Two of the biggest smartphones in 2021 have already landed, and we have compared the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Xiaomi Mi 11, so you can see how they fit together and if any of them are worth your money.
Following an exclusive unveiling in late December, the Xiaomi Mi 11 saw a global launch in early February, ready for (digital) store shelves. We already knew the phone’s specifications, but now we have a better idea of price and availability, so we can really see how it shows the price tag.
Samsung Galaxy S21 was launched on January 14 and was the first flagship in 2021, and it is the lowest end of the range, with the Galaxy S21
The S21 and Mi 11 have a lot in common, such as their Snapdragon 888 chipset and high refresh rate on the screen, but there are also many differences, which is why we have broken them down.
Xiaomi Mi 11 vs Samsung Galaxy S21 price
The Samsung Galaxy S21 will cost you quite a bit – it starts at $ 799 / £ 769 / AU $ 1,249 for 128 GB of storage, and it goes up to $ 849 / £ 819 / AU $ 1,349 for 256 GB.
We do not have the Xiaomi Mi 11 prices in most regions yet, but we do have Euro costs. For 128 GB of storage you pay € 749 (around $ 900, £ 660, AU $ 1,175), and for 256 GB you pay € 799 (about $ 960, £ 700, AU $ 1,250). These conversions are loose and will not represent exact prices in other regions, but it seems that the phones cost similar amounts.
It is worth pointing out that both smartphones are cheaper than their predecessors, Samsung Galaxy S20 and Xiaomi Mi 10 (or at least the latter is based on the limited price information we have), so both are value for money in that department.
Another thing worth knowing is that Xiaomi mostly does not release its phones in the US, so if you live there, your choice is much easier.
Design and display
The Xiaomi Mi 11 is significantly larger than the Galaxy S21. Mi 11 has dimensions of 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.1 mm and a weight of 196 g, so in all departments it is more expensive than the Samsung phone of 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm and 169 g.
Both phones have rear cameras in the upper left corner, but while this back of the Samsung phone is made of ‘Glasstic’, which is plastic that looks like glass, Xiaomi uses a new type of glass called Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, which is supposedly amazing hardy.
Neither the phone has a 3.5 mm headphone jack or expandable storage, and both use the USB-C standard for charging. Both also have fingerprint scanners on the screen.
Speaking of the screen, this is where the size of the Xiaomi Mi 11 becomes clearer – the screen is 6.81 inches diagonally, which dwarfs the 6.2-inch Samsung Galaxy S21.
The Mi 11s AMOLED display has a resolution of 1440 x 3200, also known as 2K, as well as HDR10 +, a 120Hz refresh rate and a maximum brightness of 1500 nit. Samsung Galaxy S21 has some of the same specifications but only a 1080 x 2400 resolution and 1300 nits top brightness.
While the Xiaomi Mi 11 has a higher resolution screen, because the screen is much larger, the actual number of pixels per inch is not that much higher – although it still wins out there.
Both phones use holes in the hole for the forward-facing camera – at the top left of the Xiaomi phone and the top center for Samsung’s handsets – and they both use the aforementioned Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, so they are supposedly difficult to scratch.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the Xiaomi Mi 11 has a curved screen while the Samsung Galaxy S21 has a flat screen.
Cameras and battery life
Both Samsung Galaxy S21 and Xiaomi Mi 11 have four cameras, but they are very different setups.
The Galaxy phone has 12 MP headphones, 12MP ultra-wide, 64MP telephoto (with 3x hybrid zoom) and 10MP selfie camera. While Samsung does not win the megapixel battle, as we will soon see, the sensors used are large, so the images have more light.
In comparison, the Xiaomi has a 108MP main, 13MP ultra-wide, 5MP telemacro and 20MP selfie camera – so you take much higher resolution photos with the Mi 11, but the telemacro shooter may not be as useful as Samsung’s telephoto – it certainly has fewer megapixels .
Both phones have AI optimization to enhance your snaps, but another point of comparison is the different camera modes they have that can enhance your photography or videography.
Samsung has Single Take, which allows you to take a series of photos and videos of a subject just by pressing the shutter button once, which is a great tool for getting great photos. It also has Director’s View, which allows you to record video from the front and rear cameras at the same time.
Xiaomi has the latter mode as well as night video and night photography on the main cameras, ultra-wide and front cameras. There is also AI Erase, which allows you to remove people from the background of your photos, and many other video recording tools.
In terms of battery capacity, the Xiaomi Mi 11 has a significantly larger power pack of 4,600 mAh, over the Galaxy 4000 mAh. But thanks to the larger screen, battery life may not be much different.
The Samsung phone has 25 W wired charging, 15 W wireless and 4.5 W wireless reverse charging, which is when you use the phone to turn on other devices wirelessly. Xiaomi beats these specifications across the board by 55W, 50W and 10W respectively.
Specifications and performance
The Samsung Galaxy S21 and Xiaomi Mi 11 both use Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 888 chipsets, so they’ll probably be on par with performance – well, except in Europe, where the Samsung phone uses the Exynos 2100 chipset instead. is about as powerful as well.
They also both have 8 GB of RAM, and both phones also run Android 11, but they have their companies’ respective intentions to provide a different experience. Galaxy S21 uses One UI, and Mi 11 uses MIUI – the big differences between them are how they look, and some brand-specific features as well.
As with most newly launched flagship phones, the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Xiaomi Mi 11 are both 5G phones – your mileage with this next-generation connection will depend more on the network and location than the phone, so we can not really use that as a point of comparison .
If one of these smartphones was significantly cheaper than the other, it would be the clear winner, but as it turns out, it’s too close to call.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 has a large, high-resolution screen that will be perfect for playing games or watching movies, something the top processor will no doubt help with.
For photography fans, the Samsung Galaxy S21’s three impressive cameras and range of photography features and modes can make it the better choice, with Single Take a real game changer when it comes to phone photography.
But using your smartphone probably dictates which of these devices is better for you.