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Mi 11X Pro review: powerful, no-frills flagship

On: May 15, 2021

Xiaomi recently entered the premium smartphone niche with the launch of the Mi 11 Ultra. And as I noted in my review, the Mi 11 Ultra is what a flagship in 2021 should be like and is arguably among the best high-end Android phones in the market. However — at Rs 69,999 — it’s the most expensive smartphone from the brand yet and for those who are looking for a more affordable flagship, Xiaomi announced the Mi 11 series as well.

Also read: Mi 11 Ultra review: Xiaomi’s ambitious flagship is a winner

The Mi 11 series supersede last year’s Mi 10 range and comprise the Mi 11X and Mi 11X Pro. The former starts at Rs 29,999 and the latter at Rs 39,999, with the main differences being the processor and primary camera. The Mi 11X Pro goes up against the likes of the OnePlus 9R and iQOO 7 Legend. So, can it hold its own among the formidable competition? Let’s find out in this review.

Design and display

  • 163.7 x 76.4 x 7.8mm, 196g
  • 6.67-inch E4 AMOLED, FHD+, 120Hz refresh rate, up to 360Hz touch sampling rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, HDR 10+, MEMC

The Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro is a sleek-looking smartphone measuring just 7.8mm thin and tipping the scale at 196g. The thin and lightweight profile of the smartphone makes it quite ergonomic for longer usage periods. The phone comes in Cosmic Black, Lunar White, and Celestial Silver colours. I received the Celestial Silver variant and it’s anything but silver. Depending on the angle at which light hits that back panel, you’ll be greeted with a new hue every time and it sure is a head-turner. The glass-clad smartphone comes with an IP53 rating, which means it’s protected against dust and water sprays.

On the flip side, the chassis is crafted from plastic and feels a little underwhelming. Moreover, The slim profile of the smartphone and top-heavy design — thanks to the jutting camera module — makes Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro quite slippery and I recommend putting on a case. Xiaomi is bundling a decent transparent case with matte sides with the device. This also eliminates the wobble caused by the protruding camera module.

The Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro features a dual nano-SIM tray, USB Type-C port, a noise-cancelling mic, and a speaker grille at the bottom. There are two more speaker grilles on the top with three holes on either side, however, Xiaomi has cleverly hidden the ubiquitous IR sensor in one of the holes to make the design symmetrical. The left edge is bare, whereas you’ll find the volume keys and power button / fingerprint scanner on the opposite side. The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is comfortable to use, fast, and accurate.

The Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro has a Samsung E4 AMOLED panel measuring 6.67-inches. The 120Hz, FHD+ panel is extremely vibrant, sharp, and bright. The display supports up to 1,300nits peak brightness and is bright enough in all lighting conditions. For multimedia lovers, Xiaomi has equipped the Mi 11X Pro’s display with support for HDR10+, AI HDR enhancement, Super Resolution, and MEMC (through Video Toolbox). The first three features are all intended to facilitate HDR streaming and video enhancement, whereas, MEMC upscales the frame rates to make the content appear smooth and transitions seem lively.

I streamed Jupiter’s Legacy on Netflix and Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse — both of which are HDR-supported titles — and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The experience is further amplified by the presence of stereo speakers with Hi-Res Audio, and Dolby Atmos support. The Mi 11X Pro also supports Hi-Res Audio Wireless, which ensures quality sound delivery over supported headphones as well.

Cameras

  • Rear: 108-megapixel primary sensor, 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera, 5-megapixel telemacro lens
  • Front: 20-megapixel sensor

The Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro features a triple rear camera setup. The primary camera is the 108-megapixel, f/1.8 Samsung ISOCELL HM2 sensor. It’s accompanied by an 8-megapixel, f/2.2 ultra-wide lens and 5-megapixel, f/2.4 telemacro camera. In the front, there’s a 20-megapixel, f/2.4 selfie camera.

The camera UI is the typical MIUI interface with features like Movie Frame, Super Macro, Tilt-shift, Pro Colour, Pro mode, Portrait and Portrait Mode. If you navigate to the ‘More’ section on the viewfinder, you’ll find additional modes like Night mode, 108MP mode, short video, panorama, VLOG mode, slow motion, Time-lapse, Dual video, Movie-effect, and Long exposure.

Normal
Normal
Normal
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108MP Mode
1X 
2X
5X
10X
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Night Mode
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Night Mode
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Night Mode
Portrait
Macro
Macro
Macro
Selfie
Portrait Selfie

The primary camera captures detailed and sharp images with a balanced dynamic range. However, there’s a saturation boost in these images, which some might prefer but will offend purists who prefer natural colours. Shift to the 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and the pictures are decent but are softer with muted colours. Lastly, the 5-megapixel telemacro camera can go up to 3cms close to an object without losing out on details, which is impressive.

