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Xiaomi’s newest Mi Band 8 boasts the same core feature set as its predecessor, plus a few upgrades. However, it’s not yet available globally. More importantly, when the fitness tracker does hit shelves near you, it won’t be the only option. We round up the best Xiaomi Mi Band 8 alternatives to consider before you check out.
Budget devices have come a long way from their stripped-down beginnings. Now you can find a reliable wearable packed with features without breaking the bank. To find the right pick for you, consider your preferred ecosystem as well as your top priorities in terms of training features.The best Xiaomi Mi Band 8 alternatives
Fitbit Inspire 3: For basic activity tracking, Fitbit’s ecosystem is hard to beat. The Inspire 3 is a great value device backed by a powerful platform.
Huawei Band 7: Huawei continues to give Xiaomi a run for its money. Though Huawei launched a Band 8, it’s not readily available everywhere, so we still recommend shopping for a Huawei Band 7.
Huami Amazfit Band 7: Another budget brand worth considering is the Amazfit lineup. The Amazfit Band 7 offers key fitness-tracking, Amazon Alexa, and SpO2 monitoring.
Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro: As of yet, the Xiaomi Mi Band 8 is without a pricier counterpart. For now, the Xiaomi Mi Band 7 Pro remains the best alternative for a Pro moniker.
Xiaomi Mi Band 7: We can also still make a strong case for the previous generation Xiaomi Mi Band. The Mi Band 7 performed well in testing and, in light of the new generation, it’s likely to go on sale.
Garmin Vivosmart 5: Though pricey, the Vivosmart 5 is the best alternative for Garmin’s training tools.
Apple Watch SE 2: Likewise, the most affordable device from Apple’s current lineup is an expensive but powerful Xiaomi Mi Band 8 alternative.
Colorful screen with optional always-on display
Incredible battery life
Detailed and fun sleep tracking
Continuous SpO2 monitoring
Excellent companion app
No NFC for digital payments
Connected GPS only
Fitbit Premium subscription required for full feature set
Huawei Band 7
Huawei Band 7
Affordable price point • AMOLED display • Solid tracking suite
An attractive tracker at an incredibly low price
The Huawei Band 7 offers the full gamut of basic fitness tracking plus blood oxygen readings, heart rate tracking, and sleep monitoring. It’s a thin, light fitness tracker with an impressive display for such a low cost.
See price at Amazon
For health tracking, the Amazfit Band 7 features an optical heart rate sensor as well as a blood oxygen sensor. It can alert users to abnormal heart rates or to low SpO2 levels. It also offers activity tracking for more than 120 sports modes.
Beyond the gym, the Amafit Band supports voice commands for Amazon Alexa, a currently missing feature on globally available Xiaomi bands. Most importantly though, the Amazfit Band 7 costs less than $50.
Elegant, smartwatch-style design
Larger, equally high-quality display
Robust workout and health tracking
Reasonably accurate built-in GPS
Solid battery lifeCons
No NFC on global model
Inconsistent sleep tracking
Limited “Pro” smart features
Mi Fitness app needs work
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Xiaomi Mi Band 7
Bigger, brighter display • Accurate resting heart rate • Continuous SpO2 monitoring
A budget band that delivers more than it’s price tag might suggest
A long battery life, bright always-on display, and impressive health and activity tracking smarts make this affordable tracker a great pick for anyone on a budget. Xiaomi’s Mi Band 7 delivers more than 100 sport modes, plus continuous SpO2 monitoring. You can even personalize your device with tons of animated watch faces.
See price at Amazon
Bigger, brighter display
Accurate resting heart rate
Continuous SpO2 monitoring
Comically huge number of sport modes
Fun new band colors
Slightly more expensive, still amazing valueCons
No built-in GPS
No NFC or voice assistant on global model
Inconsistent sleep tracking
Confusing app situation
Accurate heart rate sensor
Solid fitness tracking
Increased screen size
Plenty of tracking features with no paywallsCons
No built-in GPS
No contactless payment support
Underwhelming monochrome display
Hard to read display outdoors
Overpriced for what you get
Great value, priced lower than original model
Speedy S8 processor
Handy Low Power Mode
Color-matched back panel
A lot to like in watchOS 9
Much improved sleep trackingCons
Still no always-on display
Limited screen real estate
No SpO2 sensor
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With a tougher band addressing our issues with the original, and a new heart-rate sensor bringing it into line with rival activity trackers, you quite simply won’t find a better-value fitness band than the Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse. It still falls down on social interaction, apps and its use of a proprietary charging cable, but given the price we can accept these shortcomings.
