Unlike OnePlus, Samsung, and Huawei, Xiaomi doesn’t tie new versions of its Android skin, called MIUI, to new Android OS releases. MIUI 10 is available for dozens of Xiaomi smartphones, and depending on the phone, it’ll be layered on top of Android 7 Nougat, Android 8 Oreo, or Android 9 Pie. Earlier this year, Xiaomi announced that development had begun on MIUI 11 and that the new MIUI version will introduce new icons and features like a system-wide dark mode, ultra power saving mode, and more. These features have already made their way into MIUI 10, though, so we’re expecting to see other changes that haven’t been announced. Fortunately for us, Xiaomi accidentally rolled out MIUI 11 for a handful of devices, including the Redmi K20 Pro, Mi Mix 2S, and Mi 6, giving us an early look at Xiaomi’s next Android release.
Download links for the closed beta MIUI 11 9.9.9 were briefly publicly accessible, allowing many users to grab the firmware and flash to their own devices. The builds contain code that overlay the device’s IMEI all over the UI, so we had to blur many of the screenshots below. XDA Recognized Developer erfanoabdi modified the system image to make it flashable on other devices, allowing users to install it even on non-Xiaomi devices. The screenshots without any visible blurring were taken from a device running this unofficial MIUI 11 system image.
As promised, we can see the new iconography used in Xiaomi’s Android skin. The icons are colorful, but there doesn’t seem to be consistency in size or shape unlike stock Android 10.
The motto for MIUI 11 is “Empowering the productive,” and the design uses a lot of empty white space and big, bold text throughout. One of the screenshots shows off the new design in more system apps, and interestingly, there’s a reference to the upcoming Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G.
In terms of features, we can see that MIUI 11 will bring the new cross-device file sharing implementation that Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo are collaborating on. The new MIUI Always on Display features include changing the text color automatically over time, adding a Kaleidoscope-style which has 5 different patterns that rotate each time you turn the screen on, an outer space style that changes the light depending on the sunrise/sunset schedule at your location, and more customization options. There’s also a new “dynamic sounds” feature, a new Xiaomi Community app, a redesigned file manager (that we’ve previously seen), dark mode scheduler, and quick replies for some messaging apps.
This is an early, pre-release build of MIUI 11 for Xiaomi devices. We’re unsure if these builds contain all of the release features. We’ll keep an eye out on forum activity both on XDA and Weibo, as well as Telegram channels to follow the latest developments of Xiaomi’s MIUI software.