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Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

Xiaomi tweaked its flagship strategy last year: it introduced the Mi 10 series in the summer and followed it up with a value-focused Mi 10T six months later. OnePlus mastered this dual-release cycle over the last seven years, so it made sense for Xiaomi to follow suit.

In 2021, Xiaomi’s flagship portfolio is stronger than ever. The Mi 11 and Mi 11 Ultra are among the best Android phones I used this year, and Xiaomi made much-needed changes to its software with MIUI 12.5. The Chinese manufacturer also turned its attention to charging tech; it was outmatched in this area by its BBK rivals — with OnePlus and OPPO delivering 65W charging as standard — so Xiaomi clearly needed a win here.

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With the 11T series, it has managed to do just that. The Xiaomi 11T Pro offers 120W fast charging as standard, with the 5000mAh fully charging in just 20 minutes flat. The phone is also the first in a rebrand that sees the manufacturer move past its Mi roots and instead switch to eponymous branding for its flagships.

With the Xiaomi 11T Pro offering the latest silicon, a 120Hz AMOLED panel, and insanely-fast charging, it has all the ingredients for a standout value flagship. So let’s find out how it holds up against its rivals, and whether you should pick up the Xiaomi 11T Pro if you’re in the market for a new value flagship.

Xiaomi 11T Pro

Bottom line: The Xiaomi 11T Pro gets a lot right: it has the latest internal hardware, 5G, a sublime 120Hz AMOLED panel, and two-day battery life. The 120W fast charging makes a huge difference as well, and Xiaomi will deliver three Android platform updates. However, the cameras are strictly average, the design doesn’t stand out, and other Xiaomi phones in this category offer better value.

The Good

  • Incredible 120Hz AMOLED panel
  • Charges faster than any other phone in this category
  • Battery lasts over a day with ease
  • Flagship-tier innards with 5G
  • Three guaranteed Android updates

The Bad

  • Boring design
  • No OIS
  • Cameras not on par with other value flagships
  • Only IP53 splash proof
  • Availability issues

Xiaomi 11T Pro Price and availability

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The Xiaomi 11T Pro made its debut on September 15 alongside the Xiaomi 11 and 11 Lite NE 5G. The phone is now up for pre-order in European markets, and will be going up for sale starting October 1 for €649 ($760). The phone is sold in Celestial Blue, Moonlight White, and Meteorite Gray color variants, and you can pick it up in two memory configurations: the 8GB/128GB version costs €649 ($760), and the 8GB/256GB variant is available for €699 ($820).

Xiaomi is running a few launch offers to incentivize the 11T Pro. In Germany, all pre-orders done before September 30 will get Xiaomi’s fitness-focused Mi Smartwatch for free. Over in Spain, Xiaomi is offering the 32-inch Mi TV P1 for free with all pre-orders, with the offer valid until October 3.

Over in the UK, the 11T Pro is sold in a single 8GB/128GB option that is available for £599 ($817). Pre-orders are set to kick off from September 24, and you can pick up the 11T Pro for £499 ($680) with the code XIAOMI11TPRO.

Xiaomi 11T Pro Design and screen

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

When you look at Xiaomi’s 2021 portfolio, it’s clear that the brand is trying out different designs. The Mi 11 had a modern aesthetic with a new camera housing that made it stand out, and the Redmi Note 10 series emulated a similar design language. The Mi 11X series (sold globally as the POCO F3, however, had a more mainstream design with a few tweaks to the camera housing, and the Xiaomi 11T follows in the same vein.

The Xiaomi 11T Pro has an underwhelming design, and it’s unwieldy to use.

While the Mi 11 featured a glass back, the Xiaomi 11T Pro comes with a polycarbonate finish instead. This isn’t a big deal; after all, Xiaomi had to save costs somewhere, and it makes sense for the brand to do so with the design rather than hobble the internal hardware. That said, the design of the 11T Pro doesn’t excite me at all, particularly the Meteorite Gray variant. The Celestial Blue and Moonlight White options look much more interesting, so if you are eyeing this phone, you’ll want to pick up either of those variants.

