Xiaomi 11T 5G – A New Dawn

Xiaomi is a technological giant no matter how you look at them. They have a wide range of product offerings from air fryers to toothbrushes, power banks to fans but they are still likely most known for their smartphone offerings. I have only really looked at Xiaomi devices in passing but I did end up buying a Xiaomi Redmi phone earlier this year after I managed to get a steal of a deal. However, this is the first time I have had extensive hands-on experience with a Xiaomi device.

Xiaomi 11T 5G
+ FOR
  • Screen
  • Performance (for the price)
  • Speakers
- AGAINST
  • Secondary Cameras
  • Slippery Finish

Buy at Xiaomi UK

Disclaimer

Xiaomi sent out the 11T 5G for just over a month for the purpose of a review. No money exchanged hands and this review is only being seen by Xiaomi at the point of publication

Quick Links…

Overview & Unboxing

The Xiaomi 11T 5G comes in a sleek white box that exudes elegance with dark grey and rose gold metallic writing. My review unit had no specifications or IMEI info on the outside of the box but I am sure the retail box will contain that information on one of the sides. 

This is part of the initial phase of phones where Xiaomi has phased out the Mi branding so rather than this model being the Xiaomi Mi 11T 5G, it loses the Mi branding and so is simply the Xiaomi 11T 5G (I guess we can also drop the 5G moniker as there is no 4G version of this phone). 

Inside the box, you will find the phone wrapped in a sleeve that contains a few of the highlight features of the phone including the 108MP camera, 120Hz AMOLED display, MediaTek Dimensity 2000-Ultra processor and the 67W wired turbo charging. A quick start guide, safety information booklet, warranty card, silicone case, sim ejector tool, USB A to USB C cable and lastly the 67W fast charger (in this instance I have the European charger) are all included inside the box. 

The phone also comes preinstalled with a plastic screen protector which is nice but it is also standardised alongside the included case on nearly every single phone I have reviewed over the past few years. 

Taking a look around the phone, the front houses the in-display camera with absolutely no halo around the cutout which is thanks to the AMOLED technology used on the display which allows for the pixels to be cut out perfectly, compared to LCD technology where the cut out would impact pixels around it. 

The left side of the phone is completely bare whilst the right side has the power button which also houses the fingerprint scanner alongside a volume rocker. Up top, you have one side of the stereo speaker setup alongside a microphone. The bottom of the phone has the USB C port running at the antiquated USB 2.0 speeds, combined with the other half of the stereo speakers, a microphone and lastly the dual Nano-SIM tray. 

The back of the phone has a fairly chunky camera setup which takes up about ⅙ of the back of the phone in a rectangular portrait orientation. The tri camera setup is paired with a triple flash and a rear-facing microphone. Along the bottom of the phone, you also have Xiaomi 5G and the legal markings.

Spec Sheet

  • 6.67” Display
    • 1080 x 2400 FHD+ Resolution
    • 20:9 Aspect Ratio
    • HDR10+ with a typical brightness of 800 nits and a peak of 1000
    • 120Hz variable refresh rate
    • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
  • MediaTek 1200 5G 6nm SOC
  • 128GB/256GB UFS 3.1 Storage
  • 8GB RAM
  • 108MP f/1.8 wide camera (26mm equivalent)
  • 8MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera with a 120˚ field of view
  • 5M f/2.4 telephoto macro camera (50mm equivalent) 
  • 16MP f/2.5 wide front-facing camera
  • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
  • USB C 2.0 
  • Side Mounted fingerprint scanner
  • IP53 dust and splash resistance
  • Dual Nano SIM slots

Performance & Use

The setup process was a breeze with a new white interface that gets the device fully set up. It all seemed fairly stock apart from the logging into your Xiaomi account which was nice, I did find that the final step did take a little time before actually booting into the OS, I am not sure whether that is something because of an early software release or just how long MiUI takes to boot in.

In-Hand Feel

The Xiaomi 11T 5G is ‘unapologetically polycarbonate’ as Apple would put it. When I did my hands-on, the weight of the phone was something that initially stood out and this is down to the actual material used to build the phone.

I do tend to have a case on my phones as I like to keep them as pristine as possible and you almost need to have one on this phone as it picks up fingerprints on the rear like it’s nobody’s business. I constantly felt unnerved that I would be judged if anybody saw the rear of the phone and felt like I had to have a microfibre on hand 24/7. So a case or a skin is a must on this phone.

