what differences, should you buy the new Xiaomi?

On February 8, Xiaomi announced the arrival in France of the Mi 11, replacing the Mi 10 launched a year earlier. The newcomer has an updated technical sheet, with several notable improvements. Sold from 799 euros, the smartphone seems like a good deal. But is this really the case? Answer in this duel Mi 11 against Mi 10!

As agreed, Xiaomi presented on February 8, 2021 the international version of the Mi 11 (whose Chinese version has been official since December 2020). The virtual conference started at 1 p.m. KST. And we took this opportunity to come back in detail on this launch. Two reasons led us to do this. First, Xiaomi rose in the fourth quarter of 2020 to the third largest smartphone sales in the world, behind Apple and Samsung, taking advantage of Huawei’s worries. The Mi 11 is therefore Xiaomi’s first “flagship” following the announcement of this new classification.

Read also – Mi Mix 4: Xiaomi confirms the release of its smartphone for 2021

Second reason: between iPhone 12 delays (released between October and November) and the early arrival of the Galaxy S21, released at the end of January, international brands are organizing themselves to renew their offers and attract consumers. We couldn’t wait to see how Xiaomi would respond to this trend. This is what is done. Moreover, find in our columns a complete comparison of the Mi 11 with the iPhone 12 and the Galaxy S21. In this article, we will not go over these different models. We will instead focus on the new features Xiaomi brings to the Mi 11 by comparing it to its predecessor, the Mi 10.

Price

The launch price of the Mi 11 is identical to that of the Mi 11. The phone is therefore offered at 749 euros, excluding subsidies and promotions. Information was leaked last week with slightly higher prices. So it’s a pleasant surprise from Xiaomi. Note that those here are European prices. Prices for France could be higher. Xiaomi France has not yet communicated the prices of the Mi 11 in France.

Like Apple and Samsung, Xiaomi decides to revise the price of its flagship slightly downwards. The 128 GB version of the flagship will be offered at 749 euros. To take advantage of double the storage space, you will have to pay 50 euros more. Or 799 euros.

In 2020, we were very surprised by the positioning of the Mi 10. Sold at 799 euros, the previous flagship was positioned at its launch 300 euros more expensive than its predecessor. And this without necessarily justifying it other than by the integration of 5G connectivity, a larger battery and a new photo sensor. Remember also that the price of the Mi 10 was set at a period of high price inflation.

The Mi 10 has already started to lower its price. The smartphone is still offered at 799 euros on the brand’s official store. But this price is applied to the 256 GB version and no longer to the 128 GB version. It would not be surprising if the Mi 10 continues to see its price decrease in the coming weeks, following the release of the Mi 11.

Technical sheet

Xiaomi mi 11 Xiaomi mi 10
Dimensions and weight 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.1 mm (glass version)
164.3 x 74.6 x 8.6 mm (vegetable leather version)
196 grams (glass version)
194 grams (leather version)
162.5 x 74.8 x 9 mm
208 grams
Screen 6.81 “
QHD + (1440 x 3200 pixels)
515 pixels per inch
120Hz
Gorilla Victus
HDR10 +
6.67 “
FHD + (2340 x 1080 pixels)
90hz
386 pixels per inch
Gorilla Glass 5
HDR10 +
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (5nm) Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (7nm)
BONE Android 11 + MIUI 12.5 Android 11 + MIUI 12 (via update)
RAM 8 GB 8 GB
Storage 128/256 GB 128/256 GB
microSD No No
Main sensor 108 MP, f / 1.9, 26mm (main), 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
13 MP, f / 2.4, 123˚ (wide angle), 1.12µm, viewing angle 123 °
5 MP, f / 2.4, (macro), 1.12µm
108 MP, f / 1.7, 26mm (main), 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
13 MP, f / 2.4, 123˚ (wide angle), 1.12µm
2 MP, f / 2.4, (macro), 1.12µm
2 MP (distance calculation)
Selfie sensor 20 MP, 27mm, 0.8µm 20 MP, 27mm, 0.9µm
Drums 4600 mAh
55 watt wired fast charge
50W wireless fast charge
10W reverse fast charge
4780 mAh
30W wired charging
30W wireless charging
5W reverse fast charge
5G Yes Yes
Biometrics Optical impression scanner under the screen Optical impression scanner under the screen
Water resistance No no

Design

Xiaomi mi 11
Mid 11

The design of the Mi 11 is very similar to that of the Mi 10. The only major novelty is the format of the photo block, going from a vertical line to a square module, with rounded corners. This module is positioned in the upper left corner. It looks a lot like that of the Poco C3, but also, among competitors to that of the last two generations of iPhone, of the last two generations of Pixels (Pixel 4, 4a and 5), or, to a lesser extent to that of some Galaxy from Samsung or some Oppo (A73 or Reno 4F, for example).

