OnePlus 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 11: the DEFINITIVE comparison

OnePlus 9 it is an important device for the company. And it is not only because, together with its older brother OnePlus 9 Pro, it is the first device produced in partnership with Hasselblad, but it is because it is precisely with the 9 series that Oppo's cousin company is as if it has completed its transition from brand to "Nerd hipster" a brand for "Hipster nerd". Ok, I know, it's a rather forced association, but there is no doubt that in recent years OnePlus has transformed from a company that aimed at fans of the sector, to a main-stream company. With all the pros and cons of the thing.

In short, now OnePlus plays with the greats. And if it wants to do so, it must also be able to hold its own against the competition. And among all the smartphones of this 2021, we could not not compare the OnePlus 9 if not with the Xiaomi Mi 11: the hardware is practically the same, both are not equipped with an optical zoom and, last but not least, the price range is very similar (excluding some promotions that are lowering the street price of the Xiaomi device). Before starting, however, I want to underline one important thing: I will not dwell on differences between MIUI and OxygenOS, not only because the graphical interface is a very personal experience, but because we will soon publish an in-depth study on this topic.

OnePlus 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 11

Design and materials

No need to go around it. Although neither model can be called a real top of the range, either OnePlus 9 and Xiaomi Mi 11 are produced with materials that guarantee a touch and feel from premium phone. Both smartphones are very minimalist, with clean lines and a whole new bump chamber. Xiaomi's is certainly no longer a mystery, and we have also seen it in the new ones Redmi Note 10 e Notes redmi 10 Pro, and also that of OnePlus 9 follows the line seen with OnePlus 8t continuing to be characterized by a decidedly "more conformist" lateral position less prominent than the one present in the Mi 11: apart from the Hasselblad written in plain sight, I personally think it more elegant than the one present in the Mi 11, although it must be said that there are important technical differences in the main sensor, which forced Xiaomi to push a little more in terms of thickness.

Both smartphone back covers have a relatively flat style, either OnePlus 9 and Xiaomi Mi 11 have a curved glass back, but the colors are very different: the much more glossy color of the OnePlus 9 that we received in test, makes it much more prone to fingerprints compared to the Mi 11, which handles them much better.

Then you don't need numbers to understand that The OnePlus 9 is significantly more compact than the Mi 11, and this compactness makes it much more comfortable to use with one hand, but it is clear that a larger size corresponds to a display with a larger diagonal, so this is a very personal choice.

We are talking about 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.06 mm for the Xiaomi Mi 11 and di 160 x 74.2 x 8.7 mm for the OnePlus 9, and regardless of the more compact weight in the OnePlus (192g against i 196g Xiaomi), there is a detail in the design of the new smartphone of the company that I did not like very much: OnePlus 9 is significantly thicker than Xiaomi Mi 11, and those 0,64mm might seem irrelevant, but holding the smartphone everyone can feel. In short, even if in terms of ergonomics the OnePlus 9 it is much more comfortable and lighter, its thickness significantly greater than the Xiaomi Mi 11 makes him lose a few points.

Il key positioning is completely different between the two smartphones, and without getting lost in too much chat I get straight to the point: I much prefer the structure of OnePlus because not only the keys are lower and easily accessible, but in the smartphone the volume rocker has been positioned on the left side, while on the right there is the power button and the physical switch for sound modes. On Xiaomi instead it is all on the right side, there is no switch and, in my opinion, the volume balance is too high.

The stereo speakers of the Xiaomi Mi 11 they are among the best in the price range and even at very high volumes, the audio is always very clear with a small hint of bass. Even those of OnePlus 9 they are not bad, but in terms of speaker the Mi 11 stands out. And the exact same speech can be found in the haptic feedback: OnePlus has made great strides in this particular, but the experience you have with the Mi 11 is exemplary.

