The best Xiaomi phones are pivoted perfectly for anyone who wants one of the best value smartphones on the market. While it’s not a brand as universally known as Apple’s iPhones or the Samsung Galaxy range, Xiaomi offers excellent build quality and great cameras. Both its cheaper handsets and high-end models are worth considering.
Xiaomi makes many different handsets, so it can be tricky to know where to start. Some of its phones even feature among the best phones overall, while others are some of the best budget phones and the best camera phones around. You just need to know what’s important to you and what your budget is.
We’ve fully reviewed all the phones ranked below, having tested all their features extensively. That includes the camera, battery life, performance, and screen quality.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro takes the top spot thanks to its exceptional performance, sleek design, and fast charging. Elsewhere in the rankings is the Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC for the budget-conscious and the high-end Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. If none of these appeal, there’s always the best Android phones and best iPhones too.
The best Xiaomi phones for 2023
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We’re calling the Xiaomi 12 Pro our favorite phone from the company right now for a multitude of reasons. The Pro has a great-looking 6.73-inch display, super-fast 120W charging, a sleek finish, and a trio of awesome 50MP cameras – all that in a device that, in some regions, undercuts similar-spec rivals.
With powerful performance too, this handset is great for gamers, photographers and entertainment fans alike. And, it’s very easy to recommend over 2021’s Mi 11 or the non-Pro Xiaomi 12.
Be warned: the handset has no IP rating, though it does have some waterproofing and dustproofing measures. Its software is also a little bloated, and we found its camera wasn’t fantastic at zooming (being limited to 2x optical zoom). But other than those small issues, this is a top device.
Read our full Xiaomi 12 Pro review
The Xiaomi Mi 11 was the company’s flagship for 2021, showcasing new camera modes, screen technologies and rear camera designs at a premium-phone price tag. We gave the phone a glowing review, praising, in particular, its macro photography mode (using a bespoke rear lens), its great-looking screen with a high resolution and refresh rate, and the processing power provided by its top-end chipset.
While this phone represents the best tech Xiaomi had in 2021, its cost might put some people off it – though now that it’s getting on a bit you can often find it reduced. We also found its battery life iffy, and of course it’s since been topped by the Xiaomi 12. Despite all that though, if you’re looking for a great smartphone from the company, it should still be among the first ones you consider.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi 11 review
If you’re looking for the best phone from Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi, the Note 10 Pro is that phone. It has top specs and a low price, making it a solid buy.
The phone has a super-high-res 108MP main camera, a big and bold 120Hz screen and a massive 5,020mAh battery – as cheap phones go, it’s a star. In our review we were particularly fond of that screen and battery, noting that it will survive a day of solid use with juice to spare.
We also found that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro has superb stereo speakers, so those coupled with its screen and battery life make it great for movie marathons and boxset binges. Sure, there are a few things you miss out on with the Note 10 Pro – there’s no 5G here, mainly – but if you don’t need that, this phone is all you need.
Read our full Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
The Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC is a surprising phone mainly because it has really impressive specs for a handset at its price. The device has loads of processing power, with gaming performance particularly impressing us, and a really long-lasting battery, which we found was good for two days or moderate use – that’s a real rarity in phones.
It also has a 120Hz screen that we described as the “most advanced display at the price”, all for a really low price. If you pick this device up you’re certainly getting more than you paid for, in the best possible way.
Sure, there are some quirks not everyone will like – the phone is really big, and the cameras don’t match same-price competitors. But this is still a worthy buy, that’s the best budget phone right now.
Read our full Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC review
The Xiaomi 12 was the company’s main flagship phone of 2022, sitting under the Pro model which you’ve already read about higher on this list. As such, it’s no wonder this ranks among the best Xiaomi phones.
This is a cute small phone with a petite frame, which means it feels great in the hand and is light to carry about. It also has a smooth svelte finish which is a treat for your fingertips. We’re big fans of the design and hand-feel, as you can probably tell. You’ll also get loads of high-end specs with the Xiaomi 12: it has a 50MP main camera, powerful chipset, relatively fast charging and great battery life.
