an exceptional smartphone for those who do not want a curved screen

True to form, Xiaomi loves to make its ranges more complex with several models. After the Mi 11, Mi 11 Lite, Mi 11 Lite 5G, Mi 11 Ultra and Mi 11 Pro (only in China), here is now the Mi 11i, a high-end smartphone that is intended for people who do not want not other flagship phones from Xiaomi.
It is thanks to its slimmer design without a curved screen that the Mi 11i stands out, hoping to win over many potential users. Proof if one was needed, Xiaomi has recently been increasing the number of advertisements for this device. In a world where curved screens are (almost) the norm on the high end, the flat screen market is resisting!

Marketed at the single price of 699 euros (256 GB), is the Xiaomi Mi 11i the good deal of the moment? We made it our main smartphone for a week.

On adore son design

The word that best fits the design of the Mi 11i is “simplicity”. Usually, on the high end, manufacturers challenge each other on the basis of eccentricity. With this product, Xiaomi plays the banality card. Some will find it boring, others will love it. Why should high-end smartphones all feel like jewels? For people looking for a functional, enduring smartphone with a beautiful screen and capable of taking pretty photos, but want a device that is easy to carry, the Mi 11i is a crush. 7.8 millimeters thick, it is extremely pleasant to handle. Its 196 grams don’t really feel.

Only regrettable point, the material chosen by Xiaomi on the back of the smartphone, shiny glass, particularly marks the fingerprints. A matte coating, like that of the Mi 11 Ultra, would have been preferable.

An ultra bright screen

With a diagonal of 6.67 inches against 6.81 inches for the Mi 11 (without curvature, we lose on the surface), the flat screen of the Xiaomi Mi 11 is one of the best on the market. The OLED panel provided by Samsung ticks almost all the boxes. Maximum brightness of 892 cd / m2 according to the measurements in our laboratory, 120 Hz refreshment (60 Hz by default), Full HD + definition… It’s very good, we immediately feel the quality in use. Too bad the color fidelity is average by default (Delta E = 5.18) and just good when playing with the settings (Delta E = 3.39). Otherwise it would have been perfect.

In the high-end flat-panel smartphone market, only Apple and Samsung are doing as well. OnePlus, with its 8T, is also approaching it.

Autonomy and performance at the rendezvous

There is a 4,520 mAh battery inside the Mi 11i, a small feat when you take into account the smoothness of the smartphone. All this is all the more satisfying given that, despite the presence of a 120 Hz screen, the Xiaomi Mi 11i is a durable smartphone.
The device resisted 13h59 to our versatile autonomy test, 12h10 video streaming and 23h22 in communication. Each time, this allows him to be right at the level of the maximum mark in our scale.
With normal use, you should only need to recharge it once every two days. A nice advantage over the competition, including the classic Mi 11 which fared less well (probably because of its Quad HD + screen).

When recharging, the Mi 11i is also doing very well. 53 minutes are enough to go from 0% to 100% autonomy with the 33 W charger supplied in the box. That’s less than the half hour of some competitors or the 48 minutes of the Mi 11, but it’s still honorable. On the other hand, forget about wireless charging. This smartphone is not compatible.

On the performance side, we won’t surprise you by telling you that the Snapdragon 888, from Qualcomm, allows it to flirt with the best smartphones. 5G compatible and able to make everything work with disconcerting ease, the Mi 11i provides.
We can only blame the Chinese manufacturer for continuing to preinstall too many applications on its smartphones, such as games or social networks which we do not necessarily want. At 200 euros, we are ready to close our eyes. At 699 euros, that shouldn’t be normal.

Photo : un Mi 11 low cost

Xiaomi wants to pretend that the Mi 11i has the same triple camera module as the Mi 11, which would not be surprising given its price, but is actually misleading. If the two smartphones indeed share a 108 Mpix sensor, an ultra-wide-angle camera and a macro module, they actually have completely different components.

Indeed, the 108 Mpix sensor of the Mi 11i is not of the latest generation. Smaller (1 / 1.52 inch, compared to 1 / 1.33 inch), it cannot let in as much light and therefore suffers a little more at night. A curious choice given the similarities between the two smartphones. The observation is identical with the ultra wide-angle, we go from a 13 Mpix sensor to an 8 Mpix sensor, much less defined. We therefore lose quality.

Fortunately, the photos taken with the Mi 11i are still very satisfactory. The smartphone is easily one of the best on the market, including the night when the color management is rather remarkable at 699 euros. With a real telephoto lens and a slightly more powerful ultra-wide-angle module, there wouldn’t have been much to complain about.

Too many concessions compared to the normal Mi 11

Before concluding this test, we wanted to address the most disappointing point with this Mi 11i. If it technically costs 100 euros less than the Mi 11 with a curved screen (at equivalent capacity, i.e. 256 GB), we find that Xiaomi has made too many sacrifices with this device. To make it easier to argue, we’ve decided to list them for you:

  • The screen is smaller (6.67 versus 6.81 inches).
  • The definition of the screen is Full HD +, against Quad HD +.
  • There is no fingerprint sensor under the screen, but a sensor on the side button, which is sometimes requested by mistake in the pocket.
  • Charging is limited to 33 W, compared to 55 W on the Mi 11.
  • The smartphone is not compatible with wireless charging.
  • Camera sensors are worse.

    Does 100 euros of difference really justify all these changes? Especially since the Mi 11 with curved screen generally enjoys many discounts? Unless you absolutely want a flat-screen smartphone, in our opinion there is no reason to prefer the Mi 11i to the Mi 11. It’s a shame since at 599 euros (or 100 euros less), we would have found the unbeatable quality-price ratio of the device.

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