Xiaomi 11i review: Making one compromise too many

The Xiaomi 11i focuses an excessive amount of on 120W quick charging whereas ignoring the fundamentals.

Xiaomi unveiled the Mi 10i in India again in January 2021, and the cellphone went to on to promote reasonably effectively within the nation. So the producer did what it’s recognized for and launched a lot of gadgets within the mid-range class. Between the Mi 11 Lite, 11 Lite NE 5G, Mi 11X, 11X Professional, and the POCO F3 GT, Xiaomi has greater than sufficient choices out there.

To kick issues off in 2022, Xiaomi is introducing the Xiaomi 11i, and it’s positioning 120W quick charging because the differentiator. Now, this is not the primary Xiaomi cellphone to supply 120W wired charging — that honor belongs to the Xiaomi 11T Professional. However the 11i goals to deliver the characteristic to a extra mainstream viewers, very like the Mi 10i did with its 108MP digital camera final yr.

Xiaomi says the 11i takes simply 15 minutes to completely cost its 4500mAh battery, and I will be placing that to the take a look at right here. As you’d think about from a Xiaomi cellphone, you get first rate inside hardware, and the 11i is being positioned as a very good worth. With loads of nice choices to choose from on this phase, do you have to purchase the Xiaomi 11i for its 120W charging? Let’s discover out.

Xiaomi 11i

Backside line: The Xiaomi 11i has 120W quick charging, and it costs the 4500mAh battery absolutely in beneath 20 minutes. The inner hardware can also be first rate for gaming and every day use, and there is a 120Hz AMOLED display screen, IP53 water resistance, and a three.5mm jack. However the cellphone does not maintain as much as its rivals relating to low-light imagery, it runs Android 11 out of the field, and it will not get as many software program updates.

The Good

  • Vibrant 120Hz AMOLED panel
  • Good hardware for the worth
  • Expenses sooner than another cellphone in India
  • First rate cameras for daylight use
  • IP53 water resistance and three.5mm jack

The Dangerous

  • Would not truly cost at 120W
  • Cameras wrestle in low-light conditions
  • Nonetheless on Android 11
  • Lackluster software program updates

₹26,999 at Xiaomi India
₹26,999 at Flipkart

About this assessment

I used the Xiaomi 11i for 4 days earlier than scripting this assessment. The cellphone got here with MIUI 12.5.1 out of the field and didn’t obtain any software program updates in that point. Xiaomi India furnished the unit to Android Central for assessment.

Xiaomi 11i: Value and availability

Xiaomi unveiled the 11i collection in India on January 6, with the telephones going up on the market from January 12. The cellphone is bought in two fashions: the bottom model has 67W quick charging and a 5160mAh battery, and the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge options 120W quick charging and a 4500mAh dual-cell battery. So you will get a bigger battery or sooner charging, however not each in the identical cellphone.

The Xiaomi 11i is accessible in two variants: the 6GB/128GB mannequin debuts at ₹26,999 ($365) whereas the 8GB/128GB model is at ₹28,999 ($390). That is for the 120W model of the gadget; if you happen to’re choosing the 67W mannequin, you get to shave off ₹2,000 ($27) on both mannequin. I am testing the 120W mannequin, but when I had to purchase one for my very own use, I would go along with the 67W variant — apart from the charging tech and battery dimension, there is no distinction between the 2.

Like all Xiaomi telephones, the 11i is bought through a flash sale mannequin, with the primary set of items promoting out in beneath 5 minutes. So if you happen to miss the sale, you’ll have to wait till the following one and cross your fingers which you can get your arms on the cellphone then. Or you possibly can at all times decide up one of many options I’ve highlighted on the finish of the assessment — there is no scarcity of value-focused telephones on this class.

Xiaomi 11i: Design and show

If there’s one fixed concerning the design of Xiaomi’s mid-range collection, it is that it continuously modifications. There is no general design aesthetic that ties totally different generations collectively, with Xiaomi switching between varied textures, finishes, and designs every year.

The 11i does not share any resemblance to earlier Xiaomi telephones, however it’s simply as cumbersome and unwieldy.

The result’s that the Xiaomi 11i has an oblong chassis that does not conform to any design language that we have seen up to now. That stated, I just like the design, if solely as a result of there’s some character to it — in contrast to the Xiaomi 11T. The cellphone has a glass back and front, and when you get Gorilla Glass 5 on the entrance, there is no such safety on the again; you’ll have to use a case if you happen to’re fascinated with choosing up this cellphone.