The reason this phone is rather low on this list is because it’s not as great value for money as other mobiles from Xiaomi. Your money doesn’t go as far as it does with the Pro – still, it’s a good phone.
Read our full Xiaomi 12 review
The Xiaomi 11T Pro is both a mid-range take on the Mi 11 and the year-on successor to the Mi 10T Pro. Although, it’s worth noting that it was the first phone to lose the ‘Mi’ branding previously used by the company.
This is a great mid-range handset with a powerful chipset, good-looking screen, useful camera array and intuitive fingerprint scanner. If you liked the look of the Mi 11 you’ll find many of its features here like the 5MP telemacro lens or plentiful camera modes.
There were a few issues with the phone though – we found its fingerprint sensor, though quick to use, was a bit too high for some people to reach. The main problem we had though was that it got hot really quickly, which reduced processing power. Overall, though, this is a great Xiaomi phone, and if you need a new mid-range handset it’s definitely worth checking out.
Read our full Xiaomi 11T Pro review
Xiaomi’s Pocophone sub-brand became very prolific between 2020 and 2021, and the Poco F3 is part of the third generation of devices. The phone is a display and performance champion, making it great for streaming, gaming and scrolling through social media. We were particularly fond of its display, which can get impressively bright at up to 1,300 nits and has a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling.
We also found it to be one of the best gaming phones for what it costs, with near-flagship performance at a fraction of the price tag. Plus, it looks good and feels solidly built. As a low-cost phone there are things you’re missing out on – the cameras aren’t great, and there’s no wireless charging, but not everyone needs those things.
Read our full Xiaomi Poco F3 review
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 lacks 5G and some other finer features. However, when it comes to offering a great display and battery life, without breaking the budget, it does the job. Its build quality is pretty impressive for the price too, thanks to being fairly svelte for a budget phone and looking rather gorgeous.
Its 6.43-inch AMOLED screen offers bright and vivid colors while the battery life doesn’t suffer for it, with the phone lasting over a day in our tests. The only really noticeable issue here is that its cameras aren’t the best. In decent lighting, they’re fine but everywhere else they’ll struggle.
The Redmi Note 11 also isn’t the most powerful phone around, though despite that we found it ran most apps and games without skipping a beat. For this price though all of those issues are entirely forgivable.
Read our full Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 review
The Xiaomi Mi 10T series were late-2020 additions to the Mi 10 phones, with the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro being great as a cut-price flagship – it has the same main camera, software and processing power as the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, but has a lower quality design and overall camera setup to balance the books and keep the cost low.
There are a few great additions to this phone that are absent in the Mi 10 series though like a really useful side-mounted fingerprint scanner, 144Hz display and – less usefully – an absolutely huge camera bump. We were particularly impressed by the phone’s power and main camera – unsurprisingly since they’re inherited from pricier phones – but found it a bit on the large side, and the back picks up an alarming amount of fingerprints.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro review
Since you’re only seeing Xiaomi’s 2021 super-phone, the Mi 11 Ultra, at the end of this list, you can probably tell it has a few issues. The large camera bump really gets in the way, it costs a huge amount, and we found it had an overheating issue that affected performance.
Look past those issues, and you’ve got a fantastic phone – it charges incredibly quickly, getting to full in just over half an hour in our tests. Plus, it uses the high-end Snapdragon 888 chipset, so performance impresses when it’s not heating up too much, the cameras are great, and the display looks amazing.
There’s also a second 1.1-inch display on the back, which can be used as a viewfinder for taking selfies with the rear cameras, among other things. We found this very hit and miss overall, but it’s not completely useless, and it’s something you won’t really find anywhere else.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra review
How to choose the best Xiaomi phone for you
Xiaomi makes a wide range of handsets, so there will almost certainly be at least one that you’d be happy with, but there are a number of things that you should consider when making your choice.
The first is how much you want to spend – obviously with a bigger spend you’ll get more consistently high-end specs, so if you’re spending less then you need to work out what you can live without.
In terms of specs, the main things to look out for include power, which is especially important if you plan to play many games on your phone. Cameras are obviously important if smartphone photography matters much to you, and good battery life could benefit anyone – but if the phone charges fast, that could go some way to making up for worse life.
