Xiaomi on Thursday – April 1 – announced that it will launch the Mi Mix Ultra in India on April 23. Before you ask, no, this isn’t some elaborate prank from the company. Xiaomi is indeed bringing its most powerful phone to date to the country, the same phone it claims can go neck and neck with professional cameras like the Sony RX100.
The Mi 11 Ultra, launched barely two days ago in China, is an out-and-out flagship phone with hardware that’s akin to a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Its headlining feature is its unique rear camera assembly – which is so huge, it has already hit meme city – that houses one of the most powerful set of shooters we’ve ever seen on a smartphone.
Also Read | Xiaomi claims its new Mi 11 Ultra phone camera can go neck and neck with the Sony RX100
Xiaomi is so confident about the cameras on the Mi 11 Ultra, CEO Lei Jun did not even compare it to any other smartphone but with the Sony RX100. You can say that it was a stretch, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Mi 11 Ultra cameras are in a league of their own, at least on paper.
Mi 11 Ultra camera hardware
So, let’s talk hardware. The Mi 11 Ultra has a 50MP primary camera with a large 1/1.12-inch Samsung GN2 sensor – this is a first for any smartphone in the market today. This sensor sits behind an optically stabilised f/1.95 aperture lens.
The Mi 11 Ultra has two other 48 cameras (Sony IMX598), one with an ultra-wide-angle lens behind an f/2.2 lens with 128-degree FOV and another with a periscope-style telephoto lens for a total of 120x zoom.
The customary DxOMark review puts Xiaomi’s new phone well above the Huawei Mate 40 Pro Plus making it the best smartphone camera available today – if you’re into that sort of thing. So, there is surely a lot to look forward to.
But will it fly?
Having said that, this is also a big risk that Xiaomi is taking. The last time it did something so “shocking” was back in 2017 when it launched the rather unconventional Mi Mix 2 here. That phone did not do so well, despite it being way ahead of its time when it came to design and feature set. Come to think of it, that has been the story of most “Mi” branded flagship phones in India.
But in early 2020, Xiaomi realigned its focus and strategy and introduced what I like to call, Mi 2.0. It went on to launch the Mi 10, Mi 10T and Mi 10T Pro phones in India the same year and with the Mi 11 series, it is looking to continue on that path.
Then again, the Mi 11 Ultra is not your typical flagship. Of course, the big emphasis is on the cameras, but it isn’t a slouch in the other areas as well.
#Mi11Ultra: BEST & most premium flagship phone ever! ????
It is NOT a #Smartphone. It is a #SuperPhone!
???? World's #DXO No. 1 Camera
???? World’s 1st #50MP + #48MP + #48MP
Launching in #India on 23rd April. RT if you are excited.
I ❤ #Mi #Xiaomi #Mi11 #Mi11series pic.twitter.com/7YGnGcoOAT
— Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) April 1, 2021
The phone has a 6.81-inch E4 AMOLED display with a 2K or QHD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate and Dolby Vision support. It is powered by the Snapdragon 888 with up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB UFS3.1 storage. There is also a sizeable 5,000mAh battery with 67W fast wired and wireless charging. Rounding off the package are Harmon Kardon dual stereo speakers and IP68 water and dust resistance – that bit is a first for any Xiaomi phone.
Also Read | Vivo X60 Pro review: This phone deserves more attention
In China, the Mi 11 Ultra starts at CNY 5,999 (roughly Rs 66,500) for the base variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. No matter how aggressively Xiaomi prices the phone in India, there is no doubt that the Mi 11 Ultra will end up becoming its most expensive product in India to date. Xiaomi probably believes that with OnePlus moving up the price ladder this year, there is now an even bigger space for a viable “flagship killer” and that’s the space it is looking to capture after already having laid a solid foundation with the Mi 10 series. The opportunity is there (this is something that even Vivo is trying to make most of with the X60 series). Hopefully, in this second coming, buyers will be more welcoming.