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The best Xiaomi phone in 2021: Xiaomi Mi, Poco, and Redmi smartphones compared

best Xiaomi phone: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The best Xiaomi phones offer excellent cameras, fast processors, gorgeous screens and impressive connectivity. But choosing between them can be a chore, because there are simply so many on the market. 

It's tough enough deciding between all the different models branded as 'Xiaomi'. But the company also offers other ranges of smartphone, under sub-brands such as Mi, Redmi and Pocophone. So picking the best Xiaomi phone is far from straightforward.

The good thing about having so many phones is that there's something for everyone, but keeping track of them all is a real challenge. So we've done the work for you, and narrowed the field to the 10 best Xiaomi phones available today, for a range of budgets.

Read on as we explain how they differ in terms of price, specs and performance, and give you all the information you need to pick the best fit for your needs, and at the best price.

The best Xiaomi phones in 2021

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The best Xiaomi phone overall

Specifications
Release date: April 2021
Android version: 11
Screen size: 6.81 inches
Resolution: 1440 x 3200
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 48MP + 48MP
Front camera: 20MP
Weight: 234g
Dimensions: 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.4mm
Reasons to buy
+Premium feel+QHD screen+Fantastic camera
Reasons to avoid
-Not ultraslim

Looking for the absolute best Xiaomi phone? Then look no further. The Mi 11 Ultra is up there with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12 Pro for power, performance and overall design.

This premium phone is beautifully designed, with a lovely size and weight to it. The generous 6.81 inch screen is pixel-sharp, with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and a QHD resolution. With 12GB of RAM on board, it’s a fast performer too. And the camera, combining a 50MP main sensor, a 48MP ultrawide, and a 48MP periscope zoom, is simply fantastic. The 20MP selfie camera is pretty great too.

In short, this is one of the best camera phones of 2021, and a standout phone overall. The only potential downside is the sizeable camera bump on the rear, which may put you off if you prefer your phones slim and geometric. 

Otherwise, this is the best Xiaomi phone right now, bar none. To learn more, read our Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra review.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The best cheap Xiaomi phone

Specifications
Release date: March 2021
Android version: 11
Screen size: 6.5 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Storage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera: 8MP
Weight: 190g
Dimensions: 161.8 x 75.3 x 8.9mm
Reasons to buy
+Low price+Great battery life+Decent camera
Reasons to avoid
-No telephoto lens

Looking for the best Xiaomi phone at a low price? Then we’d recommend the Redmi Note 10 5G. One of the cheapest 5G phones you can buy right now, it runs the latest version of Android (11), comes with a 48MP camera, offers up to up to 128GB storage, and promises excellent battery life. All of this is very impressive to see in a budget phone. 

Obviously, you’ll have to make compromises for a phone this cheap. So you won’t find an ultrawide or telephoto sensor here, and it’s not great for macro photography either. But if you’re watching the pennies, there’s an awful lot to like about this Xiaomi phone. To learn more, read our Redmi Note 10 5G review.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The best mid-priced Xiaomi phone

Specifications
Release date: March 2021
Android version: 11
Screen size: 6.8 inches
Resolution: 1440 x 3200
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 4,600mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 13MP + 5MP
Front camera: 20MP
Weight: 196g
Dimensions: 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.6mm
Reasons to buy
+Premium feel+QHD screen+Shoot 8K
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap

Can’t afford the number one phone on our list, but still want a high-end experience? Then for around half the price of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra you can get something that’s pretty close in terms of power and performance.  

The Xiaomi Mi 11 is large but has a premium-feel thanks to its slim 8.1 mm depth and tapered curves. Its 6.81-inch screen has a wide 20:9 aspect ratio, and offers a superior QHD resolution and a peak brightness of 1,500 nits. 

The main camera features a 108 MP sensor, a 13 MP ultrawide sensor and a 5MP sensor combined with a macro lens. No telephoto, then, but on the plus side you can can shoot in 8K, and capture HDR video at up to 4K. To learn more, read our Xiaomi Mi 11 review.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The best Xiaomi phone for value

Specifications
Release date: March 2021
Android version: 11
Screen size: 6.67 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Storage: 64GB/128GB
Battery: 5,020mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Weight: 193g
Dimensions: 164 x 76.5 x 8.1mm
Reasons to buy
+Affordable price+Superior screen+108MP camera
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap

Like getting value for money? Then you’ll find it in the Redmi Note 10 Pro (titled Pro Max in India). For a quite affordable price you get a quite outstanding smartphone. 

The 10 Pro is made of plastic, but it doesn’t feel cheap; in fact this large and weighty phone has a wonderfully premium look and feel. The screen is to die for, with a high 120Hz refresh rate, 1200 nits brightness, support for HDR10 support and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The camera comes with a top-quality 108MP Samsung ISOCELL HM2 sensor, along 8 MP ultra-wide, a 5MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor. Battery life is excellent too.

All this is just incredible considering the low price of the Redmi Note 10 Pro. To learn more, read our Redmi Note 10 Pro review.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The best cheap Xiaomi phone that’s not 5G

Specifications
Release date: March 2021
Android version: 11
Screen size: 6.67 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 5,160mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera: 20MP
Weight: 215g
Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm
Reasons to buy
+Good all-rounder+Affordable price+Lots of storage
Reasons to avoid
-No 5G support

If you’re looking for a budget phone, then you’re spoilt for choice among Xiaomi’s range. And another great option can be found in the Poco X3 Pro. 

