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Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra announced: Xiaomi's €1,200 Galaxy S21 Ultra rival
Xiaomi launched the Mi 11 back in December, with a global launch following in January this year. The firm didn’t offer a Mi 11 Pro at either launch though, but it’s just announced two premium Mi 11 series phones.
These aren’t the only additions to the Mi 11 family today, as Xiaomi also offered the Mi 11i and Mi 11 Lite series. Here’s what you should know about the new additions to the Mi 11 family.
Mi 11 Ultra
The Mi 11 Ultra (seen above) is the top-end model here, following in the footsteps of last year’s cutting-edge Mi 10 Ultra. True to the leaks, the new phone stands out by virtue of a 1.1-inch rear OLED screen on the back. This screen is used for selfie previews, allowing you to take shots with the ultra-wide and standard cameras. But the screen also delivers always-on functionality and displays notifications. Furthermore, a super power saver mode is available that lets you only use the rear display.
A rear screen isn’t the only notable design decision, as the ceramic phone offers an IP68 rating for the first time in Xiaomi’s portfolio. It’s a long overdue addition for Xiaomi phones, but we’re glad to see the firm finally offer this feature.
Otherwise, you’re getting a Snapdragon 888 SoC, a 6.81-inch 120Hz QHD+ OLED screen with Gorilla Glass Victus and Dolby Vision, Harman Kardon-tuned speakers, and a 5,000mAh battery. Once the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra runs out of juice, you can take advantage of 67W wired and 67W wireless charging. This tops up the battery in just 36 minutes. And you can also recharge other devices thanks to 10W reverse wireless topups.
More reading: The best phones with wireless charging in 2021
The Ultra device is also packing heat in the camera category, featuring a well-rounded triple rear camera setup. A 50MP Samsung GN2 sensor handles primary camera duties, featuring 1.4 micron pixels and a 1/1.12-inch sensor size. The firm adds that the main camera offers Dual Pixel Pro autofocus tech, OIS, and a new Night Mode algorithm. You’re also getting a 48MP ultra-wide snapper (IMX586, 128 degree field of view, macro mode, PDAF) and a 48MP periscope lens (IMX586, 5X optical, 10X hybrid, 120X digital zoom, 8K recording, OIS). Selfies are handled by a 20MP camera in a left-aligned punch-hole cutout.
Interestingly enough, Xiaomi says you can simultaneously shoot with several cameras thanks to “Multi Cam” functionality, selecting the cameras you’d like to shoot with. It’s also resurrecting an early Android feature which lets you record video with two different Mi 11 Ultra phones.
On the whole, it’s clear Xiaomi is taking aim at phones like the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, and OnePlus 9 Pro with this new device.
Mi 11 Pro
Want something a little better than the Mi 11 but don’t want to splash out on the Mi 11 Ultra? That’s where the new Mi 11 Pro steps in, serving as a middle child of sorts in the Mi 11 family.
The phone sports some familiar core specs, namely the Snapdragon 888 SoC and a 6.67-inch QHD+ OLED screen, but you’re still getting some Ultra extras. That includes an IP68 rating, 67W wired and wireless charging (10W reverse wireless charging), and a 5,000mAh battery. Much like the Mi 11 Ultra, you’re getting a full charge in 36 minutes.
Xiaomi’s Pro version also delivers a 50MP main camera (GN2), a 13MP ultra-wide sensor (123 degree field of view), and a 5X 8MP periscope camera. The latter two cameras are a downgrade in theory from the Ultra’s 48MP ultra-wide shooter and periscope lens. Oddly enough, Xiaomi is also touting 1,920fps slow-motion video recording on the Pro and Ultra phones. A clip played at the event suggests that this might be interpolated video rather than native 1,920fps quality.
We previously saw the POCO F3 emerge as a rebranded Redmi K40, but this isn’t the only K40 series phone to get the rebranding treatment. Xiaomi revealed the Mi 11i today as well, and it’s effectively a Redmi K40 Pro Plus with a new name.
That means you’re still getting a 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, Snapdragon 888 SoC, and a 4,520mAh battery with 33W wired charging. The phone also sports a 108MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide snapper, and a 5MP telephoto macro lens. The phone’s center-lined punch-hole cutout hosts a 20MP camera.
The phone does miss out on Mi 11 Ultra and Pro features like an IP68 rating and a telephoto or periscope camera. But you’re still getting flagship power here as well as a high refresh rate OLED panel. You’re also getting a side fingerprint scanner, IR blaster, and NFC.
Mi 11 Lite 4G and 5G
We’ve known for a while now that Xiaomi was planning to offer two Mi 11 Lite variants this year, in the form of 4G and 5G options. The two phones share a number of features, namely a 6.81mm thin design, 157 gram weight, 6.55-inch FHD+ 90Hz OLED screen, a 4,250mAh battery, and 33W wired charging.
The two phones even offer the same triple rear camera setup, delivering a 64MP main camera (0.7 micron pixels), 8MP ultra-wide snapper, and 5MP telephoto macro lens. Other shared features include stereo speakers, IR blaster, NFC (dependent on market), a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and MIUI 12 atop Android 11.
The major difference between the phones is in the chipset category, as the Mi 11 Lite 5G is the first device with the Snapdragon 780G processor. Qualcomm’s new upper mid-range 5G silicon packs a 5nm design, a powerful octa-core design (4x Cortex-A78, 4x Cortex-A55), and Adreno 642 GPU. The Mi 11 Lite 4G, on the other hand, features a Snapdragon 732G processor that’s still a solid chipset but definitely less capable than the 780G.
Other differences include HDR support (HDR10+ for the 5G model versus HDR10 for the 4G variant), the selfie camera (20MP versus 16MP), Gorilla Glass (6 versus 5), and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi support (Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6 versus Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 5).
Mi 11 range pricing and availability
Starting with the Mi 11 Ultra, Xiaomi confirmed that the phone will be available in a 8GB/256GB variant for 5999 yuan (~$914), a 12GB/256GB model for 6,499 yuan (~$990), and a 12GB/512GB model for 6,999 yuan (~$1,067). The phone can be had in Ceramic Black and Ceramic White options. European users can grab the sole 12GB/256GB variant for €1,199 (~$1,415).
Unfortunately the Mi 11 Pro is restricted to China only, where it starts at 4,999 yuan (~$762) for the 8GB/128GB variant, 5,299 yuan (~$807) for the 8GB/256GB option, and 5699 yuan (~$868) for the 12GB/256GB model.
Meanwhile, the Mi 11i will be available for €649 (~$764) for the 8GB/128GB option and €699 (~$823) for the 8GB/256GB model. Expect to find the phone in Cosmic Black, Celestial Silver, and Frosty White colors.
The Mi 11 Lite 5G starts at 2,299 yuan (~$350) for the 8GB/128GB model in China and 2,599 yuan (~$396) for the 8GB/256GB variant. European users will be paying €369 (~$435) for the 6GB/128GB option. The 5G variant is available in Truffle Black, Mint Green, and Citrus Yellow colors. Don’t need 5G? Then you’ll be paying €299 (~$352) for the 6GB/64GB Mi 11 Lite 4G. The 4G variant is available in Boba Black, Bubblegum Blue, and Peach Pink color options.
Xiaomi also announced an 80W wireless charging pad which allows you to charge in landscape or portrait orientation. This wireless charging pad comes with a 120W charger and retails for 499 yuan (~$76). It also revealed a multi-coil wireless charging pad for 599 yuan (~$91), featuring 19 coils so you can charge a device by placing it anywhere on the pad.