From the Redmi medium range to the Poco full range to the endless Mi 11 series, the doubt about which device to buy or the risk that whole hours spent comparing technical datasheets, specifications, and performance lead us to buy a Smartphone that is not suitable for our needs, is concrete.
And that is why today I want to tell you about my experience with my latest purchase, the Xiaomi Mi 11i, a western variant of the Redmi K40 Pro not that identical, at least in terms of construction, to the Poco F3.
Xiaomi Mi11i – Why?
I start immediately by answering the two questions that most likely, those thinking of buying this Smartphone ask themselves before checking out. Why should I spend almost € 200 more than the top of the Poco range? I deliberately leave the budget talk out of my answer by considering the only differences between the two smartphones, the processor and the amount of RAM. Suppose 2GB of RAM does not make a difference in daily use.
In that case, it is undeniable that a more significant amount of RAM guarantees the Smartphone longer-range longevity, considering the increasing demand for resources that our applications impose on the device. Regarding the processor, the speech is only related to the generation of the two SOCs, both from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 888 for the Xiaomi Mi 11i, and the 870 for the Poco F3.
The other consideration is why to prefer a smartphone on the lower card compared to the older brother Mi 11 when the price difference would not justify the purchase. It is here that perhaps it is appropriate to investigate the question. The main difference between the Xiaomi mi 11 and the I variant lies in the display, curved in the first case, utterly flat in the second.
The difference, fundamental for many, but not for all, is that of the photographic module. Suppose the primary 108-megapixel sensor is the same on both devices. In that case, the wide-angle sensor is different, which in the case of the mi 11i is inferior and the absence of a telephoto lens replaced by a not very functional macro sensor.
Xiaomi Mi 11i – The Experience
Having clarified these two aspects, we can focus in more detail on the protagonist of this article, starting from the unboxing experience. The packaging is in pure Xiaomi style, minimal and complete, much appreciated is a 33W power supply that guarantees the completion of the charging cycle in about an hour. In the box, in addition to the PIN to remove the trolley of the two nano SIMs and the classic manuals, there is also a silicone cover which, while waiting to buy a more Premium one, does its job very well.
Once you have removed the protective film that completely envelops the Smartphone, the first word that comes to mind is wow. Build quality is excellent and is not in the least affected by the polycarbonate frame. Even the weight, certainly not negligible, does not constitute any problem given the excellent general balance of the device. The two keys on the right side, volume, and power have a very dry and precise stroke, and I have not encountered any strange movements. Let me spend a few words on the key dedicated to turning the terminal on and off: in addition to an almost infinite series of functions that you can assign to it.
It also integrates the biometric scanner for unlocking, and in addition to the extreme speed and precision in detection, I found it highly comfortable. Both the right thumb and left index finger seem almost naturally drawn to the key. Speaking of connectivity, I have not encountered any problems. The reception and the GPS navigation, the pairing to our Bluetooth devices, and the payments with Google Pay work flawlessly. I had some doubts given the lack of the proximity sensor, especially hearing the many criticisms raised by most.
Still, suppose we exclude slight laziness in turning off and on the screen during phone calls and listening to the voice Whatsapp or Telegram, in my opinion. In that case, The situation is much less complicated than many believe because the very high volume of the ear capsule integrated with the second speaker allows you to listen extremely clearly to our interlocutor even with the phone slightly away from the ear, avoiding any involuntary touch on display.
The supplied 4520mAh battery does its duty very well, guaranteeing excellent autonomy and a constant discharge, even if perhaps Xiaomi could have opted for a more extensive module even at the expense of weight, to go to file the excessive load protrusion of the camera module, really too pronounced.
Xiaomi Mi 11i – The MIUI Software
The Smartphone is equipped with Android 11, and as soon as you have finished the initial configuration, you will receive the notification to update via OTA to MIUI 12.5 pending the release of the latest version, at least hopefully, of this skin called 12.5 Enhanced Edition expected for the last quarter of 2021.
The user experience is enjoyable, and as a lover of Google services, I appreciated replacing some Xiaomi proprietary apps with the excellent variants of Big G, such as the telephone app, with the excellent spam filter, and the recently introduced possibility to register phone calls. This messaging app on this Smartphone is fully supported with the RCS protocol and contacts and calendar. It is finally possible to uninstall a considerable number of pre-installed applications and hide many system app icons if we want to streamline our home screen.
In conclusion, I want to praise what, in my opinion, is undoubtedly the strong point of this Smartphone: entertainment, whether you are enjoying your favorite TV series or are engaged in an intense and thrilling gaming session, the ability to immerse yourself in your experience, guaranteed by the display and stereo sound, guarantee an experience that is as pleasant as it is engaging.
Therefore, the advice is not to discard this Smartphone, regardless only for a camera module not at the top of the category or a laughable price difference compared to the older brother mi 11. In my opinion, this Smartphone should not be considered inferior, but simply a very valid alternative which, thanks to its respectable technical data sheet, flat display, and excellent build quality, will not make you regret its purchase.