- Mi 11 was launched globally on Monday.
- The smartphone is Xiaomi's rival to Galaxy S21.
- Mi 11 beats S21 in several categories.
Xiaomi's latest flagship Mi 11 has made it to Europe and an India launch is imminent. This might happen in second quarter of the year, most likely in April and that's when we will have the first real battle between 2021 flagships Mi 11 and Samsung Galaxy S21. The first look at the two devices hints that the former is likely to be a clear winner. While Samsung gave all ammunitions to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the S21 ended up being a 'Lite' version of itself, even though it was priced as much.
The Galaxy S21 price in India is Rs 69,999 for the 8GB + 128GB variant while the same variant of the Mi 11 costs 749 (around Rs 66,000) in Europe. Going by Xiaomi's history, it should cost considerably less in India and that's just one reason to wait for the Mi 11.
Glass body, better display
It's a shame that Samsung has restricted its standard models to a plastic back. This happened with the Note 20 last year and again, with the Galaxy S21 this year. While the company might have tried hard to make the phone look premium, it fails at it. The decision to use a plastic rear panel remains to be a cost-cutting practice at the end of the day. Sadly, even that didn't happen. The Mi 11, on the other hand, is a combination of glass and aluminium and looks more premium than the Galaxy S21.
The Mi also features a bigger and better 6.8inch, 120Hz AMOLED display with 3,200 x 1,440 resolution (WQHD+) panel. The S21 comes with a 2,400 x 1,080 panel. In times where smartphones are used to stream movies and web shows, it's criminal to pay such a high amount for a 1080p display. Yes, the Galaxy S21 has an upper hand when it comes with a variable refresh rate, but it doesn't make a significant difference in your experience.
The Mi 11 has a 480Hz touch sampling rate and peak brightness of 1500 nits against S21's 1300 nits.
Samsung has taken a major leap with its Exynos 2100 chipset after drawing a lot of criticism for its under-performing processors last year. It has also managed to lift the performance, but the processor still fails to compete with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 SoC used on Xiaomi's Mi 11. This gives a major advantage to Mi 11 over the S21, especially in India where Samsung continues to use Exynos chipsets.
The Galaxy S21 packs a 4000 mAh battery against Mi 11's bigger 4600 mAh battery. Again, Xiaomi takes a massive lead by providing a 55W GaN charger with its smartphone while Samsung has completely removed one. Xiaomi's phone supports 55W wired or 50W wireless speeds while the S21 only supports 25W wired and 15W wireless charging. Clearly, Xiaomi wins this set too.
Nothing to choose in cameras
One department where the two smartphones come considerably close is the camera. The Mi 11 features a 108MP sensor, along with a 13MP ultra wide-angle camera and a 5MP macro sensor while the Galaxy S21 has a similar system comprising of a 12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, and a 64MP telephoto lens. Both the phones are also capable of shooting up to 8K resolution.
The camera performance can be judged better when both the smartphones are available in India and can put against each other.
Should you wait for Mi 11?
Definitely. The Mi 11 offers better value for money, at least on paper. It is a premium smartphone with a glass body, excellent display and a processor everyone is eagerly waiting to use in India. The Galaxy S21 tries hard to impose as a premium smartphone but fails miserably thanks to its plastic body and 1080p display. Even if you want to buy a more expensive Galaxy S20 Ultra, it is better to give a thought to the iPhone 12 series or even wait for the upcoming OnePlus 9 line up, both of which might provide better value for money.