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Mi 11X review: Powerful specs at an affordable price

The Mi 11X comes with a powerful Snapdragon 870 chipset under the hood. It also has an AMOLED display with a 120Hz that is excellent for gaming. (Image resized for web)
The Mi 11X comes with a powerful Snapdragon 870 chipset under the hood. It also has an AMOLED display with a 120Hz that is excellent for gaming. (Image resized for web) (David Delima/HT Tech)

The Mi 11X is all about performance, and Xiaomi’s flagship smartphone doesn’t disappoint when it comes to gaming. But is it one of the best smartphones you can buy at 29,999? Let’s take a closer look.

Rating
3.5/5
Price
29,999/-
Product Name
Mi 11X
Brand Name
Xiaomi
Pros
  • Powerful chipset
  • Display quality
  • Battery life
  • Software
Cons
  • Camera
  • Software (again)
Specifications
  • Processor
    Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  • Display
    6.67-inch Super AMOLED (120Hz)
  • Memory
    8GB RAM
  • Storage
    128GB UFS 3.1
  • Camera
    48MP Primary Sensor

The Xiaomi Mi 11X was launched earlier this year alongside the company’s powerful 5G smartphones launched with the Mi 11 family, with a powerful Snapdragon 870 processor, which is only two places behind the Snapdragon 888 and the recently launched Snapdragon 888 Plus which will begin to ship on upcoming smartphones.

One of the biggest draws of the Mi 11X is the powerful processor under the hood – the Snapdragon 870 processor capable of running any game or application you throw at it, an upgrade from last year’s capable Snapdragon 865 chipset. With an AMOLED screen, stereo speakers and 5G connectivity, Xiaomi’s affordable Mi 11X smartphone boasts flagship specs under the hood. But is it an all-round performer and should you spend 29,999 on it? We’ve had the device for over a month now and here are our thoughts.

Design and display

Xiaomi has reserved its colourful designs for its more affordable smartphone models, while devices like the Mi 11X come in three colour variants – Cosmic Black, Celestial Silver and Frosty White. We tested the Cosmic Black variant, which has a smooth and glossy back. The back of the device is a fingerprint magnet, so you might want to put a case on – Xiaomi ships a transparent one in the box. The only text on the back is the company logo and a 5G symbol in a rectangle – a clean design is always welcome.

The 6.67-inch Super AMOLED screen is bright and vivid and refreshes at 120Hz. The always-on-display feature is very neat and consumes barely any battery. (Image resized for web)
The 6.67-inch Super AMOLED screen is bright and vivid and refreshes at 120Hz. The always-on-display feature is very neat and consumes barely any battery. (Image resized for web) (David Delima/HT Tech)

Like many other flagship devices, there’s no 3.5mm connectivity on this device, but the company does provide a USC-C dongle in the box for those who are still rocking their wired earphones. The device also comes with a basic plastic screen guard, but it picks up a lot of scratches and you might be better off taking it off and relying on the Gorilla Glass 5 protected screen instead. The 6.67-inch Super AMOLED screen is bright and vivid and refreshes at 120Hz, and there are no issues with outdoor visibility.

When it comes to design, this smartphone looks and feels like a premium device, from the weight to build quality. The fingerprint scanner on the power button (on the right) is plenty fast. The volume rockers are located on the same side, but they’re located a little too high, making them difficult to reach with one-handed use. There’s also no built-in NFC support, so you won’t be able to use tap-to-pay with apps like Google Pay. On the back, Xiaomi’s rear camera module looks clean and doesn’t stick out too much, but you might want to apply a screen protector to prevent any chips and dents there.

Camera

The Mi 11X comes with a triple camera setup featuring a 48MP Sony IMX582 primary sensor, an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 5MP “telemacro” camera lens. Instead of providing a fourth (and usually pointless) depth sensor, the device has focused on the three lenses to provide acceptable photo quality. While using the Mi 11X, we did not have any issues with capturing shots and the Snapdragon 870 meant taking shots in almost all the camera modes was almost instantaneous.

The 48MP camera had some trouble with overexposed skies during the day and this is something that you might want to consider if you take a lot of outdoor shots. (Image resized for web)
The 48MP camera had some trouble with overexposed skies during the day and this is something that you might want to consider if you take a lot of outdoor shots. (Image resized for web) (David Delima/HT Tech)

The 48MP camera takes sharp, clear photos, but the colours can appear a little washed out at times. During the daytime, the camera could capture objects nearby, but the sky was almost always overexposed, which is something you might want to keep in mind if you take a lot of outdoor shots with your smartphone. Low light photography, was quite disappointing and while the night mode does help to an extent, we found it difficult to capture sharp images without noise.

