Xiaomi 11T Pro review: yet another fantastic mid-range phone

Xiaomi 11T Pro review: yet another fantastic mid-range phone
Xiaomi 11T Pro - key specs

Dimensions: 164.1mm x 76.9mm x 8.8mmWeight: 204gScreen: 6.67 inches AMOLED (120Hz, FHD+)CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 660 RAM: 8GBStorage: 128GB/256GBRear cameras: 108MP, 8MP, 5MPFront cameras: 16MPBattery: 5,000 mAhOS: MIUI 12.5, Android 115G: Yes

This Xiaomi 11T Pro review in a nutshell: What you get here is a handset that easily competes with the best Android phones - it has plenty of power, a decent camera and a big battery as well as super-fast charging. Despite that, there isn't anything about it that will really make you go "wow".

Xiaomi has taken some leaps in the phone world this year, in fact, it’s now ahead of Apple in terms of market share and it sits just behind Samsung at the very top.

Now Xiaomi is looking for its next smartphone success story, the Chinese company recently launched their new T series of smartphones and included in that was the Xiaomi 11T Pro. It offers high-end specs at a mid-range price, even though it does sit towards the pricier end of that.

So how does it stack up against the very best phones you can buy? Long story short, it’s not anything special but it is a great phone for those who want speed and fantastic battery life. Find out more in this Xiaomi 11T Pro review where I'll cover everything you need to know about this smartphone.

Xiaomi 11T Pro review: what’s new

Unlike previous generations, Xiaomi has done away with the Mi branding, naming it simply the Xiaomi 11T series. It's made up of the Xiaomi 11T which is one of the best cheap phones this year, as well as this phone, the Xiaomi 11T Pro which is a step above in terms of specs and it has ahigher price tag to match.

So how are they different? Well for starters, the Xiaomi 11T Pro boasts a more powerful chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 as opposed to the 11T’s MediaTek Dimensity 1200-Ultra. You won’t get Xiaomi HyperCharge with the cheaper phone either as the 11T only offers 67W charging as opposed to the Xiaomi 11T Pro’s 120W, although they do both have a 5,000mAh battery.

Both handsets have Full HD+ 6.67inch displays with a 120Hz refresh rate. You'll find similar cameras as well although you do get the benefit of 8K video from the Xiaomi 11T Pro which you don’t get with the 11T. Another benefit of the pricier piece of kit is the fact that the sound is produced by Harmon Kardon so you’ll be better off watching videos or playing music on that phone.

Xiaomi 11T Pro review: price and availability

Available to pre-order from the 24th September in the UK, the Xiaomi Mi 11T Pro will set you back £599 for the phone with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. For 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, you’re looking at paying £699. We expect the phone will be available in Australia as well later this year, it's unlikely to be sold in the US.

Xiaomi 11T Pro review: design and display

You can buy the Xiaomi 11T Pro in a few different colours: Celestial Blue, Meteorite Grey or Moonlight White. I saw the Grey version which has a shiny brushed metal finish on the back, it looks pretty smart although the mirrored effect does mean that you get fingerprint marks on the back of the phone almost every time you touch it. If that's likely to annoy you, a case will solve that problem and luckily there's one included in the box.

In picking up the Xiaomi 11T Pro for the first time, I was struck by its size. This is a chunky phone weighing 204g and measuring 164.1 x 76.9 x 8.8mm. It doesn’t feel as slim and compact as others which is a problem for me as I have small hands. Another design niggle is the camera notch which sticks out a fair amount making it annoying to use flat on a table, and it catches when you slide it into a tight pocket.

On the front, it has the usual hole-punch style camera in the middle at the top, while the screen is framed by a slim black bezel (although I have seen slimmer). To unlock the display, there’s a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the power button which works well and is well-placed for where your thumb naturally sits on the frame. You do get the choice to use facial recognition as well. Wired headphone users should upgrade to Bluetooth buds if they’re keen to buy this phone as there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack here.

The large 6.67inch FHD+ display has a resolution of 2400x1080p and 1000 nits peak brightness. While that’s nothing special on a phone at this price, it is definitely good enough and combined with the HDR10+ support makes this phone fantastic for streaming video.

