Ever since Huawei fell victim to US technology sanctions in mid-2019, its fortunes in the worldwide smartphone market compared to Chinese rival Xiaomi have been a near-mirror image: during 2020, Huawei shipments fell by 21.5% year-on-year, while Xiaomi rose by 17.6%. In Q4 2020, Xiaomi was number three with 43.3 million phones shipped (11.2% market share, 32% YoY growth), while Huawei dropped to fourth place with 32.2m (8.4% share, -42.4% growth). Nowadays, new Xiaomi phones are eagerly awaited, while reviews of Huawei handsets such as the Mate 40 Pro come with regretful caveats about the absence of Google Mobile Services.
Xiaomi's new flagship Mi 11 is a proper 'first', marking the debut of Qualcomm's top-end 5nm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform, which offers significant improvements in performance per watt, AI acceleration, 5G support, computational photography, gaming performance, Wi-Fi speed and photo security. The Mi 11 itself is a premium 6.81-inch handset that, alongside the Snapdragon 888, majors on sleek design and advanced photo and video features.
Here's a rundown of the Mi 11's headline specifications:
Xiaomi Mi 11
6.81in. AMOLED, WQHD+ (3200x1440, 515ppi) resolution, 20:9, 100% DCI P3 colour gamut, 1500 nits max brightness, HDR10+, 120Hz refresh rate (+AdaptiveSync), up to 480Hz touch sampling rate, Gorilla Glass Victus protection
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888: 5nm Kryo 680 CPU with Arm Cortex-X1 technology (up to 2.84GHz); Adreno 660 GPU; 6th gen Qualcomm AI Engine; Snapdragon X60 5G integrated modem
128GB, 256GB (no MicroSD card slot)
Android 11 with MIUI 12.5
5G (dual SIM), Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, infrared, USB-C
in-screen fingerprint sensor (with heart-rate monitoring), AI face unlock
108MP f/1.85 OIS wide angle, 13MP f/2.4 ultra-wide angle (123°), 5MP f/2.4 telemacro (AF 3-10cm)
20MP f/2.2 (in-display)
stereo speakers (no 3.5mm audio jack)
4600mAh: 55W wired turbo charging, 50W wireless turbo charging, 10W reverse wireless charging
74.6mm x 164.3 x 8.06mm
Midnight Gray, Cloud White, Horizon Blue, Special Edition
€749 (8GB/128GB), €799 (8GB/256GB)
The screen is a 6.81-inch AMOLED panel with WQHD+ (3200 x 1440, 515ppi) resolution, a 120Hz maximum refresh rate and 1500 nits maximum brightness. It supports HDR10+ and 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. The display is housed in a minimal-bezel chassis with a 91.4% screen to body ratio and protected by the toughest Gorilla Glass Victus.
The Mi 11 has three cameras at the back – 108MP wide-angle, 13MP ultra-wide angle, and 5MP 'telemacro'. As with last year's Mi 10T Pro, there's no telephoto camera. The front camera is a 20MP in-display unit.
Xiaomi makes great play of the Mi 11's advanced photo and video features, which include improved night-mode photos on three of the four cameras (primary, ultra-wide and front) and RAW-level noise reduction for brighter night-time videos. AI Cinema mode gives one-click access to six creative features; Magic Zoom, Slow Shutter, Time Freeze, Night Time-lapse, Parallel World and Freeze Frame Video. Other advanced imaging features include HDR10+ video recording, Pro Time Lapse and AI Erase 2.0, which cleans up images with a single click.
The handset is powered by a 4,600mAh battery with 55W fast charging, 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging. There's no word on battery life from Xiaomi, but all the on-board functionality will encourage power-user workloads, which may take its toll. The handset runs Android 11 with Xiaomi's MIUI 12.5 overlay.
Xiaomi's Mi 11 will cost €749 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, or €799 for 8GB/256GB, when it goes on sale in March. Look out for a full review soon on ZDNet.
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