The more affordable sibling of the Xiaomi 11T Pro, the Xiaomi 11T still brings a lot to the table for what you pay for. At a sub-RM2,000 price tag in Malaysia, is Xiaomi’s latest midrange phone worth it? Our Xiaomi 11T review puts it through its paces to see if it’s really worth the money.
Xiaomi 11T Review – Design
Intended as the more affordable sibling of the Xiaomi 11T Pro, the Xiaomi 11T shares a similar external chassis but swaps the higher end Snapdragon 888 processor for a workhorse MediaTek Dimensity 1200 Ultra 5G CPU, maxes out at 8GB RAM while the 11T Pro can go up to 12GB RAM and goes for a slightly slower but still nippy 67W fast charging versus the 11T Pro’s 120W Hypercharge fast charging.
These differences notwithstanding, it shares the same premium 120Hz AMOLED display and rear 108MP triple camera array with front 16MP camera though their capabilities differ slightly. The 11T is capable of up to 4K video for the rear cameras though the 11T Pro can capture up to 8K video which is primarily on account of the capabilities of the SD888 processor versus the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 Ultra.
The most eye catching aspect of the phone is a mirrored glass backplate that’s so shiny that you can handily use it as a mirror with the rear triple camera array emplaced in the customary upper left corner. The right side of the phone hosts a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader alongside a volume rocker while the left side is otherwise unadorned.
The top features an IR blaster- one of the few phones in the market to do so – and one of a matching pair of stereo speakers while the bottom of the phone features a nano SIM card tray, a USB-C port and the other speaker grille.
Up front, Xiaomi has lavished the phone with a high-end 6.67-inch AMOLED display with 2,400 x 1080 pixels resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate and, on account of its slim bezels, a 20:9 aspect ratio.
A tiny punch hole is emplaced in the upper middle portion of the display to house a 16MP selfie camera. Belying its price point, Xiaomi has also kitted this display out with Gorilla Glass Victus which is currently the toughest grade of glass that Corning has issued thus far.
In terms of build quality, our Xiaomi 11T review sample looks significantly more premium than what its price tag would indicate with a look and design that would give flagships thrice its price tag a run for their money, helped in part by the well specced display, mirrored backplate and otherwise generous heft about it that mimics a flagship phone; no surprise as its sibling the 11T Pro is nigh identical save for a more powerful Snapdragon 888 processor.
Unfortunately, the posh mirrored backplate is also a fingerprint magnet and catches smudges easily even with careful handling. You’ll either need to tote it around with a casing or give it frequent wipedowns to keep it looking presentable. It’s also inordinately slippery and care needs to be taken to prevent it from sliding off a table into oblivion.
On the bright side, the phone is rated IP53 for water and dust resistance so it’s easily able to survive a modest splash or two of rain.
Xiaomi has also proved to be surprisingly generous with accessories here and they’ve provided a soft TPU casing to go with the phone along with a USB-C cable and a 67W charger to juice the phone with. This is generous indeed seeing that many manufacturers these days are ditching essentials like chargers when selling phones.
XIaomi 11T Review – Specifications and Performance
The Xiaomi 11T came with the following hardware:
|Price||RM1,699 (128GB) RM1,899 (256GB)|
|Display|| 6.67-inch AMOLED DotDisplay, 2,400 x 1080 pixels, 120Hz, HDR10+
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 1200-Ultra 3.0GHz
|Processor||MediaTek Dimensity 1200-Ultra 3.0GHz|
|Memory||8GB RAM + 128GB storage / 8GB RAM + 256GB storage|
|OS||Android 11 w/ MIUI 12.5|
|Camera||108MP F/1.75 Super Pixel + 8MP F/2.2 ultra wide angle + 5MP F/2.4 telemacro [rear] / 16MP F/2.45 Battery 5,000mAh w/ 67W wired turbo charging|
|Battery||5,000mAh w/ 67W charging|
|Size/Weight||164.1 x 76.9 x 8.8mm / 203g|
This array of specifications places it at a curious point midway between a midrange phone and a flagship phone, which makes it an almost sub-premium flagship, if such a designation were to exist.
While the Xiaomi 11T has the same premium design, display and camera as the 11T Pro, it pares down the RAM and the processor as a concession to cost but this still gives it more than enough performance to outgun many other contenders in its price range and punch above its weight class.
The MediaTek DImensity 1200 Ultra processor is an octacore CPU built on a 6nm process that features a single Cortex Arm Cortex A78 3GHz Ultra core, a trio of Arm Cortex 2.66GHz super cores and a quartet of Arm Cortex A55 2.0GHz efficiency cores.
The Dimension 1200 Ultra also has Mali G77 MC9 graphics, features an NPU, supports 5G connectivity and supports up to 4K video capture which makes it a well rounded CPU indeed. Our Xiaomi 11T review sample was the 128GB version though a 256GB variant is available for RM200 more.
When subjected to synthetic benchmarks, the Xiaomi 11T scored the following:
|3D Mark Wild Life||4186|
|3D Mark Wild Life Unlimited||4204|
|3D Mark Wild Life Extreme||1288|
|3D Mark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited||1261|
|Geekbench single core score||804|
|Geekbench multi core score||2982|
|Geekbench OpenCL score||5044|
|PCMark Work 3.0 Performance||12,108|
|PCMark Work 3.0 Battery Life||12 hours 29 minutes|
These performance benchmarks are respectable for a mid range phone and easily outguns the majority in its price range in the Malaysia market. For what you pay for, it’s a very capable phone.
