Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Very-Detailed Review

In August last year, Xiaomi released the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra smartphone at the tenth anniversary keynote speech. This is the flagship smartphone that Xiaomi has been most proud of in the past ten years, and it is also a breakthrough in the high-end flagship market. This phone left a very deep impression on the users. The ultimate screen, excellent camera experience, and full flagship configuration make people unable to pass by. So when the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra began spotting, many asked whether there is room for upgrade. Unexpectedly, only half a year later, Xiaomi brought the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Yesterday, Xiaomi held a spring new product launch conference. Because there were too many new products, Lei Jun had to divide it into two sessions over two days. On the first day of the press conference, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra was officially unveiled. This is a high-end flagship officially called “Android Light” by Xiaomi. The price starts at RMB 5,999 ($913). Due to the first 50 MP Samsung GN2 super-outsole main camera  (all focal lengths 8K), 120x periscope telephoto lens (48MP, 10x) and 128° ultra-wide-angle lens (48MP), plus, dTOF, it got 143 points in DxOMark, becoming the leader. The company used ‘smartphone and camera inflection point battle’ phrase to describe the imaging strength of this new flagship.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Appearance

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is bold enough in design and sufficiently individualized, and it has indeed achieved the so-called ‘differentiation’ in the design of high-end flagship phones.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

It has three colors of ceramic black, ceramic white, and marble pattern special edition. We are reviewing the marble pattern special edition. Although this kind of marble texture is made by laser, the look and feel is no different from the natural marble pattern. The marble special edition also uses ceramic processing, which is warm and delicate in hand, softer than traditional glass, and it is not easy to leave fingerprint marks.

There is another change in the details of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, that is, the original ‘MI’ logo has been replaced by the current ‘Xiaomi’. The font is more rounded and softer, and it applied silver highlights.

The camera module area occupies almost one-third of the back of the phone. When held in the hand, it is more like holding a camera that can make phone calls. Although the image module is huge, there are actually only three sensors, and each of them can be called a main lens.

On the right side of the three main cameras, there is also a 1.1-inch eye window, which can be used for displaying custom pictures, time, weather, animations, themes, notifications, message reminders, health reminders, music control, etc.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

In addition, the small window can also display the viewfinder real-time preview in proportion to the main screen when taking pictures, which is very suitable for bloggers who often shoot vlogs. More importantly, with the ultra-low power consumption of this screen, the Mi 11 Ultra also brings a ‘wilderness survival mode’ to solve users’ urgent need for power in extreme scenarios.

Seeing this small screen on the back of Mi 11, many will think of the smart window on the back of the Meizu Pro 7 a few years ago. The smart window can also be regarded as Meizu’s exploration of smart interaction.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

The rear image module of the Mi 11 Ultra is very prominent. Even if you wear a leather protective case, it still will be bulky. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has a body size of 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.38mm. It also does not leave the 200g club. For those who are used to thin and light smartphones, the weight of 234g can be very unfriendly. After all, there is a large 5000mAh battery inside.

Back to the front, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra sports a 6.81-inch hole-punch quad-curved full-screen. The parameters are exactly the same as that of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

This screen has one billion native colors, 20:9 ratio, 3200×1440 WQHD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, up to 480Hz touch sampling rate, E4 luminescent material, 1700nit peak brightness, supports Xiaomi self-developed screen calibration algorithm, JNCD≈0.38, △ E≈0.41. It also supports DCI-P3 display, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and has passed SGS low blue light eye protection certification, SGS high-speed display certification, etc. Shortly, it’s perfect. You may say it doesn’t support LTPO, but after all, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has a large 5000mAh battery. We mean it shouldn’t have serious problems with power consumption.