You will not find an activity tracker that offers better value than Xiaomi’s Mi Band Pulse. We put the upgraded Mi Band to the test in our Xiaomi Mi Band 1S review. Also see: Best activity trackers 2024/2024.
Also see: Best Black Friday Fitness Tracker DealsXiaomi Mi Band Pulse review: Price and UK availability
The Xiaomi Mi Band 1S is more commonly known as the Mi Band Pulse. We received our sample from Best tech to take on holiday 2024.
Geekbuying is a Chinese online store, so if you decide to buy from there you should first check out our
You can also buy the Mi Band Pulse from eBay and Amazon, but be sure you’re getting the correct version (the most obvious upgrade over the original is the heart-rate scanner, but the two otherwise look very similar).Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse review: What’s new – differences between Mi Band and Mi Band 1S Pulse
When we reviewed the original Xiaomi Mi Band we gave the following verdict: “At £28.99 the Xiaomi Mi Band is an excellent-value, lightweight fitness band with outstanding battery life. It’s as accurate as any other fitness band, and we particularly like its sleep monitoring, vibration alarm and phone call notifications. The Mi Band companion app is very easy to use, but falls down only in its integration with other fitness and social apps.”
The new Mi Band Pulse is still all of those things, plus more. See all activity tracker reviews.
There are two key changes for the new Mi Band Pulse, with the addition of an optical heart-rate scanner that can be used on-demand, while running or to better monitor your sleep patterns, and an improved polycarbonate band. Xiaomi has achieved this and added only 0.5g to the overall weight, meaning the Mi Band Pulse is an extraordinarily light 14.5g. Plus there are new options to share achievements on Twitter, and the ability to turn on daily notifications for sleep and activity performance.
Several months after we reviewed the original Mi Band the soft-touch silicone band that held the tracker to our arm failed. At first we found the tracker had started to become loose in its band, and on several occasions it slipped out and we were lucky not to have lost it. Eventually the band tore and we needed to buy a replacement (you may choose to do so anyway, swapping the standard black band for a more colourful option).
The fact that the new Mi Band Pulse’s band is tougher is instantly obvious – whereas the original began to show signs of wear and tear within the first few days of use the 1S does not. And we found it rather difficult to insert the tracker the first time we tried, which should mean you’re far less likely to lose it. See all wearable tech reviews.
The good news is the Mi Band Pulse has the same class-leading up to 30-day battery life, although it will prove a little quicker to run down if you make great use of the heart-rate sensor.
When it is time to recharge the Mi Band the cable has also been improved. Unfortunately it is still a proprietary USB cable, so be sure not to lose it, but it now adopts a flat design with a smaller charging dock that should make it easier to fold up and tuck away until it’s required.
As before the band is waterproof rated IP67, so you don’t have to take it off when you jump in the shower. And it still features the same ability to provide a gentle vibration alarm, notify you of incoming calls and app notifications, and a phone-unlock feature that now extends to all Android 5.0+ phones rather than being restricted to Xiaomi handsets when the app is running in the background.
That said, we found it impossible to set this up with our Samsung Galaxy S6 – the phone reported that the Mi Band Pulse could keep the phone unlocked only once it had been unlocked by us, but as soon as the screen timed out the S6 requested our password, despite the Mi Band Pulse being added as a Trusted Smart Wake device.Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse review: How to set up the Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse
We had a few headaches in setting up the Mi Band Pulse, and we aren’t entirely sure whether it’s because we are UK-based or because we had the original Mi Band paired to our Mi Fit account.
As we noted with the original, the instructions that come with the Mi Band Pulse are written in Chinese and therefore difficult for the majority of UK users to follow.
The first thing to do is download the Mi Fit app from the Google Play store (or App Store, since the Mi Band is also compatible with iPhones running iOS 7.0 or later). You can then pair the Mi Band Pulse to the app over Bluetooth, and register for a Mi Fit account if you don’t already have one. (The Mi Band Pulse will also sync with Google Fit.)
