Xiaomi 11i Review: HyperCharge For The Masses

It’s a new year, and Xiaomi is back with another smartphone series – the Xiaomi 11i. The first smartphone series of 2022 from the house of Xiaomi comes with some exciting features. But just like its predecessor, the Mi 10i, which made 108MP camera a staple in the industry, the 11i brings whopping 120W charging onboard – a first for Xiaomi in India. However, that’s the case for the ‘Pro’ variant or, as Xiaomi prefers to call it, the 11i HyperCharge. But there’s one more smartphone in the 11i series – the vanilla Xiaomi 11i. One more thing, the Xiaomi 11i and 11i HyperCharge are rebadged Redmi Note 11 Pro, launched in China last year with some tweaks.

The Xiaomi 11i and 11i HyperCharge share the same chassis and specifications, but the former comes with a more humble 67W charging, and as you would have guessed from the tag ‘HyperCharge’, the latter is the one with 120W charging. For this review, we’ve got our hands on the former, the Xiaomi 11i. But, you can get the gist of how much value Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge offers since both share similar design specifications except the charging speed. So, here’s the million-dollar question: Is Xiaomi 11i (or 11i HyperCharge) worth your money? Should you get the Xiaomi 11i or Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge? Let’s find it in our full review.

Design and Build – Flattered

With 11i, Xiaomi departs from its ‘EVOL’ design language and adopts a flatter and boxy design, something we’ve seen with the ‘Lite‘ series. Holding the phone for the first time gives solid iPhone vibes. Thankfully, Xiaomi has put some thought into making it comfortable for us to hold the 11i, unlike iPhone, which leaves a mark on your palm if you hold it for a long time. The chamfered edges from the ‘Lite’ smartphones make a comeback here, and it’s much appreciated. 

Turning it around, you can find a humongous camera module looking much like the recent Redmi Note smartphones, which is rather unsurprising since the Xiaomi 11i is a rebadged Redmi Note 11 Pro, so you know if you know. A little more about the camera module: it protrudes a lot, I mean a wobbly lot, but Xiaomi is giving out a transparent case inside the box, eradicating the problem without stealing away its charm. Then, there’s a subtle “Xiaomi” branding at the bottom, reminding you that it’s a 5G smartphone, or else who would remember. 

The Xiaomi 11i (and 11i HyperCharge) come in four colours Pacific Pearl, Stealth Black, Camo Green, and Purple Mist. Sadly, except for the Pacific Pearl, the rest of the three colours comes in a matte finish. So, if you don’t like smudges on your phone, then it’s best for you to opt for the Stealth Black, Camo Green or the Purple Mist. And don’t take me wrong, the Pacific Pearl has its own beauty, and it does stand out from the crowd. So, if you like some shimmer, this one might be for you.

Lastly, the Xiaomi 11i (and 11i HyperCharge) is quite a big and heavy phone, atleast for me. No shots fired here as some people want large phones, and Xiaomi makes up for the weight with a 5160mAh battery inside (Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge comes with a 4500mAh battery).

Display – 120Hz Smoothness

Xiaomi 11i (and 11i HyperCharge) features a 6.67-inch AMOLED panel having an FHD+ resolution which is pleasing to look at. The display offers vivid colours and deep blacks with enough brightness for indoor and outdoor usage. The display also comes with HDR10 and Widevine L1 certification, so streaming HDR content on Netflix, Prime, and Youtube won’t be much trouble. Further, it has a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

The display also has 120Hz support for a smoother scrolling experience. By default, the phone comes with 60Hz enabled, but you can enable the 120Hz from the settings. However, I am a little disappointed that there’s no option for a dynamic refresh rate. 

Look, it’s not the best display from Xiaomi, but there’s not much to complain about it as it offers almost everything you’d expect from a mid-range smartphone. There is no hard feeling, but Xiaomi has spoilt me with the 11 Lite NE’s 10-bit AMOLED panel.

Also Read: Asus Zenbook 13 OLED Review – Beauty and Brawn Put Together

Performance – Sails Smoothly

The Xiaomi 11i (and obviously the 11i HyperCharge) comes with Mediateks’ Dimensity 920 chipset. Under the hood, the chipset is paired with 6GB/8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128/256GB of UFS 2.2 onboard storage. It might look like a downgrade from the Mi 10i’s Snapdragon 750, but it isn’t. The Dimensity 920 inside the Xiaomi 11i is more competent than most Snapdragon 7 series chipsets.  