For a low price, you get a modern smartphone running the latest version of Android, 128GB or 256GB storage, a powerful battery, and a quality IPS screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. The main camera module features a 48MP Sony IMX 582 sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, a 2MP macro sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. You can shoot video in 4K at 30fps, and the 20MP selfie camera is impressive too.

In short, if you’re not bothered about 5G, and you're keen on your smartphone photography, this is an excellent choice. To learn more, read our Poco X3 Pro review.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

A great all-rounder at a low price

Specifications
Release date: October 2020
Android version: 10
Screen size: 6.67 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Storage: 64GB/128GB
Battery: 4820mAh
Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Weight: 214.5g
Dimensions: 165.4 x 76.8 x 9mm
Reasons to buy
+Supports 5G+High-res screen+Shoot 4K video
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t excel at one thing

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite is another great budget buy. It’s slightly pricier than the previous model on our list, the Poco X3 Pro, and slightly older too, but to balance that out, it does support 5G.

With a high (2400 x 1080) resolution, the screen is super-sharp, and smooth too, thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate. The camera features a 64MP resolution module with a Sony IMX682 sensor, along with an 8MP ultrawide sensor with a 120-degree field of view, and 2MP macro and depth sensors. Along with stereo speakers, an IR blaster and 4K capture, it all adds up to an attractive bundle. 

Admittedly, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite doesn’t excel at any one thing in particular. But if you’re just looking for a good all-rounder, at a low price, this is very much worth considering. To learn more, read our Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite review

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The best budget Xiaomi phone for gaming

Specifications
Release date: March 2021
Android version: 11
Screen size: 6.67 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 4,520mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP
Front camera: 20MP
Weight: 196g
Dimensions: 163.7 x 76.4 x 7.8mm
Reasons to buy
+Quality screen+Fast processor+Reasonable price
Reasons to avoid
-Not the absolute best camera

Released this March, the Poco F3 5G is another great Xiaomi phone at a budget price. And while it’s broadly comparable to other low-cost Xiaomi phones on this list, there is one area it stands out. 

While Its 120Hz AMOLED display is on a par with the Redmi Note 10 Pro’s, it has faster processing power thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chip paired with 6GB or 8GB RAM, along with 5G connectivity. And that makes it fantastic for gaming, even on top-tier games.

You also get a decent camera, with a 48MP main sensor, 8MP ultrawide and 5MP telemacro, making it a good choice for macro photography. To learn more, read our Poco F3 5G review.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

A great camera experience at a low price

Specifications
Release date: September 2020
Android version: 10
Screen size: 6.67 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Storage: 64GB/128GB
Battery: 5,160mAh
Rear camera: 64MP + 13MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera: 20MP
Weight: 215g
Dimensions: 165.3 x 76.8 x 9.4mm
Reasons to buy
+Good camera performance+64P sensor+Budget price
Reasons to avoid
-Not good for distance shooting

If you’re on a budget, but crave a decent camera on your phone, then the Poco X3 NFC is well worth checking out. Its 64MP primary camera features Sony’s superior IMX682 64MP sensor, along with a 13MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro. And while it’s not great for distance shooting, it’s impressive overall, with broad dynamic range and a very respectable night mode. 

Running Android 10, this is a decent phone in general, too, with a powerful 5160mAh battery, and a generously sized 6.67 inch screen with 120Hz refresh rate and tall 20:9 aspect ratio. To learn more, read our Poco X3 NFC review.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

A great mid-range choice for macro photography

Specifications
Release date: September 2020
Android version: 10, upgradable to 11,
Screen size: 6.67 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 13MP + 5MP
Front camera: 20MP
Weight: 218g
Dimensions: 165.1 x 76.4 x 9.3mm
Reasons to buy
+Excellent macro capabilities+108MP main sensor+144Hz screen refresh rate
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest

Macro cameras on smartphones often seem a bit of an afterthought, but the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G is a notable exception. With 1.12μm pixels, an f/2.4, and autofocus with a focal range from 2cm to 10cm, the 5MP sensor does an excellent job at bringing out all that close-up detail you crave. 

Plus, with a 108MP main sensor and 13MP ultra-wide, it’s a pretty decent camera overall too. A large screen with a 144Hz refresh rate completes the picture, and overall this is a great value 5G phone for the price. To learn more, read our Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G review.

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

A decent camera phone with all-day battery life

Specifications
Release date: December 2019
Android version: 9
Screen size: 6.47 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 5,260mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 12MP + 5MP + 20MP + 2MP
Front camera: 32MP
Weight: 208g
Dimensions: 157.8 x 74.2 x 9.7mm
Reasons to buy
+108MP sensor+Good for distance shooting+Powerful battery
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest

Released at the end of 2019, the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 remains one of the best camera phones you can buy at a mid-price range. That’s thanks to a 108MP main sensor, which shoots at 27MP by default, combining four pixels into one to produce a better photo. Alternatively, you can boost the resolution to create huge 12,032 x 9,024 (108.6MP) images. This is complemented with two telephoto sensors (12MP and 5MP), a 20MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro.

The oldest Xiaomi phone on our list, the Mi Note 10 doesn’t have the faster processor, but on the plus side there’s a super-long-lasting 5,260mAh battery and a high quality 32MP selfie camera. In short, if you mainly want a smartphone for photography, and you don’t want to run out of power too quickly, it’s very much worth considering. To learn more, read our Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review.

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Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specializing in art, photography, design and travel. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, T3, Heat, Company and Bella.