[i2pc pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-up” show_title=”false” title=”Pros & Cons” show_button=”false” pros_title=”Pros” cons_title=”Cons” heading_pros_icon=”icon icon-thumbs-down” ][i2pros]Excellent videos and photos with all cameras
Excellent 120 Hertz 2K AMOLED display
Top performance (SD888, UFS 3.1, DDR5)
67W wireless and wired charging
Strong reception and plenty of sensors
China version has all mains frequencies and
Incredible selfies thanks to the second display[/i2pros][i2cons]USB-C 2.0 port only
Average battery life
Must be imported from China
Xiaomi.EU ROM should be installed[/i2cons][/i2pc]
The year 2022 is not exactly characterized by groundbreaking novelties in the smartphone market. Older flagships are therefore particularly recommended for buyers who place particular value on good value for money. That’s why we subjected the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra to a second test after 1.5 years. In our opinion, the smartphone offers everything you can expect from a flagship in 2022 and at a pleasantly low price. In this test report, therefore, we address the question of where you have to make compromises compared to current flagships and for whom it is still worth buying the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra in 2022. In order to make the report a little more lively, there will also be a few subjective comments in places.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has an extravagant look. The rear camera module with an integrated display protrudes a huge 3.5mm from the housing and ensures recognition value. It is clear that the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra does not lie flat on surfaces. However, the huge camera module also has the advantage that the smartphone does not wobble.
The dimensions are 164.3 x 74.6 x 9 millimeters with a weight of 238 grams. These are also typical values for a flagship smartphone for the year 2022. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra feels very classy in the hand thanks to the high-quality materials. The back is made of ceramic, and the frame is made of metal. Gorilla Glass Victus is used for the display. The housing is also protected against dust and water according to the IP68 standard. You don’t get more than that with current flagships. Thanks to the curved display and the rounded back, the feel is excellent. Personally, I much prefer the rounded design to the angular design of an iPhone 13 or 14. However, the Xiaomi 11 Ultra can be criticized for being extremely slippery.
As is typical for flagship smartphones, there is no headphone jack and no MicroSD slot for memory expansion. However, two SIM cards can be operated in parallel. Unfortunately, the USB-C port is only connected via USB 2.0. As a result, file transfers are slower than on other flagships, and screen content cannot be transferred. Otherwise, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra offers an infrared transmitter and can therefore be used as a remote control. Of course, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra also has stereo speakers, one each on the top and bottom. The speakers deliver excellent sound and have been tuned by Harman Kardon. The sound can play in the first league, but there are a few models that can produce even more bass. However, the volume is high enough and the sound is clear and distortion-free.
To unlock the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, you can use face unlock via the front camera and a fingerprint scanner under the display. The face unlocks via the front camera and works in a flash. The fingerprint scanner is just average, though. Here you get significantly faster sensors, especially with the models from Oppo, Realme, OnePlus, and Vivo. The unlocking accuracy is also only average, with 7/10 attempts.
A 10 x 15 mm display is located in the 40 x 60 mm camera module. Although this is just a little gimmick, it’s one of the things I appreciate most about the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. The first and probably the biggest advantage is that you can take selfies with the main and ultra-wide angle cameras and see a live preview on the display. A click on the volume buttons acts as a trigger. We will see later in the test that phenomenal quality is achieved here. This is also a very cool feature for vloggers because video recordings are now also possible via the mini display. This feature was still missing at the time of our test.
Furthermore, the display can also be used to display information and style the smartphone. To turn on the display, just tap it twice with your finger. In addition, the display is activated when you put the phone on the table. Then you get the time, battery level (without percentages), and notification symbols on the display. In addition, you can design the display with seven different styles, display a signature on it or place your own images on it. Music playback can also be controlled by swiping down.
Call me crazy, but for me, the rear display is one of the coolest features of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. I can place a Chinamobile logo on the back and take selfies with the main and ultra-wide cameras. How cool is that?
