Xiaomi 11T Pro Review: A Solid Performer at the Right Price

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Xiaomi’s Mi 10T Pro was announced in India back in September 2020. It was a solid, premium smartphone packed with features and impressive hardware. Well over a year later, Xiaomi has finally come up with a successor. Like most of Xiaomi’s recent premium and mid-range devices, this new smartphone drops the “Mi” brand and is simply called the Xiaomi 11T Pro.

Going solely by its specs, it’s clear that the Xiaomi 11T Pro is a significant upgrade over the Mi 10T Pro (Review), but at the same time, it is very similar to the lower-priced Mi 11X Pro. The Xiaomi 11T Pro has an AMOLED panel which supports Dolby Vision, an updated Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, and 120W charging. These hardware features also make the 11T Pro stand out from competing premium smartphones in the sub-Rs. 40,000 price segment. But is it an all-rounder? Let’s find out.

Xiaomi 11T Pro price in India

The Xiaomi 11T Pro is available in three variants and three finishes. There’s a base variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, priced at Rs. 39,999 in India. This is followed by a variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage which is priced at Rs. 41,999, and finally, the top-of-the-line variant has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 43,999. The three finishes are called Moonlight White, Meteorite Black, and Celestial Blue. The 12GB variant is only available in the black and blue finishes. I received the top-end variant with 12GB of RAM in Celestial Blue.

Xiaomi 11T Pro design

Apart from the dazzling, multi-colour rear panel that you get if you choose this finish, the Xiaomi 11T Pro’s design does not really stand out. It’s not slim and light like the Vivo V23 Pro (Review), and it features a flat display. The 11T Pro’s frame doesn’t look as impressive as the metal frame of the iQoo 7 Legend (Review). It’s also heavy at 204g and does not havy an official IP rating, unlike its closest sibling, the Mi 11X Pro.

The Xiaomi 11T Pro’s port cutouts feel a bit unfinished.

 

What I liked about this phone’s design is that it’s comfortable to hold and easy to grip thanks to the matte-finished glass back and polycarbonate mid-frame. The Corning Gorilla Gorilla Victus scratch-resistant glass on the front and rear did not pick up fingerprints easily during the review period either. The 6.67-inch AMOLED panel features a hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera and has relatively thin bezels all around.

The Xiaomi 11T Pro has a side-mounted fingerprint reader which worked reliably in day-to-day use. Given that the phone is quite chunky, it’s not surprising that the camera module does not protrude by much despite featuring a 108-megapixel sensor. The box includes a 120W charger, a USB cable, a Type-C to 3.5mm adapter, and a transparent TPU case.

Xiaomi 11T Pro specifications and software

The Xiaomi 11T Pro features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC which is used by several smartphones at around this price point. The 11T Pro has LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage, but with no slot for expanding it. The phone supports multiple 5G bands with dual-5G standby. It also supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and the usual satellite navigation systems. There’s an infrared emitter for controlling appliances. The phone is powered by a 5,000mAh battery which can be charged very quickly using the bundled 120W charger.

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The Xiaomi 11T Pro features a glass back with a frame made of polycarbonate

 

The phone comes with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12 software which is based on Android 11. The interface is typical of what you’d expect from a Xiaomi phone, and there are plenty of preinstalled third-party apps, though these can be uninstalled if needed. There are also plenty of Mi-branded apps – many of them can’t be removed, but some such as the Mi Credit app, can be. Thankfully, I didn’t come across ads anywhere in the interface.

Given this smartphone’s premium price tag, I did expect less bloatware and Android 12 out of the box. Xiaomi has announced a MIUI 13 software upgrade roadmap, and the 11T Pro should be one of the first smartphones to get the update, starting in the first quarter of 2022.