The photo block is aesthetically divided into two parts. On the left, in the black part, we find two photo lenses: the main sensor optics and the wide-angle optics. To the right are two other elements: the macro sensor and the dual tone LED flash.

The Mi 10 adopts a more traditional photo block from Xiaomi. All sensors are vertically aligned, as in the Mi 9. This is a design you can find in the Mi, Redmi or Poco ranges as well.

The materials used by Xiaomi do not change between the Mi 11 and the Mi 10. Mineral glass on the faces and aluminum on the edges. The Mi 11 benefits from a more recent glass up front: the Gorilla Victus of Corning, in lieu of Gorilla 5. On the edges, you find the same technical elements: USB type-C port, speaker, two microphones, SIM drawer, power buttons and volume control. As always since the Mi 6, there is no 3.5mm jack port.

On the audio side, the Mi 11 retains the two speakers of the Mi 10. The first is positioned in the lower section. The second is placed in the telephone receiver. This was one of the improvements of the Mi 10 over the Mi 9. We are pleased to see them in the Mi 11.

The Mi 11 is bigger than the Mi 10 of 2 millimeters. It is just as wide. It is less thick (which explains a bad surprise on the battery side) of 1 millimeter. And it is less heavy of 12 grams for the glass version and 14 grams for the vegetable leather version.

Screen

Xiaomi mi10
Mid 10

The screen of the Mi 11 has physical characteristics quite similar to that of the Mi 10. The screen is a little larger (6.81 inches vs. 6.67 inches). It is curved on both sides. It features a punch in the upper left corner for the selfie sensor. And the borders are very thin at the top and bottom of the screen.

Technically, the Mi 11 benefits from an improved panel. First, the screen resolution, which goes from 386 pixels per inch to 515 pixels per inch. This is due to the change from Full HD + definition to Quad HD + definition. Hopefully that won’t have too much of an impact on the autonomy.

Second improvement, the AMOLED panel is now compatible with a 120Hz refresh rate and no longer 90 Hz. We are obviously curious to know if this mode will be compatible with the definition Quad HD +. Recall that Samsung, with the Galaxy S20, chose to restrict the choices offered to the user: 1080p @ 120 Hz or 1440p @ 60 Hz.

Last improvements to note, colorimetry and brightness. The panel would be able, according to Xiaomi, to display up to 1 billion different shades. In addition, the maximum brightness would reach the 1500 nits. Which is particularly high. Of course, this brightness would not be available manually, but only outdoors and in bright light. Of course, the panel is compatible HDR10 +, like that of the Mi 10.

An optical fingerprint reader is always present under the screen.

Performances

qualcomm snapdragon 888 official 5
Snapdragon 888

The performance of the Mi 11 should be much better than that of the Mi 10. In question, the change of SoC. Xiaomi does indeed pass from Snapdragon 865 to Snapdragon 888. The structure of the cores is almost the same (1 very powerful core, 3 slightly less powerful cores, four energy efficient cores) and the frequency of use does not change. But, at the same energy consumption, the Snapdragon 888 offers more power.

Also, the GPU has been updated. It passes from Adreno 650 to Adreno 660. The latter develops a computing power of 1.72 teraflops, against 1.22 teraflops. That is an increase of 40%. All other important components have also been improved in the Snapdragon 888: the modem, still 5G compatible, the processor for signal processing (Hexagon), the processor for image processing (Spectra), as well as the bandwidth for the RAM. The Snapdragon 888 is compatible Bluetooth 5.2 and WiFi 6.

The Mi 11 is equipped with 8 or 12 GB of RAM internationally. In France, it will only have 8 GB of RAM, regardless of the storage level. Which would have been handy given the increased screen definition. Xiaomi made the same choice in 2020 with the Mi 10: the version with 12 GB of RAM is not available in France.