The Chinese version comes with a Chinese power adapter and a USB-C cable. There is also an EU adapter from Tradingshenzhen. It is also pleasing that a protective film is already installed ex-works and that a protective cover is also included in the scope of delivery. As a replacement for the protective film, we can recommend the films from Dispos. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack to USB-C adapter included.
Let’s come to a small conclusion in this section: The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is just as well made as any other flagship on the market. The rear camera module gives the smartphone an extraordinary look that you may or may not like. The rear display is really ingenious: the user can use it as an extended notification LED, give the smartphone its own style and take selfies with the main camera. The USB 2.0 port and the somewhat slower fingerprint scanner are the drawbacks compared to other high-end phones. However, you can compensate for the latter with Face-Unlock.
The 6.81-inch display of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has an extremely high WQHD resolution of 3200 x 1400 pixels, works with AMOLED technology, and offers a 120Hz refresh rate. The sides of the display are rounded (curved) and the selfie camera is housed in a 3mm small punch-hole notch. The display has an extremely high pixel density of 515 pixels per inch, is suitable for HDR+ content, and also offers Widevine L1 in HD quality for pay-to-watch providers in the China version.
What the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra does not offer, in contrast to the high-end smartphones of 2022, is a refresh rate that can be adjusted downwards thanks to LTPO technology. In fact, the screen works at 120Hz as standard and adjusts the refresh rate to 60Hz for some content. This has no effect on the image quality, but it does affect the battery life. We’ll get to that later.
The display’s resolution is set to Full HD (2400 x 1080 pixels) by default and has to be switched to WQHD manually. I personally (and apparently Xiaomi too) don’t see any improvement with the high resolution, which is why I’m happy to do without it to save battery. The extremely high resolution is and will remain a marketing feature with no real added value for the user in 2022.
The brightness can be adjusted manually between 3 and 870 lux. In direct sunlight, the display brightness increases by up to 1300 lux when set to automatic brightness. The readability is excellent. Under normal circumstances, the display can maintain this level of brightness over a longer period of time. However, if the device is heavily loaded, the brightness is dimmed. This can happen, for example, with longer video recordings in strong sunlight. However, this is not an exceptional phenomenon. We did not encounter this effect in normal outdoor use.
In addition to standards such as a dark or reading mode, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra also has an extensively customizable always-on display and DC dimming for sensitive users. The edges of the display can also light up in different colors to notify you of incoming messages or calls. The always-on display can also remain activated permanently.
The only disadvantage that the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has in terms of the display compared to newer flagships is the lack of LTPO technology. However, this only has an effect on the battery life, but not on the display. In any case, the Mi 11 Ultra is excellently positioned for everyday use: the display is bright, high-resolution and, thanks to 120Hz, also very smooth.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra works with a Snapdragon 888 processor. This is the high-end chip from Qualcomm until the end of 2020. The processor is manufactured using the 5-nanometer process. It consists of eight cores and an Adreno 660 graphics processor.
The Snapdragon 888 processor has now been followed by the Snapdragon 888+, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and more recently, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. Before we look at the performance analysis in detail, we compare the performance using exemplary Xiaomi smartphones in the Antutu benchmark.
As you can see, not much has changed in terms of performance, at least nominally. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 now breaks the 1 million point mark, but this is ultimately only an increase of around 30%. The question now is whether this increase is noticeable in everyday use. My answer to that is a resounding no. I switched from the OnePlus 10T with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 to the iPhone 14 and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra in parallel operation. My demands on performance are high, and I simply don’t notice any difference between the three devices.
Ultimately, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is lightning fast in the system and apps and completes every task at lightning speed. A newer chip could only make a noticeable difference for ambitious gamers. Although the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra can play any game from the Playstore, with very demanding titles such as Genshin Impact, you will probably get a few more FPS from an SD 8+ Gen 1. For the average user, this performance difference is completely irrelevant. Nevertheless, for completeness, let’s take a look at the benchmarks in comparison with various current smartphones:
There are three versions of the Mi 11 Ultra available in China: 8/256GB, 12/256GB, and 12/512GB. All versions have DDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage, which is still state-of-the-art today. Our review unit is the 12/256GB version, and the internal storage is blazing fast with reading/write speeds of 1879/746MB/s.
