Xiaomi is one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers, vying with Samsung and Apple for market share both in its native China and beyond – with phones now widely available across Europe and Asia.
It has a range of high-quality yet affordable phones, and is very often unbeaten on value for money.
Xiaomi sells its phones via its own official Mi Store, but you can also find them from Amazon and, increasingly, from many of the major networks and carriers.
The company also sells phones under various names. Its flagships bear the Xiaomi name, while cheaper models are sold as Redmi. It also has a gaming-focussed line called Black Shark, and a semi-independent spin-off brand called Poco.
Scroll down the page below our chart for more explanation of the various models available and where they sit in Xiaomi’s line-up.
Best Xiaomi phone reviews 2022
1. Xiaomi 12 – Best Xiaomi phone
Solid main camera
Fast wired & wireless charging
Middling battery life
No IP rating
No telephoto lens
The Xiaomi 12 is a compelling flagship smartphone. Its compact form factor will appeal to those who don’t want a huge handset and, overall, the design looks and feels great.
You also get some high-end specs, such as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, an AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate, and speedy 67W charging. It’s also got a solid main camera, along with a good ultra-wide shooter, but few buyers will be excited by a telemacro lens.
While there’s lots to like about the Xiaomi 12, it still has no waterproofing, and battery life is nothing special.
The Poco X4 Pro 5G is a huge upgrade over its predecessor in terms of features and design, with a premium look and feel despite the plastic body. The 120Hz AMOLED display is bright, vibrant and buttery-smooth, with one of the smallest camera cut-outs we’ve seen.
While the refresh rate isn’t adaptive like premium alternatives, the phone can still comfortably last more than a day with average use, and when it does need a top up there’s 67W fast wired charging (with the necessary charger supplied in the box).
The 108Mp camera is a real treat too, offering impressive detail and colour representation in well-lit environments, although the lack of OIS means night photography could be improved. The accompanying 8Mp ultra-wide is handy, but the same can’t be said for the 2Mp macro lens.
The internals are mid-range, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 695 leading the show, but performance is very decent for the money. A tempting option for the cost-conscious.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite is a very solid mid-range phone. The lightweight construction is a comfortable change from the heavier alternatives found at this price point, plus the square-edged design is both modern and makes it easier to hold in the hand.
Performance is again very good, as are the cameras if you want something for social media platforms. The software can be a bit clunky at times, and the overly sensitive display takes a little getting used to, but these are minor gripes compared to all the other benefits on offer.
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is the company’s most powerful phone right now, but it’s not the one we’d recommend most people by.
Part of that is purely practical: the phone is only officially out in China, so prospective buyers will have to import the phone and fight through some additional hassle to get the software set up to work well for global tastes (it doesn’t include any Google software, including the Play Store, for example).
If you’re willing to put up with that then this is a powerful device. The Leica-branded camera is the main draw, with a 1in main sensor – the biggest around – driving detailed photos, great low-light performance, and beautiful natural bokeh.
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip delivers strong performance and excellent battery life too, while the display is hard to fault either.
The downsides? Other than the Chinese exclusivity, there’s the divisive design, and the fact that for all its size, the camera arguably isn’t quite the best around – the Vivo X80 Pro still trumps in night mode, while the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra remains the periscopic zoom king.
The Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge is an excellent mid-range phone that’s good for a lot more than just the fast charging its name suggests – though with 120W speeds it’s certainly no slouch there.
The design is great, performance is impressive thanks to a MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G chipset, and the 108Mp main camera delivers great results too. The only real downsides are that the other camera lenses impress less, and that the phone still ships with the older Android 11 software.
The Mi 11 is a fantastic bit of hardware for the price, despite now being superceded by the Xiaomi 12. Last year’s fastest chipset, a beautiful display, and strong cameras are all packaged within a lovely bit of industrial design.
Some will miss the IP rating, though for me the bigger down sides are the choice of a macro over a telephoto lens and only average battery life.
The Black Shark 5 Pro is currently at the top of the Xiaomi Black Shark gaming phone line-up, and it ticks all the boxes for gamers: it has a buttery smooth 144Hz refresh rate, top-level performance, gaming-specific features like magnetic triggers and gesture-activated shortcuts, plus much more.
The 120W charging provides some of the snappiest charging times around achieving a full 100% charge in under 30 minutes, though the downside is a smaller battery than alternatives.
Though not usually a focus for gaming phones, the Black Shark 5 Pro has an impressive 108Mp rear-facing camera that’s capable of taking decent snaps, though the decision to include autofocus capabilities on the macro lens and not the more popular 120-degree ultra-wide leaves some ultrawide shots looking a little soft.
The design will only appeal to committed gamers, and the software frustrates us a little, but otherwise there’s a lot here to like.
The Poco M4 Pro takes things in a surprisingly different direction to the Poco M4 Pro 5G (below). Though you may lose 5G connectivity, you gain quite a bit more in return.
It enables the inclusion of the first AMOLED display in the series, as well as the first 64Mp main camera.
It’s debatable whether the Poco M4 Pro’s unique design is any better than its brother’s, but the fact that some effort has gone into making it different is worthy of praise. It’s undeniably a little more compact and thus easier to use single-handed, too.
Throw in more generous RAM and storage options, and you have a well-equipped budget phone that just feels that tiny bit more premium than its close brother.
With its 11T and 11T Pro, Xiaomi officially dropped its ‘Mi’ moniker. This is a trend that continued in future releases, including the recent flagship Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro, and the 12S series that followed them.
The Mi moniker used to be what separated the flagship (Mi) and budget (Redmi) models in its range, but over the past couple of years those lines have become increasingly blurred, with mid-range models found in both camps. It is still the case that Redmi models tend to sit at the lower end of the price scale.
Black Shark gaming phones and the high-value Poco smartphone series also owe their heritage to Xiaomi, so we include them here too.
Further up this article you’ll have seen our round-up of the best Xiaomi phones. It’s not simply a case of sticking the ultimate flagship at the top, and the cheapest model at the bottom – we take into account everything from the overall build quality to the processing-, graphics- and camera performance, the features offered (and how they compare with other models), and the price. It’s our expert opinion on where your money is best spent.
This is why you might find a cheaper model near the top of the chart – it might lack some features and power of the flagship models, but it likely makes up for that in value.
But if you are interested in what is the best Xiaomi phone in terms of ultimate power and features, it’s also worth considering where they sit in Xiaomi’s line-up.
Should I buy a Xiaomi phone from China?
In the past we have often turned to Chinese importers such as GearBest and Geekbuying for shipping us Xiaomi phone samples, and they used to offer much cheaper prices than what we saw here in the UK. It’s now much easier to buy Xiaomi phones worldwide, but there are still some models that stay exclusive to China and may tempt you into an import, including the top-of-the-range 12S Ultra.
If you do, make sure you buy a model with a global ROM installed, or be prepared to mess around with the software when it arrives (novice users should avoid this). The global models have full access to Google services and an English-language interface out of the box. If you accidentally purchase a Chinese ROM model, we’ve explained how to install Google Play on a Xiaomi phone here.
Second, if you’re buying from China you should take into account that your consumer rights are different to when you buy within Europe, and that should something go wrong you’re going to find aftersales support more difficult.
Lastly, delivery can be a pain. Delivery times will be longer in general, though there are usually free and express shipping options. More than that, though, there could be hidden costs: you may be asked to pay import duty upon the phone’s arrival, which is calculated based on whatever value is printed on the shipping paperwork, usually plus an additional admin fee.