This is where we ran into problems, though. The version of the app (1.7.521) we downloaded from Google Play was the same version we used with the original, and featured no function to measure your heart rate.
We got around this by going to Settings, Security and allowing our phone to install apps from unknown sources, then downloading and installing the Xiaomi Mi Fit 1.7.611 .apk file from APKMirror.
Geekbuying suggests that an alternative workaround is to download the Xiaomi App Store from
Once we’d got the correct version of the app on our device using the Mi Band was simple. It will automatically connect and sync data as soon as you open the app, and the rest of the time goes about recording your activity without draining your phone’s battery (you don’t need to leave the Bluetooth switched on).Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse review: Mi Fit software
As with the original Mi Band, the Mi Fit app will work with the Mi Band Pulse to do its thing with zero interaction from you. On launching the app you’ll still see the daily step counter (with number of calories burned), and can access daily data on a bar chart from the past month. These are plotted against your daily target, which can be set as high or low as you like.
A swipe to the left brings up the sleep data, and you should find it’s now more easily able to distinguish between light- and heavy sleep cycles thanks to the heart-rate sensor (if you want to extend battery life further you can turn off the ‘Sleep assistant’ in Mi Fit’s settings, which periodically measures your heart rate during the night.
New to the app is a section to monitor your weight and BMI, which will be useful if you want the Mi Band Pulse to help you monitor your activity in an effort to slim down. This screen is found a swipe to the right of the main screen, but of course requires you to manually input this information (the fitness band isn’t that clever).
The ability to record your heart rate on-demand is found in the Settings menu, along with options to share achievements with your friends (merely a screenshot of your progress – the Mi Band Pulse still lacks true social integration in the way Fitbit trackers and the like do), set up a gentle vibration alarm to wake you in the morning, or set the Mi Band Pulse to alert you to incoming calls and notifications from apps of your choice.Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse: Build and design
We’ve already partially covered the Mi Band Pulse’s build and design in this review. Almost identical to the original it’s still extremely lightweight, but with a tougher hypoallergenic band with eight adjustment holes that fit any wrist from 157- to 205mm. Plus there’s the new optical heart-rate sensor, which you can see working as a pulsating green light.
The Mi Band Pulse still interacts with you using vibrations, but one thing we haven’t mentioned is the three LEDs on top of the tracker. These work in the same way as before – when lifted in a checking-the-time movement flash to show how close you are to your daily activity goal. The gesture is tricky to get the hang of, although the Mi Band will also vibrate and flash like crazy when you’ve hit your goal.
Read next: Best smartwatches 2024/2024.
Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.Specs Xiaomi Mi Band 1S Pulse: Specs
Fitness band with aluminium magnesium alloy tracker and polycarbonate band
supports Android 4.4+ or iOS 7.0+ devices
optical heart-rate sensor
activity tracking with daily stats notifications
incoming call reminder and app notifications
phone-unlock feature for Xiaomi phones or Android 5.0+ phones
45mAh lithium-polymer battery, lasts up to 30 days
5.5g (tracker), (9g (band)
Xiaomi recently unveiled its flagship for 2023, the Xiaomi Mi 8, and well, it has been scrutinized a lot for its iPhone X like design and features. Well, the iPhone X resemblance aside, the Mi 8 seems like a power packed smartphone. I mean, it’s the first Xiaomi phone with a Super AMOLED display, the first with dual GPS frequency, the first with a notch and the first with infrared face unlock. Well, we have the Mi 8 here with us and these are our first impressions:Xiaomi Mi 8 Specifications
First, let’s get the Mi 8 specs out of the way. Here’s everything the Mi 8 brings on paper:
Gorilla Glass 5
4K Video Recording
Front Camwera20MP f/2.0
Quick Charge 4.0+
SoftwareMIUI 9.5 (Android 8.1 Oreo); MIUI 10 Coming
SensorsFingerprint, accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyro, IR
Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, headphone jack, dual GPS frequency
PriceStarts at ¥2,700 (~₹29,000)Design and Build Quality
We have the white variant of the Mi 8 and let me just get this straight out of the way, yes, it’s an iPhone X copy. The notch has the same design, the back is very similar. The Mi 8 just resembles the iPhone X a lot but hey, let’s not forget that almost every other phone these days looks like the iPhone X.
