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Xiaomi Mi 11 teardown shows it's easier to repair than S21 Ultra

But it's still a pain to repair nonetheless.

Published onMarch 16, 2021

  • The Xiaomi Mi 11 has received a teardown by repair website iFixit.
  • It’s received the same score as the base Galaxy S21 and a higher score than the S21 Ultra.

Smartphones have come a long way since the early days of Android and Symbian, but one aspect that hasn’t improved in that time is the ease of repairing them. Now, DIY repair website iFixit has conducted a teardown of the Xiaomi Mi 11, and it seems like the new Xiaomi phone doesn’t drastically change things.

iFixit gave Xiaomi’s flagship a score of four out of 10. That score means the Mi 11 is a little easier to repair than the Galaxy S21 Ultra (three out of 10) and tied with the vanilla Galaxy S21. It’s also tied with the HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro, but handily beaten by Apple’s latest iPhones.

The website specifically praised the Xiaomi Mi 11 for requiring only one standard Philips screwdriver for all the related screws. It also noted that the display and battery can be replaced separately, the adhesive wasn’t “super stubborn” (suggesting this was due to the lack of an IP rating), and that many parts were modular.

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There are several downsides to this phone if you want to repair it yourself though, as the outlet lamented the curved screen which required special tools to remove, the glass body which was more prone to fall damage, and the need to replace the whole screen if the fingerprint scanner was broken. They also noted that the process of removing the battery and display can be “tedious.”

There were a couple of other notable discoveries by the team. For one, it found that the Mi 11 had some rubber gaskets around the speaker and charging port areas, despite the lack of an IP rating. We also get confirmation once again of two 2,300mAh batteries, with the split design facilitating faster charging.

Either way, it seems like the Mi 11 is par for the course when it comes to ease of repair in 2021. But hopefully the introduction of right to repair laws around the world means we see more phones adopting a DIY-friendly approach this year.