The Xiaomi Mi 11 promises high-flying performance similar to Samsung’s very best smartphones. But is it let down by suspect software? Here’s our verdict.
What we love — Great screen, excellent performance, strong camera, and relatively affordable
The screen of the Xiaomi Mi 11 is high-end in every way, belying its relatively modest £749 price tag; it’s a generously-sized 6.81-inches, the resolution is super sharp at 1440 x 3200 pixels, and it’s got a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and an ultra-sensitive 480Hz touch input rate.
The camera, or at least the 108-megapixel main sensor, is almost as impressive as the screen, taking day-time shots almost as impressive as those you’d get with the Samsung Galaxy S21 or the iPhone 12, although it struggles more in dark conditions. The 13-megapixel ultrawide and 5-megapixel macro sensors both get the job done in fair conditions, but they’re simply not at the same level.
Being one of the first handsets to boast the Snapdragon 888, the Mi 11 not only offers 5G connectivity but it also packs powerful processing power that’s enough to rival any smartphone.
What we don’t like — Disappointing software, no IP rating
Despite there being so many good things about the hardware, the software is a serious soft point. The interface is heavy, apps crash regularly, and notifications took ages to appear. Given the chipset’s capabilities, this is very disappointing, and we can only hope that an over-the-air update will eventually iron out some of these regrettable wrinkles.
That’s not to say that the hardware is perfect either, by any means. There’s no IP rating, so the device could be more vulnerable if dropped in water, and the battery flatters to deceive with its large 4600mAh battery, leaving us with just around 10% of charge after a heavy day’s use.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 gets so much right, despite costing a lot less than its flagship competitors. The screen, processor, and main camera all perform excellently. However there are a few minor niggles in this otherwise package, such as the lack of an IP rating and the under-par battery, and it’s significantly let down by frustrating software flaws.