The mid-frame itself is made out of polycarbonate, and it has a matte texture that feels good. The again appears intriguing because of the frosted glass end, however you will not be capable of present that off as a result of it will be beneath a case. Xiaomi sells the cellphone in 4 coloration choices, however availability varies based mostly on the colour you select.

Dominating the design on the again is the massive digital camera housing that sees the primary 108MP module sit inside its personal island, and it is joined by two auxiliary modules and LED flash which might be housed in a grid beneath. The digital camera housing juts out significantly from the chassis of the gadget, and it results in noticeable wobble when utilizing the cellphone on a flat floor.

The cellphone has the ability button and quantity rocker on the suitable, and the fingerprint sensor is baked into the ability button. You may discover the SIM card slot on the backside subsequent to the charging port, and it holds two SIM playing cards with an choice to make use of a MicroSD card within the secondary SIM slot. Elsewhere, the Xiaomi 11i retains the IR blaster that Xiaomi has been including on its gadgets for almost a decade now.

As for usability, the 11i is significantly heavy at 204g, and it’s pretty cumbersome as effectively, measuring 163.7 x 76.2 x eight.3mm. I am utilizing the cellphone alongside the Galaxy S21 FE, and whereas it additionally has the identical 4500mAh battery, it’s significantly lighter at 177g. I do not perceive why the Xiaomi 11i will get all the additional heft, but when there’s one model that does needlessly cumbersome telephones, it’s Xiaomi. The results of that weight and bulk is that the 11i is not the simplest cellphone to make use of on this class.

Xiaomi presents IP53 mud and water resistance as normal on its mid-range gadgets now, and you will find the identical on the Xiaomi 11i as effectively. Whereas it is not the identical because the IP68 score that you simply get on the Galaxy A52, it’s a good transfer from Xiaomi to supply some safety towards mud and water ingress.

There are extra elegant designs on this class, and what the Xiaomi 11i lacks in model it makes up for when it comes to options.

There’s little to speak concerning the display screen on the Xiaomi 11i. You get a 6.67-inch AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh price, and it ticks all the suitable bins: coloration vibrancy is nice, there aren’t any points with brightness, and it has 360Hz contact polling. The cutout for the entrance digital camera is smaller than final yr as effectively.

The 120Hz AMOLED and stereo sound make the Xiaomi11i an honest choice for gaming.

The panel has HDR10, and it comes into its personal when streaming movies or enjoying video games. The Xiaomi 11i has stereo sound with equivalent channels situated at each ends, and that makes a giant distinction. The cellphone brings again the three.5mm jack, and whereas I am glad that Xiaomi added the jack right here, there does not appear to be any type of consistency round what gadgets or segments the place you will discover it. The Mi 11X and Mi 11 Lite/Lite NE omitted the jack, and though the 11i is bought in the identical class, it will get the port.

You may discover a Gorilla Glass 5 layer for the display screen, and there is loads of customizability for the panel itself. You may alter the colour steadiness, arrange always-on mode, and schedule darkish mode with ease on the gadget. All issues thought-about, I haven’t got any points with the display screen on the Xiaomi 11i.

Xiaomi 11i: Efficiency

Increasingly more gadgets on this class are beginning to use MediaTek-powered designs, and Xiaomi is getting on that bandwagon with the 11i. The cellphone options the Dimensity 920 platform with two Cortex A78 cores that do the heavy lifting and 6 Cortex A55 for energy-efficient duties.

Specs Xiaomi 11i
Software program MIUI 12.5 based mostly on Android 11
Show 6.67-inch (2400×1080) 120Hz AMOLED
Chipset 2.50GHz MediaTek Dimensity 920
Storage 128GB
Rear Digital camera 1 108MP ƒ/1.9 (main)
Rear Digital camera 2 8MP ƒ/2.2 (wide-angle)
Rear Digital camera three 2MP ƒ/2.four (macro)
Entrance Digital camera 16MP ƒ/2.5
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, BT5.2
Battery 4500mAh | 120W
Safety Aspect-mounted fingerprint
Colours Inexperienced, Black, Blue
Dimensions 163.7 x 76.2 x eight.3mm
Weight 204g

The Mali-G68 is not fairly as highly effective because the G77 that is featured within the Dimensity 1200, however it’s first rate sufficient for gaming. As for common use, I did not see any slowdowns within the 4 days I used the gadget, and whereas I did not recreation rather a lot, the few titles I attempted out had been lag-free.

