 30W wi-fi charger.
The Mi 11 Ultra carried out splendidly and gave me little purpose to complain. However, now comes the true take a look at: the cameras.
Mi 11 Ultra cameras
The Mi 11 Ultra has three rear cameras however each has an essential position to play. The major 50-megapixel sensor is the most important utilized in any smartphone but with a dimension of 1/1.12 inches. Along with a big pixel dimension and broad aperture of f/1.95, it ought to do very nicely in low mild. It’s optically stabilised (OIS), helps HDR10+ video recording, and has Dual Pixel Pro autofocus, which is claimed to be very efficient. The 48-megapixel ultra-wide digicam is claimed to have the widest area of view of any telephone, at 128 levels. It has PDAF and likewise doubles up because the telephone’s macro digicam. Finally, the 48-megapixel telephoto digicam has OIS, 5X optical zoom, PDAF, and as much as 120X digital zoom, which additionally occurs to be the very best magnification degree for a telephone digicam but. In the entrance, the Mi 11 Ultra has a 20-megapixel selfie digicam.
The Mi 11 Ultra boasts of spectacular video capabilities too. It can shoot as much as 8K video with all three rear cameras, however solely at 24fps, and you may’t change between cameras whereas recording. Slow-motion movies might be captured at a formidable 1,920fps at 1080p. There’s additionally a loopy Multicam mode which helps you to report simultaneous feeds from any two of the telephone’s cameras as a mixed video or as two separate movies. What’s even wilder is you could really mix a feed from a second Xiaomi telephone that helps ‘Dual telephone recording’ for a synchronised multi-cam, multi-angle shoot. There’s a protracted listing of different capturing modes to select from too.
Daylight panorama photographs usually turned out nice with excellent element. Colours regarded pure with the AI scene detection off, dynamic vary was good, and there was no seen noise or texture distortion alongside the sides of the body. The ultra-wide digicam managed to cram plenty of any scene in a single body, which might be nice for some events. However, objects alongside the sides did seem a bit distorted and particulars have been a lot softer.
Close-ups is usually a problem since because of the giant sensor and broad aperture, the airplane of focus is far narrower than typical. This means something that is even barely out of the focal airplane finally ends up getting blurred. There two sides to this — on one hand, the Mi 11 Ultra produces such wonderful pure depth of area that you simply actually by no means need to trouble with Portrait mode, however then again, when you miss your focus level even by a bit, there is a good likelihood of blurring the world that you simply needed in focus.
Macro mode was a little bit of a hit and miss for me. The Mi 11 Ultra is unable to get shut sufficient to a topic for a satisfyingly composed shot. I discovered the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and even the OnePlus 9 Pro to be significantly better. Coming to zoom, the Mi 11 Ultra will often change to its telephoto digicam at 5X magnification if there’s sufficient mild on the topic, in any other case it continues to make use of the first digicam until about 10X.
However, this isn’t assured, and at instances I seen the telephone utilizing digital zoom at 5X even in daylight. Photos are often the sharpest at 5X and 10X magnification, after which high quality begins trailing off. Images are nonetheless usable even at 40X magnification however there is a seen loss in sharpness and element. At 100X and even 120X, textures look mushy, and textual content, if any, is not recognisable. 120X zoom is nice for bragging rights, however identical to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 100X, it is not notably helpful usually.
In low mild, the big major sensor within the Mi 11 Ultra does a superb job with particulars and hues. It engages a gradual shutter mechanically so you do not have to modify to Night mode. The digicam app does are likely to artificially brighten photos at instances, which does not at all times look true to the scene, however noise is stored at bay in darker areas, which is nice. The ultra-wide digicam additionally produces usable photographs at night time, offered you employ Night mode.
Using the telephoto digicam at night time is a bit difficult since autofocus is a bit gradual and the digicam struggles to meter the publicity and even lock concentrate on shiny objects. Due to this, I discovered it practically not possible to get any usable photos of, say, the moon. There’s a devoted Supermoon mode which solves this, however magnification is restricted to 60X.
The Mi 11 Ultra can report 8K movies, which look good, however I did not find yourself utilizing this selection a lot for the reason that framerate is restricted to 24fps. 4K movies taken within the daytime look excellent, with wonderful stabilisation. The most framerate is 60fps, however oddly, you can not change between cameras even at 4K 30fps or 1080p for that matter. Recording HDR movies is usually a little complicated as there’s an HDR toggle within the viewfinder in addition to one within the digicam settings. When utilizing the viewfinder possibility, the decision is restricted to 1080p, however the different one permits you to seize HDR10+ movies at 4K or HDR10 at 8K. Neither of those settings yields good outcomes although, so it is best to depart them disabled.
Unlike the OnePlus 9 Pro, the Mi 11 Ultra would not overheat when capturing movies at 8K. The telephone does get fairly scorching however the digicam app continues to be usable and would not shut you out. 8K movies are restricted to 6 minutes per clip, however there would not appear to be a restrict to 4K 60fps recording.
The 20-megapixel selfie digicam captured respectable high quality photos through the day. Skin tones regarded pretty pure and HDR labored nicely to steadiness the publicity on my face even when there was a shiny background. Low-light selfies usually had weaker particulars and noise, even these taken in a comparatively well-lit space. Night mode did not do something to repair the publicity or particulars. Thankfully, you may merely use the rear cameras to take higher high quality selfies if wanted because of the secondary show on the again. Video recording with the selfie digicam is restricted to 1080p 60fps.
The Mi 11 Ultra gives every little thing one might presumably ask for in a premium flagship smartphone and it does practically every little thing very nicely. A few areas the place we might use some enchancment could be the velocity of the fingerprint sensor, and maybe the digicam app could possibly be extra versatile. There are different minor software program bugs that want fixing too. The areas wherein this telephone does excel embrace its wonderful construct high quality, the vivid high-refresh-rate show, all-day battery life, and the excellent set of cameras. The comparatively spam-free MIUI expertise can be refreshing.
For what the Mi 11 Ultra gives, Xiaomi appears to have priced it very aggressively too. At Rs. 69,999, it prices the identical because the top-end OnePlus 9 Pro and likewise the bottom variants of the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G and iPhone 12 mini. The Mi 11 Ultra simply trades blows with the OnePlus 9 Pro and manages to outdo it in some areas, similar to assist for extra 5G bands, higher telephoto efficiency, and a bigger battery. Compared to the Samsung and Apple choices, the Mi 11 Ultra is extra of a competitor to their respective Ultra and Pro fashions, which price much more. In that regard, the Mi 11 Ultra is definitely higher worth for cash.
Xiaomi’s greatest battle with the Mi 11 Ultra won’t be making an attempt to out-spec the competitors, which it simply does, however to persuade potential patrons to decide on it over a OnePlus, Samsung, or Apple smartphone. A dedication to delivering the following few variations of Android for the Mi 11 Ultra could be a superb place to start out. Xiaomi already makes use of Google’s dialler and messages apps for the Ultra, so the following step needs to be eliminating extra redundant apps such because the Music participant and GetApps in favour of Google’s options or at the very least give customers the choice to uninstall them. Perhaps the upcoming MIUI 12.5 update might handle this, which guarantees to be leaner and extra targeted on privateness.
For most individuals, selecting the Mi 11 Ultra over the veterans of this section will likely be a leap of religion, and truthfully, it is one which’s value taking.