Do you love to create content on social media? Or do you just want to capture your life’s moments and share these with your loved ones? Xiaomi designed its new 11T series of smartphones for you. The tech company wants to bring “Cinemagic” into your life, a portmanteau for the words “cinema” and “magic.” It means you can create cinematic-like content with Xiaomi’s new smartphones.
Xiaomi sent over the standard Xiaomi 11T (there’s also a Pro version) for us to try out. Here’s how the first day using this handset went.
October 22, 2021
I took the Xiaomi 11T out of its box to shoot the quick unboxing you’ll see below. I also wanted to use it to record the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE’s unboxing (
which is coming to the site real soon, too), so I breezed through the initial setup to get started.
My first task is to open the Camera app, so I can record the unboxing. I like that it’ll initially ask you if you want to tag photos with your location or not. That extra security feature is appreciated. I headed straight to Video mode to shoot. I like that there’s an HDR option for videos, and you can record up to 4K at 3O frames per second. This mode gives you options like tracking your subject, Steady video with the help of Electronic Image Stabilization, and a new Audio Zoom feature, which zeros in on the subject of your videos.
Other video-friendly options are available under the Movie Effects and VLOG modes, but I haven’t logged online yet, so I can’t access the features. You’ll only need to connect online to download the templates. I’ll try to test these features out for the full review, but I really just wanted to record the quick clip for now.
I noticed the Camera app also gives you the option to shoot with your screen off, which is useful when you’re shooting a stationary scene, and you want to conserve a bit of battery.
The Xiaomi 11T model I have comes in Meteorite Gray. There are also Moonlight White and Celestial Blue options. This variant reminds me of a luggage’s texture with the subtle horizontal lines running across the reflective back panel. It’s smooth, though, and it looks like it’s wrapped in a plastic shell, but the phone feels as sturdy as the other Xiaomi smartphones I’ve handled. It still has an aluminum alloy frame, but the part you can touch is covered in plastic.
It curves slightly to the side to make it easier to hold in one hand, even if it is a giant 6.67-inch device. Xiaomi places the power button/fingerprint sensor on the phone’s right side, making it easier to reach. Above that is the volume rocker. The bottom houses the dual 5G SIM slot, USB-C port, and one of the two speakers. The top has the other speaker and an IR blaster for turning your 11T into a remote. The bezels around the display look almost the same thickness, but the bottom is just slightly thicker. Despite that, it is still thin all around.
Xiaomi hasn’t mentioned an IP53 rating for dust and splash protection, but I’ve seen it mentioned online. We’re confirming with the brand about this. What the phone does have is Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection for the display. It’s the toughest glass available to protect smartphones, and it’s used by most companies for their flagship devices.
I unintentionally tested the durability of that display when the phone accidentally slipped from my hand. I had the provided silicon case on it, so that protected the back. But the fall nicked the pre-installed screen protector a tiny bit. Beyond that, there are no cracks on the display or the phone’s body either. It’s not a test I wanted or planned to conduct. But it happened, and I can tell you it works and helps those who are a bit clumsy like me.
I had a press event over Zoom in about an hour, so I wanted to see how the phone held up with live stream events. The Xiaomi 11T didn’t come out of the box with a full charge, and since I used it to shoot a bit this morning, it was already at 48% before I decided to charge it.
One of the features to look forward to on this handset is its speedy wired charging. It doesn’t have the 120W support of the Xiaomi 11T Pro, but at 67W, you can still quickly top up this phone. Charging speeds are affected by your environment. I don’t work in an airconditioned room, so I won’t be surprised if it was a tad slower.
I just wanted a quick 10-minute charge or so, and the results were pretty great. I got from 48% to 58% in just three minutes. And then I was up to 63% after five minutes. And then, I stopped charging at 70%, which I achieved in just seven minutes and 48 seconds. I want to completely drain the 5,000mAh battery again before I top it up again. I might not be able to report it here within the constraints of this story. But I’ll make sure to mention that in the review.
Initially, I was a bit let down that the audio wasn’t as loud as I hoped it would be while listening to Xiaomi’s Zoom event. I tried opening Spotify to check if that was the case, but it was definitely louder there. It might be a Zoom issue because the audio was fine on another device I had signed into the event.
Watching a Xiaomi representative discuss the different camera features on the Xiaomi 11T made me excited to try them out. I don’t have time to shoot yet, but I could explore the app. Xiaomi developed the 11T series with the idea that it wanted to bring industry-leading filmmaking tech into the creator’s hands. The ease of using these features also means anyone can have fun creating some “Cinemagic,” as Xiaomi says.
