It raised the bar for mobile photography and videography, boasting the world’s highest resolution 108MP wide-angle camera sensor for its primary shooter, a 13MP ultra-wide angle camera and 5MP telemacro. Night mode capabilities are improved and available on all three of its cameras (primary, ultra-wide and front). Studio-level video shooting control comes in the form of HD10+ recording, six one-click A1 cinema features for artsy visuals, AI editing features, new Pro time-lapse mode and adjustable shutter speed, ISO, aperture and EV to handle challenging lighting situations. All these awesome camera capabilities are possible thanks to the Triple ISP (Image Signal Processor) technology of the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 chipset.
The Mi 11 also offers one of the best screens on the market, which nabbed an A+ rating and a “best display award” from DisplayMate. To minimise damage from falls and drops, the screen is made with the super tough Corning Gorilla Glass Victus with an anti-glare frosted finish that catches light, not fingerprints. The 120Hz 6.81” AMOLED DotDisplay is Xiaomi’s most advanced yet, with WQHD+ ultra-high resolution and 10-bit colour technology for cleaner, smoother transitions. Supreme cinematic audio is the work of sound specialist Harman Kardon.
KM Leong, general manager for Southeast Asia of Xiaomi International, tells us what he loves about this exciting release, his career and role within one of the world’s most valuable brands, and what’s on the horizon for the company.
What are your favourite features of the new Mi11 and how does it stand out against other smartphones in the market?
Mi 11 is truly a premium device, featuring some groundbreaking improvements over its predecessor. It is equipped with the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 chipset, an amazing 108MP triple rear camera setup, cinematic audio (SOUND BY Harman Kardon), and 50W wireless charging.
For me, the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888 processor is definitely a game-changer as Xiaomi is the first to introduce this powerful chipset in the market. Mi 11 is definitely on par, if not better than most of the flagship and premium smartphones out there. And the best part is, we are still able to offer it at a very competitive price, despite its premium build
The Mi 11 marks Xiaomi’s foray into the premium smartphones segment. How do you plan to manoeuvre the luxury market in Singapore?
We understand how tech savvy Singaporeans are, and I believe Xiaomi needs no introduction in the market. We have full confidence that consumers are aware of our product quality and what we offer here are based on feedback we’ve received from our Singaporean Mi Fans, as well as customers alike.
We believe that premium and luxury doesn’t always have to come with a hefty price tag. For example, with the Mi 11, you get all the powerful features and quality that any premium smartphone has but at a very affordable price.
Can you name your favourite Xiaomi products?
Currently, there are two products that I use daily: the Mi 11 Ultra and Mi Watch. The Mi 11 Ultra is super helpful to my productivity because its 5,000mAh large capacity battery means I do not have to worry about carrying a power bank around. It has this really cool 67W wired and 67W wireless turbo charging technology, the latter currently being the fastest in the industry. Based on my daily usage, both can charge my device up to 100% within 36 minutes. I can plug in my phone while I’m in the shower, and it is fully charged when I am ready to head out or call it a night. I rarely find the need to charge my phone overnight.
The device’s powerful camera setup, which is a triple pro-grade rear camera array consisting of only “main” cameras that got us to the top of the DXOMARK, is ranked the world’s best in the smartphone category. This function is useful to me as it helps take crystal-clear images that inspire business ideas.
I also enjoy working out during my spare time, whether it is training at the gym or swimming. The Mi Watch helps me monitor my workout progress, and at the same time keep track of my day-to-day activities such as my heart rate, my breathing (O2 levels), sleep patterns, stress levels and more.
What is your proudest moment at Xiaomi?
I feel the proudest when I see my team working hard towards the company’s mission, which is to relentlessly build amazing products with honest prices to let everyone in the world enjoy a better life through innovative technology.
The feeling is so rewarding; our work has paid off as we are currently the third-largest smartphone brand in the world and also in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, we are the number one smartphone brand in Malaysia, as well as Singapore’s open market.
What are some of the challenges you faced in your role?
I believe that whenever there is a challenge, there is always an opportunity. To me, our customers and their expectations are of utmost importance.
It is important to pay attention to consumer experiences and services. More than just offering our wide range of products and promotions, we continuously work hard to improve our after-sales services and consumer product experiences. This is to build confidence, as well as enable more consumers to enjoy and access Xiaomi’s innovative products and technology.
What was it like when you first moved to Beijing from your hometown in Malaysia?
To me, Beijing is a place where the contemporary and traditional are seamlessly blended into a metropolis. I learnt a lot from how the city transformed into a modern society today. I also personally witnessed how the retail business evolved from offline to online.
When Xiaomi was founded 11 years ago, we managed to capture this trend and strongly believe that the efficiency of the online retail business model is the right model for us to realise our vision.
What are you sick of hearing about Xiaomi – any misconceptions you’ll like to debunk?
[Laughs] It is not specifically about Xiaomi, but there is always a general misconception that anything cheap is not of good quality. If you ask those who have used or experienced Xiaomi products, I am confident that they can attest to how our products are made of the highest quality, in both performance and build.
Xiaomi adheres to very high and stringent quality control standards. All our products, be it our smartphones or ecosystem products, need to pass strict quality checks before leaving the factory. But don’t take my word for it. When you get the chance, head over to the nearest Authorised Mi Store to experience our devices for yourself! For now, stay safe and adhere to the Covid-19 regulations as it is a challenging time for all of us.
What can we expect from Xiaomi in the foreseeable future?
We have plans to expand our product range, as well as to bring in an even more intelligent ecosystem of products into Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia. We also have more innovative smartphones that we are working on and can’t wait for them to be launched. Keep your eyes peeled for news as we’re announcing something exciting in Singapore very soon!
(All images: Kairul Imran for Xiaomi)