Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Review: Best Android Phone You Can Buy Now

With Xiaomi’s latest model fresh off factory lines we take an in-depth look at it to save you the time and money before buying it for yourself. We will briefly touch on the pros and cons to start with before breaking it down into a little more detail later on.

Pros: 

  • Display is gorgeous
  • Performs impressively
  • Has a great camera array
  • Easy to use

Cons: 

  • Rear display doesn’t do much
  • Camera bump is too big
  • Price is still being kept under wraps

Design

Let’s get the main downfall out of the way to start with before we move onto the bigger and better points in this article, and that is the rear display. It’s large, rectangular, and takes up about a quarter of the rear of the phone. Although we don’t have an actual figure for its size, we’d put it at an estimate at about 5mm thick. Which in our opinion is just a little too much!

This chunk is home to the rear display as well as three large lenses for the camera. The overall weight of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is 234g, a large part of which can likely be attributed to the rear display! The rear display itself is a nice little additional feature, but overall? It doesn’t really feel all that necessary. The main applications it has is to act as a second screen when you’re taking a selfie, or to display the time and date when your phone is facedown on a table or something similar. It is worth noting however, that it will not work in video mode, which is a little disappointing. It’s handy enough , but it’s unlikely to be a deal breaker.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra provides a USB-C port, power rocker, volume button, and an IR blaster. If you’re familiar with the Mi 11, you’ll notice they’re all in the same positions on this device.

Display and Functionality

If you’re familiar with the Mi 11, you’ll find the same display here in this device: a 6.81-inch AMOLED screen with a 2K resolution, 120Hz refresh rate and 480Hz touch input rate. The brightness is where there is a slight difference in that the maximum is 1700 nits, whereas the Mi 11 only went up to 1500 nits.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Review

Although the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has top-end specs, its baby brother, the Xiaomi Mi 11, also did. That means it’s a little less of an upgrade than we perhaps would have liked to have seen.

You will be getting the Qualcomm 888 Snapdragon chipset as well as 12GB RAM, ensuring that this device will run smoothly and without issues when video editing, gaming, or just leaving multiple tabs hanging in your browser.

Camera and Battery Life

This is where the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra comes a little ahead of some of the others on the market, as it is clear this is the department the development team was focused on.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Review

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has three rear cameras. These are a 50MP for the main camera, a 48MP telephoto lens, and a 49MP ultra-wide lens. The telephoto lens is capable of performing at an impressive 5x optical zoom and up to 120x digital zoom. The front has just the one camera – a 20MP lens which is really only good for those selfies. We’re not sure if they were going for something gimmicky here with the rear screen, but it would have been better to just turn the phone around and use one of the higher quality cameras for all photos rather than sacrifice the space and weight of the phone to include the selfie camera. But maybe that’s just up.

That’s not to say the cameras don’t perform as you’d expect. From the higher resolution rear cameras to the 20MP front camera, each performs and produces crisp, high-resolution images. The ultra-wide is fun to play around with and gives very little in the way of distortion, which is better than we had been expecting. And the telephoto lens is of course fantastic as well, with 120x zoom meaning you’re more likely than ever to capture those far-off shots that would only show up as a mere blob on an ordinary camera.

Battery-wise, it’s good news. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has both wired and wire-free charging, which both go up to 67W, which makes it the fastest phone for wireless charging at the time of writing. It will take approximately forty minutes to charge wirelessly from 0% to full.

The battery seems to hold its charge well enough. Nothing to complain about, but nothing to go running through the streets preaching about either.

Price and Availability 

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Review

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is still a close-kept secret when it comes to price, but it expected to hit UK shores sometime in April, as well as Australia not too long after. Unfortunately for those of our readers in the US, you’re going to be left hanging, as Xiaomi doesn’t market their devices in the states.

Verdict

Because the price is yet to be announced, it’s a little hard to make a proper verdict on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, as it’s impossible to tell whether it will be worth the money or not.

Going off what we do know right now though there are a couple of things to take into consideration. The cameras are fantastic and fun, but the large bump with the rear display might get a little annoying and weighty. If you tend to take a lot of selfies or are habitually checking the time while working, this phone may be of interest to you. Is the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra the best Android phone, however? Perhaps not.  

About Cameron Lucy

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