Historically, Xiaomi has been a consistent competitor to launch the first phones with the next generation of Qualcomm silicon. It has taken the lead again this year by announcing the Mi 11 series of phones complete with the Snapdragon 888. With the new engine comes a cavalry of other upgrades.
While some goodies sprout from Snapdragon 888 such as Wi-Fi 6, better 5G and more powerful AI processing, others are around to increase its capabilities – faster memory in the form of UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5 dual-channel RAM and some liquid cooling infrastructure.
The giant pumpkin pie competition for the smartphone industry seems to be in the display department, and Xiaomi has contributed a lot of praise to the website: 10-bit AMOLED display with refresh rate of up to 120Hz, touch sampling up to 480Hz, maximum brightness of 1500 nit, contrast measured to 5 million to one, and an A + rating from DisplayMate. It’s large at 6.81 “across, but tall with a aspect ratio of 20: 9, and topped with this year’s Gorilla Glass Victus from Corning. The screen is accompanied by stereo speakers with Harman Kardon branding.
Another special battle, this one specially adapted for Chinese OEMs, is with power. The company has decided to go with 55 W wired charging and 50 W wireless charging – this guarantees a zero to full pump cycle of 53 minutes or less – with 10 W reverse charging via Qi. Through USB-C, the Mi 11 supports Power Delivery as well as Qualcomm’s proprietary Quick Charge 4.
For this phone, Xiaomi more or less sticks with the Mi 10’s camera combination which includes Samsung’s top-end HMX 108MP sensor (though with a very slightly slower aperture), a 13MP wide angle camera and a macro camera rated at 5MP.
The phone comes in three glass finishes and two cut from vegan leather – far away from Moto X’s days with the vegetable tanned Horween leather, but maybe we and the animals we get the material from are better off. In terms of preservation, the company will only supply chargers to customers who buy the phone with a separate accessory package (free right now, but an extra $ 15 for later purchases), but they will at least be compact and smooth gallium nitride wall warts.
The base model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage starts at 3,999 yuan (~ $ 612) with 12/256 GB configuration going to 4,699 yuan (~ $ 719).