Anyways, the iPhone X resemblance aside, the Mi 8 is a beautiful phone. The back here is glass but there’s no wireless charging, which is okay really and it feels a lot like the Silk White finish on the OnePlus 6. It’s more glossy than the Silk White finish of the OnePlus but it feels premium in the hands and looks premium too with that beautiful aluminium frame. No doubts about that.
However, the front is something I am not a fan of. Say what you will, a smaller notch just looks way better, at least to me.
Having said that, the notch here has a infrared sensor in addition to the front camera, notification LED and other sensors, so I guess it makes sense. I mean, it’s not the Face ID tech that the Explorer Edition packs but the infrared sensor should be useful. I’ll get back to the sensor later but coming back to the notch, there is an option to hide the notch but it’s just weird. The hide screen notch adds an additional layer of bezel below the notch. I have no idea why it does that but hopefully, Xiaomi fixes that in a future update.
Apart from that, there’s the fingerprint scanner on the back, which is fast, as you would expect and there are the usual buttons here and the USB-C port but like the Mi 6, there’s no headphone jack and sadly, there’s no IP rating here, so you can’t just take it for a swim.
See, overall, the Mi 8 is a premium phone even with its quirks, no doubts about that, but yeah, it’s undoubtedly an iPhone X wannabe.Display
The Mi 8 comes with a 6.21-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display. Yes, it’s a Super AMOLED display from Samsung and it’s beautiful, expectedly so. I mean, we all love AMOLED displays, so the Mi 8’s display is something most people will love, especially since this is the first time a Xiaomi flagship comes with a Super AMOLED display.
Honestly, Xiaomi has made a great decision to go with AMOLED in the Mi 8. Just look at this, the always on screen looks just way better when there’s a AMOLED display.
Overall, I really like the display on the Mi 8. It’s not QHD but it’s still a beautiful display. Having said that, I should know better about the display when it comes to sunlight legibility, brightness etc. when I do a detailed review of the phone.Cameras
The Mi 8 comes with a 12 MP f/1.8 plus 12 MP f/2.4 dual camera setup and it’s got AI, like most other things these days. I mean, there’s even an AI camera option here, which is said to improve scene detection. Anyways, we took some photos, so take a look.
The Mi 8 is supposed to have a good camera and from the looks of it, things do look positive. I mean, take a look at the portrait shots below, they seem pretty decent, right? but yeah, I will be testing out the camera more thoroughly in the coming days.
On the front, the Mi 8 comes with a 20MP camera, which should do the job well enough when it comes to selfies. There’s also the Portrait Mode here, which is nice to have. Having said that, it seems to have the same problems as other Xiaomi phones, like the oversmoothening, and overexposing. We should know better in our full review though.
Hardware and Performance
Under the hood, the Mi 8 packs in the latest and greatest out there. There’s the Snapdragon 845 processor with 6 gigs of RAM, so the performance should not be a problem. I mean, in my brief usage, things were snappy and hopefully, it will remain the same because hey, let’s face it, MIUI might be a heavy custom skin but it’s optimized pretty well and should work well with top-end hardware like this.Software
The Mi 8 we have comes with MIUI 9.5 but this is the China variant of the phone and if the phone does come to India, we can expect it to run the latest MIUI 10 update. Anyways, MIUI 9.5 is the MIUI 9.5 we know with the full screen gestures, which I like, and the usual MIUI features which a lot of you love. I was hoping to find the animojis like 3D emojis that Xiaomi announced but it’s not here yet. Maybe it will come in an update or maybe it will only come with the Explorer Edition of the phone. We don’t know yet.
The MIUI 9.5 also features face unlock, which works really fast on the Mi 8. I tested it out against my OnePlus 6 and the Mi 8’s face unlock was almost as fast as the face unlock on the OnePlus 6. Plus, with the infrared sensor on the device, the Mi 8’s face unlock works even at night, and that too flawlessly.I was able to unlock the Mi 8 via my face even in a pitch dark room. So yes, the infrared sensor on the Mi 8 is definitely a nice addition.Battery
Lastly, there’s the battery, the Mi 8 comes with a 3,400 mAh battery, which isn’t something extraordinary but should be decent enough. I know the phone has a huge display but with the latest processor in tow, the power efficiency should be good enough. Having said that, I will be testing out the battery on this device thoroughly to get a better idea.
