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Watch: Xiaomi Mi 11 could deliver drastically improved low-light video

A sample video suggests Xiaomi's night mode video option could do for videos what night mode did for photos.

Published onDecember 24, 2020

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro back bottom half
  • The Xiaomi Mi 11 series will offer a night mode for video recording.
  • This offers much brighter footage in low-light conditions.

Xiaomi is expected to be the first manufacturer to launch a Snapdragon 888 smartphone anywhere in the world, with the Mi 11 range launching in China next week.

The company has started to tease a few details about the new phones, such as Wi-Fi 6 capabilities and improved LPDDR5 RAM support. But Xiaomi has also just revealed a night mode video feature on Weibo, showing off a sample video clip that you can view below.

The video shows a scene in what looks like near total darkness, but activating the night video mode yields much brighter results. We’re not sure if Xiaomi used any studio trickery here, but if this is the real deal it could do for low-light video what night mode did for low-light photos.

It would also differ from most other low-light video modes we’ve seen on phones today, such as the Galaxy S20 series and iPhone 12 range. Both Apple and Samsung offer improved low-light video, but this is mostly restricted to timelapses. We’ve also seen the likes of HUAWEI use pixel-binned ultra-wide sensors to deliver better low-light video.

Xiaomi may have also hinted at better night-time snaps too, with a poster (h/t: MyDrivers) touting the implementation of “computational photography.” Check out the image below.

Of course, computational photography is a staple of pretty much all major brands today, so this isn’t exactly noteworthy. What is notable, however, is the use of a starry sky, potentially hinting at an astrophotography mode for the Mi 11.

This wouldn’t be the first time we see an astrophotography mode on a Xiaomi phone though. The Mi 10T Pro and a few other devices offer a Long Exposure mode that includes a Starry Sky option to take shots of the night sky. It’s unclear if the Mi 11 series will be getting the same mode or a beefed up mode.

Either way, it looks like you’ll want to keep an eye on the upcoming flagships if you value low-light camera performance on your smartphone. Xiaomi will be launching the Mi 11 series on December 28 in China.

Next: Xiaomi buyer’s guide — Everything you need to know