In the system settings, Xiaomi also provides a very rich color style options, including adaptive, vivid mode, primary color, advanced mode, etc. Advanced mode also provides professional parameters for users to customize settings.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra uses a stereo speaker design, professionally tuned by Harman Kardon. Among them, the top adopts a new customized higher specification 1014 speaker unit, and the bottom is upgraded to a 1216P super linear speaker unit with a maximum amplitude of 0.8mm.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Though it comes with both NFC and infrared, we won’t focus on them now.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra also introduces a very practical configuration. The ultra-thin fingerprint recognition supports a new heart rate detection function. To open the Xiaomi Health app, you only need to gently press your finger on the fingerprint module recognition area for 15 seconds.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Camera

Don’t look at the huge camera module of the Mi 11 Ultra. In fact, there are only three internal cameras, but all of them are the main cameras, including the 50-megapixel ultra-large bottom customized main camera GN2, a 48MP 128 ° ultra wide angle lens, and a 48MP 120X telephoto lens. The three main camera system completely covers the 12-120mm focal length.

The main camera of the Mi 11 Ultra is the Samsung GN2. Its photosensitive element size is as high as 1/1.12 inches, which is very close to one inch. This is the largest base in the smartphone field at present, and it is even comparable to the Sony Black Card M7.

The single-size pixels of Samsung GN2 reach 1.4μm, and the four-in-one mode can reach the industry’s largest 2.8μm. The fusion of super-large pixels, outsole + super-large pixels, gives the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra unparalleled light sensitivity. At the same time, the lens adopts the same 8P lens of the Mi 10 Ultra, which has an f/1.95 aperture and supports OIS. The Mi 11 Ultra also brings the night owl algorithm, which is as low as 0.02Lux illuminance under the extreme low light.

Samsung GN2

The SONY IMX586 ultra-wide-angle and telephoto lens are familiar to us. This CMOS is also an old friend of Xiaomi. It was first appeared on the Xiaomi Mi 9. Don’t look at the IMX586, which is a little old (in fact, only two years). Instead focus on that it is a periscope lens.

In addition, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra came with the full-pixel omnidirectional octa-core focusing function for the first time. According to the official instructions, each photosensitive pixel is vertically divided into two diodes, and each pixel performs binocular focus to achieve full-pixel omni-directional octa-core focusing, increasing the ability to focus on multi-directional texture, greatly improving the focusing performance. Through the multi-point ToF focusing system, it can achieve a larger range of 61° precise focus through up to 64-point ranging.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra also brings dual native ISO Fusion technology. This technology is available in the Mi 10 Ultra. It can use dual native ISO to create two images separately. Low native ISO can get high light. But low noise photos with high native ISO obtain a photo with rich details. This combines the two photos into a super dynamic photo with greater dynamic range, better latitude, and excellent noise control.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Camera Samples

Being able to integrate the advantages of ultra-large pixels with the ultra-large bottom and 2.8μm, the Mi 11 Ultra has an extremely powerful night scene advantage. In some extremely dark environments, the Mi 11 Ultra can stimulate the night owl mode for about 5 seconds. In an environment where you can barely see clearly, the Mi 11 Ultra can still shoot samples with good image quality, comparable to night vision goggles.

Also benefiting from the advantages of the outsole and dual native ISO Fusion technology, the Mi 11 Ultra has a very good dynamic range performance in a large light ratio environment. As shown in the figure below, it was just noon when the sample was taken. But our protagonist restores all details perfectly.

Compared with the iPhone 12 mini main camera (on the right side of the picture below) in the same scene, the brightness of the Mi 11 Ultra screen is significantly higher. If you zoom in on the details, the resolution and sharpness of the Mi 11 Ultra are significantly better.

Coming to the indoor close-up photos, the color saturation of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is higher. The look and feel of the iPhone 12 Mini should be more realistic.

The outsole also brings a shallower depth of field. The Mi 11 Ultra can take pictures with a blurred and natural background without even needing to be close to the subject. The look and feel is more layered than the iPhone 12 mini.

Main camera (outdoor macro)

Main camera (indoor lighting)

Main camera (sports capture)

Like all phones with outsoles, the Mi 11 Ultra will have blurred edges when shooting flat text. Don’t panic. Turn on the super macro mode to solve the problem.

