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Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus vs Xiaomi Mi 11: Which to Pick?

author Luis Silva (May 2021 Updated: March 2022 - 6 min. reading time)

The Galaxy S21 Plus isn't that affordable, but considering its features, it is by far the one you should pick.

It features water-resistance, better battery life, and more OS updates (2 additional years).

What else stands out?

The Mi 11 will give you faster-charging speeds (55w vs. 25w), faster wireless charging (50w vs. 15w), and Bluetooth 5.2.

In the end, it's up to you because they ended up with similar scores.

How much will the additional specs cost me?

If you ignore carrier offers, you'll have to invest an additional amount close to $301.

Is it still worth buying the Galaxy S21 Plus in 2022?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is clearly worth buying in 2022, even if there are better phones out there. Sure, you can take a peek at other devices like the OnePlus 9 Pro, but this one does hold a good performance, good battery life, excellent glass protection, and 8K recordings.

Is the Mi 11 still worth getting in 2022?

Of course, I still recommend the Mi 11 in 2022. You'll love it for its good performance, excellent glass protection, fast charging, and fast wireless charging. But don't just ignore the Vivo X60 Pro.

Just keep reading if you want to know everything about them, how they rival their competition, and how the industry is scoring their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Samsung Galaxy S21 PlusXiaomi Mi 11

CONTENTS

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Introduction

They both arrived in stores in January 2021.

In this article, we see how the Galaxy S21 Plus and the Mi 11 compare to each other to help you decide and see which one of these is the right one for you.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
Release Date 2021, January 2021, January 0y.
OS Updates 3 years 1 year -2y.
Security Updates 4 years 4 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

About performance: Geekbench 5 scores the Mi 11 12% ahead of its rival in the multi-core ranking. Overall, you wouldn't feel that much of a difference between them.

By the way, you can define both of them as high-end.

Performance*
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
SoC Exynos 2100 Snapdragon 888
Graphics Mali-G78 MP14 Adreno 660
Geekbench 5 Score 3113
3489
376
OS Android 11 and OneUI Android 11 and MIUI 12.5
Tek-Score
7.0
7.6
0.6

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 13.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus front transparent png Xiaomi Mi 11 front transparent png

The Mi 11 has a better display, and that's as clear as glass.

If you're into big displays, the Mi 11 is the one. It really is enormous compared to most similarly priced phones.

Bearing in mind the Galaxy S21 Plus, 84% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and all have an AMOLED screen.

Concerning the Mi 11, please be aware that 92% of its rivals can play HDR content. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 80% have an Always-On display.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
Size 6.7
6.8
0.1
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2400
1440x3200
2016000
Refresh Rate 120hz 120hz 0
Dots per Inch 392.81
516.04
123.23
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 883 nits
926 nits
43
HDR HDR10+ HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
9.0
9.8
0.9
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
9.6
9.9
0.3

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus back transparent png Xiaomi Mi 11 back transparent png

If you value quality photos, you should know that the Galaxy S21 Plus is about 58% above other smartphones from its price range. But between these two, it doesn't matter.

About the Galaxy S21 Plus: This camera came out of DXOMARK's labs with a score of 123. By including its wide-angle lens, it'll get 137 points. If you click here, you can check what they think of it.

To put things in perspective: keep in mind that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 92% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Yet, only 20% of them feature a macro lens.

About the Mi 11: On DXOMARK's reviewing article, they gave this shooter 127 points. By adding its wide-angle lens, we'll get to the final score of 138 points. If you want to know more about every tidbit, check it here.

Last (but not least), just to let you know, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization. Regardless, only 8% of them feature a macro lens.

If you're not a numbers person, we can tag these two as high-end.

Have you noticed yet? If you want a telephoto lens, just ignore these two and check the OnePlus 9 Pro instead. Or you can go crazy because smartphones like the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra are a much better option.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
Megapixels 12
108
96
Aperture 1.8
1.9
0.1
Lens 26mm
26mm
0
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 2 1
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 4320 4320 0
Score 137
138
1

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11 vs.
Megapixels 64
13
-51
Aperture 2.0
2.4
0.4
Lens 29mm 14mm -15
Lens Type Regular Ultra-wide-Angle
Megapixels 12 5 -7
Aperture 2.2 2.4 0.2
Lens 13mm -
Lens Type Ultra-wide-Angle Macro
Score 14 11 -3
Selfie Camera Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11 vs.
Megapixels 10
20
10
Aperture 2.2
2.2
0.0
Lens 26mm 27mm 1
Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11 vs.
Tek-Score
8.1
8.1
0.1

Who has the best frame?

The Galaxy S21 Plus does stand out because of its water resistance.