Display - OnePlus 9 vs. Xiaomi Mi 11

As for the display, both companies have made great strides. In OnePlus 9 a panel was used AMOLED flat 6.55 " of the highest quality, able to guarantee a maximum resolution FullHD + at 120 Hz variable (no, it's not LTPO) and a pixel-per-inch density of 402 ppi compared to a peak brightness of 1100 nits. in Xiaomi Mi 11 instead we find a display from 6.81 inches, which with his 3200 × 1400 pixels (it's a QHD +) is not only more resolute, but guarantees a pixel-per-inch density of 515 ppi. In short, from the point of view of the screen there is no game: the 120 HZ curved AMOLED panel with diamond pixels present in the Xiaomi Mi 11 is a notch above not only compared to the one used in the OnePlus 9, but also compared to the vast majority of smartphones currently in circulation (with the exception of theOppo Find X3 Pro, which has a spectacular LTPO display).

in Xiaomi Mi 11 then, the peak brightness is well 1500 nits and the sampling rate of the touch of 480 Hz it outclasses virtually all smartphones on the market. Either way, both devices have been used panels of excellent quality, with well saturated colors, very deep blacks and a very pleasant color balance. Both displays are then able to reduce the emission of blue light, and to manage the hue automatically based on the environment, the one that owns I didn't like it on OnePlus 9 but it's the bezels: they are large, asymmetrical, and make the device lose that "don't know what" premium phone.

I must admit that it is precisely the bezels of the screen the thing that most disappointed me in the OnePlus device. Ok, the screen is flat and the frames are more evident, but I am convinced that if the company had wanted to work on it more, it would certainly have been able to do a better job. But hey, these are probably born choices to highlight even more the display of the OnePlus 9 Pro, which is a whole other thing in terms of quality and features.

Cameras in comparison

Il camera comparison between the OnePlus 9 and the Xiaomi Mi 11 it is probably the thorniest subject to deal with. And it is not only because the two sectors are very different among them, but also because by now well-defined schools of thought have been created about the photographs taken with the smartphone: there are those who prefer more natural images, those who prefer a more marked saturation, those who give importance to videos, and those who give importance to additional features. For this, I will try to support myself in the most sincere impartiality, based on numbers and facts. Furthermore, all the photographs taken into consideration for the test were taken in automatic and pixel-binning mode. I would have liked to be able to move to a more beautiful place to photograph and maybe do it with a better climate, but thanks to the red zone in Campania and a very bad weather, we must be satisfied.

But first, let's do a quick recap. The camera sector of OnePlus 9 it is made in collaboration with Hasselblad, but the iconic photographic company has made its own only in software processing and color management. The main one uses a sensor Sony IMX689 to 48 megapixel, 1 / 1.43 "large, with 1.12 nanometer pixels and an f / 1.8 lens. Then there is an ultra-wide camera, which is OnePlus' true flagship, which uses a sensor Sony IMX766 (custom build) 50 megapixel, large 1 / 1.56 ”with a Freeform lens capable of guaranteeing a focal length of 14mm. There is also a monochrome lens with a 2 megapixel, which will be used to capture the greatest amount of information and which is also used in bokeh photos.

in Xiaomi Mi 11 instead we find a completely different configuration, even if it continues to be with three cameras. The main one uses a sensor 5 megapixel Samsung ISOCELL S108KHMX, 1 / 1.33 ”large, with 0.80 µm large pixels using an f / 1.85 lens. It is flanked by a ultra-wide 13 megapixel which uses a PureCel Omnivision OV13B10 sensor with a traditional f / 2.3 lens, and a lens 5 megapixel macro.

Now, there is no doubt that the entire setting of the two camera compartments it is very different, and for this reason rather than understanding which smartphone has the best camera, the choice should be made by considering the best setup for your needs: it is clear that those of Xiaomi are betting everything on the ultra resolute main camera, while those of OnePlus believe that having a quality ultra-wide camera available is more important.

With both smartphones, using the main sensor in conditions of good brightness, albeit with clear skies, good results are obtained. The camera of the Xiaomi curtains as usual to further enhance the saturation and produces more warm-toned images. Conversely, the camera of the OnePlus 9 produces shots with a color balance much more natural and realistic, but it tends to increase contrast and sharpness to bring out the details. And he succeeds, but halfway, because with this technique you often risk also increase the noise, which is more present in the shots taken with OnePlus.

The field of view is slightly wider with the OnePlus 9, but by making a more thorough crop, it is easy to notice more details taken with the Xiaomi Mi 11 camera, which - let's remember - integrates a 108 megapixel sensor, much more resolute than the 48 megapixel of the OnePlus. Anyway, personally I prefer photos taken with the OnePlus above all due to a more correct color management, but it is a personal thing and there is no doubt that the Xiaomi smartphone is able to capture more details even in pixel-binning.

