Xiaomi 11T Review : Snappy for the price

Chris Burns - Sep 15, 2021, 8:00am CDT
Xiaomi 11T Review : Snappy for the price

The Xiaomi 11T is a high-powered smartphone that is effectively a tiny movie screen. Xiaomi positions this device as a “Cinemagic” device, aiming to be a boss in the smartphone camera department. The cameras at the back of this device are very similar to those equipped with the Xiaomi 11T Pro – the big differences appear to come (at least in part) due to the processor inside either smartphone.

Hardware

The Xiaomi 11T works with a 6.67-inch flat AMOLED display with a punch hole camera in the center of its forehead. This device’s display has a 20:9 aspect ratio and FHD+ 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution. It’s capable of 120Hz image refresh rate and touch sampling up to 480Hz, so long as you’re using apps that support said features.

The display is flat – this is good. The display is only interrupted by the one punch hole for the front-facing camera, and the corners are rounded but not overly-rounded like some of the more cartoonish smartphones in the world today. This device’s display can get up to 1000 nits peak brightness and it works with TrueColor tech, so it’s going to be more than bright and colorful enough for you to use basically anywhere, including indirect sunlight.

There Xiaomi 11T has “dedicated” dual speakers – one out the top, the other out the bottom, and Dolby Atmos support. The speakers sound decent, but they suffer from the same downfall as all other top/bottom mounted speakers – they make sound that needs to bounce in order to get to your ears, so they’ll never be as great as front-mounted speakers.

There’s an Arc side-mounted fingerprint sensor on this smartphone that works great. The sensor is under the power/lock button for the phone, just below the volume control rocker button. Both the power button and the volume rocker are hardware buttons that require physical movement to operate.

Software

The software in the Xiaomi 11T is MIUI Global 12.5, based on Android 11. This software is unique, and may take a bit of getting used to if you’ve only ever used Google or Samsung’s version of Android, or Apple’s iOS.

As is generally the case with any Android smartphone, you can choose to work with your own home screen launcher, and Xiaomi offers a nice collection of customizations for UI and touchscreen control. This device has access to Google Play at launch.

Cameras

The Xiaomi 11T has what very well may be the same set of cameras as is installed in the Xiaomi 11T Pro. They both have the same size sensors and apertures and lenses – it’s just the ever-so-slightly different features they come with that separates the two. The Pro has 8K recording and HDR10+ recording, while the 11T has EIS AF.

But none of this means anything if the smartphones can’t easily high capture quality media.

The Xiaomi 11T has a set of cameras that can capture nice photos in most environments. If you’re looking for a magic piece of equipment that can capture sharp and focused photos almost without fail, this isn’t it. You’ll still need to stay steady, especially when focus is absolutely vital.

A significant amount of the photos we captured over the course of our review were a bit washed out, and focus tended to be more of an issue than it’s been with other devices we’ve reviewed in the recent past.

A big part of the reason why we’ve grown used to being able to capture quality photos in most situations, almost without fail, is the Google Pixel. This Xiaomi 11T has what appears to be more than enough high-end hardware to capture high-end photos, but without the magic delivered by computational photography on the Pixel’s level, the quality of the photography depends mostly on the steady hand of the photographer.

Battery

The Xiaomi 11T has a 5000mAh battery with 67W wired turbo charging. If you have the right charger, you’ll be able to charge from 0 to 100% in 36-minutes. We’ve tested charging speeds and found that the full charge never took longer than 45 minutes, provided we were using the right plug.

Battery life depended largely on how much we used the phone, as you might imagine. If we’re keeping the display on and at peak brightness while streaming with Netflix on mobile data, we can run the battery out in a few hours. Using the device only periodically throughout the day never ran the battery out before the end of said day.

Wrap-up

The Xiaomi 11T would be a decent smartphone at a price higher than what Xiaomi is asking. With a base price at approximately EUR 649 for the version with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, this device is worth more than it’ll cost you to buy at launch. This device will be available in Meteorite Gray (the one we’ve got here), Moonlight White, and Celestial Blue.

You will absolutely want to try a Xiaomi smartphone in-hand before buying a Xiaomi phone for the first time. If you are using an iPhone or an Android phone made by a company other than Xiaomi, you’ll want to experience the software with this phone before you buy it. If you’ve been using Xiaomi smartphones for years – you know what you’re looking at, and you know it’ll be worth the cash.

If you are living in the United States, make sure your mobile carrier of choice works with this device. Just because it works with Google Play doesn’t necessarily mean it works with your carrier’s 4G or 5G radios.


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