As considerably as it would have you think that it tends to make its solution possibilities extremely cautiously, it is becoming increasingly clear that Xiaomi also has a daredevil streak to it. It’s sort of like the Hulk from the Avengers. Mostly it is in manage, but each now and then it would unleash the beast inside. Back in 2017, it chose to launch the unconventional Mi Mix 2 in India more than the fairly run-of-the-mill Mi 6. In 2021, it has skipped the Mi 11 and brought the Mi 11 Ultra alternatively.
But whilst the Mix 2 was a gamble that did not spend off, with CEO Lei Jun later admitting it was not the proper match for the Indian market place, the Mi 11 Ultra has its work reduce out ever so slightly. It is coming at a time when the common awareness about the Mi brand is at an all-time higher with Xiaomi taking the higher component of 2020 and early this year, meticulously orchestrating the portfolio with a slew of launches ranging from the entry-level Mi 10i and Mi 11 Lite to the worth flagship Mi 11X Pro. The Mi 11 Ultra is its swan song.
| Meet Mi 11 Ultra, Xiaomi’s most ambitious solution in India with world’s biggest smartphone camera sensor
That is not to say it is not a leap of faith. That stated, following spending more than a month with this phone, I am all but specific that this is the Xiaomi phone to fall for in 2021.
Design and cameras
Unlike most phones, the Mi 11 Ultra is made of ceramic. This tends to make it the most tough phone in the market place today, at least in theory. And, one of the heaviest. The outer frame is made of metal. The phone’s marquee feature is its camera island, rather, a continent if you will, floating on prime of all that ceramic. There is just no escaping it.
The bump is so prominent, it tends to make the phone prime heavy. By a sizeable margin. This is a phone that most surely will weigh you down. Getting used to it will take some time. The only silver lining is that it does not wobble on a surface. A case is vital.
In Xiaomi’s defence, there is so considerably tech inside this phone, it more than compensates for its atrocious dimensions. There is no shortage of gimmicks either. Case in point, the camera(s). Not only does the Mi 11 Ultra pack some of the most fascinating set of cameras we’ve seen on a smartphone to date, you can also use them to take selfies applying the bundled 1.1-inch rear AMOLED show. It’s a workaround alright, and restricted in functionality, like for instance, you cannot record videos in this mode, but it functions properly adequate.
The rear show on top of that serves double duty as an constantly-on panel for displaying time, date, battery stats and notifications while I am not completely convinced how lots of persons will be prepared to retain their phones front facing down to use this feature. And, for some curious explanation, it is not truly constantly-on per se due to the fact Xiaomi limits it to 30 seconds max.
Despite all the tech — and a sizeable 5,000mAh battery — the Mi 11 Ultra is nonetheless slimmer than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max which is a outstanding feat of engineering. This is a phone that curves on all the 4 sides and whilst it does take away the grip — and tends to make it slippery — the heft assists make factors a lot easier. The premium create components additional boost in-hand really feel. The white colourway I have for overview does not attract a lot of smudge and fingerprints. Bottomline is, there’s a process to the Mi 11 Ultra’s madness if you do not get carried away by its paper specs–8.38mm, 234g. Regardless, it will need the consideration of each your hands at all instances. For context, the S21 Ultra is a improved developed phone.
But exactly where these specs do make a lot of sense is in the camera division. The Mi 11 Ultra has a total of 3 cameras on the back. There is a 50MP key camera with a significant 1/1.12-inch Samsung GN2 sensor (a initially for this kind issue) sitting behind an optically stabilised f/1.95 aperture lens. This is paired with two 48MP cameras (Sony IMX598 sensor), one with an f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle lens (128-degree field-of-view) and a further with a periscope-style telephoto lens for a total of 120x zoom (5x optical).
Xiaomi claims the Mi 11 Ultra is the world’s initially phone with Dual Pixel Pro technologies for quick auto focus and the initially Mi phone with multi-point direct Time-of-Flight laser focus method for larger accuracy. All the 3 cameras in the Mi 11 Ultra help evening mode and can shoot in 8K (at 24fps). The highly effective hardware inside the phone tends to make it doable to switch among the cameras on the fly whilst recording. And, in contrast to the OnePlus 9 Pro, the Mi 11 Ultra’s cameras stay usable even when the phone gets hot or when you are shooting in a warm atmosphere.
Coming to image good quality, it is fantastic to see the Mi 11 Ultra place all that impressive hardware to excellent use. It is quickly amongst the greatest — if not the greatest — camera phones in the market place and it does this “consistently” across all sorts of lighting scenarios. The cameras are enjoyable to use and photographs come out with lots of detail and fantastic dynamic variety. It’s the greatest camera phone that Xiaomi has ever made. One that can give rivals, particularly OnePlus, a run for their cash.
Where it faulters, it is not due to the fact it lacks a thing, it is due to the fact of Xiaomi’s personal inexperience in fine tuning its camera hardware, a thing that Samsung and Apple have been undertaking for years now. I will not go so far as to say the Mi 11 Ultra lacks polish but I will say this, Xiaomi desires to work on its colour science. Colours shouldn’t look so oversaturated. In chasing these unrealistic, eye-popping colours, the Mi 11 Ultra typically tends to clip highlights and loses out on fine specifics particularly in the shadows. For a phone that is attempting to compete with the S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max, each ounce of detail counts.
| Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra overview: Dark knight rises
Credit ought to be provided exactly where it is due and the Mi 11 Ultra shows not all ultra-wide-angle cameras have to have to be terrible. Not only does it offer you one of the widest field-of-views out there on a industrial smartphone, it does an superb job holding on to detail and limiting barrel distortion. The Mi 11 Ultra also comes extremely close to difficult Samsung’s “zoom” repertoire. At 5x and 10x, it all but aces the S21 Ultra. It is only when you shoot for the moon, when Xiaomi’s application type of, sort of, requires a bit of a backseat. Samsung has just carried out this a lot. In time, Xiaomi will hopefully get improved as well.
