I will be talking about Xiaomi’s me 11. just a year ago the company was nowhere to be seen when looking at the list of best flagship phone makers sure they made some good premium phones but Xiaomi ultimately lagged behind the competition in one way or the other but 2021 has changed that in today’s date Xiaomi’s top of the line phones like the me11 ultra has received good reviews from top reviewers like mkbhd and Mr who’s the boss which has officially marked Xiaomi as a prominent name in the flagship territory as for me 11 well one of our team members have been using it as his primary device and comparing it side by side with other high-end phones for the better part of three months and we’ve had some interesting findings of this phone sadly Xiaomi did not choose to launch the mi 11 in a lot of markets including India if you ask me I think it’s a killer competition to the likes of the galaxy s21 and the Oneplus 9.
Anyway, today I will be sharing our long term experience with the Xiaomi 11 with you guys so let’s get straight into it okay starting with the design itself after all this while one of the things that we’ve really come to appreciate about this device is its form factor contrary to other Xiaomi phones like the mi 11x pro it has an even weight distribution and throughout my colleague’s usage he’s only had good things to say about its ergonomics plus the slight curves add to the comfortable grip while the Aluminum frames give it a lightweight yet premium touch so holding this phone for long hours will not be a muscle exercise here but yes if I had to compare Samsung’s galaxy s21 ultra feels more premium than theme 11.
Although it’s also heavier and a little less comfortable so this phone scores good marks on this front despite this there are some flaws in its design, for instance, theme 11 is quite slippery because of which it has fallen off my hands a couple of times when shooting photos and videos thankfully it has survived them all while we did get this visible scratch at the back so it would certainly have been a lot better if Xiaomi had included gorilla glass victors or at least gorilla glass 6 instead of the older gorilla glass 5 at the back the company has installed gorilla glass victors on the front though which I would say has been incredibly useful throughout my usage yet the biggest design compromise here remains that Xiaomi has only included the most basic ingress protection and the mi 11 does not have an official Ip rating making it vulnerable to water and dust damage.
So this past month we’ve had to be extra careful not to expose it in the rain since it’s been raining like cats and dogs here in Kathmandu while Xiaomi has got some corners in the design aspect the display is where this phone truly shines its 6.81 inches HD screen is a delight to look at and because it supports hdr10 in Netflix too the content consumption experience is further elevated also i like the fact that Xiaomi has not left out on important features like HDs eye care certification and dc dimming in order to prevent ice chain due to blue light emissions and display flickering as well on top of that with the 1500 nits peak and 800 nits of normal brightness the company has made sure not to leave any room for complaints regarding visibility either even the touch response on this display is great likewise apart from the visual tweet of me eleven’s display the speakers on this thing are great too now when you compare it side by side with the s21 ultra it does sound a little less immersive but these Harman Kardon tuned stereo speakers are loud they sound really balanced and are definitely better than what Xiaomi offers in its mid-range devices um do note that the secondary speaker sounds a little weird but together the stereo output is respectable okay back to the display it is also home to an in-display fingerprint sensor in our use we found it to be a little slow uh but over time with the updates the sensor has gotten a bit swift but it is still slower than the likes of the oneplus 9 or the galaxy s21 ultra for that matter we were hoping to be able to scale down or remove the fingerprint animation altogether but Xiaomi sadly has not included that option in the settings moreover the haptic feedback while unlocking via fingerprint and typing feels incredibly premium and satisfactory.