On the charging front, the Mi 8 comes with Quick Charging 4.0+ support, which should mean really fast charging for the device. Last year’s Mi 6 had impressive fast charging support, so I am hoping for the same in the Mi 8.Connectivity
SEE ALSO: Xiaomi’s Mi 8 SE and Mi Band 3 Coming to India Next MonthXiaomi Mi 8 First Impressions: An iPhone X Wannabe But More
Well, that’s pretty much everything about the Xiaomi Mi 8. Look, I know we’ve all got the perception that the Mi 8 is Xiaomi’s version of iPhone X but if we look past that, the Xiaomi flagship seems like a pretty great smartphone. It’s premium, it’s got a great display, the hardware is top-notch and the cameras seem great. Plus, the Mi 8 in China is priced at 2700 Yuan, which is around 29,000 rupees, which is a great price for the phone.
Having said that, this is all wishful thinking really. I mean, we know that the Mi 8 SE should be launched in India next month but there’s no word on the Mi 8 but honestly, we do hope the Mi 8 arrives in India. Xiaomi, if you are listening, make it happen, India deserves your flagship!
Kodi is the talk of the Web and with good reason. It’s easily the most robust, most flexible media center out there, allowing you to do everything from managing your in-home media library to using add-ons to stream content from all over the world. There’s nothing quite like it, yet sometimes it’s good to have an alternative.
After all, the Kodi interface isn’t great, and sometimes you have to do quite a bit of tweaking to get the best out of it. Whether you’re looking to stream stuff from the Internet or from other devices in your home, in this article we’ll go over the best Kodi alternatives across the three major platforms: macOS, Windows and Linux.1. Kokotime
One of the more fresh-faced media centers, Kokotime is a dedicated Android app that lets you browse files on your home network, peruse your playlists, and stream it all to your Android device (or indeed any device that your Android is streaming to).
Kokotime does a great job of organizing the media stored on your network, be it by genre or the rating you gave it. It has Chromecast support too, but actually goes one better with a feature called Universal Cast which is capable of streaming media from your storage devices to your phone or to any output devices connected to your network.
Even though it’s fairly young, Kokotime has a decent repertoire of third-party add-ons that’s only likely to increase over time. Impressive.2. Universal Media Server
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
This app has a simple presentation, letting you stream media between different devices and even software within those devices such as web browsers. Universal Media Server has DLNA support as well as alternative streaming options for non-DLNA devices and is capable of streaming (and quickly transcoding) content between computers, games consoles, and smart TVs.
It’s not the easiest software to set up, but once you get there, the whole process of consolidating your media is nice and smooth. It has a small but solid selection of plugins, and more tech-savvy users can even configure it for web streaming.3. OSMC
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
If you don’t want to stray too far from the Kodi you’ve familiarized yourself with over the years but just want something a little more open and versatile, then the Open Source Media Center (OSMC) is a no-brainer. It’s actually an entire Linux distro based on Kodi, bringing a modified version of the Kodi front end to a number of platforms that wouldn’t be able to have it by default, such as Raspberry Pi and Apple TV.
It has a slightly different interface to the default one that ships with Kodi with a nice radial menu home screen that points you to all the features of OSMC, which include live TV, local library streaming, TV tuner support, and, of course, support for all the wonderful Kodi addons you could dream of.4. Plex
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
It is impossible to talk about alternatives to Kodi without mentioning Plex. This software makes it easy to have a centralized solution that can manage your media just like Kodi. The benefit to Plex is that it runs from a server instead of from a dedicated PC or appliance. Media can be accessed and streamed from the web and several different operating systems via apps.
Plex is the perfect alternative, as it can run on all sorts of servers, not just Linux. Officially, it supports Linux, macOS, Windows and even FreeBSD server operating systems.5. Emby
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux
Emby has long been considered the open-source alternative to Plex Media Server. Like Plex, Emby runs on a server and has official support for Mac, Windows, Linux and BSD server operating systems. Media can be accessed via the web interface or by many of the Emby apps available for mobile and even game consoles.
