Xiaomi Mi 11 Lei Jun Edition review: at this price with Snap 888 and 2K display, it is the smartphone to beat

Ok, let's start with a premise: who considers it Xiaomi Mi 11 as the "top of the range to beat in 2021" is wrong. And it is wrong because, let's face it, the Mi 11 is not a top of the range despite the fact that during the presentation event the Chinese company focused exclusively on this version, leaving out (or postponing) the Mi 11 Lite or the Mi 11 Pro, not to mention the Mi 11 Ultra.

But don't get me wrong, we are still talking about a smartphone with all the credentials to be one of the best in its market segment, especially when the street price in Italy will settle around 500 euros. And the presence of a Snapdragon 888, up to 12 GB of RAM, an award-winning display also from DisplayMate make it almost unbeatable. The point is that (and I can't understand why other than a segmentation of the series with at least two other variants) it has some compromises that are felt a lot, especially when it comes to the camera.

We have been trying it for a few days Xiaomi Mi 11 in the 12/256 GB version Lei Jun Signature Edition, a limited edition that you can purchase via the link below a 697 € (in the Chinese version with 20 band and Xiaomi.eu firmware), but the company's new smartphone will also be available in the more traditional versions or with the leather back cover and the differences with the Special Edition will remain purely aesthetic. Find all links below.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lei Jun Edition review

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Package Contents

The packaging of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lei Jun Signature Edition it is among the most cared for in circulation. The shape is much wider than the traditional version, and the very thin box is protected by a rigid plastic cover. Its interior, however, is much less supplied than previous generations, in the package there are:

  • Xiaomi Mi 11 Lei Jun Edition.
  • TPU cover.
  • Manual.

And so no: in the packaging of the Xiaomi Mi 11 not only is there no charger, but no power and connection cable to the computer. But be careful, what we have in test is a Chinese version of the smartphone: we are not sure that in the Xiaomi Mi 11 Italy at least the USB cable will not be included.

Design and materials

In principle, the Spedial Edition of the Xiaomi Mi 11 (i.e. the Lei Jun Edition) has a completely different back cover than the traditional versions, made of glass and worked using i Scodix crystals. It is a polymer capable of recreating a sparkling effect, accentuated by the ribbed arrangement of the materials: the final effect is a chromatic refraction between light blue and lilac, depending on how the light hits the back of the phone. But, mind you, the differences stop there.

Weight 194 grams and although it may seem like a not particularly light weight, the feeling you get when holding your smartphone is fantastic: the weight is poco relevant, especially because the dimensions of the smartphone are slightly larger than the average ones of the Mi 10 series, because the camera bump is more compact and, above all, because the work of weight balance made by Xiaomi borders on perfection.

Clearly the big news lies in the rear bump chamber, which has been totally redesigned, and which is essentially composed of two elements: a polished aluminum frame, in which there are also the flash and the macro lens, and another black insert that contains the main sensor and the ultra-wide-angle camera. And I'll tell you, I really like the aesthetic effect, but no zoom and probably in a hypothetical Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro or Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, the appearance of the camera bump could change slightly due to the insertion of the telephoto lens or the periscopic zoom. We'll see.

Anteriorly we find there is a curved display only at the two side edges, which however is protected by a glass Gorilla Glass Foods quad edge that has both lateral and upper and lower curvatures: ok, I'm not a fan of curved screens, this is a fact, but I liked the choice to shape the upper and lower edge as well, because it improves the user experience with gestures.

In short, compared to the Xiaomi Mi 10, especially the back of the My 11 it has been completely renewed and regardless of the version chosen, the sensation to the touch has improved a lot: it is excellent and it is very comfortable to hold. All in all, I am very satisfied of the design and touch-and-feel of the new Xiaomi smartphone.

Display

Lo Xiaomi Mi 11 has a display 2K 6.81 " capable of handling an update rate of 120 Hz and a touch sampling rate of ben 480 Hz: twice as fast as the 240 Hz sampling we find in the Mi 10 Ultra, and more than double the 180 Hz of the Xiaomi Mi 10. It is therefore clear that the display will be the real protagonist of the new series My 11, and if I had to describe my experience in recent days with the screen of the Mi 11 with one word, I would say: exceptional.