Screen size is more subjective – some people want a large screen as this is better for watching videos on, and gives you more space to interact with apps. But it also makes the phone bigger, heavier, and harder to use with one hand. Though regardless of size, a high resolution and refresh rate can be beneficial.
So weigh up which of those things matter most to you, and choose accordingly. Or go for a flagship and potentially tick every box – at a price.
Xiaomi phone FAQs
Are Xiaomi phones better than Samsung phones?
Each year, Xiaomi’s flagship phones feel more and more like Samsung rivals – the Xiaomi 12 is the best example yet, as it’s a portable flagship like the Galaxy S22.
Samsung and Xiaomi flagships have slight differences though, as Xiaomi offers faster charging but Samsung has a better camera array, so your preferences will depend on what you’re looking for.
That’s the case for budget phones too. While Samsung’s Galaxy A phones give you great displays on a budget, we’d say Poco devices are more powerful and Redmi handsets are better for photography.
Is Xiaomi a good brand to buy?
We’ve been big fans of Xiaomi phones since the brand started selling them in the west, and if you’re looking for a new phone, we’d definitely recommend checking out their offerings.
Like all brands, Xiaomi has misses as well as hits, and not all their devices are great. There are sometimes duds in the flagship line, with handsets that are too expensive for their own good, or in the low end models with features that don’t totally work.
But on this list of the best Xiaomi phones, you’re obviously going to find the best ones we’ve tested.
Do Xiaomi phones have Google apps?
Good question – yep, all Xiaomi phones come with Google Mobile Services, so they have Maps, Pay, the Play Store and more installed. That also means you can download plenty more apps – you’re getting a decent Android experience here.
In fact, Huawei and Apple are the only companes which sell phones without the Play Store – and obviously Apple has the App Store so it’s fine.
One thing to note, though: even Android phones don’t use Google apps in China, where other options are preferred by consumers. So if you an import a Xiaomi phone from China, you might find it doesn’t have the Google Mobile Services – saaying that, this list only includes devices that are on sale in the West, so you don’t need to worry about that.
How we test
To come up with this list of the best Xiaomi phones we tested every included model, in most cases using them for a week or more. That testing including using the camera, pushing the processor with high-end games, multitasking, seeing how long the battery lasts – and how fast it charges – and living with each phone as our main handset during the test period.
So that leaves us with an excellent idea of exactly how each Xiaomi phone performs, and allows us to compare each model to other Xiaomi handsets, and the wider smartphone market.
Using that information – and factoring in the price too – we then worked out which phones were worthy of inclusion and how they should rank.
Previous best Xiaomi phones
The following phones previously sat on our list of the best Xiaomi phones, until being removed for one of various reasons:
- The Pocophone F1 sat at #8, then #9 on this list until newer phones superseded it.
- The Xiaomi Redmi Note 8T briefly was #10 until newer phones pushed it off the list.
- The Xiaomi Mi 9T was #10 until the Poco F2 Pro kicked it off.
- When we updated this list in late 2020 the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE, Black Shark 2 and Mi 9T Pro all got bumped off in favor of newer phones.
- This list was updated in early 2021 to add the Xiaomi Mi 11 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T, and as a result the Redmi Note 9S and Xiaomi Mi 9 were dropped. In addition, the Mi 10 and Mi Note 10 were dropped lower in the ranking due to age.
- Xiaomi’s busy 2021 caused the Mi 11 Ultra, Poco F3, Poco X3 Pro and Redmi Note 10 Pro to hit this list in the middle of the year, and as a result the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro, and Redmi Note 9 and Note 9 Pro, had to go.
- Towards the end of 2021, the Xiaomi 11T Pro’s addition caused the Poco F2 Pro to fall off the list, and we also dropped the Mi Note 10 to a low position since it’s becoming even harder to buy.
- The Xiaomi Mi Note 10, Poco X3 Pro and Black Shark 3 all got dropped in a wave of updates thanks to Xiaomi’s early-2022 phones.