Xiaomi 11T 5G review: new strategy, right strategy?
In the very diverse smartphone market, very few new smartphones are presented between 400 and 600 euros. Only the Xiaomi 11T 5G series gets a lot of attention this year in this price range.
With a recommended retail price of 549 euros, the 11T 5G is pursuing a completely new strategy compared to old Xiaomi smartphones, namely versprochene software updates. Whether it is for comproIn this test report you will find out what is wrong with the otherwise always strong hardware and how this affects everyday life.
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Design - very special
From a visual point of view, the Xiaomi 11T is pretty unusual, because you will hardly recognize the smell of other Xiaomi smartphones in it. The camera arrangement slightly reminds me of that Poco F3, but is definitely rather average. Three rather small sensors are reproduced in rectangular optics by two large camera sensors on two levels. In comparison, the color of the smartphone is rather special, because it is not a simple black, but has a linear texture, which makes the color appear more gray. The other two colors, namely white and blue, are matt, which is why I would probably prefer them personally.
The back is made of glass, which in my opinion feels accordingly. Corning Gorilla Glass Victus also provides protection against breaks and scratches, at least on paper. Nevertheless, you can't expect too much from the design for this price, the frame is still made of plastic, which also feels appropriate, and the transition to the display is not well done. The Xiaomi 11T 5G is an extremely large smartphone, fans of large smartphones should feel love right away. On paper it can even be two millimeters more wide than the known Xiaomi mi 11 ultra exhibit.
Display - worse than you think
In 2021, a lot of progress was made in affordable price ranges, with the OLED display with a high refresh rate also reaching the limit of 250 euros. The only difference to flagship displays is the resolution, the material and small things such as the maximum brightness or color depth. However, the Xiaomi 11T 5G is exactly in the middle. On paper we have a 10-bit, 120 Hertz, 1.080p OLED display with HDR 10+ certification and 800 nits of brightness. The specifications that I just mentioned can of course be trusted, but I have to address a few other points that cannot be read directly from the data sheet.
Unlike the Poco F3 or Redmi Note 10 Pro The Xiaomi 11T 5G does not use a panel made by Samsung, which currently means that the viewing clarity is not at the top. Although it doesn't show any rainbow-colored discoloration when viewed from the side due to the flexible material, the viewing angles are not stable and the discoloration is more noticeable than the competitionproducts. The color reproduction also looks very strangely greenish, apparently not much effort was put into the calibration. I rather recommend using the Original Color mode.
Overall, I find the display usable, of course, and it also represents a step forward if you come from older 60 Hertz displays, but I would definitely prefer the Samsung E4 panel of the Poco F3 mentioned above in this area.
Loudspeaker & vibration motor
The speakers are traditionally pretty worry-free at Xiaomi. The 11T has two stereo speakers that produce a satisfactory sound in this price range. Of course, there are still audible differences to flagship smartphones, but you should definitely be satisfied here.
The situation is different with the vibration motor, and by this I mean that it looks different, that we have not yet reached flagship level, because Xiaomi is one of the only manufacturers who has always made an effort in this area, even in the low price range. Even if the X-axis vibration motor built into the 11T still differs from the Xiaomi Mi 11 has to show, it is still able to beat some well-known flagship smartphones with haptic feedback.
Proprocessor: performance & battery life
Due to the well-known, not particularly good behavior of the Snapdragon 888, the year 2021 is probably not good for the mobile Proprocessor manufacturer Qualcomm. As a subordinate competitor for many years, MediaTek has increasingly used the opportunity to move up the market in recent years. Xiaomi also helps, so the 11T uses the best MediaTekProprocessor, namely the Dimensity 1200 5G.
First of all, the pure performance-related behavior is still located under a Snapdragon 888, 870 or Kirin 9000. Xiaomi confirms this fact itself by only showing the animations of Xiaomi smartphones with worse in the MIUI 12 user interface Prozessor, which were obviously cut for the more constant performance, for example due to the lack of background blur in the multi-tasking menu or a missing second level when starting applications.
The energy consumption is also comparatively high, so the Xiaomi 11T 5G achieves a worse battery life in everyday life than the Poco F3 with 500 mAh less capacity. Of course, there are also other influencing aspects, such as the non-existent, energy-saving Samsung E4 display. Nevertheless, this performance is pretty average for a smartphone with 5.000 mAh and its predecessor, the Mi 10T, was significantly better here.
Nevertheless, it has to be said that both performance and battery life are sufficient for everyday use, as long as you don't want to play intensive games. Normal users in particular should not Prohave trouble being satisfied with this, especially since the Dimensity 1200 is still better than many Processors of the competition, such as the Snapdragon 765G, 778G or MediaTek Dimensity 800 / 900. Nevertheless, the Poco F3 with a Snapdragon 870 SoC is superior here.
In addition to the battery life, the charging speed is even more worry-free. The 11T comes with a 67 watt power supply, which doesn't have the 17 minute 0 to 100 charge speed Procent of the 11T Pro reached, but is still very fast. In everyday life it can be very useful, with just a few minutes connected to the power supply many Procenter to get back.
When talking about software, the Xiaomi 11T typically uses the MIUI 12.5 user interface over Android 11, which differs little from other Xiaomi smartphones. It is a UI that has put a lot of effort into using original design and features. In everyday life there are no objective, conspicuous or annoying points, so users of other manufacturers should probe able to switch seamlessly. Opinion on the interface itself is a matter of taste, personally I'm a fan of hers for example.
It should only be mentioned briefly that Xiaomi has been promising three years of Android and four years of security updates since this smartphone. This puts them on par with manufacturers such as OnePlus and Samsung, and users can enjoy the latest features for a longer period of time.
Camera system - unfortunately disappointing
For the camera system of the Xiaomi 11T 5G one can have good, but also bad expectations, because on the one hand we have a 108 megapixel sensor with a size of 1 / 1,52 inches, on the other hand it is also in the lower 250 euros cheap Redmi Note 10 Pro installed. In addition to the average user experience in the camera app, it is interesting to know how the results with the new MediaTek ISP fare.
During the day it is noticeable that the color rendering is rather artificial, as the colors look quite colorful and saturated. This deviates from the realism and is definitely a matter of taste. The 108 megapixels are noticeable during the day because the details look a bit artificial when you enlarge the images, but they are very sharp.
When taking night shots, the behavior of the Xiaomi 11T 5G is really disappointing, because even compared to the half as expensive Poco F3, which at its price did not focus on the camera, the images appear darker at first glance and, on closer inspection, appear blurred . With the sensor, this behavior can only be explained by the fact that Xiaomi is not yet that experienced in optimizing the ISP of MediaTek SoCs.
The ultra-wide-angle camera is also only average, but better here than on the Poco F3. Compared to the main camera, the colors appear even more restrained. At night you can clearly see the difference compared to good ultra-wide-angle cameras.
As a smartphone that is positioned between the very powerful Poco F3 and the Xiaomi Mi 11, its behavior is rather uncomfortable to discuss, because it is 200 euros more expensive compared to the former, and you get faster charging in exchange for the flagship SoC , the display quality and the camera performance. Compared to the Mi 11, you have to do without a top-end display, flagship SoC, design and main camera for a little extra charge.
From this it can be deduced that I unfortunately cannot recommend the Xiaomi 11T 5G at the moment. Here are not the Proproducts of the competition Proproblem, some of which cannot keep up with this smartphone, but the competition from the company. It is up to you to decide whether the update promise is worth giving up so much. Personally, however, I still think hardware is more important than an update promise when it comes to longevity and smooth operation after a long time.