Mi 11 Ultra review in five points: Is this the best Android smartphone?
It’s been almost two weeks since Xiaomi launched the Mi 11 Ultra in India, and we still don’t when it will be available for sale. The word is that company has limited units due to the current COVID-19 situation and may start taking pre-orders by the end of this month. Thankfully, it had one for us, and we have been able to test the Mi 11 Ultra over the last 10 days, and it is a very impressive smartphone.
Xiaomi has launched the Mi 11 Ultra in India in a single 12GB RAM and 256GB storage variant priced Rs 69,999. The headline making features here include world’s largest sensor on a smartphone, a WQHD+ high refresh rate display and a unique secondary display at the back.
The smartphone competes in a suddenly flooded premium market that also has OnePlus 9 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and also, the Vivo X60 Pro+. If you are planning to buy the Mi 11 Ultra (whenever you can), here are five things to know.
Point 1 Camera is spectacular. Xiaomi has been comparing the Mi 11 Ultra to point and shoot cameras. That’s over selling the phone. The Mi 11 Ultra is not as good as professional cameras, but it is as good as you can get on smartphones. Xiaomi has used Samsung’s latest high-end sensor, the GN2 on Mi 11 Ultra’s main camera, a 48-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, and a 48-megapixel telephoto camera. The telephoto can handle 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and up to 120x digital zoom. The main camera is very capable, has good details and captures really sharp images. The colour accuracy is debatable but, that’s the case with most Android phones.
Coming to the front, the phone comes with a 20-megapixel camera for selfies. The front camera does a good job too when it comes to sharpness, colours and detailing. The Mi 11 Ultra can capture 8K videos at up to 30fps and 4K videos at 60fps. The stabilisation is fine too.
You can check the image samples and detailed camera review here.
Point 2 Hate it or like it, the Mi 11 Ultra is different from any other flagship smartphone. Yes, the massive camera bump is not for everyone and comes down to personal liking but the ceramic back panel and the secondary display help the Mi 11 Ultra stand out from the crowd. The phone comes in Black and White colour options. I had the White colour variant for review which looks gorgeous. It does catch some fingerprint smudges, but they are not easily visible. I am glad that the Indian variant of the Mi 11 Ultra comes with just the Xiaomi logo at the bottom and not the unwanted information that kind of spoiled the China variant.
Point 3 As gorgeous as the phone looks, it is big, thick and bulky. That will surely force few users to consider other options. It weighs a whopping 234grams. Yepp, forget one hand, even two might not be enough to handle it at times. The only way to justify is that even the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra weighs 228grams, so the difference isn’t that much.
But, the phone is very thick too. In fact, the camera bump itself is quite thick and makes the phone look even bulkier. The Mi 11 Ultra is definitely for a single-hand use and your palms will ask for rest even after two-hand usage.
Point 4 The Mi 11 Ultra comes with one of the best displays on any Android smartphone and a lot of it can be credited to the sheer size of it. The content looks even better on a big 6.81-inch AMOLED display. It has high resolution, high refresh rate, high peak brightness, HDR support and good color accuracy.
The display is very smooth. You can choose between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates. The Mi 11 Ultra also features 480Hz touch sampling rate for fast registering of touch input. The screen supports both HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision content. The phone is capable of hitting 900 nits brightness with a crazy peak brightness of 1700 nits. All of this makes the Mi 11 Ultra a very good streaming device.
Point 5 Performance-wise the Mi 11 Ultra is at par with every Android flagship smartphone. It uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC that also powers the OnePlus 9 Pro and Vivo X60 Pro+. We know that the processor is more capable than the Exynos chip Samsung uses. The Mi 11 Ultra comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The limitation here is that this phone doesn’t support a microSD card. So, if there is one thing you really to pick, it’s the lack of expandable storage.
The Mi 11 Ultra handles your daily tasks with ease, is good for gaming (though weight and size of the phone adds to fatigue) and doesn’t have any heating issues. The only time the phone got slightly warm was after using the camera for a long period.