Xiaomi Mi 11 flagship launches with the Snapdragon 888 on board
In what we'd expect to be the last flagship phone launch of the year, Xiaomi has unveiled the Mi 11 with the brand new Snapdragon 888 chipset from Qualcomm on board – though you won't actually be able to buy the phone until 2021.
As is usual for the tech giant, Xiaomi is putting the handset on sale in its home country of China first, with a global launch likely to follow in a few months. However, even if it takes some time to become available, we now know just about everything there is to know about one of the first major mobiles of 2021.
The Snapdragon 888 chipset that we've already mentioned promises up to a 25 percent improvement in overall processing performance, and a 30 percent boost in mobile graphics power, compared to this year's Qualcomm silicon. On top of that the chipset is compatible with the fastest 5G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speeds, with further processing improvements for images, videos and artificial intelligence algorithms.
There's 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM on board, as well as 128 GB or 256 GB of storage, and to keep all of those top-tier components from overheating, Xiaomi is introducing a vapor chamber cooling system. The 6.81-inch OLED screen runs at a super-sharp resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 pixels, and boasts a 120-Hz refresh rate too.
The Mi 11 comes with a 4,600-mAh battery approved for 55-W fast charging – enough to get the phone fully juiced from zero in 45 minutes, according to Xiaomi. Both the 50-W wireless charging and 10-W reverse wireless charging (so you can charge up smaller devices on the back of the phone) are impressive too.
Turning to the rear camera, there's a 108-MP main camera, a 13-MP ultrawide camera, and a 5-MP telephoto macro camera on the back. Around the front we've also got a 20-MP selfie camera. In its promotional materials Xiaomi is talking up the night photo capabilities of the rear camera and the 8K video recording that's possible, but as always we'll have to wait and see how good all of this is in the real world.
On paper at least, it's a fantastically specced smartphone, which is what we've come to expect from Xiaomi by now. Whether or not there will be a Pro version or other variations of the Mi 11 remains to be seen, but it's a strong start to 2021 for the high-end flagship phone market.
Interestingly, after taking a swipe at Apple for not including a charger with the iPhone 12 models by tweeting that it "didn't leave anything out of the box" with its Mi 10T Pro, Xiaomi appears to have had a change of heart and company CEO, Lei Jun, has confirmed on Weibo that the Mi 11 won't come with a charger, citing environmental concerns.
As noted above, the phone is only available in China for the foreseeable future, with a starting price of ¥3,999 (that converts to around US$610, though don't expect an exact conversion for prices in other countries). The color choices on the Xiaomi Mi 11 are Midnight Gray, Horizon Blue, Frost White with a conventional glass backing, and Lilac Purple and Honey Beige with an alternative vegan leather backing.
Product page: Xiaomi Mi 11