Xiaomi 11T Pro performance

The Xiaomi 11T Pro has a full-HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz peak refresh rate and a 480Hz touch sampling rate which is a bit higher than what you get on the Mi 11X Pro (360Hz). By default, the display is set to the ‘Vivid Colour’ profile, which results in slightly oversaturated colours. Switching to the ‘Display P3′ profile resulted in more natural-looking, accurate colour tones on screen. The display is Dolby Vision certified, and supported content on Netflix looked impressive with deep blacks and excellent contrast. This, along with its stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support, made for an immersive video viewing experience.

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The Xiaomi 11T Pro has a 6.67-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate

 

As is the case with most smartphones at this price point, performance was not a problem. The Xiaomi 11T Pro scored 811 and 3,391 points in Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. It also maxed out the 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme GPU test.

The Xiaomi 11T Pro ran most games that I tested at their default settings, without breaking a sweat. I played Asphalt 9: Legends, Honkai Impact, and Call of Duty: Mobile, and all of them worked flawlessly without heating up the phone. Switching to ‘Very High’ graphics and ‘Max’ frame rate in Call of Duty: Mobile (with all the effects turned on) did cause the phone to warm up a little, but performance did not take any noticeable hit.

One odd thing that I noticed when playing games was that the screen’s refresh was always capped at 60Hz. This basically means that games are not allowed to perform beyond that limit even if the hardware is capable of better.

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The Game Turbo app is quite useful for tweaking your mobile gaming experience

 

The Game Turbo app lets you optimise the Xiaomi 11T Pro’s hardware for games. There are per-game optimisations and users can tweak the GPU (to focus on picture quality, performance, or higher frame rates) and touch controls (swipe response, aiming accuracy, etc.), among many things. I noticed much better responsiveness with the swipe response and aiming accuracy settings set to the highest value in Call of Duty: Mobile, compared to the default setting. All in all, the 11T Pro is a very capable gaming smartphone.

With a 5,000mAh battery, I didn’t expect any issues in terms of battery life from the Xiaomi 11T Pro and it definitely delivered. With my casual use (which included some gaming and photography), I got about two days of use from a single charge, and this was with the display’s refresh rate set to 120Hz. Our standard HD video loop battery test also saw a strong result; the phone ran for 16 hours and 21 minutes, which is about the same time that Vivo’s ultra-premium X70 Pro+ (Review) managed.

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The Xiaomi 11T Pro has a 108-megapixel primary rear-facing camera

 

Charging the phone was indeed interesting thanks to the 120W fast charging capability. The Xiaomi 11T Pro went from zero to a fully charged state in just 41 minutes, which is an excellent time for a 5000mAh battery. Surprisingly, the 120W charger is not much larger than the more common 33W charger that Xiaomi ships with its mid-range smartphones.

Xiaomi 11T Pro cameras

The Xiaomi 11T Pro has three rear-facing cameras: a 108-megapixel primary camera that captures 12-megapixel binned images by default, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 5-megapixel macro camera. Selfie duties are handled by a 16-megapixel front camera. The camera app is similar to what we’ve seen on other Xiaomi phones, with a well laid-out interface and easy access to important modes and settings. The phone supports 8K video recording and can even record in HDR at up to 4K. With the latter enabled, the frame rate is limited to 30fps at all available resolutions.

Xiaomi 11T Pro daylight camera samples. Top to bottom: Macro camera, primary camera, Ultra-wide-angle camera (tap to see full size)

 

Photos taken in daylight showed good detail and dynamic range. Whether I was shooting objects or people, the level of sharpness was just right and not excessive. The 108-megapixel camera’s shallow depth of field also meant that I rarely needed to use the ‘Portrait’ mode when photographing objects or people. I found myself switching to this mode only when I needed to blur things in the background intentionally. However, due to the limitations of the primary camera’s sensor size and lens, I was not able to get close to an object without switching to the macro camera.

