Xiaomi 11T Pro Review: Terrific value that's second only to the iQOO 7 Legend

    The Xiaomi 11T Pro is one of the best phones under Rs. 45,000 to buy right now, despite certain flaws. Read to find out why.
    By: AMRITANSHU MUKHERJEE
    | Updated on: Jan 28 2022, 18:37 IST
    The Xiaomi 11T Pro is available at a starting price of Rs. 39,999.
    The Xiaomi 11T Pro is available at a starting price of Rs. 39,999. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    The Xiaomi 11T Pro is available at a starting price of Rs. 39,999.
    The Xiaomi 11T Pro is available at a starting price of Rs. 39,999. (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    What makes a true flagship killer in 2022? Top-notch specs minus the bells and whistles – that's so 2018. Consumers are demanding more, and it is up to these manufacturers to decide what to offer, and what to skip. Xiaomi's recipe for these consumers is the Xiaomi 11T Pro – a flagship killer from 2021 that holds its might against the likes of the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 FE.

    Xiaomi, however, does it differently. Because from no angle does the Xiaomi 11T Pro feel like a cut-price version of a flagship; it feels a lot like the latter. It has got all the top-end specs and a user experience to round up this package as possibly one of the best Android smartphones to recommend for less than Rs. 40,000. However, it faces a grave threat from the ageing iQOO 7 Legend.

    Wonder why? Read on to find out.

    Xiaomi 11T Pro Design

    Phones in the sub- 50,000 space have forgotten what exciting means! And that includes Xiaomi too. The Xiaomi 11T Pro tries to wear the “family look and feel” of the Mi 11 series but ends up looking more boring than all of its predecessors. My circle often mistook the 11T Pro for a Redmi Note 10 Pro; not something I would like to hear after spending double the amount. The spicy colour gradient schemes look nice, but they do a little to help make the Xiaomi 11T Pro stand out. In comparison, an iQOO 7 Legend looks like, well, a legend!

    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    While it looks dull, the phone is built supremely. Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and an unknown kind of glass on the rear make this a very luxurious phone to behold. The fit and finish is top-notch, especially with the tasteful “Harman/Kardon” element on the top. It is also nice to see the curved sides instead of the flat iPhone 12-inspired design – despite its 204 grams of weight, this is a comfy phone to use.

    Note that Xiaomi pre-applies a display protector and provides a TPU case in the box. You also get a 3.5mm to USB-C adapter and the 120W charger.

    Xiaomi 11T Pro Display

    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    One of the best aspects of the Xiaomi 11T Pro! This 6.67-inch display holds a FHD+ 10-bit AMOLED panel with a refresh rate of 120Hz and HDR10+ certification. All that tech lingo in plain English translates to a beautiful display for a phone of this class. Be it watching HDR videos on YouTube or scrolling through Instagram, this is a nice display to feast your eyes on. The 120Hz refresh rate and 480Hz response rate makes for a buttery smooth interaction, but a lack of a variable refresh rate tech means it affects the battery life. Nonetheless, this is the best smartphone display we have seen on a sub-Rs. 50,000 phone yet.

    Xiaomi 11T Pro Performance

    With a Snapdragon 888 at the helm, the Xiaomi 11T Pro leaves little doubts about its performance. On a daily basis, it shows that with grace. Paired with a well-optimised MIUI 12.5 experience, the Xiaomi 11T Pro reacts smoothly to all tasks and is eager to do them. Be it editing photos on Instagram, or load up Facebook feeds, this phone feels right at home while doing so. The processor shows its might while using MIUI's photo editing tools in the Gallery app – everything happens fast like you would expect on a high-end phone.

    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    MIUI 12.5 itself is a tasteful software experience, with loads of flair in its design and hundreds of features to customise. It gives strong iOS vibes but once you get used to its different layout, you can see the polished experience greeting with a smile. Things like the Super Wallpaper, animated system icons, and iOS inspired notifications do make it more appealing than any other Android phone I have seen. Samsung's One UI 4 and Apple's iOS 15 feels boring in comparison; this is a personal take, yours may vary.

    I did not witness advertisements despite keeping the Personalised Ads switched on. Xiaomi pre-loads the Moj app along with its MIUI apps and Google apps, most of which can be removed. However, what's sad is that the entire system runs on Android 11 right now. Xiaomi promises a MIUI 13 update soon but nothing on the Android 12 update. Note that consumers will get 3 years of OS updates, and 4 years of security patches, which is commendable.

    Xiaomi promises three years of Android OS upgrades and four years of security patches on the Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi promises three years of Android OS upgrades and four years of security patches on the Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Xiaomi promises three years of Android OS upgrades and four years of security patches on the Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi promises three years of Android OS upgrades and four years of security patches on the Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    MIUI 12.5 itself is a tasteful software experience, with loads of flair in its design and hundreds of features to customise. It gives strong iOS vibes but once you get used to its different layout, you can see the polished experience greeting with a smile. Things like the Super Wallpaper, animated system icons, and iOS inspired notifications do make it more appealing than any other Android phone I have seen. Samsung's One UI 4 and Apple's iOS 15 feels boring in comparison; this is a personal take, yours may vary.

