Camera comparison: Xiaomi Mi 11 vs Samsung's Allstars
The camera equipment of the four smartphones differs considerably in some cases, not to mention the price. But does more expensive always equal better? Besides the comparison of Samsung's smartphones with Xiaomi's new top model, the internal comparison of the Galaxy phones is certainly exciting.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 relies on a 108 MP sensor from Samsung, which offers optical image stabilization (OIS). The setup is complemented by an ultra-wide-angle with 13 MP and a 5 MP lens that serves as a telephoto lens as well as a macro lens.
The current top model from the Koreans, the Galaxy S21 Ultra, has the brand-new HM3 sensor, which also has 108 MP. The camera is complemented by two zooms, with 3x and 10x optical magnification, respectively, an ultra-wide angle with 12 MP, and a laser autofocus sensor. Both the wide-angle and both zooms have an OIS.
Still from last year, but by no means old news: the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra. The heart of its setup is also a 108 MP sensor, which is supplemented by an ultra-wide-angle and a 5x optical zoom with 12 MP each. The latter and the main sensor can fall back on an OIS.
The Galaxy S20 FE 5G is even a bit cheaper than the Mi 11 and relies on a triple camera that consists of two 12 MP sensors and one with 8 MP. The latter is a triple optical zoom, and the other additional lens offers an ultra-wide angle. The wide-angle and telephoto lenses are also equipped with OIS.
In daylight, all four smartphones demonstrate a good imaging performance with their respective main cameras, although the Galaxy S21 Ultra still shows small weaknesses in detail, although two updates with camera improvements have been rolled out in the meantime.
The ultra-wide angle shows the first major differences. Here, the Xiaomi smartphone performs the worst and shows significant aberrations and the lowest dynamic range at the edges of buildings.
In a low-light environment the Mi 11 only manages the darkest image without capturing more details. We like the photo with the Note20 Ultra best here. When the night mode is activated, the test field gets closer together, but a loss of sharpness is visible in the Mi 11. The S20 FE can keep up surprisingly well in both disciplines.
Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.Wide-angleUltra wide-angleLow-LightNight mode
The Mi 11 is especially convincing in the wide-angle mode and reproduces colors more vividly and warmly than the Galaxy smartphones. It also does not sharpen as much.
However, the Xiaomi smartphone does not stand a chance against the Allstar team when the zoom comes into play. The Note20 Ultra is especially convincing in the digital zoom range, while the S21 Ultra benefits from its tenfold optical zoom in the third scene, generally allows the highest magnifications (up to 100x) and offers the best image stabilization.
Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.Main sensorZoom (5-x)Zoom (10-x)
With the high-resolution main sensor, Xiaomi can keep up well with the competition from Samsung and does not overdo it with sharpening like the smartphones from the Koreans. However, differences are particularly noticeable in the low-light performance and the additional lenses. All Samsung smartphones show better imaging results here, which could make the Galaxy S20 FE an exciting alternative, especially for price-conscious users.