The Xiaomi Mi 11 is the first globally available smartphone with the flagship Snapdragon 888 chip. Obviously, the North American and Chinese versions of the Galaxy S21 series were first released with that hardware, but they can be found only in their respective regions. So, if you want the new Qualcomm silicone in your pocket and you want it now, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is ready to offer it. It pays off to be first sometimes, doesn't it?
The Mi 11 will sell for €749 for the 8+128GB version, while the 8+256GB version is priced at €799. There is no info on if or when the 12GB RAM option will be available. And for that €749, you are getting one of the best smartphones on the market today, packing the best of chipsets, the best of screens, the best of (primary) cameras, and one of the fastest charging solutions. Sounds good, doesn't it?
But for the sake of consistency and fairness, let's take a look at some alternatives.
It's hardly surprising that the first alternative offer, one very reasonably priced at that, is the €499 Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro. The Mi 10T Pro is a lot like the Mi 11 - it has a 144Hz HDR10+ screen, but it's a 1080p LCD instead of a 1440p OLED. It runs on the blazing-fast Snapdragon 865, which is still one of the fastest on the market. And the rest - stereo speakers, all four cameras, even the glass design and metal frame are the same as on the Mi 11. The Mi 10T Pro may not charge as fast, but it makes up for that with a larger 5,000 mAh battery. Buying the Mi 10T Pro makes a lot of sense, especially if you are not into OLEDs and/or under-screen fingerprint readers. And it's a lot cheaper, obviously.
The Realme X50 Pro 5G is also cheaper at €599, but you can find it even cheaper via Realme promotions and sometimes get it for as low as €399. The X50 Pro features a smaller 1080p 90Hz OLED and the Snapdragon 865 chip. It has stereo speakers, too, while its quad-camera on the back includes a telephoto and all snappers score excellent points for quality across the board. This Realme charges even faster than the Mi 11 via its bundled 65W charger.
The OnePlus 8 Pro costs as much as the Mi 11, and it matches its screen, speakers, and camera experience; it even offers a dedicated zoom camera. This flagship OnePlus is nearly one year old, and that's why it comes with the previous best Qualcomm chip - the Snapdragon 865. OxygenOS is pure joy to work under its screen and on top of that chip, so this and the zoom camera may tip the scales for you. Or maybe you should wait a month or two and see what's the OnePlus 9 going to be.
Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S21+ is a good alternative even if Samsung has decided to lower the screen resolution on its flagships down to 1080p. The 6.7" Dynamic AMOLED 2X is brilliant, the latest Exynos or Snapdragon chips are the best money can buy today, and the camera experience was pretty good, too. The 8/128 S21+ costs about €100 over the 8/128 Mi 11, but it may be worth paying for the better selfie cam and the dedicated zoom snapper.
The Mi 11 got a ton of things right - from the attractive design with a premium build, water-sealed at that, through the best screen and fastest chipset, all the way to the versatile camera experience and cool video tricks. The Mi 11 ships with a charger, one way or another, despite the initial intentions, and it's plenty fast at that.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 also impresses with stereo speakers, bundled 3.5mm adapter, and even fast wireless charging. The MIUI 12 based on Android 11 is a pleasure to work with every day.
The Mi 11 isn't as perfect as it looks - the speaker quality is worse than on the Mi 10, the fingerprint reader performance is not stellar, the lack of a zoom camera may be offputting to some, and the selfie experience needs an upgrade. Overheating during stress tests was a bit alarming, too, though our gaming tests showed nothing like this happening when playing even the most demanding of titles.
And yet, the Mi 11 is an incredibly cheap, in flagship terms, that is, smartphone. In fact, the Mi 11 probably costs as low as the upcoming OnePlus 9 Pro, or even lower. This will be a sad day for the Never Settle crowd and a massive win for Xiaomi. We can see a bright future for the Mi 11 - it has everything to quickly become a bestseller.
|256GB 8GB RAM||£ 399.99||€ 268.99|
|128GB 8GB RAM||€ 510.34|
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