Xiaomi Mi 11i, analysis: power-focused and with a large screen

The Xiaomi Mi 11i is the third high-end mobile that the company presents in Spain in what we have been in for the year. We highlighted the high-end because if we look at the new product portfolio in 2021 we have to use all our fingers and we would be missing several.

This device is presented as a kind of cheap Xiaomi Mi 11, although along the way it leaves some of the functions that most caught the attention of its older brother. In return, the price is 100 euros lower, at least if we look at the costs at the time of launch.

We set the glass aside

The first thing that caught my eye when I opened the box of the Xiaomi Mi 11i and took it in my hand was its finish. It immediately reminded me of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S that I still have on loan, a device that costs three times less.

This is because, unlike in the Mi 11, in this model, Xiaomi has opted for plastic materials, as Samsung and OnePlus have made in their cheaper models. The point is that the S21 and OnePlus 9 give a better feeling in the hand, they do not instantly convey the image of an economical mobile.

Despite this, the Mi 11i is a comfortable terminal in the day-to-day, which does not become heavy and very ergonomic.

The fingerprint sensor, located on the side, works very well but does not help to take away the idea that we are in a mid-range mobile, not a high-end as Xiaomi wants to position it.

We have a dual speaker, but no headphone jack, something that also reminds you of the high end, but that if you have on Xiaomi's cheapest mobiles.

Inside he's like his older brother.

Where we have no complaint is in performance. This Xiaomi Mi 11i uses the Snapdragon 888, a top-notch processor that allows us to perform any action, use any game, and have no performance complaints.

However, as with all other models using this processor, the Mi 11i heats up when we demand a lot, and the battery charge soars, as you'll see in the autonomy section. It doesn't get a little troubling, as we've seen in previous generations of Qualcomm processors.

The drive we have been ceded to has 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal memory, with LPDDR5 and UFS 3.1 technologies. The latter, not the figures, is what differentiates this model from the Redmi Note variants.

It also shares with them the position of the fingerprint sensor, which is on the right side and works well with both hands, although it is still activated by mistake when we take the terminal of the table or any surface, something that is slightly irritating.

The dual speaker is powerful and does remind you more of the Xiaomi Mi 11 than the mid-range models of the company.

The best flat screen

Xiaomi boasted in the presentation of this model to have the best flat screen on mobile. The panel-shaped subsection is relevant because the Xiaomi Mi 11 uses a QHD resolution panel, but its larger sides are curved.

In this model, we have chosen to eliminate that curvature, just as OnePlus removed it from the OnePlus 9, but not from the 9 Pro.

So, we are looking at an AMOLED panel with FHD+ resolution and a 120 Hz refresh rate. The quality of it is very good, but it is not particularly far from that of the Redmi Note 10 Pro. And it's not because this Mi 11i has a bad screen, but because the one we analyzed a few weeks ago using one that, as we said, looked more of a high-end than a mid-range.

However, here we have more brightness and support for HDR10+ instead of the Note 10 Pro's HRD10.

A good camera that stays a little short

The Xiaomi Mi 11 cut into a camera relative to the Ultra model, and this Mi 11i does the same concerning the Mi 11.

No, it does not do so on the main 108 Mpx sensor, which is the same as the other model, but on the wide-angle, which goes from the 13 Mpx of the Mi 11 to the 8 Mpx, a figure entirely insufficient for a high-end terminal.

The macro also remains unchanged and makes good photos, but we still think it is unnecessary to mount a sensor for this when it can be included in the wide-angle.

The quality of the photographs is not bad, but it gives us the feeling of this time the skies are saturated more than in the images of the Xiaomi Mi 11, whose gallery you can see in this link.

In addition, it gives the feeling that the contrast is very high and that the automatic HDR does not solve it. However, at least it doesn't create unreal photos like other models.

The wide-angle meets surprisingly well in color veracity and other parameters, and we only miss a little more resolution, although we are aware that in this type of image we will not crop or zoom.

At night the quality of the images is maintained, more or less, on the main sensor. The lights appear halo-free and the detail is correct, even if we don't shoot at 108 Mpx. The problem comes in the macro, which loses a lot of detail and sharpness, something normal. And also in the wide-angle, which suffers from resolution and light control.

We liked the videos especially, both by color and by the stabilization achieved by Xiaomi. Even on the wide-angle, we have remarkable results. At night the typical trepidation of almost all mobile phones appears, although this is the one that best controls it without making it disappear. It's not yet up to Live, Samsung, and Apple.

The front camera works well and, although it beautifies a little, does not leave the faces foggy. We have good detail and a very good stabilization and dynamic range when it comes to recording video. Even at night, the results are better than average and the video, although it has more noise, stabilizes better than most models.

The autonomy of the Xiaomi Mi 11i leaves you wanting

This is one of Xiaomi's mobiles that combines a correct capacity battery with a decent fast charge, 33W. There is no wireless charge.

In the first battery test we have activated the 60 Hz screen and used the mobile especially outdoors, listening to many podcasts with Bluetooth headphones, we talked something on the phone and taken several photos and videos. We've played, but not much. We have reached 4 hours of the screen with 19 total hours of autonomy.

In the second battery test, we have been using mobile indoors, to use social apps and play honkai Impact Third quite a bit. This has been noticed because having the refresh rate at 120 Hz the battery drop and the heating of the mobile has been noticeable. We have reached 4 hours of the screen with 18 total hours of autonomy.

In the third battery test, we have returned to the 60 Hz display. We have listened to music, used Whatsapp and browsed the web, and played, but not much either. We have reached 4 hours of the screen with 22 total hours of autonomy.

As you can see, autonomy is not one of the strengths of this model, which with 4520 mAh of battery we expected to perform better.

MIUI 12 goes very well with this hardware configuration

MIUI has never been a lightweight and fast interface. It has been more highly customizable, powerful, and somewhat heavy. However, on high-end mobiles this is not a problem and the Mi 11i moves smoothly between desktops, applications, functions...

At the moment it has not been upgraded to MIUI 12.5 but it is also not something important, considering that it is part of Android 11, as expected.

All the news of this interface you have in a video that we made a few weeks ago where we also commented on the changes that Xiaomi had made on Android 11.

The Xiaomi Mi 11i has as its main rival its older brother

The feeling that this model has left us is similar to the one left by the Redmi Note 10S. If we look at it individually we are faced with a correct mobile, which meets, and that is not especially expensive.

The problem is that, just as the Redmi Note 10S stayed under the shadow of the Redmi Note 10 Pro, this Mi 11i stays too close to the Mi 11 in price.

The normal model cost at its launch 749 euros in its variant of 8 and 128 GB and the Mi 11i costs exactly 100 euros less. The point is that we sacrifice material quality, screen resolution, wide-angle resolution, autonomy, cable charging speed,, and wireless charging.

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