In night mode and always with the main camera, the management of lights and shadows with the Xiaomi is more correct. Furthermore, in the Mi 11 any micro-moves are much less evident, thanks to the OIS that supports the 108 megapixel sensor (and which is totally absent in the OnePlus 9). The combination is capable of producing better managed shots, with greater detail and brighter than those of the OnePlus 9: let's be clear, even with the Mi 11 micromos could happen, but the Xiaomi software casts the image less when it goes to clean the noise (than with the ISOCELL sensor is in smaller quantities) and the details are much more present.

Things change a lot when it comes to ultra-wide angle. The Xiaomi Mi 11 has never been a champion with this particular lens, and the sensor produced by Sony for OnePlus and OPPO, flanked by Freeform lens, manages to make a difference. But not always.

In conditions of good brightness, there continues to be a more realistic management of chromatic tones and saturation in the OnePlus 9. The story is always the same: Xiaomi tends to warmer shades and a more pushed saturation even with the ultra-wide. Good management of the dynamic range with both devices, even if those of OnePlus still have a bit to work on software processing and HDR calibration: the shots taken with OnePlus 9, although almost devoid of perspective and chromatic aberrations, they tend to suffer from one sort of "patinated" effect which might suggest less detail.

In reality, however, this is not the case: with a more pushed crop, not only is there an almost total absence of chromatic aberrations (thanks to the new lens used by OnePlus), but it can be seen how the details captured are greater compared to those that the Xiaomi camera can pick up.

There is no match even in night mode. With the OnePlus 9 wide-angle shots in low light conditions they are much better, both in terms of handling the dynamic range, and in terms of pure brightness.

In some conditions it Xiaomi Mi 11 he failed to produce an enjoyable photo, while his counterpart did a great job, certainly not perfect, but much better than that of the Xiaomi. Also the noise is less presentee the focus is faster in the OnePlus: in short, it is as if the main camera of the OnePlus 9 is the ultra-wide angle one, because it is of a much higher quality than the wide one.

Both devices do not integrate an optical zoom and they rely on the digital one. Both in the OnePlus 9 than in Xiaomi Mi 11 The camera app has a 2x zoom button, which leads to very different results between the two smartphones. While the OnePlus 9 continues to deliver better color balance and better dynamic range, it does Xiaomi Mi 11 draws treasure from its 108 megapixel sensor and and takes pictures with digital zoom of better quality.

The details captured by Xiaomi they are more numerous compared to those that characterize the zoom photos taken with OnePlus 9, and going beyond 2x the difference is even more marked. It must be said then that in the OnePlus 9 there is totally absent any type of optical stabilizer: the absence of the OIS, which is instead present in the Xiaomi Mi 11, makes the difference.

In the videos, honestly, neither device excels. Okay, both of them can record at the maximum resolution of 8k to 30 fps, but even recording at a more humane 1080p at 60 fps the results obtained do not leave the cry of a miracle. Audio quality is good with both devices, but again the point is in favor of the Xiaomi Mi11, which is strong in optical stabilization when recording with the main and is able to produce more stable videos.

Le front cameras they are both of average quality and are characterized by a particular absurdity: they are able to change age.

As for the management of chromatic tones, dynamic range and saturation they are at a rather similar level, but the software processingand it is completely opposite between the two devices: that of Xiaomi tends to push too much on the cleanliness of the image, making the protagonist of the selfie look younger, while that of OnePlus 9 tends to push too much on contrast and sharpness, adding at least 10 more years to the poor unfortunate framed.

L'portrait effect, with both the front and rear cameras, that's a lot more natural on OnePlus 9: Blurring is more realistic and handling of dynamic range is slightly better, not to mention the amount of contrast and sharpness of images, which tend to bring out the details captured.

Hardware and Performance

As for the hardware, however, a premise must be made immediately: in both smartphones the user experience is first in the class, and there will be no impossible operation to perform with these devices. They both mount a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, and with both you can choose between 8 or 12 GB of RAM of the LPDDR4 type and between 128 and 256 GB of internal memory of the UFS3.1 type. For this, in order to compare the bare and raw performance, I will stick exclusively to the results of the benchmarks that I ran in both models, under the same conditions of use.

