The sub-Rs 30,000 price range in India is currently filled with so many smartphone options for consumers. Many smartphones under Rs 30,000 offer a flagship-grade performance and equally good camera setup. Among the now-crowded space is the Xiaomi Mi 11X, aka the Redmi K40. The phone packs some quality hardware like a 120Hz Super AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 870 SoC, 48MP triple-cameras on the back, and more. All of this at a starting price of Rs 29,999. Is the Mi 11X the best smartphone under Rs 30,000 in India? Should you buy this over the iQOO 7 and the Vivo V21 5G? These questions and more answered in our Xiaomi Mi 11X review.
Xiaomi Mi 11X Review
The Mi 11X bets big on performance while covering other key parameters like display and camera. Let’s start with the performance
Performance, battery life and software: Smooth and fast but there’s room for improvement
Xiaomi has packed the latest Snapdragon 870 flagship processor on the Mi 11X. It comes in two storage configurations - 6GB + 128GB and our Mi 11X review unit with 8GB + 128GB. Phones with Snapdragon 870 SoC have been performing quite well so far. While the on-paper specs show that the Snapdragon 888 SoC is superior, you are unlikely to notice anything less on the Snapdragon 870-powered Mi 11X.
During our 14 days of reviewing the device, we played multiple games like Genshin Impact, Call of Duty, and PUBG Mobile using APKPure. The latter two ran smoothly and we did not experience any frame drop. Our settings were mostly HDR graphics and Ultra frame rate to conserve some battery life. We did not experience any lag even when playing on Smooth/ Balance + Extreme settings either. However, the device did get warm slightly to the touch below the camera module. This was also the case when we were recording photos and videos. It was nothing alarming though as such power-hungry phones do get slightly warm and cool down quickly too.
When it comes to battery life, the device is not a tank. The 4,520 mAh battery is decently large and you are likely to get a day worth of juice on a single charge with a moderate use case. However, if you play games or shoot content for long hours, expect around 4-5 hours of screen-on time (SoT). It does come with a 33W fast charger that takes about an hour to quickly refuel the cell from 0-100 percent.
Software-wise, Xiaomi Mi 11X runs Android 11-based MIUI 12 out of the box. The custom Xiaomi skin is known to be feature-rich. Our favourite additions have been the Super Wallpaper and floating window features. You also get to choose the animation for various tasks like charging or always-on display. While MIUI 12 has improved overall, there is room for improvement. We did see some jitters here and there when we switched between apps. Also, for reasons unknown, some apps loaded in landscape mode even when the phone was held vertically. There are first and third-party apps pre-installed, which you can delete as per your preference. What you cannot stop is the constant spam from GetApps - Xiaomi’s own app store. We got several notifications that recommended us apps. Fortunately, you can disable it via settings. Xiaomi has promised an MIUI 12.5 update, which is said to offer more stability while offering a clean, user-friendly experience.
Design and Display: Mixed feelings
Xiaomi has gone all out for a sub Rs 30,000 phone when it comes to the design and display. The Mi 11X comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back with a shiny plastic frame. While I do appreciate glass backs on phones, I belong to Team Matte. The Mi 11X’s rear panel is not just glossy but as reflective as a mirror. Maybe you could use it as an alternative to the viewfinder before clicking selfies for that final touchup but you’ll also have to clean the smudges on the back panel every time you hold the phone. Want to avoid that? Pick the Celestial Silver or Lunar White colours instead.
On the front is a 6.67-inch Full HD+ screen with a very tiny hole-punch cutout. The AMOLED display is sharp and vibrant and offers good viewing angles. It also comes with 120Hz refresh rate support. However, the phone comes with a 60Hz refresh rate by default.
We did not experience any jitter while swiping or scrolling through our social media. The HDR10+ certified display is plenty bright at 900 nits and can go up to 1300 nits when viewing HDR content. It offers good contrast, especially when watching content with dark scenes involved. What adds to the good viewing experience is a stereo speaker setup. There are two dedicated speaker outlets on the top and bottom edge, which are clear and just loud enough. There were times when we pressed the volume up button wanting for more but it just wasn’t there.
What we did not want more were thick and heavy phones. Xiaomi, thankfully, launched the MI 11X in a slim and sort-of lightweight form factor. The device is just 7.8mm thick and weighs under 200 grams. The curved rear panel helps offer good grip and you can easily reach out to the power and volume keys on the right edge. Oh, by the way, the phone has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is super fast to detect and unlock. You also get AI Face unlock.
Camera: Good on-paper, average in real life
Xiaomi’s Mi 11X comes with a triple-camera setup on the back. The device has a 48MP primary camera, an 8MP ultrawide, and a 5MP tele-macro lens. The main camera mostly gets the colours right in broad daylight. However, there were times when the colours were either washed out or oversaturated. Even the dynamic range is pretty average. In low light, the software manages to filter out the noise but there is some loss of detail. In night mode, the camera does offer better details in the shadows while keeping the highlights under check. There is no Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), so ensure that you keep your hands sturdy while clicking photos or recording videos up to 4K 30fps.
There were times when the ultrawide camera got the colours right. However, the images weren’t as sharp and the dynamic range was poor compared to the main camera. The 5MP tele macro camera is excellent if you ask us. Looks like Xiaomi has used the same macro camera found on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max (Review) that clicks good quality closeup shots. However, my only gripe is that you need to go through various settings and menus to find the Super Macro mode. The average consumer who is not well-versed with MIUI’s camera app is likely to struggle to find the setting.
For selfies, there is a 20MP front camera inside the tiny hole-punch cutout. It does a decent job but certainly not the best. The skin tone is a hit or miss, depending on the lighting condition. If you buy this phone for selfies, try using it in portrait mode more often as the bokeh is quite creamy and even edge detection is pretty decent. Click here to check some of the shots we clicked for our Mi 11X review.
Xiaomi has packed some excellent hardware in the Mi 11X. A Snapdragon 870 SoC under Rs 30,000 matches the iQOO 7’s performance unit. However, you get more RAM on the iQOO 7 for the same price. It also outperforms the OnePlus 9R when you compare the performance based on the pricing. It is up to choose here based on your Android skin preference. If we were to choose, we’d pick MIUI 12 over Funtouch OS 11.1 simply for the number of features it offers. Yes, MIUI 12 has some issues and we can only hope Xiaomi irons them out with the incoming MIUI 12.5 update.
The Mi 11X’s cameras aren’t going to be the best of friends with the shutterbug in you. They are quite average. The Vivo V20 Pro (Review) and the Pixel 4a are better alternatives for someone looking for a better smartphone camera - both front and back.
If performance is your priority along with a good quality display under Rs 30,000, it is safe to say that the Xiaomi Mi 11X should be in your list.