Finally, we come to the topic of heat development. When we tested the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra back then, we still criticized the fact that the smartphone heats up to a good 42°C under load. This is no longer a rarity today, and Qualcomm has been refusing to address the heat issue for 2 years. Compared to today’s flagships, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra does well in this respect. The smartphone performs well in the CPU throttling test, with a 25% performance loss after 20 minutes.Graphically demanding tasks cause a drop in performance of up to 17%.Most current smartphones have slumps of up to 50%, especially in GPU performance. The constant performance of the Mi 11 Ultra also puts the nominal difference in points in the benchmarks into perspective.
The verdict on performance is easy for us: the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra still offers enough performance today to satisfy very demanding users. In everyday use, you don’t feel any difference, even compared to the latest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 smartphones. The only user group that might benefit from a new chip is gamers. And here, too, we are not talking about casual gamers, but at least semi-professional smartphone gamers.
There are a few things to say about the system in advance: The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra as a global version was only on the market in this country for a few weeks before it was sold out forever. In China, on the other hand, smartphones are constantly on sale and also much cheaper. Anyone who buys a Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra today will therefore choose the Chinese version.
In contrast to the global version, the China version has Chinese software in the factory state. Only the English software is available here and the Playstore must be installed later. For optimal use, you should therefore install software adapted for Europe on your smartphone. You can choose between the official Global ROM from Xiaomi and Xiaomi.EU ROM. We recommend you switch to Xiaomi.EU ROM.
This software is based on the Mi 11 Ultra China ROM and is designed for use in Europe. We especially recommend Xiaomi.EU ROM because this software gets faster updates and there are no problems with banking apps or Google Pay. There can be problems with the subsequently installed Global ROM. You can install Xiaomi.EU ROM yourself with our instructions, or you can have Tradingshenzhen install the software for an additional charge of 2500 Tk before shipping.
Once you have installed Xiaomi.EU ROM on your smartphone, you can use the device with better software than the devices sold in this country. You get faster updates, all banking apps are easy to use, and there are a few exclusive features like a call recorder that the Global ROM lacks. The Google Playstore and the German language are, of course, also available.
At the time of testing, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is based on MIUI 13 with Android 12 and a security patch from August 2022. A software update to MIUI 14 and Android 13 can also be expected in the near future. Beyond Android 13, however, Xiaomi has not made any statements about how long the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra will continue to receive updates. Since the smartphone is very popular in China, we wouldn’t worry too much at this point. However, if you want to be on the safe side when it comes to updates, you should still use a smartphone with an update guarantee, such as the Samsung S22 Ultra.
We will no longer go into detail about the features and functions of MIUI 13 at this point. If you would like to read up on this, you are welcome to take a look at our other test reports on Xiaomi smartphones. In any case, the system of the Mi 11 Ultra runs very stably with the Xiaomi.eu ROM, since a longer period of time for bug fixes has passed.
Flagship smartphones distinguish themselves in particular through a powerful camera. That means high-resolution sensors, optical image stabilization, and a zoom camera. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra also offers all this, with a particularly large Samsung GN2 sensor with a resolution of 1/1.12 inches being used as a special feature. This is still an immense sensor size in 2022, which ensures better low-light performance and brighter images. Overall, with the exception of the selfie camera, the camera setup consists only of high-resolution pixel-binning sensors. The Mi 11 Ultra doesn’t have to hide from the competition even today.
50MP main camera: Samsung S5K GN2, 1/1.12″ sensor, 1.4μm pixel size, 2.8μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel f/1.95, 8P lens, 85˚ FOV, OIS.
