Xiaomi Mi 11 Vs Samsung S21 — What’s Inside Makes The Whole Difference

Mi 11 vs Samsung S21 review

Mi phones are always interesting. They give high-end features at a lower price by cleverly picking the high-end features people want and cost-cutting at the places where people don’t mind. But, it is a deadly combo; sometimes the end result will be great and sometimes the product feels cheap. How is Mi 11 then? That is what we are going to see in this review.

Throughout the post I have compared the Mi 11 with the Samsung S21 to give you a better idea


When you switch on the mobile and look at the display you will never believe this is a $600+ phone. The quality of the screen is mind-blowing.

mi 11 120hz display
Image Source : Xiaomi

This display has a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120HZ refresh rate and it can get brighter up to 1500 nits. That’s not all, it supports HDR and has MEMC to make the fast-moving object look smoother on the screen. If you watch more Youtube videos, you will love this phone, especially for its capability to play videos at 1440p resolution with HDR.

An under-display fingerprint reader is given in this phone, which also doubles as a heart rate monitor.

The only problem with the screen is it is asymmetric. As you can see, the screen is curved at the edges and for some reason, the top and the bottom part doesn’t have the same width. As a result, you will face few accidental touches, and finding a screen protector for this phone won’t be an easy job.

On S21 you get a 120HZ 1080 panel. When you put the Mi11 and S21 side by side, you will find the Mi 11 better than the S21. But, Samsung uses LTPO panel that automatically down-clock the screen refresh rate to 48HZ in S21 when the screen is static to save battery. When it comes to power efficiency, Samsung is better than Xiaomi.

Snapdragon 888 in Mi 11

The biggest talking point about the Mi11 phone is the latest Snapdragon 888 chipset that you saw in the Samsung S21 lineup.

snapdragon 888 chipset
Image Source : Xiaomi

The Snapdragon 888 is a 5-nanometer processor with 5g built right into the chip, ergo this phone’s performance just flies. Animations are buttery smooth, maybe for this reason why Mi has added lots of animations to its UI, and take the experience to the next level. Still, the default icons look a bit outdated, but they can be fixed with an icon pack.

Because of this phone’s 120HZ screen and the blazing fast 888 chipset, gaming is incredible on this phone; it never lags. If you do lots of gaming on your phone, this phone will bring a smile to your face.

I have to mention the speaker on this phone. The Harman Kardon speaker unit is amazing. You can feel the sound when you hold the phone and it adds an immersive feeling when you are in the game.

harman speaker on Mi 11
Image Source : Xiaomi


This is where you will start feeling it is a $600+ phone. Xiaomi has used the same 108 MP lens that you have seen in the Mi 10 phone. The Snapdragon’s triple image processing system in its 888 chipset makes the image look a little better than the previous phone.

The Mi 11 uses a triple camera setup — the main 108 MP wide-angle camera, 13MP ultra-wide camera, and a 5MP tele-macro camera.

The 108MP sensor is great. Actually, it is slightly better than Samsung’s 108MP sensor. You can see more details in the Mi phone’s 108MP camera because Samsung processes the 108MP camera to 12 by default, whereas Mi converts the image to 27. In the Samsung S21, you have the option to take the image in full 108MP resolution if you want.

shot on Mi 11 108mp camera
image quality may differ due to image optimization

The ultra-wide camera is decent enough, but you can’t expect the quality you get on the S21 phone.

Low light photography has significantly improved from the Mi10 and still, it is not able to give you consistent results. It is like a hit or miss and the images get easily blurred.

In camera department S21 is the clear winner.


You can take decent videos with the Mi 11 camera. The reason why I say decent is there is a lot of color shifting and dramatic exposure change happens even when there is a slight change in the subject.

The second problem is zooming; it isn’t a problem to date, but it will feel a little annoying after 2021. Qualcomm has said in their 888 launch video that the zoom process will be smooth like you used to see in the iPhone cameras and in the latest S21. I don’t know why Xiaomi uses the old zooming view, but you will be annoyed if your friend buys a phone later this year and has a smoothing zooming option in it.

An area where the Mi 11 camera done surprisingly well is in the low light videography. Again, the good results are due to the 888 chipset not because of the lens. The lowlight videos look a little brighter because of the AI reproducing the images smartly in the background. As a trade-off, you will have some loss in video quality, but it is acceptable.

Other Useful Features

Apart from the regular smartphone features, the Mi 11 has few unique and useful features under its sleeve. One such feature is 50W wireless charging and 10W reverse wireless charging, which means this phone can recharge other devices with a wireless charging option.

mi 11 battery 4600mah
Image Source : Xiaomi

Speaking of charging, the 4600mAh battery life in the Mi 11 is ok. You will get 6 to 7 hours of on-screen time. At the end of the day, you have to charge it. Because of LTPO screen technology, the S21 ultra with 5000 mAH battery capacity can easily give you a two-day battery, you can’t expect the same in the Mi11.

As a rising trend, the regular Mi11 package doesn’t include a power brick. In Asia, Xiaomi gave the user the option to include the 55W charger if they want. If you also get the option to get a package with a 55W charger, try to buy it, because the included 55W charger can get the phone fully charged within 45 minutes.

The screen is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. One feature I personally like is the Clear Speaker option, which cleans your speaker by playing a high-frequency sound.

Mi11 Price

Mi 11 is priced at ¥3999 in China which is equivalent to $600, ₹45000 in India, and €512 in Europe. Based on your place and tax structure this price will vary. The pricing for the Europe region has already been announced as €799. Since we are already familiar with Xiaomi’s pricing strategy in India, the pricing will be around ₹50K.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Vs Samsung S21

Knowing that the US government is planning to blacklist Xiaomi, Mi11 may not reach the US. In the European and Indian markets, the competitor to Mi11 as of now is the S21 lineup.

Samsung ships S21 lineup phones with Exynos chipset in the European and Indian regions. In the S21 ultra Snapdragon 888 vs Exynos review, it is clear that Exynos struggles with graphics and throttles a lot when compared to the Snapdragon 888. As a result, you get inconsistent performance.

graph showing exynos 2100 and snapdragon 888 performance

Another problem with the Exynos chipset is it isn’t great for graphic-intense gaming. On the other hand, the Mi11’s Snapdragon 888 fast performance and well-tuned Harman speakers deliver a better gaming experience.

If you do gaming a lot and consume lots of video content on mobile phones, the Mi 11 is the best option for you. But if you care about great picture quality and good video quality, you have to pay a little extra and get an S21 phone.

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