The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra takes its cameras to the next level with a huge sensor and second screen

Two new Xiaomi models are released, the photography-focused Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra and the Mi Lite 5G

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi has today announced the full details of two new Mi 11 models, including the flagship Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra and the Mi Lite 5G. The Xiaomi 11 Ultra is a photography-focused phone that squares off against the Samsung S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro. It features three pro-quality cameras, including the largest camera phone sensor to date, a 120x digital zoom and a rear AMOLED “selfie” screen.

The Xiaomi Mi Lite 5G offers a lightweight and more affordable version of the Mi 11. It features a 6.55in AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, a Snapdragon 780G processor and a triple camera array on the rear.  

Xiaomi also announced the Mi 11i and the Mi Lite 4G for the European and Asian market, the Mi Smart Band 6, an affordable sports tracker, and the Mi Smart Projector 2 Pro, a full HD home cinema projector with Dolby Audio.

Xiaomi mi 11 ultra

The rear of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra features three pro cameras and an AMOLED display

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Though today’s launch featured six products, undoubtedly the star of the show is the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. As we predicted last week, the Mi 11 Ultra comes with a massive camera upgrade. The rear camera array includes a 48MP sensor camera with an f/4.1 5x telephoto lens, which can provide a 10x hybrid zoom or up to 120x digital zoom. The second, also with a 48MP sensor has an f/2.2 ultra-wide lens with a 120-degree field of view. This also comes with distortion correction, to fix that fish-eye look.

But it's the third and final rear camera with its Samsung GN2 50MP sensor that could earn the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra the title of best smart phone. While the other two are Sony sensors measuring 1/2.0” (8mm diagonal), this sensor is 1/1.12” (14.3mm diagonal) – nearly the size of Super 16mm film. The sensor is a collaboration between Samsung and Xiaomi and is its first of its size. By combining four pixels into one, this camera can also create 2.8μm Super Pixels for improved color and detail (presumably with a 12MP output). In addition to an enhanced night-time photography algorithm, it features a “Time-of-Flight laser focus system” with a 64-zone depth map. This is designed to improve focus speed and accuracy. All three cameras can also shoot 8K video at 24fps.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is about more than just the camera though. The screen, like the Mi 11, is a curved WQHD+ 6.81in AMOLED display with a 3200x1440 pixel resolution and a 120Hz. This might not be an identical screen though as it offers an improved 1,700nits peak brightness. It also supports Dolby Vision as well as HDR10+ for cinematic results.

Also on the rear is the addition of a second screen. This 1.1in AMOLED display provides time, date and notifications for when your phone is placed screen down on the table and is just large enough to work as a selfie mirror, providing a live camera display when shooting with the rear cameras.

In addition to 67W wired charging with the in-box charger, the Mi 11 Ultra features 67W wireless turbocharging, to deliver 100% charge in just 36 minutes using either method. 10W reverse charging is also available.

The Snapdragon 888 processor comes with 12GB RAM and 128GB storage, as well as a new three-phase cooling system to maintain peak performance at all times. Dual speakers once again use Sound by Harman Kardon, there are dual-SIM slots, 5G and both in-screen fingerprint sensing and AI face unlock.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is expected to cost €1,199 / £1,025 / $1,411 / AU$1,850

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G also features a three-camera array on the rear: a main 64MP wide-angle, an 8MP ultra-wide and a 5MP telemacro to provide close ups. The front camera is a 20MP device.

The screen is a 6.55in AMOLED display, with a 2400x1080 pixel resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. There’s also support for HDR10+ and uses Gorilla Glass 6 for scratch and drop protection.

It uses the Snapdragon 780G processor with LiquidCool technology to ensure it remains in peak performance, even during heavy use. The 4,250mAh battery has 33W fast charging but not the fast wireless charging of the Ultra.

Staying true to its name, the Mi 11 Lite 5G weighs just 159g (5.06oz) and is just 6.81mm (0.27in) thick. It comes in three colors (truffle black, mint green and citrus yellow) and either 6GB or 8GB versions, both with 128GB storage.

Pricing for the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G starts from €299 / £256 / $352 / AU$460

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.