Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge First Impressions: It's got us HYPED for 120W charging
The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge has a party piece up its sleeves: 120W charging. Beyond that, is it good? Find out.
Is the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge overpriced? Or is it good value? The answers to these questions will form up over the next two weeks. But is the HyperCharge really as good as Xiaomi's hype? Spending just 24 hours with it has answered that for us. Starting at ₹26,999, the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge accompanies a drool-worthy spec sheet, and nothing here is a gimmick.
The Xiaomi 11i series picks up from where the humble Mi 10i left last year. Last year, this “I” series gave the masses a taste of the now bread-and-butter 108MP camera; this year, it is the 120W charging. And in only one recharge cycle so fast, I can see the appeal. But behind that HyperCharge tag sits one heck of a midrange Android phone; one that Samsung, Realme, Oppo, Vivo and even Apple need to take note of.
While our Purple Mist Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge is setting itself up and adapting to my use cycle, here I share my initial take on this smartphone.
Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge: The looks and feels
The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge takes a radical design departure from the pretty boy that was the Mi 10i. Gone are the curved surfaces and in its place are flat-as-a-plateau flat lines and surfaces. The rear is flat, the front is flat, and so are the sides. Similar to the Oppo Reno 6 and Vivo V23, the iPhone 13 vibes are unmissable. Good or bad? That's for you to decide. All I can now is that it surely stands out.
However, unlike Apple, Xiaomi seems to actually care about your palms. Hence, even though the sides appear flat, there's a slight curvature here, and the edges gradually fade into the rear as well as front. The result of all this is a boxy phone that's not here to injure your hands. In Apple's defence though, Xiaomi's slight curvature-infused flat is easier to achieve on plastic. Yes, that fancy finish on the side is plastic, but you do get a glass rear wearing a matte paintjob on the rear, and glass on the front (obviously!)
I also like the camera hump here, even though it's no different than the Redmi Note 11T 5G (technically this HyperCharge shares everything with the Redmi Note 11 Pro+, other than the Xiaomi badge). It juts out substantially and “table wobble” is a thing if you go without a case. That said, Xiaomi is giving a plastic case in the box along with the 120W charger.
While the 204 grams weight is on the heavy side, it is offset by the beautiful colour options available on the entire range. Our unit wears the Purple Mist gradient that looks fantastic. For those concerned, the 3.5mm headphone jack is present and so is the dual speaker setup.
Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge: Specs, initial glimpse at performance
I am not surprised to see the pleasant user experience from the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge, given that this is an expensive Xiaomi phone. It begins right from the display, which is large at 6.7-inches and looks amazing to look at; courtesy of its AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate. This isn't the best display from Xiaomi at this price though (that award goes to the Xiaomi 11i Lite NE 5G's 10-bit AMOLED panel). More on this in our full review.
In less than a day, I haven't had the chance to put the Dimensity 920 chipset through its paces. So far during the initial setup process, the phone has been fairly eager to undertake tasks and implement them smoothly. Xiaomi's well-optimised MIUI 12.5 is back with Android 11 underneath; I was expecting Xiaomi to launch this with Android 12 but hey, a stable older OS is better than a buggy new OS, right? Moreover, the new MIUI 13 is promised as soon as a global launch happens. No word on the Android 12 update though.
I haven't spent enough time with the cameras yet but some simple photos clicked via the main camera at night show promising results for a sub- ₹30,000 phone. The 2MP macro camera though doesn't compare to Xiaomi's benchmark 5MP sensor that we have grown fond of over the last two years. More on this in our full review.
24 hours of initial setup isn't a good way to judge the battery life but when it depleted, it gave me a chance to see the 120W system in action. There's a lot more than just stupendously fast charging here: power modes, boost charging mode, and battery saver stuff. You need to enable Boost Charging from the Settings to allow the full 120W charging speeds (weird given that this is the HyperCharge's hero feature).
Without the Boost Charging, I saw the phone taking in up to 10 percent charge in a minute! 10 percent in 1 MINUTE! How? With Boost Charge switched on, the battery meter kept adding numbers every 2-3 seconds. This seems unreal, especially for someone coming from an iPhone 13 Pro Max's “fast” 20W charger. Even the 65W charging on a Realme GT Neo 2 looks slow. The phone with a mix of Boost Charge switched ON and OFF, did a 35 percent to 100 percent in 14 minutes.
This has got me wanting to deplete the battery to the lowest possible levels more and witness this fast charging again. Note that you need to use the 120W charger and its cable provided in the box for these speeds.
Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge First Impressions
The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge comes into a segment where there are some solid smartphones dominating the shelf space. Samsung has the Galaxy A52 and Galaxy M52 5G, Realme has its GT Master Edition and X7 Max, OnePlus has its Nord 2, and Xiaomi itself offers the Xiaomi 11i Lite NE and Mi 11X 5G. Tough space for the HyperCharge to fit into.
The 120W charging solution is the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge's trump card, as long as Realme, Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus don't bring their version of the same. And don't consider this fast charging to be a gimmick; it works like magic and has the potential to change your phone usage habits. Beyond the charging, the rest of the phone seems good but is it good enough to convince me and you into paying the ₹26,999 amount? Keep an eye on our full review to find out.