As for the low light shots, the Mi 11X Pro captures good shots even in the standard mode. However, you will notice a little bit of noise and crushed details in shadows. These issues are resolved by the dedicated night mode, which clicks low-light shots with better details, more sharpness, and increased exposure. On the flip side, for some reason, Xiaomi has hidden the night mode in the More section and it’s hard to access.

Coming to the selfies, the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro captures good self-portraits in the daylight with accurate skin tones. However, the quality takes a dip when the sun goes down, which is to be expected. The front portrait mode is pretty good in detecting edges and creates a natural-looking blur in the background, which is commendable.

In terms of videos, the Mi 11X Pro can shoot up to 8K resolution in 30fps and 4K resolution at up to 60fps. Other video features include One-Click AI Cinema, Magic Zoom, Slow Shutter, Time Freeze, Night Time-lapse, Parallel World, Freeze Frame Video, and HDR10+ video.

Performance, software, and battery

  • Android 11 with MIUI 12
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 with Adreno 660
  • 8GB + 128GB, 8GB + 256GB
  • 4,520mAh battery, 33W fast charging

The Mi 11X Pro is one of the most affordable smartphones to be powered by the flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset. The processor is backed by 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB UFS 3.1 storage. Do note that there’s no provision to expand storage, so you’ll be stuck with either 128GB or 256GB, depending on the variant you choose. In case you take a lot of pictures and shoot a lot of videos, I’d suggest spending Rs 2,000 extra and getting the 256GB variant.

As is expected from the flagship processor, the Snapdragon 888 handles day-to-day usage including social media browsing, online video streaming and gaming, without any hiccups. With over a dozen apps running in the background, multi-tasking was a breeze as well.

As for gaming, I played my favourites, Genshin Impact, Forza Street, and Alto’s Odyssey on the Mi 11X Pro. The gameplay was smooth in all three games but the phone does get a little warm after about 30-40 minutes of constant gaming. Moreover, if you have the 120Hz refresh rate enabled, the battery level drops quickly.

On the software front, the Mi 11X Pro boots MIUI 12 based on Android 11 out of the box. As usual, the custom interface comes with a huge set of features including a built-in theme store, numerous AOD clock styles, Game Turbo, Floating Windows, a built-in screen recorder and Second Space. On the flip side, the software has a lot of Xiaomi apps like the Mi Store, Cleaner and Themes. During the initial set up, you’ll be prompted to download 809MB of promoted apps via Get Apps, enable the Glance lockscreen and personalised ads. I disabled all these for my review usage. On the plus side, the phone will receive the MIUI 12.5 update soon, which will allow you to remove and uninstall many system apps.

Lastly, the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro is fitted with a 4,520mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging. With my regular usage including social media browsing, chatting on Slack and WhatsApp, and a couple of videos on YouTube, the Mi 11X Pro was able to last till the end of the day. However, on days when I streamed several episodes on Netflix or Prime Video and had a gaming session for an hour or so, I was pushed to charge the phone even before dinner time. On the bright side, the 33W charger provided with the phone charges it to 50 percent in just 20 minutes and 100 percent in 49 minutes, which is impressive.

Bottomline

The Mi 11X Pro is priced at Rs 39,999 for the base 128GB variant and Rs 41,999 for the 256GB model. Therefore, at Rs 39,990, the recently launched iQOO 7 Legend is the closest contender to the Mi 11X Pro. The iQOO offering goes neck and neck with Mi 11X Pro with its 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED display, Snapdragon 888 SoC, and a stunning design. However, you get a lower-resolution 48MP primary camera on the back and a smaller 4,000mAh battery, but with 66W fast charging.

Another contender at Rs 39,999 is the OnePlus 9R featuring the Snapdragon 870, which is a powerful SoC without a doubt but is a downgrade compared to the Snapdragon 888 on the Mi 11x Pro. Moreover, the OnePlus 9R features lower-res 48MP quad rear cameras and a 16MP selfie shooter. On the plus side, you get OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 and faster 65W charging with the OnePlus 9R.

The Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro is a no-nonsense flagship smartphone that delivers what it promises. You get a stunning display, powerful performance, good cameras, and decent battery life. Granted there is bloatware in MIUI, but that will be sorted with the arrival of MIUI 12.5, which is set to roll out in the near future.

Pricebaba’s rating: 8 / 10

What works

  • Good-looking design
  • Stunning display
  • Powerful performance
  • Good cameras
  • Loud audio

What doesn’t

  • Bloatware in MIUI 12
  • Average battery backup
  • Non-expandable storage
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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.