The 5-megapixel macro camera on the Xiaomi 11T Pro has a longer focal length than the primary camera, effectively offering a 2X zoom (50mm). It can focus on subjects between 3cm and 7cm away, and did a good job of capturing detailed macro photos in daylight. The sharpness of these images was a bit on the higher side but autofocus was quick enough, which even allowed me to shoot usable video clips with this camera. You will need steady hands or will have to mount the phone on a tripod when shooting macro videos, as these can come out quite shaky otherwise.

Selfies taken both indoors and outdoors with the Mi 11T Pro looked quite sharp, and had good dynamic range. Portrait selfies had good edge detection but with limited dynamic range when shooting against the light, as bright backgrounds such as the sky would often be overexposed. Things took a turn for the worse in low light – selfies looked oversharpened, lacked depth, and had poor texture detail even if I had switched to Night mode.

Xiaomi 11T Pro low-light camera samples. Top to bottom: Selfie in Night mode, Auto mode, Night mode (tap to see full size)

 

In low light, the main rear camera in Auto mode switches to a longer exposure of up to two seconds by default. The shutter speed is determined by the amount of available light, and you can override this by dismissing the popup that appears, but results were better when allowing it to happen. This is probably optional because the main camera lacks optical image stabilisation (OIS), which the Mi 10T Pro did have.

Switching to Night mode, images pack in even more detail, but you’ll have to wait longer to capture and save each shot. In my experience, the results were worth the wait, as the camera was able to extract a lot more detail from dimly lit scenes. While low-light results were quite good overall, the lack of OIS often resulted in images that were not as sharp as they could have been.

The ultra-wide-angle camera captured average photos in daylight, with noticeable barrel distortion and purple fringing along the edges of objects. Low-light photos came out soft and were quite weak on detail.

Videos captured by the Xiaomi 11T Pro in daylight came out clear, and with good detail and dynamic range. Stabilisation was quite good at all recording resolutions. Turning on HDR helped improve contrast and correctly exposed brighter areas of videos too. 8K video footage looked crisp but lacked stabilisation and was often too shaky to be usable, especially if recorded when walking. The phone also offers an HDR mode for selfie videos at 1080p 30fps. While such footage had better dynamic range, it was low on detail with flat textures. 1080p videos at 60fps (with HDR turned off) had better detail and the footage looked less choppy.

In low light, I got the best results when shooting at 4K 30fps. Videos shot in HDR looked a bit dull and dark but exposure was controlled better, particularly in brighter areas (such as billboards, streetlights etc.). 60fps footage in low light looked a bit too dark and dull. There was a slight shimmer at all resolutions when walking around in low light.

Whether it’s shooting photos or recording videos, turning on the camera app’s AI mode often led to exaggerated colours, which looked unrealistic, so I preferred keeping it off.

Verdict

The Xiaomi 11T Pro is a solid premium smartphone, and will appeal to anyone looking for camera performance, display quality, battery life, and raw power under Rs. 40,000.

After using the Xiaomi 11T Pro for more than a week, it’s clear that this phone comes close to being a very good all-rounder. Other than its weak low-light selfie camera performance and loads of preinstalled apps, everything else checks out just fine. 120W charging is currently the fastest we have seen on a smartphone, and the AMOLED display is top notch in terms of quality. Dolby Vision support is icing on the cake.

That said, I’ve seen better low-light camera performance from the iQoo 7 Legend (Review), which has OIS in its primary camera and autofocus in its ultra-wide-angle camera. Its design is also a lot more polished, with a metal and glass body, but it takes a big blow when it comes to battery life.

Unfortunately for the Xiaomi 11T Pro, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE 5G (Review) with all its premium features is now available at Rs. 39,999, after the entry of the Galaxy S21 FE (Review). It also packs in features such as wireless charging and has an IP68 rating, which very few other smartphones in this segment have.

There’s also the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro (Review) which packs in similar hardware, minus a few things such as the bigger battery and ultra-fast charging. It’s currently on sale at Rs. 36,999 and seems like better value for those on a tight budget, but who still want top performance.


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