If you’ve tried Plex as an alternative to Kodi but want to try something else, consider giving Emby a try.6. Stremio
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Stremio is a local media center program for Mac, Linux and Windows that supports playback of live TV and local media. Features include support for add-ons, auto-detect subtitles, and “instant HD playback,” as well as the ability to broadcast media via DLNA to the Apple TV, Chromecast and other devices. If you prefer a centralized media center like Kodi but need a solid alternative, give this software a try. You won’t regret it!7. MediaPortal
Media Portal is a Windows-only media center that operates very similarly to Kodi. Like Kodi, users can tune into live TV, record live TV, and install plugins. Additionally, the software can be customized with different skins as well as handle multiple types of media (music, photos, etc.). If you’re a Windows user and are in need of a good media center alternative, this software should be your first stop.8. Usher
Looking for a good media management system for macOS? Try Usher. This software makes media management easy on the Mac, as it can handle your iTunes library as well as your photos and other media libraries on the system. A lot of the media solutions on this list are packed full of features. Things like add-ons, DLNA, and mobile support are nice but not essential. Usher is for those just looking for an easy way to manage and watch media on the Mac and little else.Conclusion
Kodi is on a lot of PCs, tablets, and even hobby boards like the Raspberry Pi. Still, this software isn’t for everyone. Some might find that it is a bit lacking in terms of looks or features. That’s why it’s so important to shed light on some quality Kodi alternatives. From Plex to Media Portal, for those looking to get off of Kodi and onto something else, this list has you covered.
What’s your favorite Kodi alternative? Tell us below!
This article was first published in March 2023 and was updated in June 2023.
Image credit: gsloan
Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.
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Xiaomi Mi 11 (8GB/128GB): €749/£749
Xiaomi Mi 11 (8GB/256GB): €799/£799
The Mi 11 is Xiaomi’s first flagship of 2023 and it contends with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S series, as well as the best from Apple, Google, OPPO, and others. The company went all out. Not only does the phone boast a stunning design, but it also packs an impressive spec sheet. It’s a high-end phone for everyday creators, those who capture their world in all its forms as they walk through it.
Design: Frosty, but in a good way
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Aluminum, Gorilla Glass Victus
164.3 x 74.6 x 8.06mm
Under-display fingerprint reader
Display: Truly great
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
WQHD+ (3,200 x 1,440)
I could talk about the display all day. I’ll say this to get the discussion going: it’s good. Really good.
Out of the box, the 6.81-inch AMOLED screen is set to Full HD+ resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. You can ramp the resolution up to WQHD+ and the refresh rate up to 120Hz if you wish. Unlike some devices (ahem, Samsung), the Mi 11 allows you to set the high resolution and high refresh rate at the same time. In this setting, the refresh rate will jump around from as low as 30Hz to as high as 120Hz depending on what you’re doing. With these settings turned up, the screen looks fantastic. The high resolution means everything on the screen is sharp and clear, and the fast refresh rate means motion is silky smooth.
You get the full spate of sensors and controls. There’s a 360-degree ambient light sensor for reading the color of the light where you are. This pairs with the sunlight and reading modes to give you proper white balance and color. There is also mistouch prevention tech built into the display at the hardware level. This means your palm won’t accidentally launch apps when it brushes against the display’s edge. Speaking of which, the screen’s curve is pretty tight along the side edges. The curved glass doesn’t impact the visibility, clarity, or brightness of the screen at all.
Taken as a whole, Xiaomi has delivered an impressive display that is great for watching movies.
More reading: The best phones with in-display fingerprint scanners
Performance: World class
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Adreno 660 GPU
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
8GB LPDDR5 3200MHz RAM
128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 storage
The Mi 11 is among the first wave of devices to ship with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. It’s the top chip you can get in a smartphone right now and it has the goods.
In benchmark tests, the Mi 11 scored above most of the competition. It fared well against the Snapdragon 888-powered Galaxy S21 and even Apple’s high-powered iPhone 12 range. The Mi 11 blew the doors off phones running last year’s Snapdragon 865. The device ran our homemade Speed Test G benchmark in just 75 seconds. Most importantly, the phone performed exceedingly well in everyday use. Everything about the experience was exceptionally fluid and quick. Now that we’re a few months post-launch, there are plenty of other 888-powered phones in the market, but the Mi 11 is still a top performer.
