The most ‘ultra’ phone you can get (for now)

What occurs when an organization that made its identify with unbelievable values tries to construct a telephone with each function conceivable? You get the spectacular however imperfect Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely. That is Xiaomi’s second ultra-branded telephone however the first one which takes extremely to coronary heart. From specs to design to digital camera {hardware}, every little thing about this telephone is actually extremely… besides the battery life.

Design, {hardware}, what’s within the field

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely’s design and materials are higher than nearly every other Android telephone. It feels completely incredible to carry. Xiaomi stored the identical primary entrance design of the Xiaomi Mi 11, with a display that curves down on all sides, making it extra comfy to carry. The Mi 11 Extremely can use all the assistance it could get in that division—it is enormous. The telephone is a bit thicker than the Mi 11 and the again materials is ceramic as a substitute of glass. The ceramic panel is uber-scratch-resistant and feels easy with out being too slippery, nevertheless it boosts the load in comparison with glass. It is a whopping 234g, 38g heavier than the Mi 11.

Ceramic is a a lot stronger materials than glass, so that you should not actually need to fret concerning the again being scratched or cracked. The show remains to be glass, however does use the latest and most sturdy Gorilla Glass Victus, so that ought to maintain up effectively. The body of the Mi 11 Extremely is aluminum, however I might have preferred to see titanium or stainless-steel used right here to earn that extremely branding.

There’s a large digital camera bump housing three high-resolution sensors, plus a secondary 1.1-inch show. The show is a pleasant addition however I have never used it greater than two or 3 times in over a month as a result of there’s not a lot you are able to do with it. I perceive the digital camera hump must be beefy due to the large digital camera sensors nevertheless it’s simply too huge with the show as effectively. Though, it provides the telephone a novel look.

The show is, fairly actually, one of the best I’ve seen on a smartphone. The 6.81-inch 120hz OLED show has a decision of 3200×1440, and it has one of the best colours and brightness you may get in a 2021 smartphone. There’s additionally a quick, correct optical fingerprint scanner beneath it. It has a 1,700 nit peak brightness, which is 200 nits greater than the Galaxy S21 Extremely. It additionally has the identical 480hz contact sampling fee because the Mi 11 for class-leading responsiveness. The Mi 11 Extremely is likely one of the solely trendy Android telephones that helps the HDR10+ customary along with Dolby Imaginative and prescient. Sadly Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material remains to be uncommon on Android.

Xiaomi did some unbelievable work with the audio as effectively. You get not one however two full-sized audio system on this telephone. There’s one on the prime and one on the backside like different telephones, however as a substitute of being an earpiece speaker that blasts tinny music, it is a full-size speaker able to satisfactory audio copy. This makes music sound richer and extra balanced, and movies are extra immersive. Nonetheless, there are nonetheless some annoying audio bugs. As an illustration, the telephone usually defaults to the video preset when connecting to a Bluetooth audio gadget. It makes music echoey and distorted, requiring you to go to settings and toggle the Good or Music mode. Sure, annoying however not a deal-breaker.

The included 5,000 could battery is on par for a flagship telephone of this dimension. To cost it, Xiaomi helps 67W quick charging and 67W quick wi-fi charging. Included a 67W quick charger within the field together with a USB-C to three.5mm audio adapter and an affordable plastic case.

Software program, efficiency, and battery

The Mi 11 Extremely runs MIUI 12, which is predicated on Android 11. MIUI 12.5 remains to be rolling out, and simply rolled out to EU items, with just a few UI tweaks and below the hood enhancements . MIUI 12, for my part, remains to be an excellent expertise for everybody. There is perhaps a studying curve for those who’re new to MIUI, although.

MIUI 12 has cheerful, enjoyable animations, particularly on the house display. If you take away an app, the app explodes into bubbles and the haptics will vibrate to match it. If you drag an app, a part of the icon trails behind with some entertaining physics. Every thing seems to be prefer it was effectively designed and belongs collectively. These animations are nice and appear to be one thing integral to the OS. Even for those who prefer to disable animations, you need to maintain these on.

Outdoors of the gimmicks, Xiaomi fortunately makes use of inventory Google apps for nearly every little thing. The default telephone is the Google Telephone app, texting app is Android Messages, and the browser is Chrome. It nearly looks like a Pixel expertise, minus the Pixel options like Name Display or Now Taking part in, which stay an enormous promoting level. The telephone even got here principally bloat-free, with no third-party apps pre-installed. It was truthfully refreshing.

When Xiaomi does embody its personal various app, it has a great motive. For instance, Xiaomi has probably the most strong picture editors on Android. It has all of the classics like publicity, brightness, distinction, and so forth, but in addition issues like sky substitute and an enormous assortment of filters for nearly any scenario. It even has an eraser device to take away particular issues or folks from images. The sky and eraser instruments aren’t excellent by any means, however actually enjoyable to fiddle with for lots of images.

Efficiency on the Mi 11 Extremely is nice because of the Snapdragon 888. The telephone does warmth up a bit greater than I might have preferred below load, however that is par for the course with the Snapdragon 888. If the warmth isn’t an issue, you may run heavy apps and video games on this gadget; it’ll tear via Genshin Affect, Fortnite, and anything that strikes your fancy.

Battery life, however, was not so nice. I’ve solely been seeing about 3 hours of screen-on time with auto-brightness over the course of the day. I believe this is because of cell sign points as a result of this telephone is not meant for the US. Fortunately, the Mi 11 Extremely helps 67W wired and wi-fi charging. The 67W wired charging was lightning quick, filling up the telephone in below 45 minutes.

