With the iPhone 12, Apple took a drastic departure from its pebble-shaped iPhone design to one that turns heads even after a year. The boxy slab design on the iPhone 12 and now the iPhone 13 series has made the world more stylish than it ever has, save for the curved-edge Samsung phones. It was obvious for others to copy this design and soon enough, iPhone 12 clones started coming up.
However, that boxy design on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 has one flaw: it is not made for human hands. Unless you use it with a case, a naked iPhone 12/iPhone 13 hurts palms unlike anything else. The social media is full of people showing how their beloved new iPhone is leaving edge marks on the palms, making it difficult to use without a case.
And sadly, the clone phones also copied this. Last year's Oppo Reno 6 had the same boxy design with sharp edges digging into the flesh. However, Xiaomi has managed to dodge this issue on its latest Xiaomi 11i series.
Prior to the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge test unit, I have been using the iPhone 13 Pro Max. With its weight of 240 grams and the sharp stainless steel frame, the Pro Max is one of the most uncomfortable smartphones I have used lately. Bedtime browsing sessions are painful and so is taking a 15-minute (or longer) phone call. Yes, it can stand on its own on a flat desk but I don't see any other benefit there. It looks good but at the cost of the in-hand comfort.
The issue is lesser magnified on the lighter iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, and iPhone 12, but it is safe to say none of these love your palms the way the iPhone 11 used to. Boxy designs are here to stay though and with the trend visible on Android phones, we could be seeing more of such designs this year.
And obviously, we expected Xiaomi out of all the brands to induct it on some of its phones. I was skeptical of the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge's boxy design, considering its 204 grams weight. While the weight is noticeable, there's none of that discomfort of the boxy design.
The Xiaomi 11i looks flat but it isn't. The “flat looking” sides actually have a minor curvature. And instead of a right angle on the edges, there are gentler curves to bridge the sides and the front/rear. The result is a design that makes you assume the sides are absolutely boxy and pointy but all of it works together to adjust to the curvature of your palms. Smart!
If you get the Xiaomi 11i/ Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge, you can test this out yourself. Unlike the iPhone 13 that can stand on its own, the Xiaomi 11i duo can't do the same.
Hence, I wonder if Xiaomi can manage to refine the boxy design to make it comfortable, what's stopping the girls and boys at Cupertino?
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