Remember ultra-compact, point-and-shoot cameras? The elegant, slim devices with oversized lenses aren’t very popular right now, but they were all the rage a decade and a half ago before they got largely replaced by smartphones.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, launched at an event Monday, is dangerously approaching the aesthetics of the good old ultra-compact camera. It has an absolutely massive camera bump on the back, hosting a triple-rear camera setup that the company claims is “industry-leading.”
The setup consists of a 50-megapixel, wide-angle main camera, with a 1/1.12-inch sensor size, a 1.4μm pixel size, and an f/1.95 aperture. The large sensor, coupled with Xiaomi’s Dual Pixel Pro technology, should be able to produce some crisp images even in low light scenarios.
Then there’s the 48-megapixel, ultra-wide-angle camera, with a 128-degree field of view, a 1/2.0-inch sensor size, and f/2.2 aperture, that doubles as a macro camera. Finally, the 48-megapixel camera, with 1/2.0-inch sensor size and an aperture of f/4.1, is capable of 5x optical zoom and 120x, AI-enhanced digital zoom. All three cameras are capable of 8K video recording, and on the front, there’s a 20-megapixel selfie camera.
As always, specs mean nothing if the cameras don’t perform in real-life usage; we’ll know more about that after spending some time with the device.
If you didn’t look carefully, you may have missed another cool detail on that huge camera bump: A rear, AMOLED display.
The additional display measures 1.1 inches diagonally and has a 126×294 pixel resolution. It’s always on, and it can display some basic info such as date, time, and battery status, as well as notification alerts. It can also give you a rear selfie preview if for some reason you want to take a selfie with the rear camera.
The Mi 11 Ultra is positioned on top of Xiaomi’s smartphone lineup, and as such is equipped with some very powerful hardware. Highlights include a 6.81-inch AMOLED display with a 3,200×1,440 pixel resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, dual stereo speakers tuned by Harman Kardon, 5G connectivity, a 5,000mAh battery with 67W wireless and wired fast charging, as well as 10W reverse charging, and IP68 water and dust resistance.
The phone was launched globally today; we’ll update this article when we get information about the price and availability.
UPDATE: March 30, 2021, 8:26 a.m. CEST The recommended price of Mi 11 Ultra with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage in Europe is 1,199 EUR ($1,410).