Mi 11X review: a smartphone with good value for money

Xiaomi had introduced the Redmi K series in India in 2019. Both smartphones in the line received a mixed response and were criticized by a few for their price. To be fair, these were decent smartphones and they were priced right in my opinion, but the smartphone maker hasn’t released any smartphones under the series since then. Instead, he renamed them under new names. The latest to benefit from this treatment are the Redmi K40 and Redmi K40 Pro, introduced in India as the Mi 11X and Mi 11X Pro.

The Mi 11X is the more affordable of the two, although it still aims to deliver a flagship-like experience on a tight budget. The smartphone is one of the first to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor. The chipset has so far been used on the Vivo X60 and OnePlus 9R, both more expensive than the Mi 11X.

The Mi 11X is priced at Rs 29,999 for the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage option, while the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage option will cost Rs 31,999 domestically. For said price, you get a high refresh rate OLED panel, triple rear camera module, and dual speakers. Let’s see how the new Xiaomi phone works in real life.

Mi 11X review: Design

The first thing I noticed about the Mi 11X is that it is much thinner than all of the Xiaomi smartphones that I have used in the past. Xiaomi has kept the thickness at just 7.8mm while the weight is also 196 grams. The phone is still high, making it difficult to use with one hand, but the refreshed design offers a better grip. The slim form factor comes at a cost, however. Xiaomi is one of the few brands that has kept the 3.5mm headphone jack in the middle of calls for a wireless world. It was ignored on the Mi 11X.

The back panel looks a lot like the Mi 11 which has yet to be launched in India. It has a rectangular camera module and the Xiaomi brand. Interestingly, this is one of those smartphones where the color variant you go for will make a lot of difference. The smartphone was launched in three options: Cosmic Black, Frosty White and Celestial Silver. I had the black variant for review which can easily double as a mirror. It is highly reflective and easily detects fingerprint traces. The other two variations have a matte finish and look more fun.

The Mi 11X has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. The power button is slightly raised which sets it apart from the rest of the frame. The rest of the elements remain the same volume buttons on the right, a USB Type-C charging port on the bottom and a speaker on each side to complete the dual audio system.

Overall, the design is pretty basic. In fact, it also reminds you of a more affordable Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, which just comes with a different camera module and the Redmi branding at the bottom. The similarities are not surprising as the Mi 11X was designed to be part of the Redmi smartphones.

Mi 11X review: Display

The front also looks a lot like the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. The Mi 11X has a 6.67-inch (2400 x 1080) Full HD + resolution display with 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sample rate. It has a maximum brightness of 1300 nits and supports HDR 10+. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

While the screen may look like the Note 10 Pro Max, the major upgrade here comes in the form of the E4 material used by Xiaomi, which Xiaomi says reduces power consumption. It also added an adaptive color display here which adjusts the color temperature of the screen to the color temperature of ambient light. It can help reduce eye strain.

The screen is bright, has good viewing angles but lacks sharpness. This is most evident when delivering content. The colors seem vibrant though. It’s good to see that the Mi 11X won’t overwhelm the visuals, a common issue with AMOLED panels. It is also easy to use outdoors.

When Xiaomi launched this phone in China, it talked a lot about the punch hole cutout, claiming that it was one of the smallest of all smartphones. Interestingly, there was no marketing around this in India. You can clearly see that the cutout is actually quite small, but when kept side by side with the Note 10 Pro Max, it looks very similar. However, it does not interfere with your viewing experience.

As for the refresh rate, you can choose between 60Hz and 120Hz. Yes, the Mi 11X doesn’t support the adaptive refresh rate, which can be found on a more affordable Mi 10i. This is further proof that Mi 11X is a Redmi phone in disguise.

Mi 11X review: Performance

This is probably the segment that would have inspired Xiaomi to position a Redmi phone as a Mi phone in India. The Mi 11X comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset, which so far only powers the OnePlus 9R and Vivo X60 series in the country. It offers 6GB or 8GB RAM options paired with 128GB UFS3.1 storage. The chipset also sets the Mi 11X apart from the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max which had a mediocre Snapdragon 732G processor.