Like different mid-range telephones, the Xiaomi 11i has an honest collection of 5G bands: 1, three, 5, eight, 28, 40, 77, and 78. You get twin 5G connectivity as effectively, however with 5G not set to kick off in India for one more yr or so, it is a characteristic you will solely must care about sooner or later.

As for different connectivity, you get a Wi-Fi 6 modem, Bluetooth 5.2, and a vibration motor that delivers good suggestions. What I discover irritating about Xiaomi’s telephones in India is that many of the price range and mid-range choices lack NFC, and that is the case right here as effectively. I do not see why the model refuses so as to add the characteristic; whereas NFC is not used as extensively within the nation for funds, it’s more and more seeing utility for connecting to wi-fi earbuds with quick pair, and also you miss out on that with the 11i.

By way of reminiscence, the Xiaomi 11i presents 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for the bottom mannequin, and there is an 8GB mannequin that additionally has 128GB of storage. There is no 256GB variant, and I really feel like that is an omission contemplating different mid-range telephones are configurable with extra storage and reminiscence.

The side-mounted fingerprint reader works unerringly effectively and is quick to authenticate, and also you get the power to arrange gesture actions for the sensor; simply double-press the sensor to drag down the notification shade.

Xiaomi 11i: Battery life and charging

As a result of Xiaomi is utilizing 120W as the important thing advertising metric for the Xiaomi 11i, I made a decision to deal with this space a bit of bit extra. Xiaomi presents a charger within the field that goes as much as 120W, so you do not have to purchase another equipment to hit the total charging potential of the gadget.

One factor to notice at this level is that the Xiaomi 11i does not truly cost at 120W. Though the charger itself is ready to hit 120W (20V/6A), it doesn’t ship that to the gadget. Xiaomi clarified this throughout the briefing, and in my testing, I discovered that the utmost wattage that the charger was in a position to ship was 95W.

Xiaomi does not even allow you to cost at 120W out of the field — you must manually allow the characteristic.

In truth, 120W quick charging is disabled out of the field. The cellphone defaults to a 102W energy profile that is launched with the charger (17V/6A), and it depends on that in day-to-day use. To unlock the total charging speeds, you’ll have to go into the cellphone’s settings, go to the battery part, and allow Enhance charging mode.

It is attention-grabbing that Xiaomi added a 102W profile to the charger, as a result of that is lacking on the charger for the 11T Professional, which by default goes to 120W at 20V/6A. Xiaomi says it made the choice to restrict the charging potential on the 11i to take care of thermal effectivity and never overheat the gadget. Principally, it tried to verify the gadget does not go over 40 levels Celsius while you’re charging it — as a result of you can really feel that warmth — and so it restricted the charging mode out of the field.

It is a decidedly underhanded approach of doing issues, notably when you think about that there is no approach to allow the 120W mode when establishing the 11i. And whereas Xiaomi says it’s making it clear on social media that the cellphone has a lift charging mode, common prospects strolling right into a retail retailer to choose up the cellphone might be unaware of the limitation. Principally, Xiaomi is utilizing 120W charging in its advertising supplies as a result of the charger goes as much as that wattage.

As for the battery itself, the Xiaomi 11i has a 4500mAh battery with a dual-cell design to maximise charging effectivity. The model quotes a 15-minute time for charging the 4500mAh battery, however after I tried it out, it took simply over 18 minutes to completely cost the gadget. I did not see the charger transcend 95W, and after it hit 30% it went all the way down to 70W and maintained that wattage as much as 75%.

You may get near the 15-minute marketed determine, however there are a couple of caveats.

Though I did not get near Xiaomi’s 15-minute determine, the 11i is ready to cost in beneath 20 minutes. The inherent approach that charging works is that you do not get the complete wattage; even on gadgets with 65W charging, the total cost is not delivered at any time, as an alternative hovering on the 55W determine.

With 120W charging tech, there is a extra noticeable lower in effectivity. In fact, there are different elements that can decide how successfully the 11i is ready to deal with the cost. My room was at 24 levels Celsius when operating the charging take a look at, and to Xiaomi’s credit score I did not see the cellphone go over 38.5 levels Celsius. I had the display screen off when testing the cost, and it’ll take longer if you happen to’re utilizing the gadget whereas charging; it primarily falls again to a decrease wattage to make sure it does not warmth up an excessive amount of.

