Xiaomi 11T: Top 4 reasons to get this versatile smartphone

Cinematic visuals aren’t limited to more expensive gear. Xiaomi wants to offer you a similar experience in the form of a smartphone. And that vision is encapsulated in its latest Xiaomi 11T series. These flagship-grade devices bring many features you expect from premium phones but at a more affordable price.

The Xiaomi 11T might not be the top-of-the-line model of this series. But it’s out to prove you can still get a fantastic experience out of it. Whether you need it to capture your favorite moments for you and your loved ones or use it to create content for work, this handset is poised to handle that.

I’ve spent a month with this phone already, and I can let you know if it’s the kind of smartphone you should have in your arsenal. Here are the top four reasons to buy the Xiaomi 11T:

You need a versatile camera setup

When I attended the press briefing for the Xiaomi 11T series, Xiaomi emphasized how this smartphone is built for content creators. And that’s all thanks to the camera capabilities included in this handset. The Xiaomi 11T has a triple rear camera setup with a 108-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel 2x telemacro, an 8-megapixel, 120-degree ultra-wide-angle lens, and 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. It’s designed to capture more light by merging nine adjacent pixels into one, so the output by default is a 12-megapixel photo with hardly any noise and the promise of better low light performance and improved dynamic range. 

That hardware is paired with many different shooting modes you can use on Xiaomi’s default Camera app. You have photography modes like Portrait, Pro, Night, Panorama, Documents, and 108MP mode (which uses the sensor’s full resolution and gives you more flexibility if you want to crop into a photo).

It has been enjoyable to bring this phone out to capture quick moments with my family or the sample shots you see in this story. I could easily rely on Auto to get the photos I’ve wanted.

But I’ve admittedly spent a lot more time recording videos to try out even more of the video modes the 11T has on offer. Even the default Video mode makes it easy to capture little moments in my life. This smartphone can record videos up to 4K at 30 frames per second.

And from its settings (the three lines) and the other options above, you can easily enable features like Movie Frame for that more cinematic look, track a moving subject, Audio Zoom, Super Macro video mode, and Steady Video. You can also toggle between the different video resolutions you want to record in.

Those default modes record videos in different resolutions, like Super Macro and Audio Zoom can only go up to 1080p @ 30fps, while tracking moving subjects and Steady Video only record at 1080p @ 30fps. HDR for video is available at 720p, 1080p, and 4K resolutions, all at 30fps.

I used this phone to create little vlog updates on social, which was made more accessible with the help of its built-in Vlog mode and its included templates. It’s one of my favorite Xiaomi features, but I still wish to create my custom templates with it.

I played around with some of the AI One-Click Cinema features under the Movie Effects mode. If you’re feeling lost on how to use these modes, Xiaomi offers quick in-camera tutorials on how to use them.

There are other video modes to try, including Short Video, Slow Motion, Time-Lapse, Long Exposure, Dual Video, and Clone. The Xiaomi 11T really offers you the flexibility you need to create “Cinemagic” with your footage. If you need a versatile setup, you can’t go wrong with what Xiaomi is offering here.

LiTT Tip #1: If you don’t have a mic handy, you can take advantage of Audio Zoom (rear camera) and Frontal Sound (selfie camera) features on this phone. Both modes try to focus on the audio source you want it to focus on. To access the features, tap on the three lines/burger menu at the top right corner. Both options can be seen there.

LiTT Tip #2: If you live stream with this phone, you can save a bit of battery while recording. The Camera app lets you shoot with the screen off if you haven’t touched it in three minutes. Tap on the three lines/burger menu at the top right, then tap on Settings. The toggle to enable this feature is under Modes in Shoot with screen off option.

LiTT Tip #3: Unsure about what orientation you’re shooting in when you want to take a photo? The Xiaomi 11T can notify you of your current position, so you’re directing the camera correctly for your shot. When you’re in Photo mode, tap on the three lines/burger menu at the top right, then tap on Settings. The toggle to enable this feature is under Modes in Notify about orientation.