The back of the phone is however very good looking and has a brushed steel type finish and gives the phone an expensive look. The rear is also designed to be viewed in landscape orientation with all of the text in landscape too. This emphasises the photography and videography prowess that Xiaomi is pitching on the 11T.

Even though the 11T is a fairly large phone with a 6.67” display, the curvature on the rear of the phone makes it feel smaller than it is, with the boxy top and bottom giving it the big phone feel and prevents you from blocking the display when watching content.

Display

The 6.67” AMOLED display is bright and beautiful. Xiaomi has equipped it with an HDR10+ display which means the phone reaches an average brightness of 800 nits and a peak of 1000 nits. Unfortunately, I don’t have the testing equipment to validate these claims but for indoor use, it is ideal with the display combatting even the brightest of rooms. Generally, the screen is very good outdoors but on the occasional strong sun that I experienced in October and November you may struggle a little as the peak of 1000 only activates during the playback of HDR10+ content rather than in day to day usage.

The variable refresh rate kept the OS and the applications buttery smooth and the fact that it is adjustable helps to save battery especially compared to a fixed 60Hz panel. This is because it can drop down to a lower value in slower moving areas such as viewing photos. I can notice the difference from my iPhone 12 Pro Max which has a fixed 60Hz display and how this feels significantly smoother overall.

I had the included screen protector kept on the entire time the phone was with me which meant that I didn’t end up testing the scratch resistance of the display, however, the phone dealt well with minor knocks and bumps when paired with the included silicone case.

The 20:9 aspect ratio does make the phone feel smaller than it is, although the chassis is fairly boxy overall with a significant gap between the side of the phone and the edge of the display so I can’t quite wrap my hand fully around the phone. The phone does feel fairly manageable overall and if you are coming from a smaller phone 6”-6.3” you should be fine.

Speakers

The phone features stereo audio which is amazing as very few of the devices I test out include this functionality which makes a huge difference to your media consumption experience.

The speaker measured 130 decibels at its maximum which is a whole 20 decibels louder than the 110 measured in the Huawei P40 Pro Plus from very early on this year which is officially touted as a flagship but this mid-range puts it to shame. The Realme 8 5G got close at 129 however the audio on the 11T 5G is something else.

I loved the speakers on the Xiaomo 11T 5G as they made watching media from Youtube, Netflix, Prime Video and BBC iPlayer a pleasure. The audio felt full and rich and very comparable to my iPhone 12 Pro Max. At full volume, you do lose a little bit of clarity and the volume curve is very dramatic at the top end with 2-3 notches down results in a significant drop in volume.

Huge props to Xiaomi for integrating such good speakers on this phone!

Camera & Samples

The camera array is a fairly large one as mentioned earlier as Xiaomi has placed a large emphasis on both the physical camera hardware and the software processing enhancing the images taken by the sensors.

The primary sensor is a 108MP f/1.8 aperture wide-angle camera which is the equivalent of a 26mm lens. By default, this camera is operating at a lower resolution to ensure that you don’t end up the entire storage of the phone in a few hundred shots and you have to go into the more menu to be able to swap to the 108MP mode. Unfortunately, I was unable to find out what the lower resolution is that the camera defaults to but I would expect between 12-18MP.

The ultrawide lens seemed to perform very similarly to the standard lens at the 0.6x distance. It did pick up a little less light which is due to the fact it is f/2.2 compared to f/1.8 on the main lens. The resulting picture also seemed to be more saturated which was surprising but actually for the kind of photos I would use this for (landscape photography) it ends up somewhat favourable.

Wide Angle Lens 1xThe telephoto lens is average and I wish there was the opportunity to disable it and use the primary 108MP operating with digital zoom. 

The front-facing camera was decent and it was able to capture a good level of detail with fairly accurate colour reproduction if a little on the unsaturated and underexposed side. It can capture a good level of fine detail and it’s ideal for video calling and social media.

The video from the phone was average. The stabilisation was excellent and even when fully zoomed in, the phone held its own and ensured that the footage was stable. The actual picture quality on the other hand degraded very quickly with the footage at full zoom being almost as if it was a watercolour painting and this can be seen in the footage below. I think around the 2X zoom point would be the breaking point.