    If you game a lot, the Snapdragon 888 inside doesn't disappoint there. Games such as Call of Duty: Mobile, F1 Mobile Racing, Pokemon Unite, and Shadow Fight 4 run at the very best of graphics at ease for long sessions. That said, I witness frame drops after an hour of COD: Mobile, which can be attributed to the Snapdragon 888's thermal issues.

    Xiaomi 11T Pro Audio

    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    The Xiaomi 11T Pro has the second-best loudspeakers on a phone under Rs. 50,000; the ROG Phone 3 and Phone 5 rule the charts. The phone gets dedicated dual speakers for the stereo effect and the audio quality is great. The audio output has depth in it, with well-balanced mids, decent low-end, and clear highs. There's no 3.5mm jack but audio via wireless headphones sounds great. There are plenty of equaliser options to play with.

    Xiaomi 11T Pro Cameras

    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    The Mi 10T Pro had great cameras and Xiaomi continues the trend with the Xiaomi 11T Pro. The 108MP Samsung HM2 sensor returns from the Redmi Note series but paired with the better ISP on the Snapdragon 888, it captures great photos. In daylight, the main camera holds a wide dynamic range, sharpness, and good noise suppression. Details are slightly squashed slightly but you can get that on the 108MP mode. Night photos come out good too, with a natural overall look. That said, the lack of OIS means shaky hands could end up smudging the details slightly.

    The 8MP ultra-wide camera isn't as sharp but it nears the colour profile of the main camera, at least under daylight. Xiaomi's amazing 5MP macro camera is tuned even better now, taking macro photos with such clarity, colours and details that it puts the iPhone 13 Pro Max's macro mode to shame at times. The 16MP selfie camera is decent but it has a tendency to brighten up the face more than it actually is.

    For sample images, click here.

    Video recording is good in 4K at 30 fps and 4K at 60 fps, but the lack of OIS is a bummer. The ability to record to HDR10+ videos is cool but you need to have a compliant display to make the most out of the format. You can also record 8K videos at 30 fps. With several video modes, the Xiaomi 11T Pro is a decent choice for vloggers.

    Xiaomi 11T Pro Battery

    Xiaomi 11T Pro 
    Xiaomi 11T Pro  (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Xiaomi 11T Pro 
    Xiaomi 11T Pro  (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    The combination of a power-hungry Snapdragon 888 and a 120Hz display puts a lot of load on the 4500mAh battery. With regular usage patterns involving browsing, calls, photography, and some gaming, the Xiaomi 11T Pro can last an entire day with 20 percent battery to spare. On the busiest of days with lots of phone calls involved, the full charged Xiaomi 11T Pro ran out of juice by evening.

    Thankfully, the 120W charging solution is a blessing. In under 25 minutes, the Xiaomi 11T Pro can charge itself from 10 – 100 percent. That's convenient by all means, especially if you seek a quick top-up. Before going for an evening walk. I often plug it in charger at 35 percent and in the 10 minutes it takes me to get ready, the battery goes up to 80 percent!

    That said, the fast charging does not work when you are on a call. Xiaomi does not explain reasons behind this anomaly but I believe it is to prevent overheating for safety issues.

    Verdict

    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)
    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Xiaomi 11T Pro (Amritanshu / HT Tech)

    If you had reservations on spending Rs. 40,000 on a Xiaomi phone, the Xiaomi 11T Pro is the one that dispatches most of them. The phone offers everything you expect from a cut-price flagship in 2022 – great performance, nice display, good cameras, and a blistering fast charging solution. Next to the Vivo V23 Pro, Realme GT, Oppo Reno 6 Pro and the iPhone SE, this Xiaomi 11T Pro feels like a class-above.

    That said, it's not all good for the Xiaomi 11T Pro. This phone looks boring, despite the fancy colour schemes; especially next to the striking iQOO 7 Legend with its BMW stripes, and even last year's Vivo X70 Pro. The OIS in the main camera is missed and so is a dedicated zoom camera. The battery life could have been tuned better and the 120W charging system needs you to leave the phone unattended for it to achieve the faster speeds.

    Most importantly, the iQOO 7 Legend is still an overall better phone to consider. Unless you prefer Xiaomi's polished MIUI over iQOO's FunTouch OS, the Xiaomi 11T Pro loses out narrowly to the iQOO 7 Legend in terms of sheer bang-for-buck.

    Our take: Starting at Rs. 40,000, the Xiaomi 11T Pro ends up being one of our top recommendations in the sub- 45,000 smartphone space alongside the iQOO 7 Legend. Those seeking a fun user experience should consider this.

    Wait for the iQOO 9 series though, which we feel could offer a slight edge in terms of an overall great deal.

    Rating
    4 out of 5
    Price
    INR 39,999/-
    Product Name
    Xiaomi 11T Pro
    Brand Name
    Xiaomi
    Pros
    • Great display
    • Super fast charging
    • Pleasant user experience
    Cons
    • Camera lacks OIS
    • Dull design
    Specifications
    • Display
      6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED 120Hz 10-bit
    • Chipset
      Snapdragon 888
    • Battery
      4500mAh
    • Charging
      120W wired
    • Rear Cameras
      108MP main + 8MP ultra-wide + 5MP Macro
    • OS
      MIUI 12.5 on Android 11
    • Front Camera
      16MP

    Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

    First Published Date: 28 Jan, 08:59 IST
    Tags:
    NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS
    keep up with tech