Xiaomi says it has 34 safeguards to handle thermals and forestall overheating, and as for battery longevity, the model notes that the cellphone will retain 80% of its cost degree after 800 costs with enhance mode enabled.

On the finish of the day, Xiaomi’s 120W resolution is quicker than different charging requirements, so if you happen to care about whether or not your cellphone takes beneath 20 minutes to completely cost, the 11i is an honest choice. That stated, the truth that Xiaomi deliberately limits the charging speeds on the cellphone with out notifying customers is inexcusable.

The usual Xiaomi 11i has 67W quick charging will absolutely cost the battery in simply over 30 minutes, so that you’re taking a look at a distinction of 10 minutes between the 2 variants.

Xiaomi 11i: Cameras

Xiaomi has used the 108MP digital camera module on most of its telephones final yr, and the Xiaomi 11i will get the Samsung HM2 sensor with 2.1um pixel dimension and 9-to-1 pixel binning that delivers 12MP images. There’s the choice to take full-res 108MP photographs if you wish to accomplish that, and also you get an honest variety of taking pictures modes.

The 108MP digital camera is flanked by an 8MP wide-angle lens with a 120-degree discipline of view, and a 2MP macro lens that is solely there to fill out the digital camera housing. The digital camera interface itself is unchanged from final yr, so if you happen to’ve used a Xiaomi cellphone not too long ago, you can be very acquainted with the structure of the buttons and toggles.

There is no OIS right here, and that adversely impacts the digital camera in low-light conditions. Like most gadgets on this class, you do not get 4K video at 60fps both, and video recording itself is not as detailed as its rapid rivals.

The digital camera takes first rate images in daylight situations, delivering correct colours and good dynamic vary with none seen noise. The cellphone is ready to dial in on a topic with none points, and it typically manages to ship a usable shot within the first go.

The place it struggles is in low-light conditions; photographs taken in lower than splendid lighting situations are likely to have lots of seen noise. Shadows are decreased to attenuate noise ranges in photos with little to no lighting, and meaning you miss out on finer particulars within the picture. Evening mode does a bit of higher when it comes to preserving particulars, however for a tool on this class, the Xiaomi 11i must do much more.

The wide-angle lens is a letdown as effectively, with the lens not in a position to ship the identical coloration steadiness as the first module. It’s almost unusable at night time, and as for the macro module, it actually should not exist on this gadget. Different manufacturers are ditching auxiliary modules that serve little to no use, however Xiaomi is not going to try this simply but.

Xiaomi 11i: Software program

The Xiaomi 11i runs MIUI 12.5 based mostly on Android 11 out of the field. Xiaomi says the 11i might be one of many first gadgets to get MIUI 13, however I’ve realized to not belief the model relating to software program updates — it has made far too many errors on this space. What it is advisable to know for now could be that you simply get Android 11 at launch, and with Xiaomi not guaranteeing three Android model updates, the gadget is just going to be up to date to Android 13.

MIUI 12.5 is cleaner and higher optimized, however the Xiaomi 11i continues to ship annoying notifications.

Now, there’s a lot to love in MIUI 12.5, and the power to uninstall system apps is welcome. The interface itself appears polished, and there are lots of customization choices. I do not like the brand new Management Middle that follows a cut up system for toggles and notifications — like iOS — and that is now the default choice. You may swap again to the usual Android-style pane by going into the settings.

Xiaomi has additionally reduce down on bloatware and adverts on its gadgets, and for probably the most half, it feels good to make use of the Xiaomi 11i. However a couple of annoyances nonetheless linger; Xiaomi’s first-party apps bombard you with notifications continuously, and it obtained so annoying after some time that I simply disabled notifications for all of them.

At instances, Xiaomi is obstinate in that it does not wish to repair long-standing points in MIUI, and that is largely as a result of it does not see them as issues. A type of points is the display screen refresh; most Xiaomi telephones now include 90Hz or 120Hz screens, however the model continues to set 60Hz because the default refresh out of the field.

What’s notably annoying about this method is that there is no approach to decide on excessive refresh whereas establishing a tool; you’ll have to go into settings afterward and choose the 90Hz or 120Hz mode. Xiaomi is the one model that does this, and I simply do not perceive the explanation for a similar.

Then there’s the truth that Xiaomi lags behind relating to software program updates. Samsung does a a lot better job with each platform and safety updates on its mid-range telephones, and Xiaomi’s Chinese language rivals are additionally beginning to roll out well timed updates.