This footage was shot outside on an overcast but incredibly bright day in mid-October so it wasn’t as if the environmental factors negatively impacted the capability of the camera.

Software

Even though Xiaomi dropped the Mi moniker from the name of the phone but it still lives on within the phone in the form of MiUI. The phone was initially running on MiUI Global 12.5.0.27 when I initially got the phone and it remained on this version for part of my testing, before being updated to 12.5.4.0.

One thing I found was that Xiaomi has borrowed quite a few design choices from Apple’s iOS. One of the ‘features’ included is the access to the quick controls and the navigation, the camera cutout serves as the centre point of the display. When swiping down from the left-hand side, you get access to the navigation bar, whilst the right-hand side launches the quick controls. This is strikingly similar to the iOS navigation controls.

The application drawer has categories such as Communication, Entertainment, Photography and Tools. You can click the 3 lines in the top right and then manage app categories to manage the names of the categories alongside the apps within them. You can also create custom ones with the apps of your choosing or should you wish to, you can delete them all and just use the default alphabetical order. The search bar is on the bottom however I would have preferred it at the top as it’s just more intuitive (similar to the Safari search bar on iOS 15 which thankfully can be moved to the top in the final release).

The overall interface is fairly stock with a few Xiaomi Mi apps such as Mi Video, Mi Store, Mi Community and Mi Remote which are customary with any Android phone. You also have a few paid partnership apps such as PUBG, WPS Office, Amazon, Trip.com and AliExpress but thankfully you can delete these.

The included background does remind me a little of Microsoft’s Windows 11 light background and potentially a Samsung background from one of the plethora of phones they have released in the last year or two.

Battery

The phone has a 5000mAh battery which is a decent size and considering the powerful processor and big bright display.

I pushed this phone fairly hard as I was enjoying using its bright vibrant display speeding through at up to 120Hz and managed to get a whole day of use out of it. I would say if you are heading out in the evening you would probably benefit from a quick 20-minute plug in and as seen in the charging test below that should be more than enough.

Charging

The battery is touted to charge up from 0 – 100% in 36 minutes which is considerably slower than the 17 minutes that the Xiaomi 11T Pro is rated for – however, it is not a slouch in any regard. This is using the included 67W power adapter, as mentioned at the start, this is of the European variety so I had to use an adapter to test the phone.

This 67W power adapter varies between 5.0V 3A at 15W at its normal output ramping up to 5.0 to 20.0V, 3.25A to 6.2A. It is also Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 certified although I couldn’t find a reference to this certification anywhere on the Xiaomi 11T 5G webpage.

The phone’s battery was completely depleted at the start of my test and the phone was off whilst being charged and stayed switched off throughout the entire charging process. The phone achieved a 35% charge in 14 minutes, with a 50% charge in roughly 19 minutes, a 75% charge in about 28 minutes and then a full charge in 44 minutes.

This did end up a fair bit short of the 36-minute advertised claim however I guess there are lots of environmental factors such as room size, starting battery heat and charger heat that will impact this time and Xiaomi has likely taken the best-case scenario rather than average speeds which can be a little misleading to the average user. Although it is no slouch to fill up the large 5000mAh battery, I would be more than happy with this speed but I don’t think I would charge at this speed in the long term to preserve the battery health.

0:00 – 0%

0:06 – 13%

0:12 – 27%

0:14 – 35%

0:17 – 42%

0:20 – 54%

0:23 – 61%

0:26 – 70%

0:29 – 78%

0:32 – 84%

0:35 – 90%

0:38 – 95%

0:41 – 98%

0:44 – 100%

Biometrics

The phone offers secure unlocking via the fingerprint scanner which is on the power button on the left-hand side of the phone. The included case has a cutout for the sensor with a dropped left and right bevel allowing for your finger to naturally find it. This sensor is very fast and is always active so you can put your finger on it when pulling it out of your pocket or from a table and by the time you have got it up into a usable position, it will be ready to go.

The success rate of the fingerprint scanner was incredibly high and I found that only when either my finger still had water on it after I washed my hands or had some other sort of residue then the scanner did struggle but I would expect that from any fingerprint scanner.

This is paired with the facial unlock powered by the front-facing punch-hole camera. This was probably the fastest facial unlock setup I have ever experienced at around 2 seconds. The message warning you about the lack of security of the facial unlock stays up longer at 5 seconds which was comical. I think if I was to use this phone long term, I would disable the face unlock as the scanner is in an incredibly convenient location, given the fact that I don’t believe the face unlock is overly secure.