It performed well enough in day-to-day usage during our time with it. The animations were smooth, and we didn’t encounter any major jitters or slowdowns with MIUI 12.5 Enhanced Edition, but there were one or two instances when the phone slowed down a bit. We also played some games, including PUBG New State, CoD Mobile and Asphalt 9. And, we are happy to inform you that the Dimensity 920 is more than capable of handling these games without any frame drops on maximum graphic settings.

As far as numbers are concerned – the Dimensity 920 manages to pull a single-core score of 736 and a multi-core score of 2209 in GeekBench 5. Meanwhile, it scored 4,23,017 in AnTuTu Benchmark.

Battery and Charging – The Real Deal

It all comes down to the charging. Xiaomi 11i boasts a 5,120mAh battery with support for 67W charging, and surprisingly, there’s a 67W charger inside the box. Yes, we know it won’t be as fast as HyperCharge’s 120W charger, but it’s more than enough for anyone. 

Xiaomi claims that the 67W charger can charge the 11i from zero to 50% in 15 minutes. But how fast is it in real life? With WiFi turned on and the screen turned off, the 67W charger managed to charge it from 0% to 100% in about 35 minutes. The phone remained quite cool while charging, but it could heat a bit if you plug it in while using it. As for the battery life, the 5,120mAh battery inside 11i would last you around a day and a half.

Also Read: Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G – Second Time’s A Charm

Camera – The ‘108MP’ Saga Continues

The 108MP Samsung HM2 sensor from last year’s Mi 10i makes a comeback here, and it’s paired with an 8MP ultra-wide having a 120-degree FoV and a 2MP macro sensor. The main sensor is capable of recording videos in 4K at 60fps. Like any other Xiaomi smartphone, the 11i comes with many camera features, including Pro mode, VLOG mode, 108MP photo mode, and Long exposure.

The 108MP sensor clicks pretty decent pictures with an adequate amount of details, sharpness, and even dynamic range is good enough. However, the pictures come out to be a little mellow. Even with HDR turned on, it’s a bit of hit or miss as it tends to oversharpen the colours, mostly the greens and reds. 

The ultrawide camera isn’t that great either. The ultrawide camera isn’t that great either. It clicks very soft photos even in good daylight conditions. And, the macro camera is plain bad, and even to this day, I am trying to figure out why didn’t Xiaomi put the 5MP macro sensor in 11i.

Things get much worse in the low lighting condition. The 108MP sensor struggles to retain the details, and even with Night Mode turned, things don’t seem to get much better. Meanwhile, you can’t even use the ultrawide camera without Night Mode. 

Maybe Xiaomi spoiled us with the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max’s camera setup. Despite being a year-old smartphone, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max holds an edge against the Xiaomi 11i in the camera department. A fun fact – both Xiaomi 11i and Redmi Note 10 Pro Max has the same 108MP Samsung HM2 sensor.

About selfies, the 16MP front-facing camera clicks decent pictures in well-lighted conditions, but things go awry in low-light conditions.

Xiaomi 11i Verdict – To HyperCharge or Not?

Starting at Rs 22,999, the Xiaomi 11i is quite a dependable smartphone. It’s not a perfect smartphone, but it’s a well-balanced package. With Xiaomi 11i, you get a beautiful display, a reliable processor and great battery life. However, it lags behind the competition and other Xiaomi’s smartphones in the camera department. So, if you are out there in the market looking for a new smartphone, then Xiaomi 11i can be your companion.

You can also go with the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge if you really dig in that 120W charger. But if we were, to be honest, then the Xiaomi 11i seems like a much better package compared to the HyperCharge. The 67W isn’t even that slow, and you can find something to do in that extra 15 minutes, and you’d be saving some money as well.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design and Build
Display
Performance
Battery Life and Charging
Camera
Value For Money

SUMMARY

Starting at Rs 22,999, the Xiaomi 11i is quite a dependable smartphone. It's not a perfect smartphone, but it's a well-balanced package. With Xiaomi 11i, you get a beautiful display, a reliable processor and great battery life. However, it lags behind the competition and other Xiaomi's smartphones in the camera department. So, if you are out there in the market looking for a new smartphone, then Xiaomi 11i can be your companion.

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