Xiaomi unveils the Mi 11 Ultra - a two-display flagship monster

Xiaomi unveils the Mi 11 Ultra - a two-display flagship monster
While Samsung and Apple seem to be a little sluggish when it comes to innovations lately, companies like Xiaomi aren’t afraid to roll the dice and take a bit of a gamble. And if we’re going to rely on Chinese brands to drive the smartphone industry forwards, so be it.

There’s no denying that in the past few years Xiaomi has produced some stunning devices - such as the Xiaomi Mi 9T, sporting a pop-up selfie camera, the Mi 10T Pro with its 144Hz display, or the Mi 10 Ultra, featuring 120W fast charging and 120x hybrid zoom.

Today the company officially unveiled its next monster of a phone - the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, along with two other models in the Mi 11 ecosystem - the Mi 11i and Mi 11 Lite. The smartphone realm has already been hyped about the Ultra, due to the numerous leaks showing the unique design and features of the phone. Now that all details are official, let’s take a closer look at this behemoth.

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Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: Design and Display

The most obvious design feature of the Mi 11 Ultra is the humongous camera bump on the back of the phone. Taste is subjective, of course, but the really interesting things are placed inside this black rectangle. Placed next to the triple camera system (more on this later) there’s a 1.1-inch 126 x 294 color AMOLED display.

It has an always-on feature, it can display notifications, and it also acts like a mirror when you take a selfie using the main camera system. It’s a really interesting solution and we’re itching to try it out in a real-life scenario. The tiny display is also quite bright with a peak brightness of 450 nits.
Speaking of displays, the Mi 11 Ultra comes equipped with a top-of-the-line 120Hz 6.81-inch main AMOLED panel, rated A+ by DisplayMate. It’s a curved display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels and a 20:9 aspect ratio. Xiaomi cites 900 nits typical brightness and up to 1,700 nits peak brightness, and there’s also HDR10+ and Dolby Vision baked into the panel.

Fast refresh-rate displays are now becoming a standard, and the Mi 11 Ultra delivers on this front as well. It features a 120Hz refresh rate display and thanks to the AdaptiveSync technology, the panel can switch between 30/60/90 and 120Hz depending on the situation. This is accompanied by a 480Hz touch sampling rate - one of the highest in any smartphone to date.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: Hardware specifications

Unsurprisingly, the Mi 11 Ultra features the latest and greatest silicon technology. Under the hood, there’s a Snapdragon 888 chipset with an Adreno 660 GPU. The integrated X60 modem provides dual 5G standby and compatibility with a wide range of 5G bands. The phone comes in different flavors - 8/12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, coupled with 128/256GB of internal storage.

Other specs worth mentioning include Wi-Fi 6 support, a three-phase cooling technology, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and ceramic on the back, IP68 water and dust protection, stereo Harman Kardon speakers, under-display fingerprint reader, and AI face unlock.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra specs at a glance:

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: Camera

The large camera bump on the back of the Mi 11 Ultra houses three different camera lenses. There’s a 50MP wide-angle main camera, with a 1/1.12" sensor size, 1.4μm pixel size, 2.8μm, and 8P lenses. The main camera has OIS, dToF 64-point array laser focus, and it can capture 8K HDR video as well. The bigger sensor size and the new Ultra Night Mode promise great low-light performance.

The 48MP periscope camera supports 120x AI super zoom and 5x optical zoom, while the 48MP ultra-wide-angle camera with a 128° field of view enables beautiful cinematic shots and can also do macros. There’s a 20MP selfie camera on the front, which is a bit strange, given the tiny display in the camera bump, but it seems Xiaomi has decided to add a level of redundancy to the selfie functionality.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: Battery and Charging

Xiaomi has been pushing the boundaries in charging technology for quite some time now. The Mi 11 Ultra sports a large 5,000mAh battery but the more important thing is that the phone supports 67W wired fast charging, but also 67W wireless charging. According to Xiaomi internal testing, the phone charges from 0 to 100% in just 36 minutes, and this figure applies to the wireless charging too.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: Price and availability

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra will be available in China starting at 5,999 yuan (around $900). The phone will be available in select European countries starting at 1,199 euro. At the moment there's no information whether the Mi 11 Ultra will be available in the US.

Xiaomi Mi 11i

Xiaomi also unveiled another device in the Mi 11 ecosystem - the Xiaomi Mi 11i. The concept behind it is to offer users maximum performance at a great price. The phone features a flagship-grade Snapdragon 888 chipset, coupled with 8/128 or 8/256GB memory options. The display is also quite impressive, according to Xiaomi, it's the company's best flat screen to date. It's a 6.67-inch E4 AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate. 

The screen of the Mi 11i can output up to 1,300 nits of peak brightness and also supports HDR10+ and TrueColor calibration for extreme color accuracy (DeltaE ~ 0.35). The display has received 11 awards from DisplayMate and an overall rating of A+. The Xiaomi Mi 11i also features a triple camera system with a 108MP 1/1.52" main sensor. It can combine 9 pixels into one large 2.1μm pixel for better low-light performance. There's also an ultra-wide 8MP camera with a 128-degree field of view, and a 5MP telemacro lens, that can take close detailed pictures of distant objects.
The phone features a 4,520mAh battery that can be fast-charged with up to 33W of power. There's a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, integrated into the power button, stereo speakers, and three colors to choose from - Cosmic Black, Frosty White, and Celestial Silver. The most intriguing part is the price - the phone will be available in select European countries for as low as 649 euro. The Xiaomi Mi 11i is shaping to be one of the most affordable Snapdragon 888 devices out there.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

The company is also launching a trimmed-down version of the Mi 11 - the Mi 11 Lite (in 5G and non-5G flavors). It’s very slim and lightweight, just 6.81 mm thick and 159g. It’s equipped with a Snapdragon 780G chipset (732 for the LTE model) and has 8GB of RAM with two storage options - 128 and 256GB (6/64GB option available for the LTE variant).

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite features a 6.55-inch flat AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, and 240Hz touch sampling rate. The panel also supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and it can go up to 800 nits of brightness.

The camera system features three elements. There’s a 64MP main wide-angle camera with a 1/1.97” sensor and 1.4μm pixel size. The second lens is an ultra-wide 119-degree camera with an 8MP sensor underneath, and there’s also a 5MP telephoto lens. There’s a punch-hole selfie camera on the front and it’s a 20MP one.

Despite being so slim and lightweight, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite sports a 4250mAh battery. Official sales begin on April 4 in China and the price for the base 8/128GB model starts from 2,299 yuan (around $350). In Europe the base model will feature a 6/64GB memory option that will be available for 299 euro.

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