Opening and swapping between multiple apps was a breeze and it was able to effortlessly handle triple-A gaming like Call of Duty Mobile, Genshin Impact and PUBG on high graphic settings without issue.
Under the hood, the phone runs Android 11 overlaid with their MIUI 12.5 and fortunately they’ve ditched a good chunk of the typical bloatware, offering a mostly clean install though some remnants remain including a preinstalled Lazada, Amazon Shopping, a quaint app simply called 92 along with a few other random bits and bobs though their stock apps don’t attempt to bombard you with pop-up ads which is a bonus.
As par for the course, MIUI 12.5 offers a veritable cornucopia of alternative themes that are both paid and free to choose from to offer extensive customisation for users along with extensive menus to tweak most aspects of the user experience.
The 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display is among the best on test with support for the DCI-P3 colour gamut and HDR10+ too with good detail and great colour reproduction though it tends to veer somewhat on the vibrant side of the colour gamut.
By default, the settings are placed at Vivid though you can also tweak it to a more Saturated palette, a more colour accurate one that reflects actual hues or customise them to taste by setting the colour temperature slider to your own exact specifications.
The display’s 120Hz dynamic refresh rate swaps between the full 120Hz and 60Hz depending on what you’re doing on screen with the full 120Hz when you’re navigating the menus, using the stock apps like the Google suite, WPS Office, TikTok and Chrome as well as some games like Call of Duty Mobile though this isn’t universal and some apps like YouTube and Netflix and many other games like Clash Royale are capped at 60Hz.
On the audio front, the provided stereo speakers on either end of the phone feature Dolby Atmos support and offer sufficiently loud volume though sound staging seems a bit flat and bass is somewhat underwhelming on default settings. Fortunately, you can adjust this to taste with several alternative settings and the chance to set your own equaliser settings.
In terms of endurance, our Xiaomi 11T review sample performed like a champ with its integrated 5,000mAh battery. In PCMark’s battery test, it managed an impressive 12 hours and 29 minutes of battery life of active usage and this allows users to easily go in at full tilt with a full day’s worth of heavy usage with WiFi and Data on, social media, texts and a bit of gaming and movies with full 120Hz refresh settings. More conservative users can easily get close to a day and a half and even two if you kick in the variety of battery saving options.
On paper, it maxes out at 67W charging while the 11T Pro features 120W fast charging but for practical purposes, what the Xiaomi 11T has is plenty fast for day to day use. From dead zero, it’s easily able to charge the phone to full in about 45 minutes
Xiaomi 11T Review – Camera Performance
The Xiaomi 11T features a triple camera array built around a gigantic 108MP F/1.8 primary camera with PDAF and a nona pixel arrangement that shoehorns 9 pixels into one large one. Riding shotgun is a secondary 8MP F/2.2 ultra wide angle camera and a tertiary 5MP telephoto macro camera for extremely up-close work.
One thing to note is that there’s no optical image stabilisation here on any of the cameras nor is there a telephoto zoom camera with any zoom effects seen relying primarily on cropping the large main sensor with the ability to go up to 10x digital zoom for stills and 2x for videos.
While it has a similar setup to the higher end 11T Pro, the limitations of the Dimensity 1200 Ultra CPU mean that it maxes out at 4K@30fps or 1080p@60fps video capture for the rear camera. Snaps are captured at a default 12MP resolution but you can also opt for a full-resolution 108MP mode. The front hosts a 16MP F/2.5 selfie camera capable of 16MP snaps and 1080P@30fps video.
Overall performance under daylight is extremely competent with well exposed shots, good detail and wide dynamic range though colour rendition tends to veer slightly towards the vivid side of the spectrum and details tend to be soft when you attempt to zoom in at 10x digital zoom.
Subject acquisition is fast and accurate and the AI does a decent job with stabilisation when capturing video to minimise hand judder and ensure smoother footage. Of note is the bokeh mode that generally produces good results though you can get the best outcomes if you generally focus on a single subject in the foreground and have a generally uncluttered background.
Night shots on auto mode tend to veer on the dim side and it delivers best results with at least street lighting available after dusk though the dedicated Night mode in the settings helps recover some detail and dynamic range.
For most users, the Xiaomi 11T has more than sufficient camera performance to tackle the vast majority of scenarios – food shots, family photos, selfies, vlogs and travelogues though pixel peepers and more discerning users will likely take notice of the lack of actual optical zoom and OIS though the latter can be compensated for with a gimbal.
Should you buy the Xiaomi 11T?
The Xiaomi 11T is a well rounded mid range phone with a number of features along with a design that you’d typically only see in much pricier phones.
For what you pay for, the Xiaomi 11T features an excellent 120Hz AMOLED display, a decent triple rear camera for general use and the generous inclusion of a fast charger and casing too. The 128GB variant represents fantastic value for casual users though the 256GB version offers better longevity as it comes with double the storage.
Xiaomi 11T review unit courtesy of Xiaomi Malaysia. For more details visit https://www.mi.com/my/product/xiaomi-11t/
The Xiaomi 11T is an attractively priced mid range phone that plays to its strengths, packing a powerful main camera array, a gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED display and solid hardware at a decent price tag.
Premium build quality with IP53 splash resistance
Good battery life
Great primary camera
Comes bundled with 67W charger and free casing
Finish is a fingerprint magnet
Camera array lacks optical zoom
No 3.5mm audio jack