The year 2021 saw Xiaomi build a presence for itself in the higher price segment of the Indian smartphone market with devices like the Mi 11 Ultra and the Mi 11X Pro. 2022 has got underway with the brand launching another device that is targeted at those wanting a flagship-level phone without spending an insane amount of money (generally in the vicinity of Rs 40,000) – the Xiaomi 11T Pro. The phone comes to India more than a year after Xiaomi launched the Mi 10T Pro (way back in late 2020). And the timing of its arrival in India (it was released a few months ago in China), together with its pricing and spec sheet, make it clear that it is targeted at the recently launched OnePlus 9 RT.
A little plain looking
We must confess that we are a little underwhelmed by the design of the 11T Pro. It does not look bad. Not at all. It only looks very much like other phones out there. And after the very different looking Xiaomi 11i series, we had expected something slightly more radical in the 11T Pro. However, what we get is a rather predictable design with a flat front and a curved back and slightly curved sides. The back is interesting because in the case of our Celestial Blue colour variant, it changed colours as light fell on it from different angles. It does not change colour as dramatically as the Vivo V23 Pro does, but it still will catch attention. There is a rectangular camera unit on the back that juts out a little.
The front is more predictable – a 6.67 inch AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass Victus with a punch hole notch in the top centre. The frame is metal and houses the ports and buttons. The power/display button is also the fingerprint scanner. There are stereo speaker grilles at the top and base, but there is no 3.5 mm audio jack.
It is a large phone (164.1 mm long) and is definitely a bit on the heavy side (204 grammes). It looks smart enough, feels good to hold and comes with IP53 dust and water resistance, but it is not exactly a head-turner. We actually think the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge looks much better.
Good display, great sound
What makes the Xiaomi 11T Pro special is the hardware inside that very routine looking frame. The display is an AMOLED 10-bit DotDisplay with 120 Hz refresh rate, which Xiaomi claims handles colours better than normal 8-bit displays. It certainly does make colours pop and is impressively bright (1000 nits peak brightness). It supports Dolby Vision too.
The speakers on the top and base are tuned by Harmon Kardon and sound very good from what we have heard so far. There is also support for Dolby Atmos which means the 11T Pro could well be one of the best phones for viewing content in the sub-Rs 50,000 range – the big display definitely helps.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 inside
It will also handle gaming well, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor driving it. It might seem a little old by now but remains the most powerful processor on any Android phone in India. The phone will be available in 8 GB/ 128 GB, 8 GB/ 256 GB and 12 GB/ 256 GB RAM and storage variants. Although storage is not expandable, those specs are powerful enough to drive any game out there comfortably, and once again, the very good display and speakers will add to the gaming experience.
108 megapixel driven camera set up
The Xiaomi 11T Pro comes with a triple camera arrangement at the back, with a 108 megapixel main sensor, a 8 megapixel ultrawide and a 5 megapixel macro sensor. The brand of the main sensor is unknown but Xiaomi is offering a number of shooting modes and editing options. The main sensor can also shoot 8K video at 30 fps and 4K video at 30 as well as 60 fps. There is no OIS, although EIS is present. Interestingly, the 5 megapixel macro camera can shoot full HD videos, which is a rarity. The front camera is a 16 megapixel one.
120 W HyperCharge here too, and with a bigger battery
The 120 W HyperCharge that we saw on the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge is available on the Xiaomi 11T Pro as well. The 11T Pro comes with a 5000 mAh battery and thanks to that large 120 W charger (which is in the box), the battery can get charged to 100 per cent under 20 minutes. 17 minutes is the claim Xiaomi makes. That’s a big battery so one should be able to use that display and those cameras to their full potential without too much fear – and even if one does run out of charge, recharging will literally take minutes.
MIUI 12.5, with assured updates and 5G support (but Android 11!!)
It is 2022 and we still have very few devices coming with Android 12 out of the box. The Xiaomi 11T Pro also runs on Android 11, with a much-improved MIUI 12.5 on top of it. There are no ads and much lesser third party software in the UI, which makes it a whole lot better than in the past. Xiaomi has also assured users of 3 years of Android updates and 4 years of security updates, which is very reassuring, although the exact timing of the updates is not known – hey, the phone itself runs Android 11, which is now quite old!
There is also support for 13 bands of 5G, which sounds good on paper. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and Infrared.
The most powerful phone priced below Rs 40,000?
The Xiaomi 11T Pro starts at Rs 39,999 for the 8 GB / 128 GB variant. The 8 GB/ 256 GB variant is available for Rs 41,999, while the 12 GB/ 256 GB variant will retail at Rs 43,999. The phone will be be available across Mi.com, Amazon.in, Mi Homes and retail stores. There are some cashback and exchange offers with the device as well. At that price, the Xiaomi 11T Pro poses not just a challenge to the OnePlus 9 RT which starts at Rs 42,999 for a 8 GB/ 128 GB variant, but actually, thanks to its display, speaker and charging speed, can lay claim to being perhaps the most powerful phone below Rs 40,000.
Competitors to the Xiaomi 11T Pro
The Xiaomi 11T Pro has a very competitive price but it will still face some competition. The most obvious challenger is the just released OnePlus 9 RT, which runs on a similar processor. Also coming into the frame are the Iqoo 7 Legend, Xiaomi’s own Mi 11X Pro and the OnePlus 9, all of which come with the Snapdragon 888 processor and are available in the range of the Xiaomi 11T Pro.