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A famous leaker shows what might have been with discarded Xiaomi Mi 11-series designs

The Mi 11 series. (Source: Xiaomi)
The Mi 11 series. (Source: Xiaomi)
Xiaomi's Mi 11 flagship smartphones have launched with fairly novel squircle-shaped rear camera modules of varying (and occasionally extreme) shapes that house large individual lenses. However, according to sketches apparently obtained from the OEM by Digital Chat Station, it could have gone a considerably different way with these premium devices.

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Xiaomi revealed that it had developed a rear panel for the Mi 11 that was quite the departure from that of its predecessors at its launch. If fans of the brand found that surprising, the subsequent appearance of the phone's Ultra counterpart might have come as an outright shock. However, as the prolific tipster Digital Chat Station may now have shown, both of these phones could have turned out with a much more sedate look.

Some might argue that designers for the Mi 11 and its Pro variant were strongly inspired by the latest iPhones in their creation. Then again, according to the new leaked sketches, Xiaomi once veered toward cloning other Android flagships instead. At least one prototype might have exhibited rear cameras located in the same general location, but in a vertical orientation highly reminiscent of that of the OnePlus 9s or OPPO Reno6s.

This hypothetical module had space for a periscope lens, meaning it could have been destined for the Mi 11 Pro or Ultra. Then again, it now seems Xiaomi was going to get even more conventional and simply rehash the Mi 10T design at one stage.

However, as we all now know, the OEM decided to go with appreciably updated rounded-square esthetics, going big with them in the case of the Mi 11 Ultra. Many users of this phone might indeed be glad of this decision, as it allows for a secondary display that is gradually accumulating more functionality with its most recent software updates.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite also has these updated looks and is available on Amazon right now.

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The alleged early stages of Mi 11 development. (Source: Digital Chat Station via Weibo)
The alleged early stages of Mi 11 development. (Source: Digital Chat Station via Weibo)
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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 4225 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 07 > A famous leaker shows what might have been with discarded Xiaomi Mi 11-series designs
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-07- 3 (Update: 2021-07- 3)