Although we were able to thoroughly test the Xiaomi Mi 11, the one that made us truly curious was the model that represents the jewel in the crown of the Mi 11 family and also presents something as striking as a secondary screen. And today we finally tell you how we have done in these first impressions of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, the true flagship of Xiaomi’s high-end range so far this year.
It is a mobile that launches the 50 megapixel Samsung ISOCELL GN2 sensor, which stars in a camera scheme with triple optical stabilization, including a telephoto lens (without macros or filling cameras). It is one of the most advanced mobiles that Xiaomi has brought to light in its entire history and, as one might think, also one of the most expensive. We tell you how about him in this contact.
Just as the Mi 11 seemed to us to be quite average in terms of size, the dimensions of the Mi 11 Ultra go a bit further and in hand, it reminds us of the bulkiest phones we have tested. It weighs 234 grams, more than heavyweights like the iPhone 12 Pro Max (228 grams). We can say that it is the heaviest phone we have tested in 2021 (to date).
Features of Xiaomi MI 11 Ultra:
It reminds us quite a lot of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in this sense, with a thickness of 8.38 millimetres and an almost even screen diagonal: 6.81 inches. But despite these data, and after having been using it, we have not found it uncomfortable and it has a good grip, but sometimes it is easier to hold it with two hands than with one, yes.
The front is very well used, with a panel that stretches along the entire surface, leaving practically zero upper and lower margins. We have a hole in the screen in the upper left corner and it also has a very slight curve on the left and right sides, which at the design level looks very good and is aesthetically beautiful, but does not add anything to the experience with the phone, as usually happens with this type of finish.
Despite this, it is not a very annoying curve. For now, we have not experienced many accidental touches, luckily, and through the settings panel, we have the option to modify the area of ??accidental touches, so as not to have any problems while using the phone.
But if there is something remarkable about the new Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, it is its rear with the largest and most outstanding camera module that we have seen so far in a phone. The reason is the three very large camera sensors that we will talk about later, and of course the second 1.1-inch screen that Xiaomi has decided to include in this Ultra model.
Honestly, we thought that this large protrusion was going to be a serious problem when holding this Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra with one hand (we thought that the index finger was going to be in contact with it all the time), but it has not been like that. The module is located in such a way that it does not interfere when holding the phone and does not pose any inconvenience. And by the way, as the module is so large in proportion to the mobile, it sits well on any surface and prevents the phone from wobbling if we use it on a table.
If we talk about the ports and connections, we find a traditional arrangement, with the power and volume button on the right side (which, by the way, have a harder touch than usual and you have to use some force to activate them). In the lower frame, we have the tray to integrate a maximum of two SIM cards but without the possibility of expanding the storage of the phone. There is also the USB Type C charging port and a grill for the speaker, which combined with the one found in the upper frame, gives us a great sound in stereo, of quite a quality (which, by the way, is signed by the company Harman Kardon ).
As you can see, there is no sign of a 3.5 mm jack input. But it is not a problem as such, since the box of the Xiaomi phone includes a USB Type C adapter to minijack in case we want to connect headphones by cable.
The rear finish forgets about the matte (pity) that we saw in the Xiaomi Mi 11 to offer us a mirror effect that brings elegance and appeal to this Ultra model, but that fills with fingerprints very easily. A slight inconvenience that we can solve thanks to the flexible silicone cover that comes with the phone in the box. By the way, the Mi 11 Ultra is available in black, which is the one I have been testing, and also in white … The model that I would have loved to try.
The Mi 11 Ultra integrates a 6.81-inch AMOLED screen with WQHD + resolution, with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and 480 Hz touch sampling frequency. It is also compatible with HDR10 + and has a brightness level of up to 1,550 nits. That is one of the most competitive screens that we can have today on mobile.
The content that we can enjoy on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is viewed with high quality and is enjoyed a lot thanks to the great use of the screen that we mentioned and has great fluidity, especially when scrolling or playing video games thanks to the 120 Hz of its refresh rate. Of course, regarding this parameter, we can choose between 60 Hz or 120 Hz to make it more or less fluid, but here we have missed an automatic option so that it is the phone itself that adjusts the resolution, based on the content that plays so that the battery consumption is less.
The viewing angles are correct and we did not find any problems here. On the other hand, that slight curvature that we mentioned does show those two vertical black margins that are visible in most of these curved screens according to the viewing angle with which we look at the panel. Despite this, they are not annoying at all, they do not hinder the experience with the phone, nor are they annoying when we use the terminal (but there they are).
When configuring the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra screen, we have the usual parameters that MIUI 12 offers us, being able to choose different modes of use and colour schemes. In terms of resolution, we have the option to make the most of this panel by adjusting the WQHD + resolution with 3,200 x 1,440 pixels or the classic FullHD + resolution of 2,400 x 1,080px, which according to Xiaomi, which in theory allows us to save battery life. In this menu, there is also an option that allows us to adjust an automatic resolution change to save energy if we choose the maximum resolution.
And looking at the main screen, let’s see how it works and especially how that secondary screen is used, which establishes one of the main novelties within the very large family of Xiaomi phones. This small secondary panel is touch, AMOLED, 1.1 inches and with a resolution of 126 x 294 pixels. The latter seems little to us, but it seems to us enough to fulfil its mission.
This panel has some functions such as showing us the time, the percentage of available battery, the status of the battery while we charge the phone, a red dot that alerts us if we have notifications and even the ability to answer calls. But without a doubt, the function that may interest many is being able to use this screen as a preview when taking photos with the main camera.
Obviously, due to its small size, it will be difficult for us to see well the details of the image we want to take but it helps to frame our images a little better. But it will help us to obtain better photos (as we will see later) than the front camera, almost without having to see them later on the main screen to check framing and others.