55W wired charging
50W wireless charging
55W GaN charger
Xiaomi has fielded a very competitive device when it comes to battery performance… in certain circumstances. The battery itself is large enough to push the phone through an entire day with room to spare. During our testing, it was rare the battery dipped below 50% after a full day’s use, despite running demanding benchmarks, using the camera, and playing games. The best I got was one and a half days with the battery under heavy duress. That’s a fine number for most any flagship.
Keep in mind, these results were with the display set to Full HD+ and the refresh rate set to 60Hz (which is how it’s set out of the box.) You will see a drop in battery life if you up the resolution and refresh rate to their higher settings. With both those specs maxed out, the phone barely made it through one day. That doesn’t surprise me one bit.
Main: 108MP, f/1.85, OIS, AF
Ultra wide: 12MP, f/2.4
Telemacro: 5MP, f/2.4, AF
Selfie: 20MP, f/2.2
Video: 8K, 30fps
Your basic photos look good. I came away pleased with the results, if not totally blown away.
Your basic photos look good. I took the phone out to shoot some snaps one afternoon and came away pleased with the results, if not totally blown away. Shooting snow is hard, but the phone managed to keep detail in the drifts without overexposing it too much. It did struggle with shadows in the snow. You can see in the photos of the bridge that any detail in the bridge itself is gone. The same is true of the train tracks shot; the tracks offer no detail at all, they’re just dark lines in the snow. Focus was generally good, and I can’t complain about the sharpness of the shots I took.
Color was harder to capture. There’s not much color during the winter months here, but you can see the balloon, flower, and flag show off some nice color. What impressed me with these shots is the accuracy of the hues. The deep red of the flag really stands out against the wintry backdrop and was dead-on as far as accuracy was concerned.
Let’s talk zoom. The phone relies on its lenses and huge megapixel count to zoom from 0.6x to 30x. I thought wide-angle shots were a little soft, and there’s some obvious optical distortion when shooting buildings and such. You can control this a little with software if you want. Zooming out to 5x worked wonderfully, with relatively sharp results. The 10x and 30x zoom region is pretty much worthless, as you can tell by taking a gander at the ducks below. The tele-macro uses zoom to help you get closer to your subject without pressing the phone directly against what you’re shooting. You need a steady hand to get the sharpest shots, and the 5MP resolution is a definite limitation.
The selfie camera is decent. In the selfie and the self-portrait below, you can see that I am in good focus. There’s enough detail in the background (trees, wall) of each to keep me happy, though that came at the expense of the snow, which is blown out. I like the bokeh effect of the portrait shot and the colors turned out well.
Camera modes are robust. You get a basic carousel in the viewfinder that slides between pro, video, photo, portrait, and more. Extended shooting modes include night, 108MP, short video, panorama, document scanner, vlog, slow motion, time-lapse, dual video, movie effects, long exposure, and super moon. Oddly, these modes aren’t fully installed. Tapping on vlog, for instance, caused the phone to download the required software.
Beyond these, the video recorder has dedicated movie modes, including magic zoom, slow shutter, time freeze, night time-lapse, and parallel world. Each of these employs some software trickery to snag shots you’d normally need expensive equipment or editing suites to capture.
As you can tell, you’ve got tons of options on the video front. Though it’s possible to capture 8K footage, I strongly suggest you keep it set to 4K at 60fps. This delivers crisp, clean results that are smooth and pleasing to the eye, though the colors were a touch muted.
Xiaomi Mi 11 specs
If you want the most bang for your buck, you needn’t look elsewhere.
In terms of raw performance, there is now a lot of competition. A large number of competing flagships are available from the likes of OPPO, OnePlus, and others that have Snapdragon 888 processors on board. Most Snapdragon 888 phones put up similar performance numbers, which is to say it’s the little things like battery life and camera performance that separate the pack.
In the affordable space, however, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is hard to beat. Only the OnePlus 9 ($729/€699) comes close in terms of absolute performance and bang for your buck.
Xiaomi Mi 11 review: The verdict
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Xiaomi has created a compelling phone in the Mi 11. It has the right price and the right specs to compete with the current crop of flagships in the market. There are just a few things holding it back from true greatness.
