MI 11 Ultra Premium Product

Mi 11 Ultra price and variants

Xiaomi has launched the Mi 11 Ultra in just one configuration in India, with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, and it is priced at Rs. 69,999. This is Xiaomi's most expensive smartphone in India yet, and the price might be a lot to digest for many given the ‘value' perception that the brand has created for itself over the years.

Mi 11 Ultra design

The design of the Mi 11 Ultra is stunning. We'll get to the massive camera hump in a bit, but leaving that aside, it's as premium as phones get these days. It has an aluminum frame, a curved display with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, and a ceramic back. The glass on the front is actually curved on all four sides, which is a unique design choice. The benefit of this is that gestures performed from the bottom of the screen are smoother as your finger doesn't hit any sharp edges. In fact, the metal frame, front, and back blend into one another perfectly so you don't really feel any edges at all when handling the phone.

A side benefit of this is that the Mi 11 Ultra is stable when using it on its back on a flat surface. You can even use the bottom of the camera module as support for your finger when using this phone one-handed. Fingerprints are a big problem on the Ceramic Black variant, but you can also get the Mi 11 Ultra in white, which should hide them better.

On the right side of the camera module is a 1.1-inch (126x294 pixel resolution) OLED display. This mini touchscreen automatically lights up when you place the Mi 11 Ultra face down on any surface. It can be customized to show the battery level, notifications, date and time, a custom message, or an image. You can also use it to answer or reject an incoming call. Most importantly, you can use it as a viewfinder for taking a selfie with either of the three rear cameras. It's largely a gimmicky addition and looks like it was added mainly to fill the empty space at the back. I also didn't like the fact that the menu system for customizing this display is buried in the Settings app and not easy to get to.

The main display on the Mi 11 Ultra is easily one of the best out there. The colours looked vibrant but not oversaturated, and the high brightness meant content was easily legible even under harsh lighting. Reading mode tones down the contrast and colour tone, which Xiaomi claims can reduce eye strain, and this is handy for late light reading. You can set the screen to mimic the look of paper, which is cool, but I wish this could be triggered automatically when using certain apps such as Kindle, the way OxygenOS allows.

The Mi 11 Ultra lets you run its display at 120Hz and QHD+ resolution at the same time. AI video enhancements such as Super Resolution (upscales low-resolution videos), MEMC (motion smoothing), etc, can be toggled via a Video Toolbox menu in any video player app. You can even launch mini versions of other apps on top of your videos to quickly check an email or your Twitter feed, for example.

HDR videos look good when played locally or even on YouTube. The Mi 11 Ultra can also shoot 4K HDR10+ or 8K HDR10 videos, but these don't look great. Colours look heavily oversaturated even on the Ultra's display and more so when viewed on a non-HDR display. My unit also seemed to have a software bug that messed up the playback of HDR10+ footage recorded on the phone itself. Rather than increasing the contrast and brightness, it would lower it. Videos streamed from Amazon Prime Video had a similar darkened look, but Netflix seemed fine. I'm hoping Xiaomi rectifies this in the next software update.

The Mi 11 Ultra can be an excellent gaming phone. All the heavy titles I tried such as Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends ran smoothly without skipping a beat. The back of the phone did get a bit hot after a while but not severely enough to hamper performance. Games looked fantastic and you can access MIUI's Game Turbo toolbar in-game for things such as screen recording. The stereo speakers deserve a special mention here too. They get really loud and sound great. Benchmark numbers were solid throughout, with the Mi 11 Ultra scoring 7,90,971 points in AnTuTu.

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