The CPU test with Geekbench 5 it was completed slightly faster by the OnePlus 9, which it scored 1125 points in Single-Core e 3614 points in Multi-Core points against i 1101 points in Single-Core e 3697 points in Multi-Core totaled by the Xiaomi Mi 11: it is a rather obvious result, considering that the SoCs are practically identical, have the same number of cores and work at the same frequency.

Things change in the Open-CL test, which not only was completed faster by the Xiaomi Mi 11, but it also got a better result: let's talk about 4653 points in Xiaomi, against i 4567 points of OnePlus.

The result of the graphic test performed with Mark 3D: The Xiaomi Mi 11 has scored a score of 5706 points with an average framerate of 34.20 fps, against i 5720 points obtained from OnePlus 9 with an average framerate of 34.30 fps.

The situation with the test is very different Work 2.0 by PC Mark. The Xiaomi Mi 11 he totaled 12808 points, against the 11791 of the OnePlus 9, although the two performance graphs turned out to be quite similar.

The most interesting test, however, is that of AnTuTu, because despite it Xiaomi Mi 11 finished the procedure at least 20 seconds early, got a result lower than that of the OnePlus 9: let's talk about 691060 points against 710384 points and, practically, the OnePlus smartphone achieved better results in any phase of the test, except for the CPU, where it proved to be more performing.

With the AnTuTu stress test then, a very important detail is highlighted: those of OnePlus have highly focused on conservation battery autonomy and temperature management. From the graphs that emerged with this test, I noticed how in the Xiaomi Mi 11 the performance of the CPU and the relative clock frequencies are more constant compared to the OnePlus 9.

Xiaomi smartphone is not never dropped below 60% in the performance of the CPU, which does not happen in the OnePlus 9 where the frequencies are much more fluctuating and, especially in the final part of the test, the performance of the Snap 888 reaches peaks of 50%.

Not for nothing, in the course of the test the battery drain was much more evident in the Xiaomi rather than the OnePlus, although the operating temperatures turned out to be very similar in both devices.

Battery

The battery of OnePlus 9 is a 4500 mAh, slightly smaller than 4600 mAh integrated in the Xiaomi Mi 11, but able to guarantee greater autonomy both in conditions of normal use and under stress. Regardless of the usage and screen on statistics, during the tests I achieved the following results: disconnecting the phones from the charge at the same time, and carrying out the exact same operations, after about 9 hours OnePlus has reached 21% of charge available, while it Xiaomi Mi 11 has reached 16%.

And it is a difference all in all logical, especially considering the larger display and with a higher touch sampling rate in the Xiaomi, and a perhaps too conservative trend in CPU performance (a reality that emerged in the AnTuTu stress test).

It must also be said that, in terms of fast charging technology OnePlus 9 is head and shoulders above all: the new Warp Charge at 65 watts it has been even more improved than previous generations and is able to guarantee a complete recharge (from 0% to 100% in 20 minutes).

Things change with regards to wireless charging technology, a sector in which Xiaomi has no rivals: OnePlus is stuck at 15w, while Xiaomi Mi 11 integrates fast wireless charging at 50w.

Conclusions - OnePlus 9 vs Xiaomi Mi 11

In short, how does this comparison between OnePlus 9 e Xiaomi Mi 11? Drawing a conclusion is not easy. And personally I don't feel able to tell you if it is better the Xiaomi Mi 11 or the OnePlus 9. The fact is, however, that Xiaomi's smartphone is perhaps capable of "Dressing up as a top of the range" better than what the OnePlus 9, especially in terms of the touch and feel you get when using your smartphone.

The display, then, on the Xiaomi is quite another thing and the difference in performance related to the sampling frequency of the touch is evident. On the other hand, however, OnePlus 9 it is assembled just as well and is much more comfortable to handle. Too bad about the screen bezels.

The point is this: for your needs a larger and more advanced display is more important, then the right choice could be it Xiaomi Mi 11, vice versa if you want compactness and comfort, you should aim for the OnePlus 9. Also because, in principle, the performance between the two devices is very similar, even if the Xiaomi is less conservative.

As for the cameras instead, the speech is simple: if you always use the main one, then go Xiaomi Mi 11, if you want to use the wide angle instead, OnePlus 9 it has better hardware. To you the choice.


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