It is a 5G compatible chip and easily handles daily tasks. Multitasking, gaming or streaming is seamless. I didn’t notice any stuttering or heating issues while using the phone.

I have run a number of games on the Mi 11X including Call of Duty: Mobile, Mortal Kombat: The Ultimate Fighting Game, Critical Ops, and Asphalt 9. The device handles these games with ease. 360Hz sample rate makes the display more responsive than other phones. The Mi 11X also features LiquidCool technology to keep the phone’s thermals in check during heavy gaming.

It should be noted that the phone is neither too heavy nor too thick, it is useful for long hours of play. The phone’s two speaker system is loud but could have been better.

On the software side, the Mi 11X runs MIUI 12.0.3 in India but is expected to receive the rumored MIUI 12.5 update at some point. For now, the phone comes with several preloaded apps including Xiaomi’s Mi Store, Mi Pay, and GetApps store. Most of them cannot be uninstalled, so you are stuck with them. Also, you will need to do some customization for a cleaner and better software experience.

Mi 11X review: Camera

Xiaomi outfitted the Mi 11X with a high-quality display, decent speakers, and even used good-quality hardware. So obviously we had to cut costs somewhere and unfortunately the camera is that department. The rear camera system includes a 48-megapixel Sony IMX582 sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera with a 119-degree field of view, and a 5-megapixel macro camera with 2X zoom. The front has a 20 megapixel selfie shooter.

The camera is capable of recording in slow motion as well as in 4K resolution at 30 frames per second. There is no change in the camera app compared to previous Xiaomi phones. You get several shooting options like night mode, panorama, dual video, and long exposure, among others. There is also a dedicated Pro mode for camera enthusiasts.

The problem with the main camera is that it uses a year-old sensor that doesn’t have optical image stabilization. That’s a huge lack for a phone that claims to be a flagship killer. The images from the main camera are average. They are often underexposed, lacking in detail and lacking good dynamics. The only positive thing here is the colors that appear vibrant.

Performance is slightly better in low light conditions. Night mode helps you reduce noise and click decent images in difficult lighting conditions.

The ultra wide angle and the Marco lens have the same resolution as on the Note 10 Pro Max. The ultra wide-angle lens works very similar to the main camera but has better detail in daylight. The macro lens of Xiaomi phones has been the most improved feature this year and continues to impress with the Mi 11X. The results are much better compared to other cameras.

For videos, you can record 4K at 30 fps while Full HD videos can be shot at both 30 fps and 60 fps. Since the phone doesn’t have a stable mode, avoiding jerking without a tripod will be a challenge. The selfie camera does a decent job in daylight but picks up a lot of noise in low light conditions.

Mi 11X review: Battery

The Mi 11X comes with a 4,520mAh battery which isn’t huge by today’s standards, but is on par with others in this price segment. At least it helps keep the phone compact. The phone works well in everyday use. The battery dropped about 10% after half an hour of video streaming and usual tasks. Drainage was much more during play. It decreased by about 17% after a 30 minute Call of Duty session.

Battery optimization is good, but you get the same 33W fast charger that Xiaomi now ships with most of its phones in India. It charges the phone to around 60% in half an hour and nearly full in almost an hour. The OnePlus 9R’s 65W charger is much faster and takes the device from 0 to 100% in almost 40 minutes.

Mi 11X review: final verdict

Buyers don’t have a very difficult decision to make here. If high performance, a decent screen and battery are your top priorities, the Mi 11X makes up for a good smartphone around Rs 30,000. It has a familiar but sophisticated design, an excellent E4 display, and delivers good performance. The cameras, as I mentioned earlier, are on the weaker side. You can check out the OnePlus 9R, Vivo X60, or even the Mi 11X Pro for better camera performance.

To conclude, the Mi 11X is not the best smartphone at this price point, but it is surely a good value option that you can consider.

Mi 11X review 7.5 / 10

Benefits

  • Good performance
  • Excellent display
  • Decent battery life

The inconvenients

  • Bad cameras
  • Medium stakeholders

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