Xiaomi is a company that aims to be all things to all people. Its array of non-phone ventures apart, even within the smartphone market, it offers models from as low as Rs 7,499 to as expensive as Rs 79,999.
Not content with this spread, in each price bracket it attempts to offer a selection of models catering to different sets of priorities. This is especially evident in the Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 bracket where it has a whole bunch of broadly similar models, each with slightly different strengths.
As part of the scheme Xiaomi has launched the 11i Hypercharge. And yes, like it says in the name, it charges really fast.
The purple mist colour and glass panel give it a premium look.
I have had the Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge for a couple of weeks now and this is my review. The variant I have is the one with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, which costs Rs 28,999. You can also get the 6 GB RAM version for Rs 26,999.
The device is pretty generic looking and could be mistaken for many other models from Xiaomi. It’s a hefty slab, weighing in at 204 grams, with a 6.67” 120hz OLED screen. The purple mist colourway and the glass panel at the back with iPhone-esque straight edges gives it a premium look and feel although, of course, you’re going to put a case on it.
The camera array is also standard for Xiaomi budget phones. In name, it’s a three-camera array, but one of them is a pointless macro camera. The main camera is a 108MP sensor, and this is paired with an 8MP ultrawide unit. The display is a 120Hz AMOLED screen with a claimed peak brightness of 1,200 nits.
Substantial camera bump houses insubstantial hardware.
The heart of the device is the MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G chipset, which is a distinctly mid-range unit, edged out in most departments by the Snapdragon 778G chipset. It’s still a capable chipset in its category though.
Rounding out the hardware is the 4,500 mAh battery that is charged by the *drum roll* 120W charger, that gives this phone its Hypercharge moniker. Oh, and I must hasten to add that this phone has a headphone jack, which is always worth celebrating.
In use the Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge feels like a fairly standard mid-budget phone. The performance is adequate, with the 120Hz screen and 240Hz touch sampling rate lending it an extra level of responsiveness over the models that lack these features.
However, I wouldn’t say it’s the last word in smoothness. Even compared to the cheaper Poco X3 Pro, scrolling through apps like Twitter or Facebook feels marginally choppier, although the interface elements don’t suffer from this choppiness. It’s still perfectly fast and you’re unlikely to have much cause for complaint, but I have to say I expected a smidge more all-round smoothness from a phone at this price point.
The appearance is somewhat standard for Xiaomi devices.
The side mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor is lightning fast and positioned perfectly. I really wish “flagship” phones would ditch their in-display scanners for these. The screen itself is plenty bright, with accurate colours and that inky OLED contrast. Watching videos on the phone is a real pleasure, with the stereo speakers providing loud and clear audio (even if it’s not quite as substantial as the Poco X3 Pro).
The main camera on the Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge is a reasonably good performer, producing good colours and white balance when given adequate light, and plenty of detail. Even when the light starts to dim a bit, it holds up surprisingly well, putting out accurate colours and a good amount of detail.
For proper low light scenarios, this camera is not quite up to the task, either delivering a dim and blurry image in normal mode, or a bright but blotchy image in night mode. The ultrawide is very much a budget part, and is strictly to be used for situations with plenty of light, and even then the white balance and colours are inconsistent. Video recording is also just above average. The selfie camera is competent, but this too needs a lot of light to perform well.
The 6.67” display makes it a bit of a handful, but the display is beautiful.
The Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge runs MIUI 12.5 with Android 11. The OS is slick and fast, and switching between apps and swiping through the interface is completely stutter-free. If you don’t mind the iOS-esque aesthetics, this is a very solid and stable Android skin. There is some bloatware but nothing particularly intrusive that will make a difference to your usage of the device. I personally prefer the more stock-like skins, but I would be perfectly happy to use this as well.
Everything so far has been a build up to this phone’s dazzling party trick – the truly incredible 120W wired charging. You really have to see it to believe it. You plug the phone in, hold it in your hand for a couple of minutes, and you can see the number shooting up. In a little short of 20 minutes, the whole 4,500 mAh battery is charged up and the phone doesn’t even get too warm. It’s really no exaggeration to have named it Hypercharge.
This is the kind of technology that is legitimately life-changing. You never need to charge the phone overnight. You can always just top it up whenever you feel like it, and don’t even need to charge it all the way, which is useful for long-term battery health. If your usage of the phone is such that overnight charging is difficult or impossible, then this is the phone for you. I would love to see this kind of fast charging becoming the norm in the flagship phones as well.
Add to this the fact that the phone has Xiaomi’s typically aggressive power management, and the battery life is excellent, even without a particularly massive battery.
Should I buy it?
The Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 segment is a very crowded bit of the Indian smartphone market, with devices offering performance and features that match and often exceed those offered by Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge. The one thing this phone does better than anyone else, is the fast charging. If you’re someone for whom charging speed is the No. 1 priority when picking a phone, then this is the device to buy. It has no virtually no competition at this price point or beyond.
However, everything else about it is somewhere between competent and good, with the display being particularly commendable. While it has no major drawbacks, there’s nothing particularly exciting about it either. And at this price point, there are just many more compelling options for most people, including the OnePlus Nord 2, Xiaomi’s own Mi 11X, and Realme’s X7 Max.
This Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge was sent to the reviewer as a loaner unit for review purposes. The unit will be returned on completion of the review. Xiaomi has been given no advance information about the content of this review and exercises no copy approval.
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