All right let’s now get into how the performance of this phone is been and it will not come as a surprise when i say that the me 11 is one of the best performing phones of 2021 being one of the first smartphones to feature the snapdragon 888 chipset alongside ufs 3.1 storage and lpddr5 ram it has handled multitasking and switching between the heaviest of apps with a breeze also thanks to the optimized 120hz refresh rate ui transitions are smooth and with zero lags or micro stutters just a smooth sailing through and through likewise gaming is another facet that this phone nails almost extremely demanding games like ganshin impact are well playable in their default settings however once you dial up the settings to higher fps modes the snapdragon 888 does not remain cool and that’s a common issue we have been facing with almost all the phones with this chip hence after prolonged gaming sessions it will result in quite a few stutters a drop in fps drop in stability and excessive heating near the camera module as for other demanding games like pubg mobile and call of duty mobile they run quite well with impressively stable average fps count but here as well the snapdragon 888 tends to heat up the device and you might want to cool it down after one gaming session and then resume again less GPU hungry titles with 120 fps optimizations like vane glory and are well playable in 120 fps too luckily these games are not privy to the heating standards of the ones i discussed earlier but for some weird reason critical ops is not optimized for 120 fps gameplay even though the game supports it overall we have been quite satisfied with the performance of the may 11. Xiaomi has optimized the 120hz refresh rate well too so as I mentioned earlier us transitions and animations are really smooth here that being said during all of our users the major complaint about this phone has to be unrefined.
Software experience unlike apple oneplus and Samsung Xiaomi’s dark mode implementation is still broken take the invisible play and pause button on Spotify for example or the fact that with dark mode turned on messages on messenger appear like this previously i thought that this issue was only prevalent in Xiaomi’s mid-range and budget offerings but evidently the company has not bothered to fix these teeny tiny bugs even for its top of the line products likewise for a long time there was this annoying problem when trying to reach for notifications while watching Netflix where the screen would act like this thankfully the recent miui 12.5.5 update has fixed this issue all in all um even though the performance of the mi 11 is commendable such petty software bugs truly make the experience better this added with the fact that Xiaomi has literally not made any commitment as to how many years of android and security updates this phone or any other Xiaomi phones for that matter will receive is really frustrating in contrast apple Samsung one plus and even brands like oppo and vivo have committed to certain years of software updates okay let’s now shift our gear towards the cameras and honestly for the most part there’s not much to complain of course when you look at the specs it’s nothing extravagant uh compared to the likes of the me11 ultra or the galaxy s21 ultra but these cameras hold their ground steady during our use it has proven to be an impressive point to shoot camera the color optimization part is still better on the s21 ultra but have a look at these samples v11 images are not bad we are actually fond of the naturalism color reproduction from its cameras the same thing applies for the ultra wide angle images as well where the s201 ultra has marginally better color optimization and a wider field of view but for what it’s worth the me11 competes handsomely the subtle and natural color reproduction continues with the portrait images too the s21 ultra zooms in for better subject focus while the me11 doesn’t in any case both of them are good camera phones for portraits edge detection however is not perfect in either of them these phones pack an impressive selfie camera as well it’s.
Just that the portrait selfies from the s21 ultra have a better looking background otherwise both phones do a similar job now since the me 11 does not have a telephoto lens as expected it falls behind the s21 ultra when zooming to 10x 5x or even 3x but what we’ve come to realize is that we don’t really use the telephoto lens in our everyday life that much all this time the only instances when we had to switch to the telephoto camera were for taking photo samples for review Xiaomi has also been a little cheeky with the nighttime photography on the mi 11 as it makes you wait for a few seconds to shoot even normal nighttime pictures and because of that its low light photos appear to be brighter and more detailed this is actually both a good thing and a bad thing despite the well detailed shots the delay ultimately makes the m11 a not so ideal point to shoot camera during the night while the s21 ultra only takes like a second to take the shot about the night mode images well the s21 ultra takes the cake right away with better exposure maintenance details and colors under both normal and ultra wide angle modes moving on for video stabilization both of them feature gyro is even so we found the 8k videos to be more stable from the me 11. if you ask me I don’t think 8k video recording in smartphones is all that useful at least right now so I am going to let that one slide on to the more realistic recording options the 4k 60fps footage looks good from both the phones but the s21 ultra definitely has better dynamic range and color processing okay when it comes to ultra-wide-angle videos you will get consistent recording options across all the resolutions on the s21 ultra which is something I really appreciate meanwhile the e11 only lets you shoot up to 1080p 60fps from its ultra-wide and selfie camera.