Samsung’s kicking off its 2021 early with the launch of its new Galaxy S21 series of phones. There’s plenty of fight in Samsung’s latest flagship offerings, and today we’ll be comparing the middle child of the smartphone series to Xiaomi’s own premium offering, the Mi 11. Both premium flagship phones sport unique looks and the best possible hardware so far this year. How does the Galaxy S21+ fare against Xiaomi’s 2021 flagship? Let’s take a look:
Both phones have different approaches when it comes to design. On the Mi 11, the camera module has a two-step bump design, with the higher bump being home to the ultra-wide-angle and 108-megapixel main camera and the lower bump housing the telephoto camera and LED flash.
On the Galaxy S21+, you get a camera bump that is placed towards the edge of the back panel, having the same color as with the aluminum frame. Inside that camera bump are the Galaxy S21+’s three rear cameras, with the flash right beside it.
As for the build, both phones do sport glass backs, being the premium devices they are. While we are not yet sure if the Mi 11’s back has a glossy finish (there’s a version that uses vegan leather instead), the Galaxy S21+ utilizes a matte finish that is more resistant to fingerprint smudges.
The Mi 11 gets a 6.81-inch QHD+ OLED curved panel with a 120hz refresh rate and 240hz touch response rate. On the other hand, the Galaxy S21+ goes for a smaller 6.7-inch Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display with 120hz variable refresh rate. While it is easy to say that the Mi 11 has the better display specs on paper, we should consider the fact that Samsung usually reserves its best AMOLED displays for its flagship Galaxy phones.
As for the punch-hole, the Galaxy S21+ puts its 10-megapixel selfie snapper right on the center, while the Mi 11’s 20-megapixel selfie snapper is tucked in the upper left corner of the display.
Both phones settle for a triple rear camera setup, and have their respective strengths. For the main camera, the Mi 11 leads with its 108-megapixel f/1.85 camera with OIS while the Galaxy S21+ sticks to a tried-and-tested 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera with OIS. For the ultra-wide-angle camera, the Mi 11 has a higher-resolution 13-megapixel camera while the Galaxy S21+ uses a 12-megapixel camera.
It’s a different story when it comes to telephoto cameras, as the Galaxy S21+ uses a 64-megapixel camera with OIS that is vastly better (at least on paper) than the 5-megapixel telephoto camera found on the Mi 11. The same goes with the selfie snappers: while the Galaxy S21+ uses a 10-megapixel camera (vs. 20-megapixels on the Mi 11), you get autofocus with it–a rarity for selfie snappers these days.
Being premium flagship phones, you get the latest processors on both phones: Snapdragon 888 on the Mi 11, and Exynos 2100 on the Galaxy S21+. The CPU architecture and manufacturing process of the Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100 are similar, though the latter runs at higher clock speeds. While Samsung is claiming that their latest Exynos chip is better than the Snapdragon 888, we will reserve judgment until we get to test both phones.
It goes without saying that both phones come with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. The Galaxy S21+ is only available in 8GB/256GB configuration in thew Philippines, while the Mi 11 is available in China in 8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB, and 12GB/256GB models.
On the battery aspect, the Galaxy S21+ has a 4800mAh battery that is paired with 25w USB-C charging. The Mi 11, on the other hand, has a smaller 4600mAh battery but makes up for it with faster 50w USB-C charging. Both flagship phones do not come with a charger in the box, though early pre-orders for the Galaxy S21+ come bundled with one while Xiaomi is offering customers the option to add a 65w charger for a very small amount.
In the Philippines, the Galaxy S21+ is priced at Php 57,990, with pre-orders coming with a Galaxy Tab A 8.0, 25w wall charger, Galaxy Smart Tag, and Galaxy Buds Live. The Mi 11, on the other hand, is priced at around Php 31.5k before taxes and duties. While the Mi 11 is definitely more affordable, the Galaxy S21+’s pre-order freebies make it also a compelling purchase. There’s also a factor on availability, as the Mi 11 is not yet officially available outside of China as of this writing.