Autonomy and recharging

Xiaomi mi 11

With a very powerful chipset and an AMOLED panel that goes from Full HD + to Quad HD +, the question of battery life obviously arises. In this area, Xiaomi has not chosen to increase the capacity of its battery. Worse, the brand has even made a small concession on this subject: the battery passes from 4780 mAh to 4600 mAh. Or a small drop of around 4%. This is not a significant drop, but it may be unwelcome as some parts of the Mi 11 will consume more power.

Fortunately, Xiaomi has at the same time improved the recharging part of the technical sheet. Fast charging, whether wired or wireless, is faster. The maximum power goes from 30 watts in both cases with the Mi 10, to 55 watts wired and 50 watts wireless with the Mi 11. According to Xiaomi, the Mi 11 recharges from 0 to 100% in 45 minutes. Which is an excellent performance, in line with Oppo’s Super VOOC 2.0, found in the Find X2 Pro, for example.

If you do not have a compatible 55 watt Xiaomi charger, note that the Mi 11 is compatible Quick Charge 4+, like the Mi 10. Finally, the Mi 11 is compatible with wireless reverse charging, like the Mi 10. But the power offered by the Mi 11 is twice as high, from 5 watts to 10 watts.

Photo and video

Xiaomi mi 11
Xiaomi mi 11

Last part of this fratricidal duel: the photo. And this is certainly where the Mi 11 disappoints the most. Because it uses practically identical all the elements of the Mi 10. And what it does not include here is generally less interesting. In addition, it does not eliminate the main flaw of the Mi 10: the lack of optical zoom. Let’s go into detail.

The main sensor of the Mi 11 is therefore always the Samsung ISOCELL HMX 108 megapixels. Each pixel is 0.8 microns. The sensor works here also in Quad-Bayer mode. And it incorporates phase detection autofocus. Its objective is still stabilized. But it opens less wide: f / 1.9 vs. f / 1.7. This means that it is potentially less bright.

The first of the Mi 11’s secondary sensors is the one associated with the ultra wide-angle lens. Here too a change from the Mi 10. It is still a model 13 megapixels with lens opening at f / 2.4. The angle of view reached 123 °. No stabilization or autofocus here, that’s normal.

The other Mi 11 secondary sensor is the one responsible for so-called “macro” proximity photos. It’s a model 5 megapixels, against 2 megapixels previously. Its lens always opens at f / 2.4. It doesn’t have autofocus, like its predecessor, either, although we would have liked to have had one. This sensor has a dual role. It not only takes care of macros, but also calculates distances for portrait mode. Indeed, Xiaomi removes the fourth 2-megapixel sensor from the Mi 10 here.

xiaomi mi 10 vs mi 11 2
Mid 10

As you can see, Xiaomi here once again skips a possible optical zoom, while the Mi 9 was equipped with one (2x zoom ratio). The brand is inspired by Apple (and not Samsung) which prefers to offer optical zoom to its iPhone “Pro”. It is therefore obvious that the Mi 11 Pro will offer an optical zoom. This is a weak point compared to Samsung, which offers a “hybrid” zoom from the Galaxy S21.

To make videos, the Mi 11 of course uses its main sensor. Several modes are available. Almost all of them are inherited from the Mi 10: 8K @ 30 fps, 4K @ 60 fps. The Mi 11’s slow motion mode has been improved, as it now rises to 480 fps at 1080p. For stabilization, the Mi 11 does not use the optical stabilizer of the 108 megapixel sensor, but the electronic gyroscope.

On the selfie side, the Mi 11 has a sensor almost identical to that of the Mi 10. It is a 20 megapixel model with wide-angle lens for group selfies. The sensor is HDR compatible. Each pixel measures 0.8 microns instead of 0.9 microns. Again, there is a slight risk of dimming. The selfie sensor films in 1080p @ 30 fps, like its predecessor.

Conclusion

The Mi 11 is an evolution of the Mi 10 and clearly not a revolution. Many technical points have simply been included, such as photos or storage capacity. Some have been improved, such as fast charging, display, and the Snapdragon platform. But others are less interesting, notably the drums. This is certainly the point to watch carefully during technical tests. Because, theoretically, the screen seems very greedy. And the Snapdragon 888 should be too. See you very soon for a complete test of the Mi 11. And see you soon for the price. A good surprise is not impossible on this point.

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