Xiaomi and Samsung are competitors in some markets especially India. However, when it comes to flagship smartphones, Samsung appears to be ahead of the Chinese manufacturer. Nevertheless, the company seems to be bridging the gap with Samsung. Back in January, Samsung released its latest flagship series, Galaxy S21 series. For Xiaomi, after releasing the Xiaomi Mi 11 back in December, it took the company four months to release the rest of the series. Today, we will look at the top model of both series. We are talking about the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. However, you will be the final judge if there must be a winner.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has an overall square-ish look although the edges are a bit rounded. This phone uses a small center punch hole which takes the screen-to-body ratio to almost 90%. Interestingly, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra uses the same design and the screen-to-body ratio even exceeds 90% (91.4%). Both smartphones have a sleek feel and a premium appearance. On the front, the only difference is the position of the punch-hole camera. While the Galaxy S21 Ultra uses a center punch-hole camera, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra comes with a top-left punch-hole camera.
On the rear, there is a huge difference between these devices. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra uses a round horizontal camera module with three sensors and a flash inside it. However, the Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with something unique also. For the first time, the square camera module attaches itself to the edge of the phone. The module is rounded on two sides and flat on the other two sides. This design gives this phone a new look because it is not common.
However, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra comes with a display in the horizontal camera module. This device has a 1.1-inch display which is really small to do anything meaningful. However, it will help to capture images in some cases. It will also help with notifications, time, and incoming calls. Of course, this will preserve the smartphone’s battery if you utilize it properly.
Although both smartphones are about 229 g in weight (Mi 11 Ultra is actually 234 g), the Mi 11 Ultra is thinner. While the Galaxy S21 Ultra is 8.9 mm thick, the Mi 11 is only 8.4 mm thick. Both smartphones use Gorilla Glass on the front with an aluminum frame. However, on the rear, the S21 Ultra uses Gorilla Glass while the Mi 11 Ultra uses ceramic.
On the display capabilities, it will be very tight to call. However, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has higher brightness and screen ratio. Nevertheless, these smartphones have the same resolution, HDR, and pixel density. However, it is still tight to call because these features are user-dependent. While the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra prides on its Always-on-Display, the Xiaomi Mi 11 has Dolby Vision. Thus, these devices are technically very close and will only vary depending on the user.
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Both the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. However, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra also comes with the Exynos 2100 in some markets. These chips are built with the 5nm manufacturing process and they both use Samsung’s solution. On AnTuTu V8, the Snapdragon 888 SoC scores over 700,000 points. As for the Exynos 2100, its AnTuTu V8 score is usually close to 700,000 (670,000 – 700,000). Both smartphones offer the same memory (256GB and 512GB) with no option for expansion but the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 128GB version which the Mi 11 Ultra does not have. In terms of RAM, the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers 12GB/16GB RAM while the Mi 11 Ultra uses 8GB/12GB of RAM.
The software end is another purely user-dependent segment. If you are used to a particular software, you may be tempted to say it’s the best. One thing we should know is that both smartphones use the latest software available. They both run on Android 11, however, the S21 Ultra has one UI 3.1 while the Mi 11 Ultra comes with MIUI 12.5
In the camera department, both smartphones use wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto sensors. While the maximum zoom capacity of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is 5x, the Galaxy S21 Ultra gets up to 10x. In addition, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra is using a 108MP f/1.8 main sensor, the Mi 11 Ultra comes with a 50 MP, f/2.0. Both smartphones support Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).
Interestingly, in the video department, both smartphones come with the same capacity. Thus, we can see that the Galaxy S21 Ultra appears to be ahead in terms of the main sensor pixel size. However, we also know that pixel size is not a criterion for good performance. According to DxOMark rating, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is currently first with 143 points. However, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is in 11th position with 123 points.
In most aspects of this comparison, it is a tight battle between these devices. The battery segment is not any different. Both the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra comes with the same 5000 mAh battery. However, the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. For the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, it supports 67W fast charging, 67W wireless charging, and 10W reverse wireless charging. The Xiaomi Mi 11 gets a full charge in 36 minutes according to the company. Thus, it appears that the Mi 11 Ultra takes a small lead in the battery segment with its faster-charging capacity.
The launch price (starting price) of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is 5,999 yuan (approx. $927). However, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra comes with a $1,199 price tag. However, in many online shops, the Mi 11 Ultra sells for about the same price as the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
In most aspects of these smartphones, it’s a very tight race. The display, battery, hardware, and even camera are too close to call. However, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra takes the charging capacity and camera performance (considering DxOMark’s rating).
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Vs Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: Pro and Cons
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
- Good hardware
- Original design
- Good Battery
- Too thick
- Slower charging capacity
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
- Great chip
- Rear Display
- Faster charging capacity
- Better camera