Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra review: Large, powerful and expensive Review

Maria J. Danford

The Mi eleven Ultra is Xiaomi’s new flagship handset. The cellular phone has two underlings, the Mi eleven Lite (£399) and the Mi 11 (from £749), which I reviewed in February. I favored the Mi 11’s mixture of sturdy options and eye-catching cost, but right here we have an even more lavish specification, and a steeper cost of £1,199. On paper, it appears like a desire — albeit an high priced a single. Standout Mi eleven Extremely options incorporate 120x zoom, 8K movie recording, a 5000mAh battery, fast charging, 5G (obviously), and a compact next screen on the back again. 

The technical specs make a splash on paper, but the to start with factor you can expect to detect when unboxing the Mi eleven Extremely is its 234g pounds. You may also speedily clock the monumental lozenge occupying the upper quarter of the backplate, which properties the digital camera array and a compact next screen (more on both equally below). 

This substantial protruding rear lozenge makes it a minor uncomfortable to keep the cellular phone, and I identified the lip was sizeable ample to snag a jacket pocket, so you need to have to area the handset snugly with more treatment, or intentionally drop it into a pocket upside down. The upside of the digital camera lozenge occupying all the backplate’s width is that the handset would not wobble when you prod at the screen with it flat on a desk or table. 

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Xiaomi Mi eleven Extremely: six.81-inch AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh 3 cameras and a compact next screen at the back again Snapdragon 888 5G chipset with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of (non-expandable) storage.


Images: Xiaomi

Create quality is outstanding. The rigid aluminium casing is sturdy, Gorilla Glass Victus provides screen security, and the ceramic back again of my white evaluation device had a chalky colouring rather than getting starkly good white. Compared with the Mi eleven, the Extremely product has an IP rating for dust and h2o resistance: IP68 signifies that it is ‘dust tight’ and can manage immersion in up to one.5m of h2o for up to 30 minutes. 

The backplate is extremely smooth, so of course my ‘sofa test’ unsuccessful spectacularly: the handset slid off the arm of my couch practically at will. But it does seem gorgeous, and Xiaomi provides a distinct bumper case if you want to have a more assured grip on this £1,000-plus cellular phone. There is a black model for these who obtain the white product too stark. 

Aspect buttons are stored to a bare minimum with just the electric power and volume rocker on the ideal side. Fingerprint scanning is in-screen, or you can use experience login if you like. Each labored good. 

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Although it is only eight.38mm thick, this is a enormous cellular phone, measuring seventy four.6mm extensive and 164.3mm tall. The chassis accommodates a six.81-inch AMOLED screen with small bezels — the screen to body ratio is an amazing ninety one.2%. The front digital camera sits unobtrusively in a lower-out in the upper still left corner. 

It was extremely hard for me to access across the screen a single-handed, but then more compact screens give me the exact same challenge so that usability issue is not in itself a offer breaker. 

The screen’s WQHD+ (1440 x 3200 pixels, 515ppi) resolution is, in fact, more of a offer-maker. Every little thing I did — reading email messages, social media and internet pages, and seeing movie — was exceptionally straightforward on the eye. The handset can immediately swap among complete resolution and FHD+ (1800 x 2400) to save on battery electric power, you can choose for a 120Hz refresh price for larger clarity, and the screen tops out at an extremely shiny one,seven-hundred nits. The Mi eleven Ultra’s screen has the exact same specification as that of the Mi eleven. 

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Curved screen edges can consequence in undesired touches getting registered, hence the selection of options to stay away from this.


Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The long edges of the screen are somewhat curved, and you can make options in application to guard towards accidental edge touches if this takes place. It really is really comprehensive – you can even established a tailor made frame for the screen edges if a extensive touch-absolutely free spot is essential. I identified the dynamic, immediately modifying environment was good for me and failed to encounter any troublesome accidental screen presses. 

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Options for the Mi eleven Ultra’s rear screen.


Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

A superior screen like this justifies excellent speakers, but regretably which is not what you get right here. There are speaker grilles on the top rated and base edges and even though they put out loads of volume, bass tones usually are not excellent and it is significantly too straightforward to cover the speakers when holding the cellular phone in landscape method. 