Network

The phone has 5G integrated into the name so it’s a given that Xiaomi will have included a 5G modem and this is in the form of the MediaTek Dimensity 1200. The Helio M70 5G is built upon a 7nm process and is touted to support up to 4.7Gbps on the sub

The phone only supports the 6GHz 5G speeds which is the slower of the 2 5G technologies launched albeit it is the one that has been rolled out in masses so this is more indicative of the speeds you could expect to see in real life.

I chose the same spot to run a max throughput test for 5G as I have done in the past to be able to use my previous benchmarks as a comparison point. I used Ookla Speedtest as my tool of choice to run these tests.

DeviceXiaomi 11T 5GApple iPhone 12 Pro Max Realme 8 5G

(Past Test)

Oppo Find X3 Lite

(Past Test)

Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Download (Mbps)
Test 1 – 5G45968.658158.233451.2 51568.5
Test 2 – 5G46468.257965.632852.550866.6
Test 3 – 5G43568.861263.929746.9 49366.2
Average452.6668.53590.6662.56319.6650.2505.3367.1
Test 1 – 4G33623.637844.328.428839.9
Test 2 – 4G39027.339044.420029.324638.6
Test 3 – 4G37533.141144.418728.326741.7
Average3672839344.36181.6628.6626740.06

The location in which I ran the network speed tests seemed to be pushing out even higher speeds so I ended up retesting my iPhone 12 Pro Max alongside the Xiaomi 11T 5G. The iPhone 5G Download speed ended up being around 45% faster than last time, the upload was 33% slower, the 4G download was 15% slower and the 4G upload was 5% better.

But we are here to talk about the Xiaomi 11T 5G. It somehow has ended up fitting exactly where it is price-wise at launch, just under the Oppo Find X3 Lite, when comparing the 5G download. The 5G upload is within the margin of error compared to the other devices bar the Realme 8 5G. From a 4G download perspective, it is just under the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s however the upload was the lowest of the 4.

Whilst this speed test can’t be treated as gospel since mobile networks have a huge amount of variables but I would say it is decent but overall middle of the barrel performance.

Benchmarks

The MediaTek Dimensity 1200 that powers the Xiaomi 11T 5G is classified as a high-end SOC (System On Chip) which has an integrated 5G modem with 8 cores, 1 being ultra-fast, 3 fast and 4 high-efficiency cores. I have not personally come across this 3 tier variation before as the majority of SOC’s include a set of high power and high-efficiency cores.

GeekBench:

Single-Core Score 782

Multi-Core Score 2721

Antutu:

Overall Score: 613943 – Defeated 49% of users

CPU: 157452 – Defeated 51% of users

GPU: 228620 – Defeated 61% of users

Memory: 101410 – Defeated 51% of users

UX: 126461 – Defeated 56% of users

The Antutu score puts this phone up against devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, Note 20 Ultra 4G and about 9% higher than devices like the Huawei P40 Pro 5G and the Realme X2 Pro.

Whilst the Geekbench results also portray a very similar story with the single-core score almost identical to the Samsung Galaxy S20+ and the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, the multi-core puts it directly in the middle of the Samsung S20 FE 5G and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

That may result in the phone seeming fairly average in the benchmark table but considering most of those phones cost close to £1000 at launch whilst this phone has an RRP of £549 at launch.

The specs do not portray an accurate representation of the phone’s capabilities as the phone far exceeds any expectations on many levels of a phone at this price.

Miscellaneous 

The phone’s vibration motor when typing on the keyboard is a little sharp and almost sounds like you are tapping on a pane of glass. This can be adjusted within the haptic feedback however I did not notice a huge difference in the result. I ended up swapping between disabling the haptic feedback and having it on the minimum level.

Final Thoughts

Overall I was very impressed with my first extensive hands-on with a Xiaomi smartphone and this is a phone I can wholeheartedly recommend. Whilst there are a few shortcomings such as the plastic build, the secondary camera’s being less than ideal but the speakers, display and performance are flagship-level especially given the frequent sales I have seen on this device recently its an even better buy.

About Siddu Munjal

Reviewer & Partner Outreach for MobileTechTalk - Tech is a key part of my everyday life and I would probably be extremely lost without it.

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