Xiaomi promised that the Mi 11 would be the first Snapdragon 888 phone in the world, and it’s now launched the new flagship in its home market of China.
The OEM has reverted to offering a single flagship instead of standard and Pro models seen with the Mi 10 series. But the Mi 11 seems to offer a Pro-level experience nonetheless.
The new smartphone packs a Snapdragon 888 as you’d expect, which will power a host of flagship phones in 2021. The company is also offering a vapor chamber cooling system, 8GB to 12GB of improved LPDDR5 RAM, and 128GB to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
This brand-new silicon powers a 6.81-inch OLED screen, and Xiaomi has introduced several notable features here as well. We’ve got a QHD+ resolution (3,200 x 1,440) for the first time in a mainline Mi flagship release, and for the first time since 2015’s Mi Note Pro. We also have a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch response rate in tow, making for an upgrade over the Mi 10 family’s 90Hz refresh rate panels. Other notable display features include Gorilla Glass Victus, and a peak brightness of 1,500 nits.
In fact, Xiaomi claims that the Mi 11 screen broke 13 records via testing firm DisplayMate, including peak brightness for OLED panels, screen reflectivity, contrast, and color accuracy.
A fast-charging phone, but what about the charger?
A powerful processor and high refresh rate screen don’t really matter if the phone doesn’t have the legs to last. Fortunately, Xiaomi has brought a 4,600mAh battery to the table, saying a full day of usage is guaranteed at the very least. The OEM adds that the phone is only 8.06mm thin.
When the battery eventually runs out of juice, the company says you’ll be able to top up via its Mi Charge Turbo system. Wired charging comes in at 55W and charges the phone in 45 minutes, while 50W wireless charging tops up the device in just 53 minutes. Reverse wireless charging is supported here too, offering respectable 10W speeds.
Xiaomi previously confirmed that it would be removing the charger from the box, but its new solution seems very consumer-friendly nonetheless.
“As for the in-box charger removal, the announcement is for Mainland China market. Xiaomi will be offering two versions, one with smartphone only, and the other with the smartphone and a separate 55W GaN charger as a bundle, both at the same price,” a company representative said. In other words, Xiaomi won’t be offering the relevant charger at an inflated price.
What else does the Mi 11 offer?
The new phone packs a 108MP main camera (f/1.85, 1/1.33 inch sensor size, 0.8 micron pixels, OIS), 13MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.4, 123 degree), and a 5MP telephoto macro sensor (f/2.4, 50mm equivalent). Unfortunately, those expecting a full-fledged telephoto camera will be disappointed. Still, the Mi 11 packs 8K recording, four-in-one pixel binned shots via the 108MP camera, and a night video mode for brighter low light video. Selfies are handled by a 20MP camera within the punch-hole cutout.
Xiaomi’s latest phone is also the first to be equipped with the MIUI 12.5 update, and it brings new super wallpaper options, 125 nature-inspired system notification sounds derived from animals, and reduced memory/power usage for system apps and super wallpapers. Xiaomi is also bringing several privacy features to MIUI 12.5, such as smart clipboard privacy protection to prevent unauthorized apps from accessing your clipboard, sandboxed access for apps that need access to storage, and web tracking protection.
The company also revealed a MIUI Plus beta feature for cross-device capabilities between Android and Windows. Much like other efforts in this regard, MIUI Plus allows you to open your phone’s notifications and apps on your PC. Users can also view and edit their phone’s files on the PC.
Other noteworthy features seen on the new flagship include Harman Kardon tuned stereo speakers, heart rate detection via the Goodix in-display fingerprint sensor, NFC, an IR blaster, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and the ability to connect two Bluetooth headsets to the same device.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 will be available in white, blue, and black. The manufacturer is also offering a vegan leather variant of the Mi 11 in Smoke Purple and Khaki color options. Xiaomi’s new phone starts at 3,999 yuan (~SGD $813) for the 8GB/128GB option, 4299 yuan (~SGD $874) for the 8GB/256GB variant, and 4,699 yuan (~SGD $955) for the 12GB/256GB model. The phone will be launched via various retailers (including Mi.com, Tmall, and Suning) on January 1. Xiaomi mentioned that they had nothing to share regarding global launch plans just yet.
These aren’t the only variants on offer, as the firm is also launching the Mi 11 Lei Jun Signature Edition seen above (named after its co-founder and CEO). This limited run model features “3D textured glass” and Jun’s signature on the back, along with “gift box” packaging. This variant comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but there’s no word on pricing just yet.
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