ASUS OLED family

The Xiaomi Mi 11. This is the first smartphone in the world with the Snapdragon 888 chipset – and of course, it’s a highly-anticipated smartphone partly just because of that chipset.

Anyway, we spent a week with it, and here are the things that we want to share with you about the Mi 11.

ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED

We’ll review the Mi 11 just like any other smartphones, so we’ll be breaking it into a total of 6 parts.

Performance

We’ll start off with the performance of this phone. The Mi 11 that we have is the Global version – but the specs are the same. It comes with a Snapdragon 888 chipset with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.

I’m just going to breeze through the benchmarks since you already know how this phone performs, but if you want to know more about its gaming capabilities, watch this video.

And then of course – the heat issue. Yes, this phone gets hot. But no, it doesn’t overheat itself to the point where it tells you it’ll stop functioning. That only happens with 3DMark Wild Life stress test, which does not represent how someone uses their phone.

For games like Genshin Impact, it did get uncomfortably hot but the phone still functions and didn’t lock itself out because it got too hot.

Xiaomi Mi 11
That said, it’s really uncomfortable to even touch the phone at this temperature.

The Snapdragon 888 in the Mi 11 also warms up the entire phone rather quickly. I was using the phone like how I always do – and scrolling through Facebook or Twitter will make the phone warm up.

This is actually very reminiscent of Samsung’s Exynos 990 chipset whereby the phone will get warm by just scrolling through Facebook.

Screen

Then, the screen. Xiaomi boasted about the Mi 11’s 6.81-inch AMOLED screen a lot during their presentation. So, we tested their claims. By default. the Mi 11 is tuned into “auto” color profile.

Xiaomi Mi 11

There are other color profiles here – like “saturated” and “original color” which I have no idea what they mean.

We did extensive tests for the screen’s color profiles and its accuracy alongside its brightness – so watch the video at the top of this review for that information.

Overall, good job – this is a beautiful screen. And it can also go up to 1440p resolution at 120Hz – which is the same as the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Xiaomi Mi 11

Battery life

To juice up all of this power-hungry hardware, Xiaomi stuck in a 4,600mAh battery – which is still relatively big in size but could’ve been bigger.

Anyway, we tested the battery life at 100 nits screen brightness on 1080p, 60Hz, 1080p 120Hz, then at 1440p 60Hz, and 1440p at 120Hz.

Xiaomi Mi 11

It shows very similar behavior with the Exynos 2100 in the Galaxy S21 Ultra, as scaling up in resolution doesn’t affect the battery life that much – but scaling up from 60Hz to 120Hz really hit the battery hard.

Charger?

As for the charger, since we have the global version of the Mi 11, it comes with a 55W GaN charger inside the box. We’ve already talked about the Mi 11’s charger situation in a separate video.

In summary, it takes about 40 minutes to charge from 15% to 100% battery life.

Xiaomi Mi 11

But after spending so much time with the Mi 11 – honestly, not a fan of its charger mainly because it’s 55W instead of 65W, and it’s also using a proprietary charging standard.

Cameras & video capability

Then comes the cameras. The Mi 11 comes with a total of 3 cameras that can be used to take pictures. We have a standard main camera, an ultrawide angle camera, and dedicated macro camera.

Again, for all of the picture and video samples, watch our review video at the top of this article.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 still has the same video capabilities, as it is able to take 4K 60fps or 8K 30fps videos, but we should also mention that the Mi 11 is still using USB 2.0 so copying files out of the phone.

Xiaomi Mi 11
Also, no display output over its USB-C port.

Software – MIUI 12

The Mi 11 still uses MIUI 12, which is pretty much the same as other Xiaomi phones we reviewed previously. MIUI 12 is still a mess – especially the settings menu which is unnecessarily complicated and has a lot of related settings scattered all around.

Xiaomi Mi 11

Even the camera app is confusing and inconsistent. I’d expect the macro mode to be inside the camera modes menu – but no, it’s under the dropdown menu under the photo and video modes.

Yet somehow, the macro mode is not under that dropdown menu while in Pro Photo mode. What?

Xiaomi promises MIUI 12.5 in the coming months but there are only a few key highlights shown on Xiaomi’s website.

Design

The Mi 11 has a nice design and rather thin. After holding it for this long, it feels like the phone has a trapezoid shape with rounded corners. I hope this illustration helps to depict how the Mi 11 is shaped but of course – it’s exaggerated.

Xiaomi Mi 11

Overall thinness of the Mi 11 makes it fantastic to hold, and the back is just looking magnificent and stylish at the same time.

But, the phone also has a stereo speaker setup tuned by Harman Kardon. Sure, the Mi 11 speakers sound great – but they’re side-firing – as in the sound goes to the top and bottom. Also, it makes the phone’s back vibrate a lot.

Xiaomi Mi 11

So… is the Xiaomi Mi 11 good or not?

And that’s the biggest question – is the Xiaomi Mi 11 good or is it not? Honestly speaking, I love the Mi 11 for a few reasons. Its cameras are actually good – especially the macro camera which I had a lot of fun with.

The thinness of the phone makes it really comfortable to put into my pocket and take it out. And both the speakers and screen are fantastic too – making this an amazing phone for media consumption.

Xiaomi Mi 11

What’s not good here is – of course – the Snapdragon 888 chipset that just warms up the phone too quickly. One of the main reasons to buy a phone with the latest, most powerful chipset is to play games like Genshin Impact at the highest graphical settings. But on the Mi 11, I suggest you not to do so since it can reach 52°C and thermal throttle heavily, causing the game to lag.

Xiaomi Mi 11

Like that we mentioned in our Mi 11 gaming video, Xiaomi can somewhat take a short-term solution by issuing an update to thermal throttling the Snapdragon 888 chipset earlier to avoid overheating, but at the cost of performance.

This is rather weird since I have never seen any complaints about the Snapdragon 888 overheating on Galaxy S21 Ultra, but only on the Mi 11. It’s still too early to say what’s going on, we’ll have to wait for other smartphones with the Snapdragon 888 to come out before drawing any conclusions about this chipset.

And then the prices:

  • 8GB RAM + 128GB storage @ RM2,799 (coming at a later date)
  • 8GB RAM + 256GB storage @ RM2,999 (available now)

With that price, I still think is a fair price to pay for what it has to offer.

So all in all, the Mi 11 is still a fantastic phone – but just not for high-end gaming.

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