The Xiaomi 11T comes equipped with a triple rear camera setup with a 108-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel 2x telemacro, and an 8-megapixel 120-degree ultra-wide-angle lens. Plus, there’s a 16-megapixel in-display selfie shooter in front. That primary 108-megapixel is a large 2.1μm 9-in-1 Super Pixel backed by powerful image processing. Xiaomi proclaims its sensor size is larger than the iPhone 12 Pro, which means this camera can let in more light. Its telemacro lens has a longer focal length, allowing you to get 2x closer than other macro lenses.
You get access to typical photography modes like Portrait, Pro, Night, Panorama, Documents, and 108MP mode. That last mode allows you to shoot using the full resolution of the sensor. It’s great if you want to crop into the shot without losing the photo’s quality. For this phone, you also get a slew of video options to play around with, including the standard Video, Short Video, Vlog, Slow Motion, Time-Lapse, Movie Effects, Long Exposure, Dual Video, and Clone.
If you’re familiar with Xiaomi phones, then you’re familiar with most of these features. Movie Effects brings in the bulk of Xiaomi’s AI One-Click Cinema features, which does most of the fancy camera work for you. That adds features like Magic Zoom, Slow Shutter, Time Freeze, and Parallel World.
I’m still in the process of setting this phone up as a daily driver, but I’ve enjoyed my experience so far navigating through the device. The Xiaomi 11T is equipped with a MediaTek Dimensity 1200-Ultra chipset with 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and an Android 11-based MIUI 12.5. My test unit is the 8GB + 128GB variant. This 6nm mobile platform allows for dual 5G standby and boasts of a power-efficient 3.0GHz CPU.
I’m not an especially demanding smartphone user, but I still want to browse smoothly, switch apps with ease and not have them crash on me. This unit received an update that improves performance and system security and stability, which hopefully translates to my experience as I continue to use it.
I also just wanted to try out its gaming capabilities, so I downloaded Pokémon Unite for a quick battle. It loaded the game with ease, and it was plenty responsive. Perhaps I have the 480Hz touch sampling rate for that. The haptics is pretty good, too, keeping me fully immersed in the game.
MIUI even gives you the option to adjust haptic feedback. I was plenty happy with the feedback level in the middle of the slider. You can also shut it off if you don’t want it.
As standard for Xiaomi phones, there are several pre-installed apps here I had to take out first. It’s easy to do that, but it’s still an extra step I wished I could avoid. But this phone also reminded me of the touches Xiaomi introduced into MIUI that I love seeing on its devices.
The display supports an Always-On option that you can schedule. So, you won’t be distracted by a lit screen at night, and it helps conserve battery a bit. I’ve also noticed that you can set a timer for Silent mode, too. That’s already available for Do Not Disturb, but now even Silent gets that feature. They are features that are considerate for those who don’t want to be disturbed while resting or even while working.
October 23, 2021
Before I started work this morning, I’ve set up my OneNote account on the phone to type out this part of the story. As with all the Xiaomi phones I’ve tried, the performance and responsiveness of the phone’s touchscreen are excellent. There have been no lags whatsoever.
The battery life was down to 19% after charging it up to 70% yesterday afternoon. But then it had been a busy last few hours of the day with the Zoom meeting, some quick camera tests, and light gaming and social media at night.
I tuned in a bit to some Skillshare videos while I buckled down to start my workday. The stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support come in handy for making it easier to hear what I’m listening to through the speakers. You can tweak the equalizer or just use the select presets like I have, making the sound come out clearer. Of course, this works for music listening, too.
For Netflix lovers, I’m happy to say the Xiaomi 11T supports Widevine L1, which allows for Full HD viewing on this phone’s 6.67-inch AMOLED DotDisplay. The app even takes advantage of this screen’s HDR 10+ support.
Xiaomi arms this screen with the display tech you’ve come to expect from your flagship phones. It has a 120Hz AdaptiveSync display, FHD+ resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, and 1000 nits peak brightness. All of that help make for an enjoyable viewing and browsing experience.
There’s a lot worth checking out on the Xiaomi 11T, and I’m excited to explore these features further. Xiaomi wants content creators to pay attention to this phone, but it doesn’t look like it’s leaving everyone else behind. At least, that’s how it looks. I’ll keep that in mind through this review.
The Xiaomi 11T is available in two configurations:
- 8GB + 128GB – PHP 21,990 (around USD 433 converted)
- 8GB + 256GB – PHP 24,990 (USD 492)
You can check out the pre-order details here.
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