Xiaomi 11i: The competitors

There’s an abundance of selection within the mid-range class. The Nord 2 stood out as among the best Android telephones on this phase final yr, and it continues to be a stellar selection in 2022. The Nord 2 options the beefier Dimensity 1200, and also you get an ideal 120Hz AMOLED panel, cleaner software program (sure, even with the ColorOS integration), 4500mAh battery with 65W quick charging, first rate cameras, and Gorilla Glass 5 at the back and front. The Nord 2 is costlier at ₹29,999 ($405) for the 8GB/128GB mannequin, however you get extra highly effective internals and a sleeker design that is simpler to carry and use.

The Mi 11X is a strong various as effectively. The cellphone is a rebranded POCO F3 that is bought in India and choose international markets, and it comes with a 120Hz AMOLED, Snapdragon 870, and a 48MP digital camera that’s ok for many conditions. The 4520mAh battery lasts all day, however 33W quick charging is not fairly as quick as what you get on the Xiaomi 11i. That stated, the Mi 11X is an effective worth all issues thought-about at ₹27,999 ($380) for the 6GB/128GB mannequin.

If you would like a gaming cellphone, the POCO F3 GT makes use of lots of the identical hardware because the Nord 2, however you get a extra aggressive design, and the 5020mAh battery ensures the gadget lasts a bit of longer. There’s additionally 67W quick charging, and distinctive triggers on the aspect that allow you to customise in-game actions. It is a steal at ₹28,999 ($393) for the 8GB/128GB model.

Xiaomi 11i: Must you purchase it?

You can purchase this if …

You need the fastest-charging cellphone in India

I am certain one other gadget will come alongside and declare this title, however firstly of 2022, the Xiaomi 11i is the fastest-charging cellphone in India. You may get the 4500mAh battery to completely cost in beneath 20 minutes, and the battery life itself is nice sufficient for a day’s value of use.

You want a cellphone for gaming

Xiaomi is aware of tips on how to ship a very good hardware package deal, and the mixture of MediaTek’s Dimensity 920 together with a vibrant 120Hz AMOLED display screen and stereo sound means the Xiaomi 11i holds its personal on this class.

You shouldn’t purchase this if …

You need the most recent software program and quick updates

Xiaomi is not the quickest at delivering software program updates, and the Xiaomi 11i launches with Android 11 out of the field. Moreover, the cellphone is slated to get two platform updates, though different mid-rangers just like the 11T collection will obtain three updates.

You want constant cameras

The Xiaomi 11i does not essentially have the very best mid-range digital camera, and whereas the first 108MP module manages to take good images more often than not, it struggles with balancing highlights in low-light eventualities. The auxiliary modules aren’t on par with what you will discover on different telephones on this class.

Between the Mi 11 Extremely, Xiaomi 12, and the value-focused X/T/i collection of gadgets, Xiaomi has branched out its choices within the high-end and mid-tier classes. The model notes that it witnessed an 8x elevated in gross sales from 2020 to 2021, and lots of that was all the way down to its efforts within the sub-$400 market.

With the Xiaomi 11i, Xiaomi is attempting to proceed the momentum of final yr’s Mi 10i. The cellphone has a very good AMOLED display screen, strong internals, and the 120W quick charging makes for a simple promote. Nevertheless, it is not with out its shortcomings: the digital camera is not tuned effectively, the auxiliary sensors are lower than scratch, and it comes with Android 11 out of the field.

out of 5

The final state of Xiaomi’s software program updates is not splendid. The model talked about it’ll roll out MIUI 13 to the 11i quickly, nevertheless it did not share any particulars as to how quickly the replace might be out there. And whereas Xiaomi’s high-end telephones and worth flagships now get three years of platform updates, the Xiaomi 11i is not on that record.

So whereas there’s a lot that the 11i will get proper on the hardware entrance and charging tech, it does not ship within the areas that matter, and that in the end makes it a poor suggestion in a class that fields dozens of nice merchandise.

Xiaomi 11i

Backside line: Xiaomi is attempting to distinguish the 11i with its 120W quick charging, however that alone does not make up for omissions in different areas. The cellphone runs Android 11 out of the field, the cameras aren’t fairly pretty much as good as its rapid rivals, and Xiaomi itself has different choices on this class that ship higher worth.

₹26,999 at Xiaomi India
₹26,999 at Flipkart

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