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  • Cheryl Tan

Xiaomi 11T Pro Review: The Understated Overachiever

We've got the Xiaomi 11T Pro which boasts some pretty impressive specs: 108 MP camera, 8K recording capabilities, huge battery and all of this for RM2,000+? But is the juice worth the squeeze?

Let’s start with the design. It weighs 204g, which definitely feels like a hefty, solid build with its aluminium rails and glass back, which you guessed it, are total fingerprint magnets.

But does it feel premium? Very close.

We have the Meteorite Gray here with us but it also comes in two other colours, the Celestial Blue and Moonlight White.

One thing we’ve gotta say, we really appreciate the brushed steel look they're trying to go for while still retaining a glossy finish with a glass back. It looks amazing on camera.

The Xiaomi 11T Pro also comes 5G ready with dual SIM capabilities and Bluetooth 5.2.

It boasts a flat-edged 6.67-inch AMOLED display with Dolby Vision support with a fingerprint reader on the side. Personally, we’re fans of the flat-edged displays compared to the curved ones, and we’re glad to see this here. But we seem to find a lot of "but"s with this phone.

The display didn't seem like an AMOLED until you really push the brightness up all the way to its maximum, or at least until 75%. And while a 120Hz refresh rate is available, it won't be enabled out of the box which is factory set at 60Hz. Not a big deal, you’ll have to set this yourself, but it’s worth noting that the refresh rate is not adaptive, so it will likely consume more battery life.

It comes with a fingerprint reader on the side integrated with the power button which is fast and accurate.

Let's move on to the dedicated dual speakers firing from both the top and bottom, designed by Harmon Kardon that supports Dolby Atmos for a surround sound experience. These speakers get really loud and have that "thump" when it comes to bassy music and sounds.

But you can easily cover the speaker grills by accident because of where they are placed when holding in your hands. An easy fix is to rotate the phone the other way when watching videos so the speaker grills won't be resting against your palm, with the camera bump on the bottom.

Beware, while it does get loud, the speakers will crackle when playing at full volume. So we’re a little concerned about long-term use if this might damage the speakers if used frequently at high volumes.

Cameras are where Xiaomi aims to go above and beyond, giving us a 108MP wide camera, an 8MP ultra-wide, a 5MP telephoto lens and a 16MP selfie camera on the front.

Colours are slightly inconsistent when changing focus points, and will shift drastically in exposure but we commend it for having good sharpness when it's locked on to a subject and a natural shallow depth of field with an f/1.8 aperture.

HDR functions, though, seem to favour more towards bumping up hues for blues and greens while adding some hazy effect on shadows. Giving that saturated feel to most pictures especially when capturing the sky or trees.

But with a 108MP sensor, you won't have any issues utilising all the resolution provided. So for instance, when you're cropping into a subject that's far away, you could still get away with it and not have any major problems before the image starts getting pixelated.

As for video, the 11T Pro shoots up to 8K 30 FPS but with only six minutes of record time per clip. However, stabilisation in this mode will be turned off, as well as HDR functions which won't be available. A notable fact we should mention is that this mode will significantly raise operating temperatures and may even get uncomfortable to use handheld. So in case you are keen to shoot in 8K, we recommend using an external stabiliser to combat both of these issues.

At 4K 30 FPS or 60 FPS, heating issues are not as unbearable but still present. The back of the phone does heat up after just a few minutes of recording with AI features enabled to support image compression for low light in dealing with noise, and balancing exposure under bright daylight settings.

Cooling should definitely be looked into for their R&D if Xiaomi decides to go along with these specs and features, considering they require intense image processing. Otherwise, we do foresee it becoming a pretty good choice for serious content creators relying on phone cameras for features that some DSLRs or mirrorless cameras might not have, such as 8K video capabilities.

The Xiaomi 11T Pro runs on an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and Adreno 660 with either 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It scored a respective 798 for the single-core test, and 3307 for the multi-Core test, which sits close to the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra.

Its huge 5,000mAh battery claims to give you approximately 25 hours of running time, and it comes with a 120W Fast charger which takes you from 0 to 72% in 10 minutes.

There are two SKUs for this phone, with the 8GB + 128GB model going for S$649 or RM2,099 and the 12GB + 256GB model going for S$799 or RM2,299.

Xiaomi had big dreams with all these top of the line specs - but its practicality doesn't quite hit the mark. This isn't specific to Xiaomi and it's likely other flagships are experiencing the same. But maybe that's the evolution of technology and pushing the boundaries of hardware capacity. The training wheels come off soon enough and we may see Xiaomi at the front of the pack.


Content by Fitri Aiyub

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