The most obvious advantage of the Mi 11 Ultra ultra-wide-angle samples is that compared to the ultra-wide-angle of other smartphones on the market, the ultra-wide-angle lens of the Mi 11 Ultra is wider and can capture more content at 128°. The photo also has a good color consistency performance.

This ultra-wide-angle has a flagship performance in terms of resolution, color reproduction, and dynamic range. However, we can’t deny that it may be the reason why the ultra-wide-angle range is too large. When shooting some straight buildings (such as the night scene sample below), the edge part will inevitably have some obvious distortion with curvature. If this lens can be used with a free-form lens, the experience will obviously be better.

Ultra wide angle

Main photo

The 5X periscope optical zoom is a favorite lens on the Mi 11 Ultra, and the reason is simple: this year many flagship phones have given up ‘periscopes’ for various reasons. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra not only did not cut off the periscope, but also still used the 48-megapixel IMX586 sensor, which supports the equivalent of 10x optical zoom (5x optical zoom) and the maximum 120x digital zoom.

The periscope telephoto on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has excellent sharpness and resolution performance under good light conditions. Even if the 5X and 10X light changes are partially enlarged, the details are still sharp and clear. Similarly, the 5X periscope telephoto has a natural composition advantage. If you are not good at taking pictures, you may fall in love with photography through the 5X periscope telephoto of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

5X telephoto

5X telephoto

In terms of night shooting, the first impression of Mi 11 Ultra is that the picture is transparent enough, the brightness is sufficient, and the picture purity is also high.

Main photo

Ultra-wide angle

In a low-light environment with sparse light, the Mi 11 Ultra will automatically activate the 2s night scene algorithm. Holding it for about 2 seconds, you can shoot a sample with much higher brightness than the naked eye can see, and the color and sharpness of the picture have good performance.

In terms of experience, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is also imperfect, that is, the shutter will lag when taking pictures. This feeling reminds me of the Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro, which was the first to come with a 100MP lens. After clicking the camera button, the shutter is ‘sluggish’ for about half a second. There is a response. Of course, don’t worry about this. Later, Xiaomi will improve this through firmware upgrades.

In terms of image capture, each of the three rear cameras of the Mi 11 Ultra can shoot 8K 24fps video. The GN2 also supports 8K 24fps HDR10 recording, and the three lenses can achieve a more extreme picture performance. In addition, the Mi 11 Ultra also supports full-link HDR10+, which can shoot and display a wider range of colors and contrast.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Performance

In terms of configuration, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has no shortcomings. Its hardware parameters include the full blood version of LPDDR5 3200MHz, UFS 3.1, Snapdragon 888, X axis linear motor, 5000mAh silicon oxide negative battery, wired and wireless dual 67W flash charging, IP68 waterproof…

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is the world’s first silicon-oxygen negative electrode super-fast charging battery (5000mAh); wired and wireless fast charging is 67W. The manufacturer said that it can be fully charged in 36 minutes, and it supports 10W reverse wireless charging.

Although the weight of the Mi 11 Ultra is over 200g, the thickness of the body is only 8.38mm. This is mainly due to the use of a silicon-oxygen anode super-fast charge battery. The battery comes with the ‘second-generation’ nano-silicon-oxygen technology anode cell. The battery energy density is expected to be 1000Wh/L, and it uses the nano-silicon particle surface pre-filled lithium technology. In simple terms, for the same volume, it can achieve larger capacity. In the charging test, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra took 38 minutes to fully charge to 100%, and 40 minutes to fully charge. For a smartphone with 5000mAh, this speed is already very good.

Wrap Up

If the Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro challenges the title of Android King, the Mi 11 Ultra has quite another positioning. With this model, the manufacturer wants to say that there is always room for improvement even for a smartphone with no shortcomings. Moreover, it shows that experiments are good for attracting new customers. And the last thing Xiaomi wants to say through the Mi 11 Ultra is a question – do we use a phone with a camera or a camera with a phone? For the Mi 11 Ultra, the latter matches more.

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