The weakest hyperlink of this phone is possibly the 20MP front camera. It is barely serviceable and for some explanation, cannot do 4K videos.
Display and efficiency
The Mi 11 Ultra has a 6.81-inch E4 AMOLED show with a 2K or QHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh price (480Hz touch sampling). Xiaomi has sourced it from Samsung and it is quickly the largest highlight of this phone. It has fantastic contrast and viewing angles and brightness levels are aplenty. It’s also quick and fluid and refreshes dynamically. Moreover, Xiaomi has thrown in so lots of toggles inside the settings (like DC dimming) you can tune the screen to your particular requirement. Such a level of granular customisation does not exist in any other phone in the market place.
The phone is constructed for content consumption by means of and by means of and does not disappoint on any front. It can also play Dolby Vision content like the iPhone 12. The panel is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. For biometrics, it has an optical in-show fingerprint scanner which is quick but there is some space for improvement.
A pair of Harmon Kardon stereo speakers round off the package. These get pretty loud and bassy with excellent stereo separation. There is no headphone jack.
Powering the phone is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 method-on-chip with 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS3.1 storage. This is non-expandable. Software inside the phone is Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 which is based on Android 11. I have certainly no doubt in saying the mixture is a match made in heaven. The Mi 11 Ultra flies, or rather let me place it straight, MIUI flies like something on the Mi 11 Ultra — and in contrast to something we’ve seen from Xiaomi so far. Aside from a handful of occasional lags and jitters right here and there, the knowledge is satisfying and, more importantly, enjoyable. I have had a lot of enjoyable applying this phone. I have played a lot of games on it (the phone has a tendency to run hot but it does not throttle). I have made it my day-to-day driver. Not after have I missed a Samsung Galaxy or an iPhone or just about something else. It’s peak Xiaomi.
But it is not excellent, the Mi 11 Ultra. As considerably as I have enjoyed applying MIUI on this phone, it is disappointing that it is nonetheless operating an nearly “archaic” version, aka MIUI 12..2 with the March safety patch, with no word on future updates, more precisely MIUI 12.5. A premium phone like this ought to not be about the hardware only. Software driving that hardware is equally significant. Experience is not just about how slim or light a phone is, or how properly it plays a graphically demanding game, it is about how it fares in day-to-day use and application plays a major component in that. It is also important from a future-proofing point of view.
For a “superphone” that fees as considerably as what the Mi 11 Ultra does, Xiaomi’s application possibilities could make or break its grand ambitions and future plans. It cannot compete with Samsung and OnePlus — or Apple — devoid of supplying a sense of safety to purchasers. That’s paramount. For clearly, Xiaomi has developed this phone for the lengthy run outfitting it with as lots of as 13 5G bands (n1 / n3 / n5/ n7 /n8/ n20/ n28/ n38/ n40 /n41 /n77 / n78 / n79). The OnePlus 9 Pro supports just two.
| Xiaomi Mi 11X overview: Lot of phone for a lot significantly less cash
Xiaomi also went on to add quick 67W wireless charging and 67W wired charging even though it is only bundling a 55W charger in the box (battery life is excellent but not class-top) and IP68 rating to this phone. That’s all the things but the kitchen sink, for a Xiaomi phone.
Mi 11 Ultra final thoughts
The Mi 11 Ultra fees Rs 69,999 (12GB/256GB) in India. That’s exact same as the OnePlus 9 Pro whilst at the exact same time, it undercuts the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (beginning Rs 1,05,999).
The keystone of this new Xiaomi phone is its unflinching focus on taking on, not OnePlus, but Samsung in the higher-finish smartphone space. It has comparable hardware. With higher-finish specs like higher refresh price curved screens and most recent and greatest SoCs, major batteries and quick charging becoming a staple amongst most premium phones, it is how these phones use all this tech to make your lives a lot easier that tends to make or breaks a smartphone today. For a phone that feels so ahead of its time, any uncertainty aside from common availability (the phone is lastly going on sale in India in July, practically 3 months following launch) stands out front and centre.
In the case of Xiaomi, there is also the baggage of perception.
With all the things that the Mi 11 Ultra packs inside, it was anticipated to be a quick phone with a vibrant and colourful screen, prime-notch audio, and excellent battery life. Its headlining feature, the camera(s), also lives up to the hype. But come to assume of it, it does not truly reinvent the wheel in the exact same way as the Mi 3 or even the Mix 2. It is fantastic, potentially, but it is more the sum of its components rather than getting out-and-out revolutionary.
A new star has certainly entered the galaxy. Question is, can it stick about.
Pros: Premium ceramic create, Class top show, Excellent efficiency, Great cameras (each image and video), Loud stereo speakers, Fast charging
Cons: Unwieldy, Cameras have to have some tuning, Battery life could be improved, Slow Android update rollout