March 31, 2021: The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is truly deserving of its superlative name. It’s hard to pick which is the phone’s greatest strength, but it may well be the camera.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: The DXOMARK review
Xiaomi’s newly-launched Mi 11 Ultra has outshone rivals like Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ to become the best camera smartphone ever, according to DXOMARK.
DXOMARK is a benchmarking platform that tests different types of cameras, ranging from smartphones to professional cameras.
For ratings, several industry-standard tests are conducted wherein 1,500+ images and 2+ hours of video are captured and examined in controlled lab environments and in natural indoor/outdoor scenes.
The flagship Mi 11 Ultra has received a new top score of 143 to beat the erstwhile champion, the Mate 40 Pro+, by four points.
The Mi 11 Ultra has earned 148 points in the photography tests, 100 marks for its zoom capabilities, and 117 points for its video prowess.
While the full review is yet to be published, DXOMARK has shared the score break-up. The handset has scored 105 points for exposure, 106 points for texture, 131 points for telephoto performance, and 102 points for video stabilization.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: New launch
The Mi 11 Ultra will be available globally, as will this other Snapdragon 888-powered phone – the Xiaomi Mi 11i (which is the global version of the Redmi K40 Pro+).
The massive Samsung GN2 sensor makes its debut with the Mi 11 Ultra. At 1/1.12” it is the largest sensor ever used in a mass market phone and it has some of the largest pixels we’ve seen in recent years – 1.4µm before anyone even mentions the word “binning”.
The GN2 does in fact support 4-in-1 binning that makes the effective pixel size 2.8µm.
The sensor enjoys the benefits of Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and introduces Dual Pixel Pro, which improves autofocus speed and accuracy. There’s also Smart ISO Pro, which can capture HDR photos in an instant.
The Mi 11 Ultra packs a triple rear camera unit comprising a 50MP (f/1.9) main sensor, a 48MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide lens, and a 48MP (f/4.1) periscope telephoto sensor with 5x optical and 120x digital zoom. For selfies, it has a 20MP (f/2.2) front-facing camera. Also, all three have Night mode support.
It has an Always On mode and can show notifications, plus it can be used as a viewfinder when taking selfies with the main camera.
Meanwhile, the Mi 11 Ultra features a punch-hole design with curved edges, an IP68-rated build quality, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. On the rear, it offers a triple camera setup and a secondary screen for taking high-resolution selfies.
For comparison, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 10 MP 1/3.24” sensor (1.22µm) behind its periscope. Plus, the Xiaomi phone can record 8K through its periscope, which looks to be another first. Anyway, this camera also has OIS, through the lens is a bit dark at f/4.1.
The battery is the other headlining feature of the Mi 11 Ultra. It’s slightly larger than average for a superfast charging phone, 5,000 mAh, and sets a new benchmark with 67W wireless charging support. This matches the 67W wired charging, both can fill the battery to the top in just 36 minutes.
To pull it off, Xiaomi designed a “6x supercharge” technology in-house, including a custom chip that enables wireless charging at 30V and a multi-level current control tech that speeds up charging by 10%. The phone also supports 10W reverse charging for good measure.
The handset bears a 6.81-inch QHD+ (1440×3200 pixels) AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support. It is offered in White and Black colors.
It’s an excellent screen with an A+ from DisplayMate, earned thanks to HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support. Furthermore, it is well calibrated to the DCI-P3 color space and has a high brightness mode for 900 nits of brightness (peak brightness is 1,700 nits).
Another highlight feature is the Snapdragon 888 chipset – we wouldn’t expect any less from a flagship.
Xiaomi attached a new three-phase cooling system and added 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM plus 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The triple ISP of the chipset is used to full effect, allowing the Mi 11 Ultra to shoot with all three cameras simultaneously.
The phone has stereo speakers that were touched up by Harman Kardon. Also, it carries a Hi-Res Audio certification.
Alas, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack. For connectivity, the handset offers support for Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, 5G, NFC, and a Type-C port.
It’s a material that Xiaomi occasionally uses for special phones in its lineup.
The phone is rated IP68, meaning it is dust tight and can be submerged under 1.5m (5 ft) of water for half an hour (by the way, the Mi 11 Ultra and Pro are Xiaomi’s firs IP68-rated phones).
Mi 11 Ultra costs CNY 5,999 (Rs. 66,450) for the 8GB/256GB model, CNY 6,499 (Rs. 72,000) for the 12GB/256GB variant, and CNY 6,999 (Rs. 77,500) for the top-end 12GB/512GB configuration. Xiaomi is also offering a Ceramic White special edition at CNY 6,999 (Rs. 77,500).