Cameras

The digital camera on the Mi 11 Extremely is likely one of the finest and worst elements of this telephone. The primary sensor is the Samsung-made ISOCELL GN2 50MP sensor. It is completely large at 1/1.12-inches, scary near a full 1-inch sensor. It collects ample mild, leading to detailed images in nearly any atmosphere. Night time images are notably spectacular on the Mi 11 Extremely. The one situation is not with the {hardware} however as a substitute the HDR processing, which might typically utterly fail to merge frames collectively. It is so dangerous I as soon as had it layer the sky over a tree. This is not a constant situation, nevertheless it needs to be addressed in a pending MIUI 12.5 replace.

The telephoto is a 5x optical zoom lens with a 48MP sensor. It helps 10x hybrid zoom—combining information from the telephoto and important sensor for higher high quality—and 120x digital zoom. It seems to be fairly horrible wherever over 45-50x zoom, in any other case it is adequate for Instagram. The ultrawide digital camera can be 48MP, nevertheless it has a 128 levels area of view, the widest ultrawide on a smartphone proper now. It is sharp in the course of the body however does have a whole lot of warping across the sides. That is simply to be anticipated with how vast it’s. Neither of those cameras has the HDR points the principle sensor has.

Each rear digital camera helps video recording at 4K 60fps or 8K 24fps. All additionally assist 4K 30fps with HDR, however sadly no assist for Dolby Imaginative and prescient, although the show helps it. Video seems to be incredible out of all of them. The Mi 11 Extremely takes a run on the iPhone for finest smartphone video high quality.

The selfie digital camera is satisfactory, however I might have preferred to see Xiaomi focus a bit extra on it. It solely helps 1080p 60fps video, which is ok, however feels missing when different telephones just like the Galaxy S21 collection and iPhone 12 collection assist as much as 4K 60fps from the selfie cameras.

One factor I recognize concerning the digital camera is Snapchat assist. Mi 11 Extremely images seems to be nice in Snapchat as a result of the app makes use of the complete energy of the cameras, for higher or worse. Whereas your snaps will often look unbelievable, Snapchat does some bizarre cropping to suit the display decision. That may make viewing snaps on a distinct gadget a bit bizarre. TikTok remains to be not using the digital camera {hardware} successfully, however a minimum of Snapchat is getting higher.

Must you purchase it?

Possibly, the Mi 11 Extremely is likely one of the finest telephones in the marketplace. It comes proper on the Galaxy S21 Extremely for the Extremely identify, and truthfully, I believe the Mi 11 Extremely is the one telephone to deserve that moniker. It is really “Extremely” from prime to backside, nevertheless it is not with out bugs. Positive, it may grow to be higher with a future OTAs, however do not buy a telephone on a promise of future updates. It is splendid for a gearhead who simply desires to play with the newest smartphone tech—it is all crammed into this one gadget.

Like most Xiaomi flagships, you will not be capable to get this within the US. You’ll be able to import one, and it ought to work decently on Google Fi, however I had some points with T-Cell. Google Fi could have assist for WiFi Calling and it appears to extra persistently decide up LTE, however T-Cell will principally connect with 3G. You will not be capable to use 5G on this telephone within the US, sadly.

At £1,199, this telephone prices the identical because the Galaxy S21 Extremely. It isn’t low-cost, nevertheless it wasn’t meant to be. This isn’t Xiaomi’s common product with a quick CPU and a bunch of lower corners—it has all the fashionable tech you may presumably cram right into a smartphone in 2021. It might be nearly excellent if Xiaomi can easy over just a few tough edges.

Purchase it if…

  • You need a true Extremely telephone
  • You’re taking a whole lot of images

Do not buy it if…

  • You do not like ready on updates for issues to be mounted
  • You do not like heavy telephones
  • You want a telephone that may comfortably final all day

The place to purchase

Lengthy-term assessment replace

After one other month of utilizing the Xiaomi Mi 11 Extremely, I’ve grow to be much more enamored with the telephone. From the incredible specs to the general really feel, I am unable to assist however find it irresistible. As a lot as I hate to say it, telephones are boring proper now. Most of them are the identical flat glass slabs, and few units in 2021 have actually earned an “extremely” designation. The Mi 11 Extremely, nevertheless, is likely one of the few smartphones that provides one of the best of every little thing.

Over the previous month, the digital camera has acquired an replace which appears to repair the HDR situation I beforehand had. I have never observed that intense HDR overlay impact in any photos I’ve taken since. I’ve additionally spent much more time studying how one can use the lenses on the telephone to take incredible images that might rival a DSLR to the untrained eye.

Past that, I’ve actually come to understand the texture and heft of the telephone. It feels substantial and premium in one of the best ways. Even in comparison with the iPhone 12 Professional Max, Galaxy S21 Extremely, Z Flip, and the Mi 11, it has one of the best in-hand really feel. You’ll be able to inform Xiaomi spent a whole lot of time on the little issues like stability and the way in which parts match collectively to take the telephone’s bodily design to the subsequent stage.

And but, it will not be value it to purchase the Mi 11 Extremely proper now, particularly in case you are into essentially the most highly effective and most spectacular tech at any price. Xiaomi is rumored to launch the Mi Combine 4 with an under-display digital camera and sooner charging tech later this yr. Google can be rumored to launch the Pixel 6 XL with related specs to the Mi 11 Extremely with the additional advantage of Google’s wonderful Pixel digital camera processing. Samsung is launching the Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 in only a few months, too, which brings foldable shows to an much more trendy gadget. In order for you that “Extremely” expertise, it is perhaps value ready just a few extra months to see how these telephones stack up. Who is aware of, they may make the Mi 11 Extremely appear to be an LG telephone.