It's seriously smooth to use as well, thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate, every scroll and swipe feels effortless. You’ll be able to really make the most of that in mobile games, and everything else from scrolling the web to tapping through online shops will feel just as satisfying. The previous generation of the phone, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro actually had an even higher refresh rate but, to be honest, the fact that Xiaomi has downgraded this time around doesn’t really make that much difference.

Xiaomi 11T Pro review: camera

The rear camera system is made up of a 108MP wide-angle camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a 5MP telemacro camera. For selfies, there’s a 16MP front camera.

All in all, the camera system is very good. You get bright, colourful shots with a good balance between light and dark areas. When you zoom into the photo you'll see it doesn't pick up quite as much detail as you’d get elsewhere. It hardly compares to phones like the iPhone 12 Pro, however considering the Xiaomi 11T Pro is a fraction of the price, you can still manage to get some really nice snaps.

The camera performed best at landscapes and cityscapes but doesn't fare quite as well when it comes to macro shots up close to the subject where the intricate detail of the photo is most important.

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Unlike the other phone in the T series, you can film video in resolutions up to 8K here. It looks good in comparison to the video you can take on other smartphones at this price, you’ll be able to rely on it to take clear video without graininess although it was a little shaky even when I filmed sat down to reduce camera shake.

Xiaomi 11T Pro review: performance

Under the hood, you’ll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor which is paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, if you’re looking to spend less then you could opt for 128GB of storage instead. It’s worth bearing in mind that there’s no Micro SD card slot to expand the memory capacity though.

All that processing power means that this phone is fast and efficient to use, it’ll cope with mobile games and you’ll easily be able to get work done on it as well with loads of different apps open at once. You won’t get quite the level of speed as you do from the most premium flagship devices but it performs similarly to phones like the OnePlus 9 or the Oppo Find X3 Pro. On Geekbench 5, it scored 1,044 in single-core and 3,595 in multi-core which is definitely up there with the better performing handsets.

Alongside speedy overall performance, this phone has both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 so you’ll be able to make the most out of the quickest internet speeds as well. That's if you live somewhere that supports it and you have a compatible broadband router, of course.

Packing a 5,000mAh battery, the Xiaomi 11T Pro seemed to last ages, I used it on and off for a whole workday and managed to get home with some battery left over. To test it out more accurately, I played a video on full brightness over two hours and noted down how much the battery level dropped. In that time the battery went down by 12% which suggests that it would have lasted almost 17 hours in total which is huge!

Thanks to the 120W charger included in the box, the phone took around half an hour to recharge from empty to 100% - you'll never be left without time to give your phone a quick charge again.

The Xiaomi 11T Pro uses the MIUI 12.5 operating system which is based on Android 11. It’s colourful, bright and simple although admittedly the icons are a little childlike. Starting it up for the first time, there are a few apps pre-installed that you might feel compelled to delete like AliExpress or WPS Office, yet in saying that you do also get your Google apps ready to go which is very useful. This OS does include a few handy extra features as well, like Raise to Wake and an Always-On function which will show you the date, time, battery and your notifications.

Harmon Kardon tuned the dual speakers on the Xiaomi 11T Pro, and it has Dolby Atmos, so a major plus point here is the quality of the audio. Loud, clear and accurate you’ll easily get away with watching TV shows and movies on this phone although naturally, you’ll want to hook up a separate speaker or headphones if you want to listen to music as you do still get slightly distorted sound at the highest levels.

Xiaomi 11T Pro review: verdict

The Xiaomi 11T Pro is a phone for those who care about having a speedy handset with a huge screen, and a battery that will last a full day and then some. You even get a decent three-lens camera system that can take some great shots, and seriously fast charging as well.

All of those perks combined make this a great phone for commuters and business users in particular. I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone with small hands or who want a slim, compact phone because it is very hard to use one-handed, but it’ll be a good choice for just about anyone else.

Xiaomi 11T Pro review: also consider

If it’s a big screen you’re after, the OnePlus 9 Pro is the best premium Android phone you can buy right now. It has a 6.7inch QHD+ display that will absolutely knock your socks off, it’s stunning. That’s packed into a device with a fantastic camera and a stylish design, but it is a little bit more expensive than the Xiaomi 11T Pro.

On a smaller budget? The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is the perfect phone for photography and it costs a fraction of the price of the Xiaomi 11T Pro. Despite its price, it still manages to pack in a 120Hz FHD+ display, water-resistance and a long-lasting 4,500mAh battery - although the performance isn’t quite going to compare.