The Meteorite Gray model has a brushed aluminum look underneath the polycarbonate back, and there are large rings around the main camera modules. However, the rectangular housing makes it look boxy, and it doesn’t really move the needle in terms of design. Another issue with the 11T Pro is the size; with a width of 76.9mm, this is one of the widest phones I’ve used all year — it is 1.3mm wider than the S21 Ultra, 2.3mm wider than the Mi 11 and Mi 11 Ultra, and 0.5mm more than the POCO F3. So even though the phone has curves at the back where it meets the mid-frame, it isn’t particularly comfortable to hold and use.

I don’t really understand why the phone had to be so wide; it makes using it just that little bit more tedious, and the thickness of 8.8mm and weight of 204g don’t make things any easier. The 11T Pro uses a dual-cell design to facilitate 120W fast charging, but so do the Find X3 and OnePlus 9, and those devices aren’t anywhere as unwieldy as Xiaomi’s offering.

The mid-frame itself is made out of aluminum, with a matte finish making it somewhat easier to grab the phone at the sides. The port layout and button configuration is unchanged: you’ll find the power and volume buttons on the right, USB-C port at the bottom, dual-SIM housing to the left of the charging port, and stereo sound with balanced channels at either end of the phone.

As for ingress protection, the 11T Pro gets a splash-proof IP53 rating, just like the Redmi Note 10 series. With Xiaomi offering IP68 water resistance on the Mi 11 Pro and Mi 11 Ultra this year, I figured this would be a standard feature across all premium devices going forward. But that isn’t to be, and the 11T Pro is limited in this area. Similarly, you miss out on an in-screen fingerprint reader, with the phone instead using a side-mounted module that’s baked into the power button — again, like the Redmi Note 10 series.

For a phone that costs €649, the Xiaomi 11T Pro’s design choices are baffling. It isn’t easy to hold or use, the design itself is rather boring, there’s no IP68 water resistance, and you don’t get an in-screen fingerprint sensor.

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

While the design itself is underwhelming, that is thankfully not the case with the display. You get a 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate and Dolby Vision, with thin bezels and a centered cutout for the front camera module.

The panel itself is one of the best in this category; Xiaomi has made a habit of offering high-quality AMOLED panels that are calibrated well, and that’s no different with the 11T Pro. You get rich colors with excellent contrast levels, great viewing angles, and I had zero issues with visibility under sunlight.

Thankfully, Xiaomi nailed the brief here — the 11T Pro has one of the best 120Hz AMOLED panels around.

As is the case with most Xiaomi phones, you get a decent amount of customizability: the anti-flicker mode enables DC dimming, there’s a dedicated Reading Mode, you can adjust the color balance to your tastes (there are three preset modes), and you’ll find an AI image engine that boosts contrast and brightness for locally-stored photos and streaming videos. Oh, and you get motion smoothing as well.

You can also set up AOD, with Xiaomi giving you plenty of customization options here as well. It is enjoyable to stream videos and play games on the device, with the powerful stereo sound making a big difference. This is one of the best panels you’ll find in the value flagship segment, and the screen itself is protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass Victus.

While Xiaomi nailed the basics, the one thing that continues to annoy me with its phones is that they’re set to a 60Hz refresh out of the box. Xiaomi is the only brand that does this; all other phones I’ve used with 90Hz or 120Hz offer the higher refresh rate as the default option. It’s understandable why Xiaomi opted to do so — it wants to maximize battery life, and it’s easy enough to go into the settings to change the screen refresh. But it is entirely feasible that some users will miss seeing the option altogether, and Xiaomi should make it easier to switch to 120Hz while setting up MIUI.

Xiaomi introduced a scaling mode for its 120Hz Mi 10T series last year that allowed the screen to dynamically alter refresh based on the use case, but that feature is yet to make its way to the brand’s AMOLED-powered phones. On the 11T Pro, you get the ability to switch between 60Hz and 120Hz.

