In the ever-evolving world of smartphones, Xiaomi has emerged as a dominant player, offering feature-packed devices at competitive prices.
Over the years, Xiaomi has garnered a loyal fan base, including myself, who have come to rely on the brand for its quality and durability.
However, my recent experience with the Mi 11 Ultra has shattered my trust in Xiaomi’s ability to deliver on its promises.
Join me as I share my journey with Xiaomi products and the unexpected disappointment that unfolded.
Building Trust with Xiaomi
Xiaomi has undoubtedly captured the attention of smartphone enthusiasts worldwide, providing an array of cutting-edge features and an exceptional user experience, backed by pocket-friendly pricing.
From my first Xiaomi device in 2016 (Redmi Note 3), I was impressed by its longevity, with the phone running smoothly for over five years.
This reliability instilled a sense of trust, prompting me to embrace Xiaomi’s ecosystem further. Gradually, my confidence in the brand expanded beyond smartphones, encompassing power banks, home appliances, and various other accessories that seamlessly integrated into my daily life.
To date, I have used almost all of the company’s products, including the Mi Lamp, Automatic Soap Dispenser, Backpack, and Motion Sensor Lights, among others.
There was a time when all my family members used to have Xiaomi phones. Such was the TRUST.
My New Phone: Mi 11 Ultra
The arrival of the Mi 11 Ultra sparked a wave of excitement within me. Positioned as Xiaomi’s flagship offering (at Rs. 69,999), I anticipated this device to be the pinnacle of their technological prowess.
Its impressive specifications, including a best-in-class camera with 120x zoom, fast charging capabilities, a waterproof rating, and a stunning curved screen, all seemed to promise an unparalleled experience.
The addition of a small display adjacent to the rear camera setup even elevated its allure, attracting envious glances from onlookers. I was thrilled to embark on this new chapter of smartphone ownership.
The phone came with several goodies as well. I got a T-shirt, key chains, a cap, stickers, etc. It was all going well.
Being a photography enthusiast, I would click photos and shoot videos almost throughout the day. The ability to use the rear camera for selfies was a stimulating feature.
The Snapdragon 888 SoC worked like a charm. Though there were heating issues, they were manageable. I never felt the phone had something off about it.
The Sudden Demise
However, my euphoria was short-lived. After a mere one year and nine months of usage, my beloved Mi 11 Ultra abruptly died in my hands.
Yes, you read that right. It died in my hands while I was using it on a usual day.
It did not fall, suffer any impact, or succumb to any mishandling. Without warning, it simply powered off and refused to revive.
Devastated, I rushed to the service center, hoping for a quick resolution. Their diagnosis pointed towards a potential motherboard short-circuit, leaving me astonished.
The cost of repairs, a staggering Rs. 40,000, made it impractical to consider, as I could purchase a brand-new phone with that amount.
My qualm was that the phone didn’t have a fall or anything of that sort from my end. It just went off out of nowhere.
Imagine, if one of my nephews was playing a game on it and came to me saying the phone is no longer working.
How would I have reacted? Maybe, I would have blamed him for accidentally doing something to my ‘dream phone.’
For my whole life, I would have lived under the assumption that it was the kid’s mistake.
The Lost Memories
As I made my way home, the short distance felt like an eternity. The weight of my loss sank in as I realized that all my data and cherished memories were irretrievably gone.
Without a backup, I was left with an overwhelming sense of emptiness. How could I have anticipated such a catastrophic failure?
The bitter truth began to dawn on me—Xiaomi’s costly products cannot be trusted, and a high price tag does not guarantee reliability.
A Cautionary Tale
Reflecting upon my experience, I urge you to exercise caution when considering Xiaomi’s expensive offerings.
While the brand has undoubtedly excelled in delivering affordable smartphones, venturing beyond the Rs. 25,000 mark proved to be a heart-wrenching gamble for me.
Investing Rs. 70,000 in a new Xiaomi product seems far too risky, considering the possibility of encountering a similar fate.
You can own a Samsung, an Apple, a Google, or even a OnePlus. They sound like better choices to me now than Xiaomi at that price point.
The Motherboard Mystery
Curiosity led me to investigate whether phone motherboards commonly face such untimely demise. Extensive research and conversations with experts unveiled a mix of anecdotes.
While motherboard failures can occur in any smartphone, they are mostly led by an external influence.
For example, a water spill or a scary fall can make it go dead. In my case, however, nothing of that sort happened.
It was so sudden that I am still not over the heartbreaking incident, even after a month.
My journey with Xiaomi products, once filled with trust and admiration, took an unexpected turn with the demise of my Mi 11 Ultra.
The brand’s affordable offerings still have their place in the market, catering to the budget-conscious consumer.
However, when it comes to expensive products, the risks outweigh the benefits. As consumers, we must weigh our options carefully and prioritize reliability over extravagant features.
While Xiaomi has its merits, the cautionary tale of the Mi 11 Ultra serves as a reminder that trusting a brand blindly can lead to heartbreak, and a massive one, in fact.
I don’t believe in moving on, but:
Dear Xiaomi, I am over you. Once and for all.
Also, I haven’t talked about the Update experience for Indian consumers in Mi 11 Ultra. Let’s keep it for another day.