The next screen on the back again of this cellular phone is a one.one-inch rectangle to the ideal of the digital camera lenses that can screen a selection of information and facts: date, time and battery level, a message (the default is a motivational phrase) or an image. The screen goes off immediately after a optimum of 30 seconds, and a faucet brings it back again to existence. 

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (absolutely free PDF) (TechRepublic)

If you happen to be employing the rear cameras to just take selfies, the next screen functions as a mini-viewfinder, but you need to have to be really near to it to see nearly anything valuable. The next screen is an strategy with probable, but it would not at the moment offer you ample utility to be notably valuable. 

The Mi eleven Extremely is a flagship handset, so you will find no stinting on inside technical specs. It really is driven by Qualcomm’s top rated-end Snapdragon 888 5G chipset with 12GB of RAM in help, and the cellular phone unquestionably flew through the Geekbench 5 CPU benchmark, returning scores of 1134 (solitary main) and 3718 (multi main). Between other Snapdragon 888 handsets we have tested, the a lot less expensive Mi 11 with 8GB of RAM was only somewhat guiding with 1129 and 3704 respectively, even though the Oppo Obtain X3 Pro trailed both equally Xiaomi handsets with scores of 927 and 3302, in spite of obtaining 12GB of RAM. 

There are two SIM slots in the caddy on the underside of the chassis (this is a 5G handset, of course). There is 256GB of inside storage, with 21GB used out of the box leaving 235GB absolutely free. Android eleven and Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 overlay just take up some of this consumed place. There are loads of third-bash apps, which can be uninstalled, and some Xiaomi apps — including a number of that copy Android capabilities — that are not able to be. As normal with Xiaomi, the handset is brimming with downloadable themes obtainable through an application. 

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120x electronic zoom seems to be amazing on paper, but is disappointing in reality.


Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The Xiaomi Mi eleven Extremely has 3 rear cameras, headed up by a 50MP f/2. extensive-angle digital camera with OIS. It really is joined by a 48MP f/four.one telephoto digital camera with 5x optical, 10x hybrid and 120x electronic zoom, and OIS, plus a 48MP f/2.2 extremely-extensive-angle (128°) digital camera. All 3 rear cameras will seize 8K movie at 24 frames for every next (fps), with HDR 10 help on the major digital camera. The front-dealing with digital camera is a 20MP f/2.2 device. 

Standard stage-and-shoot pictures is extremely superior, as you’d anticipate with these technical specs, but zooming is a further make any difference. The 5x optical zoom is good, but with every phase closer to 120x pictures turned more and more grainy. I are not able to assume when I might want to use this ‘super-zoom’ facility in every day existence. That mentioned, the Mi eleven Extremely at the moment heads up the DXOMARK smartphone digital camera rankings, forward of Huawei’s Mate 40 Professional+.

With the Mi eleven Extremely at its optimum 120Hz screen refresh price in the course of battery tests, the handset’s 5000mAh battery managed twelve hours 14 minutes beneath the PCMark for Android Get the job done 2. battery check. It also lost just 16% of a complete cost seeing 3 hours of YouTube movie at complete screen. A day’s use really should be achievable, but bear in brain that the substantial six.81-inch screen is perfect for gaming and movie viewing, and normal use of these demanding workloads may signify the battery requires replenishing in the course of the working day.  

‘Turbo’ charging, both equally wired and wireless, is readily available at 67W, providing one hundred% in 36 minutes according to Xiaomi. Sadly, I was offered neither with a British isles plug to check the out-of-box wired charging encounter, or with a wireless charger. 

Conclusions 

The Xiaomi Mi eleven Extremely is something of a conundrum. As a top rated-tier handset it ought to knock the relaxation of Xiaomi’s selection into a cocked hat, nevertheless in terms of price for revenue the Mi eleven is a better cellular phone. Each handsets share the exact same (outstanding) screen and (top rated-close) processor. 

The next screen on the back again of the Mi eleven Extremely appears pointless, and even though the cameras do a superior job in general, the 120x electronic zoom appears like a headline feature that will not be greatly used in the authentic globe. Earlier I mentioned that, on paper, this handset appears like a desire — albeit an high priced a single. Unfortunately, in spite of its higher-close specs and outstanding create quality, the Mi eleven Extremely would not really are living up to expectations.

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