The design and manufacturing are top-notch. It’s a pretty phone that looks as good as it performs. Highlights include the gorgeous screen, the stellar sound, and the sheer power of the Snapdragon 888. The Xiaomi MI 11 is a performant beast and an excellent companion when it comes to binging movies or campaigning your favorite games. Battery life is also solid, though it takes a hit when you push the phone to its limits.
The flagship OnePlus 3 has been priced at 27,999 and competes with the likes of Xiaomi Mi5. Xiaomi’s flagship device, Mi 5 has been priced at Rs. 24,999. We compared both of the devices to help you decide which device is best for you.OnePlus 3 vs Xiaomi Mi 5 Specifications
[table id=569 /]Design & Build
The OnePlus 3 comes with a metal unibody design this time. OnePlus has taken just 3 phones to move from plastic to completely metal build. The metal body gives the phone a premium look and differentiates the device from its predecessors. The OnePlus 3 is 7.4 mm thick and weighs 159 grams.
Coming to the Xiaomi Mi 5, it comes with a metal frame and a glass back. It is 7.3 mm thick and weighs just 129 grams. The Xiaomi Mi 5 is lighter due to a smaller display and as it comes with a glass rear panel.
As far as build and design are concerned, it is an extremely close race between the OnePlus 3 and the Xiaomi Mi 5. They both look extremely good, but we find the OnePlus 3 to be better to hold. Both the phones are slippery, but the Mi 5’s glass back makes it more prone to damage than the OnePlus 3.Display
Both the phones come with the same screen resolution, but the OnePlus 3’s display is slightly bigger than the Mi 5’s. While the difference is not big, the OnePlus 3 could be a little more uncomfortable to hold than the Mi 5. In terms of color reproduction and brightness, both the phones are very good. However, the true blacks of the AMOLED panel tip the scales in favour of the OnePlus 3 here, as size is not a constraint for me.Hardware and Storage
Both the flagship devices are powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 820 processor. The OnePlus 3 comes with 6 GB of RAM while the Mi 5 comes with only 3 GB of RAM. The OnePlus 3 is the obvious winner in terms of RAM.
Coming to internal storage, the OnePlus 3 comes with 64 GB of internal storage and the Mi 5 again is behind with only 32 GB of internal storage. Additionally, the OnePlus 3 comes with UFS 2.0 storage which is much faster than the standard eMMC storage in the Xiaomi Mi 5. Neither of the devices support microSD expansion.Camera
OnePlus 3 comes with a 16 MP primary camera with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, 1/2.8″ Sony IMX 298 Sensor. The Mi 5 also comes with a 16 MP primary camera with f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, 1/2.8″ Sony IMX 298 Sensor. Both the devices feature the same primary camera.
In comparison, I found both the cameras very charming when it comes to day light performance. With the help of stable and smooth camera UI, it becomes easier to capture great shots but when it comes to details and clarity, the OnePlus 3 is a little ahead. Although none of them are good enough to be called as a good low light camera. For more details, you can refer the image gallery below.Camera Samples Battery
Continuing the trend of similar specs, both the OnePlus 3 and Xiaomi Mi 5 come with a 3,000 mAh battery. While the OnePlus 3 comes with Dash Charge 2.0 while the Mi 5 comes with Quick Charge 3.0. Mi 5 is the winner here with Qualcomm’s tried and tested technology.
The OnePlus 3 comes with a power-efficient Amoled screen while the Mi 5 comes with an underclocked processor. The contest between the two devices in terms of battery end with a tie.Pricing & Availability
The OnePlus 3 has been priced at Rs. 27,999. OnePlus has ditched its invite-only strategy and the device is available on Amazon India.Conclusion
However, in our overall testing and reviews, we found the OnePlus 3 to be better than the Xiaomi Mi 5. The core differences between the two phones are the cameras, the display size, display tech (AMOLED vs IPS), 6 GB RAM vs 3 GB and the internal storage type – UFS 2.0 in the OnePlus 3 vs standard eMMC flash in the Xiaomi Mi 5. While these may sound fairly trivial, the sum of these parts is greater than the price difference between the two phones.
In simpler words, the OnePlus 3 is a much better deal at a price of Rs. 27,999 compared to the Xiaomi Mi 5 at Rs. 24,999.
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