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Xiaomi Mi 11 Unboxing and First Impressions

Tech giant Xiaomi excites the Philippine market anew with the launch of its first premium smartphone of the year—the Mi 11.
Mi 11 in Midnight Gray

Coming from the Mi 10 last year, the Mi 11 brings an array of upgrades starting with the build, design, display, processor, charging technologies, camera features, and speakers, just to name a few.

The price? The same. The 8GB/256GB variant retails for PHP 36,990. But, Xiaomi opted not to bring a lower 128GB variant this time.

For the price, it is probably the fastest and most capable in its price category early this year.

Anyway, let's check it out. Here's what we initially think about the Mi 11.



Unlike its Chinese version, the Global Mi 11 arrived in a thicker box. Why? It has an in-box charger unlike its counterpart in China who followed Apple's move of removing the power brick included in the box in an effort to "help in saving" the environment.

This is a special 55W GaN charger that produces less heat while being smaller than traditional chargers with silicon inside.

Also, the company probably realized that not all of its customers own a fast-charging power brick at home. With this, Global Mi 11 users don't need to purchase a charger with extra packaging that will be shipped to you or the store where you will buy it using a vehicle or courier that probably consumes fuel anyway.

Apart from the charger, Xiaomi also included a fast-charging-ready USB-A to USB-C data/charging cable, SIM ejector tool, and paper documents.

Upon closer inspection, the screen of the phone even has a pre-installed plastic screen protector to prevent unwanted scratches on the display.

What's missing is a FREE protective case unlike the Mi 10 last year.

Build Quality/Design

Back design
Back design

Mi 11 boasts a 3D curved frosted glass material at the back with a unique-looking square hump housing its triple-camera configuration.

The first layer of the hump is considered slim while the second and 3rd layer of the hump is a bit thicker. But, for a phone with a 108MP large sensor, this is still considered quite small and slim.

Gorilla Glass protected back and front!

Corning's website listed that it uses Gorilla Glass 5 at the back which means it has protection to prevent scratches and even cracks from light drops.
SIM tray
SIM tray

What's missing is water resistance, unlike other higher-end phones. It doesn't even have a rubber gasket-like material in the SIM tray for some sort of resistance against water splashes. 

In front, this is one of the most impressive around. It sports a large 6.81-inch AMOLED punch-hole screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 480Hz touch sampling rate, HDR10+, and WQHD+ resolution at 515 ppi.

Gorilla Glass Victus is also one of the very few with the Gorilla Glass Victus, the highest glass protection for mobile phones yet. Corning shared that it can survive up to 2 meters drops.
Stunning display
Stunning display

It also has a Quad-curve glass design allowing smoother swipes on all sides. The listed screen-to-body ratio at 91.24 percent also gave this a near borderless look for a super immersive screen experience.

One of the best screens today!

Easily, Mi 11 sports some of the very best screens today great for watching Netflix and simply viewing a lot of things.

The frame is metal with smooth curves. It just has a kinda rough feel separating the frame from the screen and glass back.
Top, bottom
Top, bottom

On top, you will see the first speaker followed by a microphone and the IR Blaster remote control. At the bottom, you'll find the second speaker to enable stereo audio, another microphone, a USB-C reversible port, and the pinhole to access the SIM slot tray.

Note that the phone has a Samsung Harman Kardon stereo speakers Hi-Res Audio, Hi-Res Audio Wireless Certification, X-axis linear vibration motor, and cooling system.
Left, right
Left, right

On the left, there's nothing except for the antenna lines. On right, you will find its power key and volume up and down keys.

In general, this is a premium-looking phone that is quite slim for all its specs including the pretty large 4,600mAh battery and 108MP camera.

As mentioned, it has a large 108MP camera that is pretty impressive so far. Have a look at the few shots we took so far:
Indoor well-lit
Indoor well-lit
Indoor close-up
Indoor close-up
Night mode
Night mode

Xiaomi Mi 11 Specs

Display: 6.81-inch Quad-curve Gorilla Glass Victus protected AMOLED screen w/ 120Hz refresh rate, 480Hz touch sampling rate, HDR10+, WQHD+ 3200 x 1440 resolution at 515 ppi
CPU: 2.84GHz 5nm Snapdragon 888 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 660
ROM: 256GB UFS 3.1
Back Camera: 108MP f/1.86 w/ PDAF + OIS + 13MP f/2.4 123-degree ultra-wide-angle + 5MP f/2.4 telemacro + dual-tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 20MP f/2.2
Battery: 4,600mAh w/ 55W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, 10W wireless reverse charging
OS: Android 11 w/ MIUI 12.5
Connectivity: WiFi 6, 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.2 (aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, AAC), OTG, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor w/ heart rate monitor, face unlock, IR Blaster, Harman Kardon stereo speakers, Hi-Res Audio, Hi-Res Audio Wireless Certification, X-axis linear vibration motor, Advanced cooling system, USB-C, Colors: Midnight Gray, Horizon Blue
Dimensions: 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.06 mm
Weight: 196 g
Price: PHP 36,990

As of the moment

AnTuTu score of Mi 11
AnTuTu score of Mi 11

The new Xiaomi Mi 11 impresses out of the box for the price. The build is similar to many high-end phones, the design is unique to Xiaomi, the display is simply stunning, and it is really fast.

Its use of a fast wired or wireless charging tech, Harman Kardon stereo speakers, Hi-Res Audio Wired, and Hi-Res Audio Wireless also helped in making the phone usage experience even better.

Also, even if it doesn't have a telephoto camera, its triple-camera setup could impress a lot of users at this price point. The 108MP camera shoots highly detailed photos and its shooting speed dramatically improved coming from the Mi Note 10 with a 108MP camera but a weaker SD730G chip. Xiaomi also added plenty of camera modes that could unleash the mobile photographer and videographer in you.

Early reports indicate that the Chinese version of this device gets hot really fast to an alarming rate. In our actual usage, CPU temperature reaches 46.7 degrees Celsius while the Battery temp is at 37 degrees. CPU temp also increased by 12 percent when we run the AnTuTu benchmark.

On paper, this heat is alarming. But in real-life, the while holding the phone is far from hot. It is warm, but just a bit warm. There's no throttling or whatsoever after playing 3 rounds of Call of Duty: Mobile on max settings as well.

I've had other phones with lower recorded CPU temperatures but with a hotter actual feel in the hands while in use in the past. It's no biggie on our end so far.

The only real concern we detected is its 5G signal reception. Weirdly, it is weaker than many 5G-ready smartphones we tested.

Obviously, these are just our first impressions. We will be using this device as a primary phone to fully check what it can do.

Watch out for our full review!
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