Xiaomi’s Mega Launch stretched to two days and unleashed what could be some of the hottest devices of Q2. To do that, the new phones need to win the favor of the fans.
We’ll start with the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, which has (on paper) the most impressive camera hardware yet. The massive 50 MP GN2 sensor has OIS and is paired with two fairly large 48 MP sensors – one for the ultra wide and one for the periscope cameras.
Also, Xiaomi’s custom hardware sets the benchmark for wireless charging, going up to 67W. This can fill the battery in 37 minutes (as can the 67W wired charging), which is about as fast as we’ll ever need. Also, this is with a 5,000 mAh battery while many other devices in this class have 4,500 mAh.
The ceramic body also sounds cool, though previous attempts have proven prone to cracking. This is Xiaomi’s first IP68-rated phone, so we can’t complain about water resistance. Proper stereo speakers by Harman/Kardon are a plus as well.
The Mi 11 Ultra is not perfect, however. For example, the 6.81” AMOLED display with 120 Hz refresh rate has HDR10+ support and great color accuracy, but lacks an adaptive refresh rate. Also, the rear display sounds cool, but it’s so small that it may prove to be a gimmick.
These are not necessarily deal-breakers, but they do make the €1,200 price tag seem on the high side. What do you think?
If you’re going for a cutting edge device, perhaps the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold will be more your speed. It is the company’s first foldable, years after it showed off prototypes. It has a massive 8” internal screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio that is well suited documents and photos.
It’s an HDR10+ display (Dolby Vision is supported too), but it only has a 60 Hz refresh rate. The Galaxy Z Fold2 offers 120 Hz, the Huawei Mate X2 does 90 Hz. So, that already feels like a compromise. Also, the external screen’s 27:9 aspect ratio probably makes it too narrow for comfortable use. By the way, the tablet-like screen comes with a tablet-like quad speaker setup.
The Liquid Lens of the telephoto camera sounds amazing – we can’t wait to try shooing zoomed-in photos and macro shots with the same camera. But it offers only 3x magnification, which is within the reach of the 108 MP HM2 sensor in the main camera. A periscope might have been useful here.
We only have a Chinese price for the Mi Mix Fold – CNY 10,000. For comparison, the Mate X2 starts at almost double that (CNY 18,000), the Z Fold2 isn’t cheap either (CNY 15,000). So, the Mix is not the most advanced foldable, but it could be the cheapest in its size category.
That stems from the choice of chipset – a shiny new Snapdragon 780G, announced only a week ago, and the familiar Snapdragon 732G. We haven’t tested the new chip yet, but we suspect the difference in performance will be like night and day.
Then there are a few smaller changes, e.g. the screen on the 5G model upgrades from Gorilla Glass 5 to GG6, also from HDR10 to HDR10+. There are a few other changes, check the comparion for more.
Keeping in mind that the 5G model costs €370 compared to €300 for the 4G model, which one would you prefer. If any, of course.
Finally, we have the Xiaomi Mi 11i, also known as the Redmi K40 Pro+ in some parts of the world. Its price is almost half that of the Ultra, €650 for the 8/128 GB model, and you still get a Snapdragon 888 chipset. Plus, the screen and camera setup are worth a look too.
They are no match for the Ultra, but perhaps quite enough for some. The 6.67” Super AMOLED panel also offers 120 Hz refresh rate and HDR imagery, though note that resolution drops to 1080p+ (for what it’s worth, this is a flat display).
Also, the 108 MP HM2 sensor offers 9-in-1 pixel binning (2.1 µm effective pixels) and lossless digital zoom up to 3x (good news, since there’s no dedicated tele cam on this one). It lacks OIS, though. Anyway, the 4,520 mAh battery can be fully filled in 52 minutes by the 33W charger. Again, not as impressive as the Ultra, but considering the price difference, it’s a clear win in terms of value for money. Or do you see things differently?