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Xiaomi 11T Pro Review

Intro

Xiaomi are a company that have been around for many years and make some fantastic products, but when it comes to customers picking out devices at their time of upgrade, there are still many who have not seen what this brand has to offer.

I have been lucky enough to get hands on a lot of their mobile devices and seen what they are capable of which is why I really enjoy being able to share my opinion in these reviews.

One of the biggest changes for the company was recently dropping the ‘Mi’ branding simply calling it the  11T Pro instead of the traditional Mi11T Pro we were used to seeing

Xiaomi PR kindly offered me one of their Xiaomi 11T Pro phones to review for a few weeks, and as an added disclaimer I accidentally went over the loan period by a week as I was enjoying the phone so much time flew by so fast.

In total I had use of the device for around 4 weeks and used as my daily driver phone for that whole time with my main SIM card in.

My testing was using 2 SIM cards at once, one on Three UK and one on EE where between the two I was able to also try out the 5G performance.

Once the review period was over the device was collected and returned back so someone else can get hands on for their review.

A big thanks to Xiaomi UK who provided the device so I was able to share my thoughts in this review.

Enjoy the review.

Design

Normally when it comes to mid-range phones there are cuts made here and there to get the price as low as possible, and normally build quality and materials are the first area to get the chop.

The front camera will be covered more in the camera section of the review, but as a quick overview you get a 16 megapixel camera with 1080p recording which does a decent job or selfies and video blogging should you want too, samples will be later on in the review. 

The screen comes in at a decent 6.67 inches in size and uses AMOLED technology giving you pure deep blacks and excellent colour accuracy which means watching back video content is especially good.

Whilst  1080p resolution may seem a little low for some people, the 120hz refresh rate and large size really means you don’t notice a whole lot and for most people this will be perfectly fine. 

The large screen takes up all the front with no physical buttons to be seen, just the large screen which looks great for watching content back on and with Corning Gorrila Glass Victus protecting it, you have a very strong display which will put your mind at ease over breaking or scratching in your pocket.

Looking over at the left side you will notice nothing at all, no buttons or switches as these are all on the other side or on the top/bottom

Over on the right hand side you have the volume rocker for up and down controls, also a power button in the middle which has a fingerprint sensor inside so you can use this for unlocking quickly or authorising contactless payments if you use Google Pay, thankfully speed and reliability was very good and was easy to use thanks to the curved edges making it easier to hold.

Up at the top you have one of the dual microphones for noise cancellation as well as stereo recording, you also get one of the dual speakers which is tuned by Harmon Kardon and there is a logo printed to show this.

Down at the bottom you have the other microphone used in the dual setup, you also have the USB-C port for data transfer or fast charging at that crazy 120w which really helps with super-fast charging when you only have a few minutes spare to get some extra power.

You also have the SIM card tray which supports dual sim so you can use two different networks at the same time which is handy for personal and work uses.

Turning over to the back you have a very shiny and slippery surface so it is highly recommended you use the free included case to help with grip, as well as preventing fingerprints which without will cover the back like crazy.

You get a LED flash next to the camera section which is used for improving low light conditions if you need a light to boost brightness, but most people will use for a flashlight due to how bright it is and handy to have in your pocket, just don’t leave on for too long as it will hammer the battery life.

When it comes to the cameras you get a triple setup housed in a rather large block in the top corner, this is pretty much seen on all phones these days, the camera area is shiny but does a good job at stopping fingerprints.

The cameras include a main 108MP wide angle, a 8MP ultra-wide angle, and finally a 5MP tele macro shooter if you want to get close to an object, even if it is a low resolution.

Sample photos and videos taken from each camera can be found later on in the review so you can see what the quality is like.

Software

When it comes to software on devices this is not always an easy area to cover, this is because Android may be the underlying operating system, but manufacturers like to use their own skin and apps on top to make their phones stand out. 

Xiaomi use a skin they called MIUI and a few years ago there were a lot of people who did not like the experience and put them off owning a Xiaomi phone, however recently much has changed with MIUI 11 and now MIUI12 with a fresh look and feel to it, and an enjoyable one at that. 

MIUI 12 on the Xiaomi 11T Pro  is based on Android 11 which is Not the most up-to-date version as we now have android 12 however the 11T Pro should get a software upgrade to this new version shortly

Something that took me a while to get my head around is the swiping down from the top to access different panels, this is very much like iOS where a swipe from the left brings you all your notifications and from the right side brings you your control centre. 

On other Android phones a swipe down does everything, and thankfully if your prefer this method you can switch to it in the settings, but once you get used to which side swipe does what it actually is more enjoyable and a better option to get around settings quicker. 

You get some preinstalled Xiaomi apps installed which can’t be removed, but many of them do have a purpose and some are very handy to have such as the options to clean the storage of unwanted contents. 

MIUI has a few nice little animations and tweaks to it such as in settings when you go to view the storage, it’s like a wave of water that fills up depending on how much storage you have used, it may be silly to some people, but is a nice touch and something that makes MIUI a little bit different from the competition. 

Xiaomi also have a strange impact when using Dark Mode where apps almost change colour, one example was the My Vodafone app that is normally bright red and white, but with Dark Mode on it turned almost pink and black, this can be checked in settings though but was worth pointing out.

Again MIUI won’t be for everyone, but if you have used a phone in the past with this skin don’t let it put you off using one of the newer models with the most up to date software, it really is a much better experience and personally one of my favourite now out of the bunch,

Performance

Performance is Excellent as you would expect from a phone running a flagship Snapdragon 888 processor no matter what I tried throwing at the phone it handled it perfectly Which proves you don’t have to have the most up-to-date processor to get excellent performance.

