The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is polarising, and there’s no other real way to put it. Depending on who you ask, it’s either one of the best-looking phones on the market or the worst. The device in white looks vaguely like an Among Us character, and that’s thanks to the near-comically large camera bump on the back.
To some, it’s futuristic. To others, it’s an eyesore. I’m a fan of it, but I get why you might not be. Nevertheless, this is unquestionably the most premium smartphone Xiaomi has ever designed, even if you don’t actually like the design all that much.
The ceramic back on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is a bit of a fingerprint magnet. It’s slightly curved on all edges of the phone and sits nicely in the hand. The ceramic back of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is an improvement in comfort and feel over the Mi Mix 2S. It means you need to be careful of both sides of the phone when you drop it, but it looks good and also allows for wireless charging, so it does have a purpose.
The Mi 11 Ultra though is heavy, coming in at 234 grams. While it’s fine to use once you get used to it, switching to anything lighter is a breath of fresh air. I switched to the Google Pixel 5 to try out the Android 12 beta briefly, and I was amazed at the difference in feel between the two. The smaller phone is lighter, but it’s such a huge difference.
It feels big in the hands too, even if it’s not substantially bigger than the OnePlus 9 Pro or the OPPO Find X3 Pro. The curve of the display does mean your palm goes over the front of the display when scrolling using it one-handed, but Xiaomi’s palm rejection has been good for the most part.
The display has Gorilla Glass Victus covering it, and the company hasn’t given any indication of what covers the back. The mid-frame is also made of aluminum, and the top, bottom, and sides being curved means there’s a kind of weird uneven look in each of the four corners. When using the phone daily, you never notice it, and I find that renders heavily overstated the problem. It’s not something you’ll notice using the phone, and I find it actually looks good in person.