Outside China, it is still unknown when Mi 11 will launch. Xiaomi usually announces the latest flagship Mi phone for Europe at Mobile World Congress in February, but in 2021 MWC has already been pushed back to the end of June.
One small tidbit is that the phone was spotted passing certification with the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC). This is an approval step that every phone has to pass through, but tellingly it usually only happens in the week or two before launch - suggesting the announcement might come some time in January, sooner than expected.
How much does the Mi 11 cost?
Remarkably, despite a feature-packed specification that we will detail below, Mi 11 costs the same as the outgoing Mi 10: 3,999 yuan for the base 8GB/128GB model.
That converts to around £453 (or US$612), but you can expect this to be somewhat inflated when Mi 11 officially launches outside China in early 2021.
Available in five colour options, there are also 8GB/256GB and 12GB/256GB models, costing 4299- and 4699 yuan respectively ($487/$658 and £532/$719). This latter, higher RAM SKU did not appear in the FCC certification mentioned above though, suggesting we may only see the 8GB RAM models globally.
During the launch event, MIUI 12.5 and a Mi 11 Special Edition with Scodix Crystal design were also revealed. This Special Edition handset has 12GB RAM and 256GB storage and will cost 4699 yuan.
What's new in the Mi 11: Features & specifications
We haven't been able to get a hands-on with Mi 11 just yet, but our first impressions from the launch event is that this is a seriously good-looking phone. It weighs just 196g, and is a tiny 8mm thick. Here are some more details on its spec:
Mi 11 has a 6.81in AMOLED display, and is the first Xiaomi phone to date to feature a crystal-clear 2K (3200x1440) resolution with a 515ppi pixel density. This is also a 120Hz panel, primed for the fast-paced framerates of entertainment and gaming, with an incredibly responsive 480Hz touch-sampling rate and edge sensors for accuracy.
Capable of 1500 nits of brightness on average (though a maximum of 1771 nits has been recorded), with 8,192 levels of auto-brightness, 5,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and support for high dynamic range and motion smoothing through HDR10+ and MEMC, DisplayMate has rated this panel A+.
The Mi 11 set 13 new records in its tests, covering such things as OLED peak brightness, colour accuracy and contrast. DisplayMate has proclaimed it to be a "world-class smartphone display with close to textbook calibration accuracy and performance that is visually indistinguishable from perfect".
Xiaomi fits Gorilla Glass Victus to protect this display from damage. This is Corning's toughest glass, with drop protection to 2m and improved resistance to scratches. It is said to have a lower softening point that Gorilla Glass 5 and 6.
The Mi 11 also has an antibacterial protective film, and is supplied with an antibactierial protective case.
Processor & memory
Xiaomi's desire to launch the world's first Snapdragon 888 smartphone is likely what pushed it to launch Mi 11 so much earlier than originally anticipated: this is the company's 2021 flagship, announced in the final days of 2020.
This 5nm chip presents a leap forward in AI, gaming and camera performance with Xiaomi claiming a performance increase of 25%, and a matching 25% improvement in energy efficiency.
Its Hexagon 780 AI processor boasts peak performance of 26 TOPS (tera operations per second), up from 15 TOPS in the previous-gen Snapdragon 865. The Spectra 580 image signal processor delivers 35% more computational photography power, too, at up to 2.7 gigapixels per second.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm says the Adreno 660 represents its most significant GPU upgrade yet, with support for QHD+ displays at 144Hz. The chip can also accommodate up to 16GB LPDDR5 RAM and Quick Charge 5. In Mi 11 Xiaomi specifies either 8GB or 12GB of 6400Mbps LPDDR5 RAM, paired with either 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
The processor is 5G-enabled, and integrates the Snapdragon X60 5G modem, which should mean it is able to support both mmWave and Sub-6 across all major bands worldwide, along with 5G multi-SIM and back-end network tech like carrier aggregation and dynamic spectrum sharing. There's also enhanced Wi-Fi 6, with seamless switching between mobile and wireless networks.
In terms of performance, Xiaomi referred to an Antutu benchmark score of 745,942 points for the Snapdragon 888, whereas 2020's Snapdragon 865 recorded 599,253 in the same test.
Mi 11 is fitted with a 4600mAh battery, and is able to support 55W wired-, 50W wireless-, and 10W reverse wireless charging.
The company claims the battery will reach 100% in just 45 minutes over a wired connection, or in 53 minutes when charged wirelessly.
Xiaomi does not supply a charger in the box, but accessories for wired and wireless charging will be available separately. A cool-looking vertical wireless charging dock will cost 199 yuan, while a 55W GAN charger will cost 99 yuan. (Or you can supply your own charger.)
Xiaomi has opted for a triple-lens camera on Mi 11, sitting in a square formation on the phone's rear at the top left corner, alongside an LED flash.
Headlining is a 108MP camera with a seven-piece lens, which features a 1/1.33in sensor, 1.6um pixels (4in1), f/1.85 aperture and optical image stabilisation.
Supporting the main act are a 13MP ultra-wide camera with a five-piece lens, 123-degree FOV and f/2.4 aperture, and a 5MP telephoto/macro camera with a four-piece lens, f/2.4 aperture and autofocus.
Harman Kardon tuning and dual stereo speakers is said to offer immersive sound. There is support for Hi-Res Audio and Hi-Res Audio Wireless.
Interestingly, Mi 11 lets you share audio with friends by connecting two pairs of wireless earbuds, or you can connect two wireless speakers to create stereo sound.
Haptics have also been improved, with a large horizontal linear motor that is both more responsive and more capable. This is said to provide a more natural experience.
Fingerprint sensor with a heart-rate sensor built-in
Mi 11 has an in-display fingerprint sensor, which is integrated with a heart-rate sensor. To take a reading you must launch the Xiaomi Health app, so it doesn't happen automatically when you unlock the phone, but the company claims it is as accurate as those found on smartwatches.
Will there be a Mi 11 Pro?
It certainly looks like it, and a recent rumours suggest it could be a real headline-maker.
That's because GSMArena and other sources are reporting that the Mi 11 Pro could be the first phone to support 80W wireless charging. That would be the new fastest by a long way, blowing competition from the likes of the Oppo Reno Ace and Huawei's P40 Pro+ (both 40W) out of the water.
An earlier report in MyFixGuide suggests this will get you a full charge in just 19 minutes. Should this make its way into the Mi 11 Pro, it would mean Xiaomi has phones with the fastest wired and wireless charging on the market - the Mi 10 Ultra comes with incredible 120W speeds.
Other rumoured over the regular model include an improved camera setup, with 120x hybrid zoom and 10x optical zoom via a periscope lens. The image included with the above GSMArena article sheds more light on what we can expect:
As mentioned above, Xiaomi often unveils the new Mi flagship at MWC in February. But with that event being put back to June, the company could launch both the regular and Pro models globally before winter is out. We'll update this article as soon as we know more.