Xiaomi Mi 11i HyperCharge review: master of one trade

The Xiaomi Mi 11i HyperCharge boasts amazingly zippy 120W fast charging. But how well does it fare as a daily driver?

Review Summary

Expert Rating3.5/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • Amazing battery charging speeds
  • Nice display
  • Good speakers

Cons

  • Cameras could be improved
  • Performance can’t match rivals
  • Average battery life

Xiaomi’s first smartphone for the year 2022 has been revealed and it comes in the form of the Mi 11i HyperCharge. The phone has a feature that no other smartphone can boast of, at least not in the Indian market. As many would have guessed from the ‘HyperCharge’ suffix in the moniker, the device’s highlight is its super-fast charging technology… 120W, to be more precise. With the phone priced at Rs 26,999, can this standout capability be enough to sway buyers from options like Xiaomi’s own Mi 11X (review) or the Realme X7 Max (review)? Time to find out.

Verdict

The Xiaomi Mi 11i HyperCharge is a master of one trade, in the simplest possible terms. It excels in charging speeds and the device is untouchable in that regard. The phone scores high on display too. However, some of the phone’s other aspects, especially the camera performance, leave a bit to be desired, when pitted against the competition.

The lowdown

From the outset, the Mi 11i HyperCharge is quite reminiscent of some of the recent Redmi devices with their boxy designs and sharp edges. The Camo Green colour variant has a matte finish to it which shields against fingerprints while providing a premium texture to the device. In terms of construction, the plastic chassis feels disproportionately heavy in my hand and also rather thick which is surprising for the relatively tame 4,500 battery capacity under the hood.

The camera arrangement takes most of its cues from the Redmi Note 11T 5G (review) although it protrudes from the frame more prominently. The large primary shooter dominates the proceedings on the rectangular camera slab while a dual-camera pair and an LED flash sit below it. As I had expected, in typical Xiaomi fashion, the headphone jack makes its way to the top of the phone. There’s a speaker grille on the bottom as well as on top for stereo sound and then there’s also a handy IR blaster which turns the device into a universal remote. The volume rocker button has a tactile feel to it while the power button placed below has the usual integration of the fingerprint sensor.

On the display side of things, the 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel retains the vestiges of Xiaomi’s earlier panels in the Mi 11 series. The 120Hz refresh rate and nearly 1,200nits of peak brightness combine to offer a standout visual experience that is matched only by products in the higher echelons of smartphone pricing. There’s never a dull moment with video content consumption on the device partly due to the high contrast ratios offered by AMOLED panels and partly due to the HDR10+ certification for OTT platforms. The Mi 11i HyperCharge’s display is one of the most capable in the mid-range segment.

The optics on the device include a 108MP primary sensor alongside an 8MP ultra-wide shooter and a 2MP macro sensor. This is one aspect where I feel that Xiaomi could have done a bit more, and improved the image-taking capabilities which seem a bit unrefined in stature for a smartphone of its price tag. The daylight pictures, which will probably never stress out any sensor, churn out reasonably defined shots with a healthy dynamic range but I did feel that exposure was not maintained properly. Detail in areas of shadows was missing and there was a tone of high overprocessing with every shot even with AI turned off. Of course, the regular shots are pixel-binned 12MP images but you can click a more detailed hi-res 108MP shot which will occupy substantial space in your storage. Auto HDR settings did bring realistic colours across the frame.

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The ultra-wide camera fares slightly better with good colour temperatures being maintained but with a certain amount of warping around the edges. Finally, the macro sensor, with its 2MP resolution, acts as camera padding and try as I might, the lens could not churn out a decent shot. The real bane in the Mi 11i HyperCharge’s image taking capabilities is its low-light performance, which also needs improvement. Details seemed askew even with a lot of assisted lighting. Focus speeds are slow along with the shutter speeds which causes a lot of blurring. The dedicated night mode fails to rectify the situation. There is also a 16MP selfie camera that bakes in the usual Xiaomi-branded facial smoothening and oversharpening while maintaining reasonably good skin tones.

The Xiaomi Mi 11i HyperCharge is the first phone to come out with the MediaTek Dimensity 920 chipset. To be quite fair, it is not the greatest piece of silicone and Xiaomi has certainly provided a lot better for the same price point. For instance, the Mi 11X, priced at Rs 27,999, harbours the much better Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 under the hood. If one talks about the usual tasks in day-to-day smartphone usage, then I’m happy to report that the Mi 11i HyperCharge works without flaws. There is 6GB or 8GB of DDR5 RAM as well which is more than sufficient to run a multitude of apps in the background. However, something more GPU intensive like editing a video for Instagram Reels or playing BGMI at more than medium graphics seems to take its toll on the phone. The phone comes in a single model that offers 128GB of internal storage.

Speaking of audio, the stereo speakers on the Mi 11i HyperCharge are quite good and could have been described as excellent if there was more depth to the sound. Having Dolby Atmos support does, however, provide very clear sound that can reach high levels without crackling. Moreover, the phone also supports Hi-Res audio which will work with compatible earphones or headphones. The fingerprint sensor works flawlessly while the facial detection has some room for improvement. The 5G capabilities on the device cannot be tested currently but the infrastructure for next-gen communication is now visible on the horizon. I did test the 4G LTE speeds on Jio’s Noida network without facing any issues. The phone runs on Xiaomi’s MIUI 12.5.1 skin which is based on Android 11. Very basically, the interface is quite feature-rich but does feel a bit cluttered and has some bloatware as well.

Finally, there is the phone’s battery and charging capabilities. Now Xiaomi has introduced several measures to prevent any overheating of the battery while implementing 120W charging. As a matter of fact, you are not privy to this technology out of the box. Buried deep into the battery settings is the toggle for ‘Boost charging speeds’ which enables 120W charging. I have already discussed the ridiculous pace at which the Mi 11i HyperCharge fills up its battery and you can read it here. In short, 10 to 100 percent charge is done in about 17 minutes which is quite incredible. Apart from that the 4,500mAh cell actually offers average battery life as shown by my PCMark test which gave a result of 11 hours 40 minutes.

Final verdict

The Mi 11i HyperCharge scores high on some aspects, but not so much in others. Yes, the display is gorgeous but the same can be said about the OnePlus Nord 2 (review) as well. Cameras? Again the Nord 2 seems to be a better contender although the Realme X7 Pro (review) is not too far behind. A great software experience is in the offing by the Moto Edge 20 Fusion (review) with its clean stock Android interface. The performance of the Mi 11i HyperCharge is overrun by the likes of the Nord 2, Realme X7 Max and Mi 11X all of which are priced similarly. When it comes to the battery charging speeds though, the Mi 11i HyperCharge is unbeatable. If the camera performance can be improved by way of software updates, the Mi 11i HyperCharge could across as a better all-rounder. As things stand currently though, if you are someone who is always on the go and is lured by the blistering fast charging on the device, the Mi 11i HyperCharge could be the one for you.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros:

  • Unreal battery charging speeds
  • Great display
  • Good speakers

Cons:

  • Cameras could be improved
  • Average battery life
  • Performance can’t match rivals

Key Specs

Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge
RAM6 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 920 MT6877T
Rear Camera108 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera16 MP
Battery4500 mAh
Display6.67 inches
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Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge Price
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Rs. 26,999.00
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Rs. 27,385.00
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