Both also have about the same weight: 196 g. (6.91 oz). But because this is a bit relative, I've developed a formula for a kind of "display size to phone weight" ratio. The Galaxy S21 Plus got a score of 4.6, meaning it has an acceptable score for its display size. The Mi 11, on the other hand, has 5.3, so nothing to state here.

The Galaxy S21 Plus is rated IP68, which means it's water-resistant in up to 1 to 3 meters. But remember: it's for a maximum period of half an hour, in standby mode, so no underwater photos.

Looks*
vs.
Body Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
Size 161 x 75 x 7 mm
(5.68 x 2.65 x 0.25 in)
164 x 74 x 8 mm
(5.78 x 2.61 x 0.28 in)
12563
Weight 200 g. (7.05 oz)
196 g. (6.91 oz)
-4
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Phantom Black, Phantom Violet, Phantom Silver, Phantom Red, Phantom Gold, and Phantom Pink Horizon Blue, Midnight Gray, Cloud White, Violet, Gold, and Special Edition Blue
Screen To Body Ratio 89.75%
91.99%
2.23
Disp.Size To Weight Score 4.6 5.3 0.7
Looks 10.0/10
10.0/10
0.0
Waterproof IP68 -
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
7.2
2.3
-4.9

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The Galaxy S21 Plus does have a battery capacity of 4800 mAh versus the 4600 mAh of the Mi 11. And as claimed by GSMArena, the former is the one that stands out.

OK, the Mi 11 isn't winning any battery contest. Xiaomi should've put a bigger battery and/or energy-efficient hardware on it. It got a rate of 2.2 for the "battery to device size" ratio.

For the record, the Galaxy S21 Plus also does overcome pretty much every phone out there. Actually, it may even be on our top 10 list with the best battery life.

Fast charging is indeed fast with the Mi 11. Other devices from this price range rarely exceed 30 watts.

Quick wireless charging must be one of Mi 11's most-loved features. That's uncommon in its class.

Battery*
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
Capacity (mAh) 4800 4600 -200
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 84% left
80% left
-4
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 70% left
62% left
-8
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 74% left
66% left
-8
Bat. To Phone Size Score 3.6 2.2 -1.4
Sub Tek-Score
7.6
6.9
-0.7
Fast Charging 25w
55w
30
Wireless Charging 15w
50w
35
Reverse Charging 4.5w
10w
5.5
Tek-Score
7.3
7.9
0.6

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A42.

Which has more storage?

None of them.

Storage*
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
RAM (GB) 8GB
8GB
0
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD No No
Tek-Score
6.0
6.0
0.0

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

The Mi 11 is your better option, as it features Bluetooth 5.2.

You can find these two in the (LTE and) 5G variant.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
Network 5G 5G
Bluetooth 5.0
5.2
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
4.6
5.1
0.5

Which is more affordable?

Here are the best deals on some major online stores:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Reference: $999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Xiaomi Mi 11

Reference: $698

Xiaomi Mi 11

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11 VS
Amazon - 1.07 -
eBay 1.15 - -
Best Buy - - -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Are you also considering other options? The global score can help. But first, let's see where its rivals are. They're in the ballpark of 6.9 for the Galaxy S21 Plus and 7.0 for the Mi 11.

Verdict: Does any of them really stand out?

What can the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus give you that the Xiaomi Mi 11 can't:

- Water-resistant

- Better battery life

- More OS updates (2 additional years)

What can the Xiaomi Mi 11 give you that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus can't:

- More affordable

- More DPIs

- Faster charging speeds (55w vs. 25w)

- Faster wireless charging (50w vs. 15w)

- Bluetooth 5.2

Pros Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
#1 Performance Performance
#2 AMOLED AMOLED
#3 Always-On-Display Always-On-Display
#4 Cameras Cameras
#5 Battery Life Fast Charging
#6 Fast Charging Wireless Charging
#7 Wireless Charging Glass Protection
#8 Glass Protection
Cons Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
#1 MicroSD Slot MicroSD Slot
#2 Weight Weight
#3 3.5mm Jack 3.5mm Jack
#4 Price Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Galaxy S21 Plus Mi 11
Gaming Score
7.6
8.0
0.5
Tek-Score
7.43
7.41
-0.02
Your Score

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

For suggestions and bug reports, click here. Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

If you want to know more about them, click here:

About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus Related Comparisons


Xiaomi Mi 11 Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $709
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $564
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $584
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $749
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $534
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $560
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $680
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $749
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8
    $630
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $543
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $609
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $675
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OnePlusrival9 Pro
    $749
  • OnePlusrival9
    $530
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13 Mini
    $729

 Xiaomi Mi 11 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $709
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $564
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $584
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $749
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $799
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $799
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $560
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $680
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $749
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $799
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • OnePlusrival8
    $630
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $609
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $650
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $675
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • OnePlusrival9 Pro
    $749
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13 Mini
    $729
  • ApplerivaliPhone 13
    $829
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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