The new Xiaomi 11i & 11i Hypercharge: Good enough?

Xiaomi 11i: How does this stand against the really aggressive competition at this price?

Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge will be the first phone in India to bring 120W wired charging which will charge your phone to 100 percent in 15 minutes. Ok, let’s back up a bit. Remember the Mi 10i 5G? It had a 120Hz display, glass front and back, 750G Chipset, was a 5G capable phone, with a fairly decent under rated 108MP Camera. Priced around 20,000, it was one of the first almost no compromise 5G phones when launched. The phone had a good 8MP Ultrawide camera and also had stereo speakers and 4G+ Carrier Aggregation.

The only “caveat” is that the display falls short of the OLED options at that price like the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. And the phone also has no NFC Support. Right now of course you get phones during sales at the same price with the 778G, making the Mi10i somewhat forgettable, but it was an important 2021 Xiaomi phone regardless.

The two successors Xiaomi has come up with for the Mi10i are Xiaomi 11i and the 11i Hypercharge. They are pitching these as brand new smartphones but no, these phones were already launched in China back around October. At least that is what the 11i Hypercharge is confirmed to be, so we can assume the normal 11i is the non-plus version of the global Note 11 Pro.

Xiaomi 11i and 11i Hypercharge: How competitive?

We have already seen numerous unboxings and reviews of this phone from global reviewers. The global Note series of Xiaomi phones are different from the Indian one and in India, the global Note series is re-launched as a rebranded smartphone with a different name (typically in the “Mi” lineup). After watching all those reviews, we are sure there is only one deciding factor that can make this phone either considerable or not at all worth it and as usual, we are talking about pricing.

The phone runs on the Dimensity 920 chipset which is actually a better performer when compared to a 732G and even the 750G so it is more powerful when compared to a Mi10i but falls behind the 778G that we see today in a lot of phones at that price. We are also unsure about the game support and if games have been optimised to use that power and support the frame rates the chip is capable of.

What makes the launch of these phones weird is that there are way too many options at this price point. You can spend a little less and get the Note 10 Pro Max which has worse performance and slower charging but these are things most won’t notice, and the 732G is a good, optimised processor that also has decent game support. Then there is the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G which has a 10 Bit screen and a better performing 778G with better game support. There’s the GT Master Edition too. Also the IQOO Z5 with flagship level RAM & storage speeds.

So what is the market this phone is targeting? Definitely not performance-centric users because they will mostly wait for Mi 11X to drop the price in sales, or they can just buy any 778G phone out there and get better performance. Not the buyers looking for the most VFM options either. Not for gamers. Not for camera enthusiasts.

It is only targeting a niche category of users looking specifically for fast charging speeds. Looks like the only reason to buy the “Hypercharge” version is the 120W Wired Charging but we do not know how this will impact the battery after more than a year of continuous daily wired charging considering the phone’s battery capacity on the 11i Hypercharge has been dropped from 5160 MAH to 4500 MAH.

We do not think the Hypercharge makes too much sense considering you are paying extra for it and getting worse everyday battery life thanks to a drop in capacity. But the normal 11i is the real deal. For one it’s cheaper. And that phone also charges really really fast by 2022 standards at 67W. 67W Charging is good enough and fast enough and will definitely not impact the battery as much as 120W Charging. Charging your phone to full in 15 minutes is good for sure but we do not know what kind of impact that could have on battery health long term.

Xiaomi 11i
XIaomi 11i and 11i Hypercharge

Let us touch on design for a bit. It is a squared-off design with that boxy type of look and the colours shown in the image attached above is what we have globally. In India, two colours are expected, one is purple according to a couple of articles and we do not know the other one.

A quick rundown of the specs for both these phones: Mediatek Dimensity 920 Chip, 120Hz 1080P HDR 10+ OLED Display, and it is a display made by Samsung (360Hz Sampling), UFS 2.2 Storage, Stereo Speakers, Gorilla Glass 5 front and a glass back, plastic frame, 6 or 8GB of RAM, a 108MP Main Sensor, 8MP Ultrawide (120 Deg) and a 2MP Macro Camera. Also has Dolby Atmos support.

These camera specs look worse than the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max and 11 Lite NE 5G and not that impressive because Xiaomi usually uses 5MP tele macro cameras which are usually pretty good, but this is step up from last year’s 2MP Depth and 2MP Macro. The only difference between the 11i and the 11i Hypercharge, is charging speed and battery capacaity. 120W and 4500 MAH on the hypercharge, 5160 MAH and 67W on the 11i.

This phone definitely cannot compete with most smartphones over the 25,000 price point like the GT Neo 2, IQOO 7 or Mi 11X, but it does beat out the Oppo Reno 6 in a lot of aspects except the camera quality and materials used. These phones are also coming with MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11 out of the box so if you were expecting them to be the first few Android 12 phones of the year, then oh well.

So are these phones good enough? Let’s come back to pricing. This source has reported pricing of about 21,999 (6GB RAM) for the normal 11i and this is really competitive and we think this is a really good phone for 21,999. We do not think it is bad if it is launched at 23,999 and then there is an initial “early bird” sale or whatever, but anything over 23,999 and the 11i is outcompeted.

For the hypercharge, people are sying 27,999 for the 8GB RAM Variant, so the 6GB one should be 25,999 but unless you are specifically looking for those charging speeds, the 11i is a better deal. The higher GB RAM Models are not exactly priced well (going by these prices). The 11i 6GB Model makes the most sense out of all these. Killer smartphone.

But then according to some other sources, they say only a 6GB RAM model of the 11i and the 8GB RAM model of the Hypercharge will launch in India but the Hypercharge one will have 256GB of storage. This makes the 11i again a better overall package but the extra storage and faster charging on the Hypercharge might appeal to some people too. Very confusing at the moment and we cannot draw conclusions until the official pricing and variants are announced.

Also Read: [Exclusive] Xiaomi MIX 5, MIX 5 Pro and MIX Fold 2 Launch Timeline Tipped; Here’s What They Could Bring

The point is, if the pricing is competitive, like around 21,999 the 11i is one of the best phones you can get right now at that price. About the 11i Hypercharge, it depends on MIUI 13, if MIUI 13 does have less bugs and is stable with all the new features then it is fine, or else it is outcompeted for sure.

But if you can wait for around two months for the Indian Redmi Note 11 series of smartphones which will come with Snapdragon chips and will be priced below 20K, those phones will mostly be better and will ship with Android 12 out of the box. If you are in no hurry, you can wait for that, or else the 11i seems to be a good option for sure.

This sounds very familiar to what happened with the Mi 10i last year, the Redmi Note 10 Pro that launched a couple of months later, had a better OLED display, better macro camera and on par main camera, and was priced way lower, essentially making the 10i look like a worse deal at 20,999 though it necessarily was not a worse deal.

Anyway, that is all we have, for now, let us know what you think of these smartphones. They will launch on 6th January 2022 and a Live Xiaomi event showcasing the new features and that charging speed will be held. Drop a comment down below and let us know your thoughts.

Thank you for reading.

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Surya Sudhanshu
Tech Enthusiast & Journalist, Possibly Funny & Sarcastic, Bibliophile, Chess Player, Photography Enthusiast, Internet Addict, Student. (He/ Him, 17)

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