The ultrawide camera on the Mi 11X is capable enough when there’s ample lighting, but when you’re shooting in low light, you might notice additional noise when compared to the primary sensor. Objects that are close to the edge of the frame tend to look a little distorted, but it isn’t noticeable if they’re far enough away. The device also comes with a telemacro lens, which is hidden away among the several camera modes on the device. The Mi 11X takes good macro shots, and we didn’t have to get right in front of the subject to do so.

The ‘telemacro’ camera on the Mi 11X lets you take good macro shots by pointing and shooting — no need to fiddle with the settings or even tap to focus. (Image resized for web)
The ‘telemacro’ camera on the Mi 11X lets you take good macro shots by pointing and shooting — no need to fiddle with the settings or even tap to focus. (Image resized for web) (David Delima/HT Tech)

On the front of the device is a 20MP selfie shooter that does the job well, it can take good portrait selfies. The camera does tend to over-smoothen facial blemishes with the built-in beauty mode, but this can be turned off manually. The selfie camera allows video recording at 1080p at 30 FPS and 60 FPS and you can also capture slow-motion videos with this camera. Meanwhile, the rear cameras support 4K video recording 30 FPS, with gyro-EIS – there’s no OIS support at this price point, which is understandable.

Performance

With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset under the hood, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Mi 11X is able to handle almost anything that you throw at it. From playing graphics-intensive games or processor-intensive apps to simply swiping around the system during daily use, the Mi 11X is one of the smoother phones we’ve seen in this price category. MIUI 12 is also very smooth, and while it does have the usual sprinkling of promotions, the company has promised improvements in the upcoming MIUI 12.5 update.

We played Call of Duty:Mobile, Asphalt 9 and Fortnite on the Mi 11X and the device was able to handle all three games on the best graphics settings almost flawlessly. We did notice once that the device would get a little warm to the touch after about half an hour of sustained gameplay, there was no noticeable drop in performance or thermal throttling in our experience. The stereo speakers are clear enough, especially when playing the titles mentioned above.

When it comes to benchmarks, the Mi 11X recorded a score of 675145 on AnTuTu, with CPU and GPU scores of 186024 and 220476 respectively. Going by the numbers, the performance is better than the Mi 10T Pro 5G, but behind the Redmi K40 Pro and the iQOO 7. However, synthetic tests aside, the device is one of the fastest smartphones that you can buy at this price today.

On the battery front, the Mi 11X comes with a 4520mAh battery under the hood, and it charges at 33W with the built-in charging brick. We were able to charge the smartphone up to 100 percent in just under an hour. Battery endurance was a big of a mixed bag, with the phone holding up well while making calls, watching videos and consuming social media, with the battery lasting well over a day. However, if you plan to use the device to game for hours, you might find yourself heading for the charger more than once a day.

Verdict

The Mi 11X is one of the most powerful devices in the under 30,000 price segment and the company has focused on the processing power on this device. This device isn’t going to win any awards in the camera department – Xiaomi has made the distinction between the Mi 11X Pro and the Mi 11X clear in that regard.

The Mi 11X comes with a charging brick, a USB-C to USB-A cable and a TPU phone cover. (Image resized for web)
The Mi 11X comes with a charging brick, a USB-C to USB-A cable and a TPU phone cover. (Image resized for web) (David Delima/HT Tech)

However, if a powerful smartphone that can handle long gaming sessions, or watch content for extended periods, is what you’re looking for, then the Mi 11X is a strong contender in this price bracket. Gaming with the Snapdragon 870 is effortless, and the high refresh rate on the screen is a definite bonus. In terms of longevity, the specs on the Mi 11X should come in useful, especially if you plan to hold on to your next device for a while.

While looking at other phones with the same processor, the Mi 11X goes up against the iQOO 7 which is priced a little higher, and the far more expensive Vivo X60, among others. If you want camera performance, you might want to look at the more expensive Mi 11X Pro or the Vivo X60. However, if you want the best performance at the lowest price, the Mi 11X is definitely worth your consideration as an affordable flagship device.

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