Xiaomi 11T Pro Performance and battery

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

Coming over to the hardware side of things, it’s a familiar story: the 11T Pro is powered by the beastly Snapdragon 888, and as you can imagine, it delivers outstanding performance. I haven’t really had any issues with any of the Snapdragon 888 phones I’ve used this year, and that’s the case with the 11T Pro as well. The level of power on offer is overkill for most day-to-day tasks, and even during demanding games, there’s no throttling or lag.

Specs Xiaomi 11T Pro
Software MIUI 12.5, Android 11
Display 6.67 (2400×1080) 120Hz AMOLED
Chipset 2.84GHz Snapdragon 888
Storage 128GB/256GB
Rear Camera 1 108MP ƒ/1.75 (primary)
Rear Camera 2 8MP ƒ/2.2 (wide-angle)
Rear Camera 3 5MP ƒ/2.4 (macro)
Front Camera 16MP ƒ/2.4
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, BT5.2, NFC
Battery 5000mAh | 120W wired
Security Side-mounted fingerprint
Colors Celestial Blue, Moonlight White, Meteorite Gray
Dimensions 164.1 x 76.9 x 8.8mm
Weight 204g

Similarly, I didn’t notice any issues in day-to-day use. With 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage as standard, there’s more than enough memory and storage out of the box, and there’s also a 256GB model if the base variant doesn’t quite cut it for your use case.

The 11T Pro did a decent job with the basics; I didn’t have any issues with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity in the week that I used the phone, and I paired the device with the best wireless earbuds and it maintained a reliable connection over Bluetooth 5.2. Call quality was similarly great, and the phone held up just fine the few times I turned off Wi-Fi to test the cellular connectivity.

On that note, the 11T Pro has 5G connectivity, and it has a decent set of Sub-6 bands: n1/3/5/7/8/20/28/38/40/41/66/77/78. A few companies have been stingy in this regard — looking at you, OnePlus — but that isn’t the case with Xiaomi here, so you should get decent 5G coverage in markets where the phone is officially sold.

There really isn’t a lot missing here, and at least in terms of the hardware, the 11T Pro ticks all the right boxes. The fact that it is running the Snapdragon 888 means you shouldn’t see any slowdowns for the foreseeable future. Last year’s Snapdragon 865-powered devices continue to deliver incredible performance in most usage scenarios, and it’s entirely likely that I’ll be saying the same thing in a year’s time about the Snapdragon 888.

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The marquee feature on the Xiaomi 11T Pro is the fast charging tech. The phone has a large 5000mAh battery with a dual-cell design that includes two 2500mAh cells that charge simultaneously. The battery life by itself is fantastic; I averaged well over a day’s worth of use from a full charge.

If you want the fastest-charging phone today, you’ll need to pick up the 11T Pro.

But what makes the phone truly stand out is the 120W HyperCharge charging tech. Xiaomi bundles the 120W charger in the box, and while it is gigantic by today’s GaN standards, it does a great job delivering up to a 120W charge to the phone at 20V/6A. You will need to use the bundled charger and USB-A to USB-C cable to be able to hit 120W, and once you do, you’ll see an animation on the screen to indicate that the phone is charging at the fastest speed.

The phone itself doesn’t get too hot while charging, and the dual-cell configuration means it takes just 20 minutes for the battery to fully charge. If you’re using the phone while charging, it will fall back to 24W to ensure it doesn’t overheat.

While the charging tech is advertised as 120W, a bulk of the charging is done at 70W to 80W. That said, what makes Xiaomi’s 120W tech stand out from the 65W VOOC 2.0 standard is just far into the charge cycle it is able to deliver a higher current; while the Find X3 Pro falls back to 24W or 20W after hitting 60%, the 11T Pro maintains 70W for longer. Ultimately, this is what allows the 11T Pro to take just 20 minutes to fully charge the battery.

The stellar battery life…

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