Not for nothing are we talking about a AMOLED panel A + certified by DisplayMate, with a prominent brightness that in theory it should reach 1500 nit, but which in practice also surpasses them, which to date is unbeatable in terms of color accuracy and clarity and visibility even in direct light conditions.

Il color balance is perfect, there are a whole series of features that use artificial intelligence to optimize video playback, including the fluidity and precision of HDR, the blacks are deep and the contrast is perfect. Without going around it too much: the Xiaomi Mi 11 it will surely be one of the best AMOLED displays we will see in this long 2021.

If we really want to find a fault, what bothers me most about the display of this Xiaomi Mi 11 it is a very light and almost imperceptible asymmetry of the upper and lower frames: the one at the bottom is a few millimeters larger than the one at the top, but it is something that only a patient like me would notice.

Hardware and performance - Xiaomi Mi 11

Instead of calling the new Snapdragon 875 processor, this year Qualcomm has decided to change course and baptize its top of the range for 2021 Snapdragon 888, a number that in China has the same assonance as the word "good luck". But will it bring luck to the Xiaomi Mi 11?

To understand this, we ran a series of benchmarks in the newcomer to Xiaomi, obtaining very interesting results. In the test with Geekbench for example, the result obtained in Single-Core is 1133, while in Multi-Core you get to 3689: in a nutshell, the performance was much higher than those obtained with a Snapdragon 865, but lower by about 400/500 points compared to those of the Apple A14 Bionic that animates the new iPhone 12.

In the test of AnTuTu the Snap 888 of Xiaomi Mi 11 exceeds of poco i 690.000 points, while in Mark 3D is able to get a score of poco higher than 5500 points. And yes, the more observant of you who have noticed performance quite similar to that of the Kirin 9000 gods Huawei Mate 40 Pro I say: you are right.

And these performances are also possible thanks to a particular change of course made by Qualcomm with its Snap 888, which changes a lot compared to Huawei's SoC for one particular: if for example in the Kirin 9000, those of Huawei have opted for a thermal throttling more full-bodied (which lowers the CPU frequency in case of high temperatures), Xiaomi has chosen a more aggressive strategy with which the CPU is kept at maximum for a longer period, at the expense of overheating. And yes, after long gaming sessions the smartphone it can get very hot.

In any case, it is clear that the performance of the Snapdragon 888 which, in the version we are testing, is flanked by 12 GB of RAM, allow the Xiaomi Mi 11 to perform practically all the most complex tasks and 3D games at maximum performance: with Genshin Impact at maximum graphics settings, the game framerate exceeds 50 fps, while with BrightRidge (which focuses on GPU performance) the Mi 11 is managed to achieve an average framerate of 77 fps.

The audio is also excellent, which is stereo and uses two speaker products in collaboration with Harman Kardon which are able to guarantee a much more balanced reproduction in all tones, compared to what we have seen with the Mi 10.

Excellent too the audio in capsule and the reception of the cellular network, which is also compatible with the 5G standard, good antennas for WiFi, also compatible with the standard 6 WiFi.

Camera

Apart from the new camera bump, the camera compartment of the Xiaomi Mi 11 it's the one that probably got the least improvement over the Mi 10. The main camera is still the same 108 megapixel f / 1.85, and is flanked by an ultra wide angle from 13 megapixel f / 2.4. Compared to the previous generation the sensor for depth of field has been removed, and the macro lens is from 5 megapixel f / 2.4.

And apart from a slight difference in aperture, seen on the smartphone display the main camera of the My 11 captures the same good shots of the camera present in the Mi 10. The differences with the previous generation, however, are seen when analyzing the photo more carefully, perhaps on a computer, because the images taken with the My 11 have a higher resolution: the saved files are photos from 27 megapixel, born from a 4 in 1 pixel binning starting from a 108 megapixel source.