This is backed up with 8GB of RAM means smooth multitasking including graphic heavy games, and in my time playing Call of Duty or PUBG I had no issues at all with the performance and this was based on a 8GB model with 256GB storage, there is a cheaper model with 128GB available too.

The battery included is 5000mAh in capacity which is one of the largest batteries in the phone even in 2022 so should easily last you full of full day of heavy use.

However one of the key selling points for this device is the super fast 120w  fast wired charging, That is of course as long as you  use the  supplied  charging brick and cable as if you use a different one you may get slower speeds.

Using the supplied power brick and cable Xiaomi estimate that you can go from 0 to 100% battery in just 20 minutes which is absolutely insane charging speed That will  mean that even a quick few minute top up all be able to get you through possibly a second full day.

Xiaomi have managed this by splitting the battery into two separate 2500mAh cells which charge at the same time which helps improve speed of charging as well as battery health in the long run.

Something you do miss out on here is wireless charging support Which is a shame because phone costing this price you would expect it to be included however I guess the super fast wired charging does more than make up for this for most people

The Xiaomi 11T Pro  comes with support for 2G/3G/4G/5G so you have a wide range of connectivity options depending on your network and sometimes price plan of choice (not all plans include 5G access)

When it comes to 5G performance this will of course depend on your area and network of choice as there are a lot of factors however during my time with the face I was able to pick up 5G from Three at my home address I was getting speeds of an excess of 300Mbps which was fantastic to see

With using 4G this was also giving access to 4G+ which is also known as LTE-Advanced, again it depends on network and location but I was happy to be getting speeds of around 100Mbps over this network here in Torquay which isn’t exactly the most popular of places for technology, and if you are in a better area with faster networks you can in theory get 200/300Mbps speeds over 4G.

Being  5G ready as soon as signal covers your area you will get access to these even faster speeds and you are future proofing yourself, all for such a great price.

Of course you also get the standard GPS, Bluetooth, NFC and WiFi built in for navigation and communication, WiFi supports the latest standard too for stronger and quicker data speeds if you have the right router

Camera

When looking for a new smartphone, picking a decent camera can often be right up the top of peoples list, because as good as the phone can be in every other department, if it takes poor photos you won’t want to share them or use them at all.

With the selfie camera you get 16 megapixels which is actually decent because a lot of phones around this price top out at 8 megapixels, the extra information helps with details and in good lighting does a good job.

Quality of the selfie camera for both photos and videos is quite good without being amazing, but then again the main reasons for a selfie camera are either sharing on social media or using the video for video calling such as WhatsApp or Duo, and for this the quality is decent enough.

Selfie videos top out at 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second and an example of this is below in case you wanted to check out for yourself, remember though to change the settings in the video to 1080p in case YouTube decided to play at 480p instead.

Xiaomi have gone for a triple camera setup over on the back, which give you lots of options when it comes to being creative, whilst some phones have four cameras it is better to have three but make them more useful than to just be a numbers game.

The main sensor comes in at 108MP and does a great job at capturing lots of detail and information whilst also keeping decent image quality, this will be the camera you use most of the time so great to see more than decent performance from this.

Second comes the 8MP ultra-wide angle which gets more into the frame and is used for situations like group shots or landscape photos when you have more to get into the photo and don’t want to cut anything off the sides, you do drop down to 8MP though which is a lower resolution, but again quality is decent enough for most situations.

Finally comes the 5MP tele macro shooter, this is what you can use when in settings you enable the Super Macro mode and lets you get really close up to objects, of course at a much lower resolution to the others, and be careful when using as normally you need decent lighting to get a good Macro shot, and the closer you get to the object the more natual light you block out so this can be hit and miss.

Here are  photos taken using each of the cameras so you can see what quality you can expect to see from these sensors.

Low light performance is an area a lot of camera phones struggle with getting right, either the sensor is too small or the software just seems to struggle with overall quality,  with the Xiaomi 11T Pro, the Night Mode photos  come out quite well and are more than decent enough to share on social media or keep to show on a computer later on, however they do lack that punch that you get on some of the competition for the same price.

Video recording is decent enough for a smartphone at this price point, the videos above were all recorded at maximum resolution, with the main sensor the quality is the best thanks to the 4K resolution at 30 frames per second.

When you switch to the 2x zoom option within the camera settings you also get 4K at 30 frames per second but need to hold the phone very steady to get a decent recording, you can also record using the ultra-wide camera which shows as 0.6 on the list.

Overall the cameras are very impressive considering this phone costs just £599 and when I shared some of the photos on Twitter got very positive feedback from people, the biggest issue seems to be as good as the cameras are, low light performance can struggle a bit.

Final Thoughts

Xiaomi always impress with their middle of the year T series upgrades and this is no different, the biggest selling point has to be that crazy 120w fast charging which will mean even the heaviest of users will not have to worry.

The cameras still impress in good conditions and there is a lot of improvement than can happen is future software updates.

The biggest competition for the Xiaomi 11T Pro right now will be devices like the Samsung A53 and OnePlus 9 Pro which although older does have a real premium feel and specs to back it up.

If you had £600 to spend on an Android phone and wanted quick charging, a decent camera and good performance then the 11T would be well worth a look at.

A big thanks to Xiaomi UK for sending the phone out to review.

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