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Why Is Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Better Than Samsung S21 Ultra?

Concise review and compare the key differences for both flagship phone models.

In this review, we highlighted the key technical differences between the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra and Samsung S21 Ultra. Both models are flagship smartphones of Xiaomi and Samsung respectively, which are the most popular Asia brands today.

The main advantages of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra are the record-breaking charging and camera specs.

  • Record-breaking, faster charging time for both wired and wireless charging.
  • Record-breaking large camera sensor size (1/1.3″) for a smartphone. It is 42% larger than Samsung S21 Ultra which can technically give better photo quality.
  • Super high-resolution wide, telephoto and ultra-wide camera lenses

The main advantages of Samsung S21 Ultra is a much better fingerprint sensor and USB 3.2:

  • The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is more reliable than the optical fingerprint sensor. Ultrasonic is based on sound waves and is not affected by dirty glass or fingers.
  • S21 Ultra loses out on the rear camera, but the front camera is a clear winner with double the resolution of the Mi 11 Ultra. It can also do 4K selfie video.
  • USB 3.2 Type-C has a much faster data transfer rate than USB 2.0.
    • USB 2.0 (Xiaomi Mi 11): 60 MB/s
    • USB 3.2 Type-C: 1,250 MB/s

If your phone has 128 or 256GB, it make sense to have USB 3.2 for a much faster transfer rate during backing up.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the key differences. The sizes are almost the same with less than 10% difference, so we do not consider them in our decision to buy.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Samsung S21 Ultra
164.3 x 74.6 x 8.4 mm
(6.47 x 2.94 x 0.33 in)
165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
(6.5 x 2.98 x 0.35 in)
234 g (8.25 oz) 229 g (8.01 oz)
512GB 16GB RAM (Max) 512GB 12GB RAM (Max)
Rear Camera
Triple Camera:
50 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1/1.12″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
48 MP, f/4.1, 120mm (periscope telephoto), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom
48 MP, f/2.2, 12mm, 128˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
Quad Camera:
108 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
10 MP, f/4.9, 240mm (periscope telephoto), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom
10 MP, f/2.4, 72mm (telephoto), 1/3.24″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, Super Steady video
Front Camera
20 MP, f/2.2, 27mm (wide), 1/3.4″, 0.8µm
Video: [email protected]/60fps, [email protected], gyro-EIS
40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.7µm, PDAF
Video: [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]
32-bit/384kHz audio 24-bit/192kHz audio
Have Infra-red Port No Infra-red Port
USB Type-C 2.0 USB Type-C 3.2
Fingerprint (Optical) Fingerprint (Ultrasonic)
Li-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable Fast charging 67W, 100% in 36 min (advertised)
Fast wireless charging 67W, 100% in 39 min (advertised)
Reverse wireless charging 10W
Quick Charge 4+
Power Delivery 3.0
Li-Ion 5000 mAh, non-removable
Fast charging 25W
USB Power Delivery 3.0
Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W
Reverse wireless charging 4.5W

For more details of each specification, please see:
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra Specs
Samsung S21 Ultra Specs

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