48MP Ultra Wide Angle: Sony IMX586, 128° FOV, f/2.2 0.8μm pixel size, 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel 1/2.0″, PDAF, 7P lens
48MP telephoto: Sony IMX586, 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, 120x digital zoom 1/2.0″, 0.8μm pixel size, 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel f/4.1, OIS, PDAF
20MP Selfie: Samsung s5k3t2, f/2.2, 0.8μm pixel size, 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel 78˚ FOV, FF
Before we look at the pictures of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, let’s take a look at two ways to get more picture quality out of the smartphone.
All 3 rear cameras are capable of recording videos at 8K/24fps. The best results are achieved with 4K/60fps or 4K/30fps. The latter applies in particular to the zoom camera, which shows a noticeable flickering at 60 fps. The recordings with the main camera are simply perfectly stabilized with electronic and optical help. Ultra wide-angle shots are also excellent with the EIS. Switching between lenses is only possible at 4K/30fps, although all cameras support 4k/60fps. However, all smartphones on the market will still have this limitation in 2022. The selfie camera is still reliably stabilized at a maximum of 1080p/60fps and does not deliver particularly good quality. However, it is now possible to take selfie videos with the rear display. This is a huge advantage for vloggers.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is still excellently equipped in terms of connectivity in 2022. The China version offers all important 2G, 3G, 4G (LTE), and 5G frequencies for Germany and most of the world. In addition, two SIM cards can be used in parallel.
The call quality is good, and the reception is above average.
Telephony via the LTE network (VoLTE) and via WLAN (VoWifi) is, of course, also supported. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has no flaws in the WLAN department, with a good range and excellent data throughput. We were still able to access strong 244/44 Mbit/s from a 250/44 Mbit line 10 meters and 2 walls away. The new WiFi 6 standard is also supported. We were also able to test Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX, AAC, SBC, LDHC, and LDAC without any problems. Of course, NFC for mobile payments is, of course, also on board and works with Xiaomi. I used Google Wallet with no problems.
The location determination is accurate to within 3 meters within a few seconds, even indoors. Up to 60 dual GPS, dual Galileo, dual QZSS, triple Beidou, NavIC, and GLONASS satellites are used outdoors. Accuracy is limited by Qualcomm, but the Mi 11 Ultra could pinpoint the position. With the sensors, you also get everything that should be at the start of 2022: In addition to acceleration, proximity, and brightness sensors, a gyroscope, an infrared transmitter, a barometer, a Hall sensor (for folding cases), and a compass are installed.
With a 5000 mAh battery, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is basically well-equipped. However, you should not expect much more than a day of intensive use, and the battery life depends very much on the display settings and usage behavior. The PCMark battery test shows the following picture with all settings:
In practice, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra achieves around 6-7 hours of usage time with the display on (120Hz and WQHD resolution in automatic mode, Always-On Display enabled). An hour of YouTube on the WLAN costs 9% of the battery, and when gaming, 18% is gone after an hour. A particularly intelligent adjustment of the heart rate was already advertised by Xiaomi in 2021, but this has not yet been integrated particularly extensively in 2022. Battery life is adequate, but in no way above average or particularly good.
The charging time with a cable on a corresponding charging adapter with at least 67W and Xiaomi’s fast charging standard is 38 minutes from 1-100%. This is also a good value in 2022, when it can keep up with the competition. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra also supports wireless charging via the Qi standard. According to our test with the Mi 11 Pro, the charging time is around 45 minutes with the 80W wireless charger. There is also reverse wireless charging with 10 watts to charge other Qi devices.
After this long review, let’s come to a conclusion. Even in 2022, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra still offers almost everything you can expect from a smartphone. The display leaves nothing to be desired and corresponds to the standard of current flagships. The performance is just as high in everyday life as with current flagships. All current connectivity standards are supported and the smartphone is flawlessly processed.
In addition, the camera is still in the top league, with the main camera, in particular, delivering excellent results day and night. On top of that, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is also the best smartphone in 2022 when it comes to selfies. The reason why we subjected the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra to a second test is obvious: For a price of around 83,000 Tk, you don’t get more for your money from any competitor. The same applies to the Xiaomi 11 Pro if you can accept compromises on the camera and want to spend less than 70,000 Tk. Newer isn’t always better.