And all things considered, with a similarly sized CMOS sensor, having a higher pixel count means one reduction of the same in the shot. The big money in good light conditions, the photos taken with both the main camera and the wide-angle camera of the Xiaomi Mi 11 they are good, have excellent dynamic range and excellent noise management. However, it may happen that, despite active HDR, in certain shooting conditions you may have to manually manage some overexposed areas, which are not corrected by software or artificial intelligence.

From a purely technical point of view, the differences between the photos taken with the ultra wide angle of the I respect myself to those taken with the Mi 10 are very few. Fortunately, however, with the new smartphone those of Xiaomi they solved the problem the green tint too prevalent and the white balance, which I found more precise even at night. It is then now possible to shoot with the night mode even with the ultra-wide-angle camera.

As for the macro camera, of which I keep asking myself the usefulness, nothing new: the sensor is practically the same as we saw in the Redmi K30 ultra. The good news is that it allows you to shoot macros at a slightly greater distance Compared to the competition, the bad news though is that it is (clearly) not stabilized, which could make shooting with the perfect shot quite difficult.

Good one stabilization, which with the main camera is optical and allows stabilized shots and totally free of micro-shakes even in low light conditions.

No optical zoom, and you will have to be satisfied with a digital zoom that can go from 2x to 30x, with an average quality that certainly does not scream a miracle: with a 2x magnification the images continue to be enjoyable, but going beyond the image quality deteriorates exponentially.

Also good night shots, although in this case the pixel dimensions tend to have some problems in low light. In a nutshell, if we compare the night photos of the Xiaomi Mi 11 compared to those of other smartphones, such as those of the Samsung Galaxy S21, we will notice a “less diurnal” effect. And let me explain better, with some smartphones, when you shoot at night, photos could happen that in a certain sense seem to be taken during the day or, at least, in conditions of sufficient brightness. With the My 11 this does not happen and the shots are slightly under exposed compared to the competition. But, in my opinion, it's not a flaw at all: it's nice to have night photos that really look like they were taken at night, don't you think?

Good videos, which can be recorded in 8K is 24fps, or in 4K at 60 FPS, or take advantage of one of the many new modes, which we will discuss in an in-depth analysis in the coming days.

Software

At the time of writing, it Xiaomi Mi 11 that we have in test is animated by Android 11 customized with MIUI 12. I will not dwell too much on the software of our sample for the simple reason that it is the Chinese version of the device: when we will have the opportunity to install the official Italian ROM, we will publish a dedicated study.

Battery

As for the battery, it is Xiaomi Mi 11 integrates a 4600 mAh which supports fast charging a 55w, with a separately purchased power supply, and charging a 50w. The autonomy, however, it is not among the best around: especially in conditions of high stress, such as when using games with complex graphics, for example, I noticed a very marked battery drain. Playing COD Mobile, for example, in poco more than 40 minutes of play the battery charge has dropped by about 22%.

It is clear, however, that with average use and perhaps activating the dynamic resolution, it will be possible to reach the end of the day without too many problems. Let's not forget that this is always a device with a 2K 120Hz screen.

Price and considerations - Xiaomi Mi 11

Il official price in Italy of the Xiaomi Mi 11, at the time of writing it is still unknown. Because the company has not yet officially presented the new smartphone in the Bel Paese. However, it is already possible to buy it in the Chinese version, both with China firmware and with Xiaomi.eu: through the links you find below, you can buy it through TradingShenzen Xiaomi MI 11 Ley Jun Signature Edition from 12/256 GB to 697 euros, while the "traditional" version can be taken home a 577 € in the configuration 8 / 128 GB, 617 € in the configuration 8 / 256 GB and 667 € in the configuration 12 / 246 GB.

And yes, I continue to believe that we are not talking about a top of the range for 2021, due to the lack of IP certification, for a photographic sector without the telephoto lens, and because now the rumors about a Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro have become very insistent, but there is no doubt that it is Xiaomi Mi 11, purchased at the price available through our coupons, is still a great deal: for less than 600 euros you could take home a smartphone animated by the latest Qualcomm processor, which will make you eyes shine for the exceptional quality of its display, but a little less for that of the photos.

 

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