The Mi 11 Ultra has a specific menu to configure this small screen, and in it, we can adjust different options such as double-tap to activate it, show the content of notifications and even the theme that we want the screen to show us. It should be noted that this last menu has seemed very complete, having the possibility to choose the colours, activate the clock, a signature or a text, which we can customize to our liking, or even the possibility of being able to apply an image that we have in our gallery.
Undoubtedly, the addition of this second screen is something very striking, which can arouse the curiosity of all those who like technology, but in the end, it remains a secondary function of this great Xiaomi phone that we will use in a way. sporadic.
As expected, the power of this phone is signed by the Snapdragon 888, the latest processor that Qualcomm has brought to the market and that we have already tested in other high-end phones (such as Xiaomi Mi 11 itself). This time we see versions that start from 8 to 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and with versions of 128, 256 or 512 GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
With all this, it seems to us that the Mi 11 Ultra is perfect and in our tests, we have not noticed a single error. It is a fast, fluid and powerful phone that will surely meet the needs of any user, no matter how demanding they may be. All tasks are executed quickly, as well as the most demanding video games on the market. It is also a device that does not overheat, except when we charge it, at which time its temperature rises slightly.
The security and biometrics section of the Mi 11 Ultra, also fulfils its purpose very well, with a very fast facial recognition system and with an on-screen fingerprint reader that unlocks the phone without any problem. What we must highlight in this section is that the fingerprint reader has a technology that we had not tested to date on a Xiaomi phone, and that is how we can measure our heart rate by posing our finger for 15 seconds on the scanner. fingerprint.
In the tests we have done, the measurements seem accurate compared to those that the Apple Watch can make (the values ??obtained are the same). So in this sense, Xiaomi seems to have done its homework around this new function to measure our heart rate, but as we always say, this is not a medical device and the measurements are estimates.
At the level of the 5,000 mAh battery, it seemed to us that a priori this ambitious phone is quite “greedy” at the moment in which we configure the maximum resolution of the screen and the maximum refresh rate. If we add to that intensive use such as the camera, the rear screen or even playing a demanding video game, we see how the battery level can drop a little faster than we are used to in this range.
At least you try to make up for it with the 67W fast charging support, which you can take advantage of thanks to the gigantic charger that comes with the phone in the box. In the tests we have done, the device has been changed from 0 to 100 in just over 40 minutes, one of the best data we have obtained lately in this field.
Speaking of cameras, the main sensor of the Mi 11 Ultra is the 50 megapixel Samsung ISOCELL GN2 that we mentioned at the beginning, jointly developed by Xiaomi and Samsung, and which is 1 / 1.12 inches in size. We also have a 48 megapixel Sony IMX586 for the ultra-wide-angle. With a 128-degree field of view and a 48 megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor for the telephoto lens (which they call telemacro again, for some strange reason because the one that makes macro is the wide-angle). With 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid and digital zoom up to 120x, along with optical image stabilization for all three cameras. We also see a front camera with a 20-megapixel sensor and a lens with f / 2.2 aperture.
Speaking of the results, overall the main camera performs well. Xiaomi’s processing is usually characterized by saturating the blue and green tones more and it is something that we see with evidence with the sky, but it is not completely unbalanced either. Although this same helps us to see that, in this sense (and also in dynamic range), the photos with the telephoto lens come out better still.
The telephoto lens seems a clear qualitative leap compared to the Mi 11 (with digital zoom), especially according to the last comparison: the photos come out very well defined, with very good results at night taking into account the loss of quality that we usually see here. We believe that it solves quite well, although it will have to be tested more thoroughly (like everything else).
The wide-angle is once again the shortest leg of the combination taking into account the decrease in detail and that the dynamic range is somewhat just like the main one, but at least it is consistent concerning it in terms of colourimetry, contrast and range. dynamic. We see a good correction of distortion due to the curvature of the lens, they are not photos distorted by the edges.
The wide-angle can act as a macro camera, although it is a style of photos that the main one defends well. We see that the macro are correct at the level of colourimetry and detail. Speaking of portrait mode, it seems to work fine, even when the item is a flower and the background is complicated.
As we said, the advantage of the secondary screen is to be able to take selfies with the main camera. With this we gain in resolution and detail, obtaining much more defined photographs even indoors. Of course, being close-ups (almost by obligation) we see that the lack of dynamic range is accentuated and a somewhat cold white balance that we do not see in the photos with the front camera.
The front camera meets expectations, without fanfare. The photos come out poorly contrasted and with little dynamic range, hence HDR is almost a necessity to try to save a sky that has been burned on many occasions (and give an injection of shadows to the foreground as well).
A mobile from another planet
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is the strongest bet Xiaomi has made for a phone in recent years. We are talking about one of the most ambitious devices that the company has brought to the market, not only at the level of specifications but also because of the different additions that have been integrated (with the permission of the Xiaomi Mi MIX Fold, of course).
We have a secondary screen on the back, which can be useful on occasion. An incredible screen that will make us enjoy any content on our phone. The possibility of taking an approximate measurement of our heart rate and a section of cameras that improves the current photograph that we had seen to date on a Xiaomi mobile phone. Without a doubt, we are talking about one of the candidates for the best phone of the year 2021 but yes, exceeding the barrier of 1,000 euros.
It is an incredible phone, but obviously, it is not a device for everyone and not only because of the price. It will be necessary to see how those cameras resolve that have not left us a feeling of clearly beating their rivals, as well as that autonomy. Also, not everyone is comfortable with large and heavy smartphones.
In any case, it is a mobile born to stand out and perhaps for those looking for an above-average selfie. It leaves us with a very good taste in the mouth to carry out the in-depth analysis, with which we will check the doubts that we have about the experience with it and we will tell you about it in detail.
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