You want a flagship-level, speedy display

Price-wise, the Xiaomi 11T can still be considered a mid-range device. But it gets tech you’ll typically see on smartphones that are thousands of pesos more than what this device costs. Xiaomi has upgraded features like the display, giving this handset specs like a 120Hz AdaptiveSync display tech, which automatically switches refresh rates depending on what you’re doing. That helps you conserve a bit of battery. The 6.67-inch AMOLED screen also has up to 480Hz touch sampling rate, which is a boon for gamers who want a display that can keep up with you.

Other display information you might be interested in is an aspect ratio of 20:9, up to 1,000 nits brightness, and an 85.1% screen-to-body ratio. The brightness translates to it being pretty usable even when I’m out on a bright and sunny day. With an AMOLED screen and HDR10+, I enjoy content on services like Netflix more, especially since this supports Widevine L1. That certification means you can enjoy Full HD content with HDR 10 on Netflix. Now, if you wanted more than an FHD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080), unfortunately, you can’t find that here.

To help improve that cinematic experience when viewing shows and films, the Xiaomi 11T has dual speakers at the bottom and top of the device. Revu mentioned in its review that the top speaker acts as an earpiece when you’re taking calls. The speakers also support Dolby Atmos, so you can tweak the sound to suit what you’re doing. It’s not the loudest speaker I’ve heard, but I like the sound profiles’ customizability.

There’s no headphone jack here, but you can connect Bluetooth headsets easily. I know I should get used to the lack of this port, but sometimes you just have the wired earphones on hand, and you want to be able to use it with phones like this.

LiTT Tip #4: With an AMOLED screen, the Xiaomi 11T offers an Always-on Display option, which is customizable with a watch, saying, or graphic of your choice. But what I like about the feature on this phone is that you can schedule when Always-on is enabled. That can help you take advantage of the feature when you’re awake and conserve a bit more battery when it’s turned off. To tweak the Always-on Display option, head to Settings Always-on display & Lock screen Always-on display Display items.

You need a capable device that’s ready to go (and won’t drain your bank account too much)

The excellent value for money that Xiaomi devices offer also extends to the 11T series. And the Xiaomi 11T has performed as well as I’d expected. I am on my smartphone a lot for work, but I’m not a power user in terms of gaming or any other demanding mobile apps. At most, I’ve used this handset to shoot the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE’s unboxing and edit it on CapCut. I’ve used it to update LiTT’s and my personal social media accounts, answer emails, play a few games, watch some content, listen to music, and, of course, as a phone.

As I said in my first impressions story, I still want the smartphones I use to perform well in all those tasks. And this handset kept up with that. There wasn’t any moment in the past month where it felt like it was trying to keep up. App switching was easy. I can quickly pull up the camera when I want to shoot. It won’t be as speedy as the 11T Pro and its more powerful processor, but you aren’t going to be disappointed if you just need a capable daily driver with many bells and whistles.

The Xiaomi 11T runs on a MediaTek Dimensity 1200-Ultra chipset with 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, Android 11-based MIUI 12.5, and dual 5G standby. My test unit is the 8GB + 128GB variant. It might be annoying to you how often I repeat this, but I really wish there were fewer pre-installed apps. I know those partnerships help lower the cost of this phone, but it’s still something I could do with less.

This smartphone comes with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner that does as well as advertised. Paired with facial unlock, you can quickly get into your phone when you need. The position of the scanner is slightly above the center, making it easy to reach.

Another area where this smartphone excels is when it comes to battery life. You get a long-lasting 5,000mAh battery with 67W fast charging from the included charging brick. I didn’t measure screen-on time, but according to its Battery settings, I’ve averaged between 20 to 25 hours of use before I needed to charge. That translates to around a day and a half or more per charge.

And it takes around 40 to 50 minutes to fully charge. The closest I got to the promised 36 minutes of charging was once at 37 minutes. Even so, it’s still faster charging than many, if not most, of the phones in this price range. That charging time just means you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice, and I appreciate that.

LiTT Tip #5: Haptic feedback is an essential feature for gaming. And luckily, the Xiaomi 11T offers some pretty good haptics. And you get a bonus feature of being able to increase or decrease the haptic feedback level in the settings. Head to Settings Sound & vibration. Scroll down to Haptic Feedback, and you’ll see the slider there.

You require a sturdy smartphone

I’ve already mentioned this in my first impressions story on the Xiaomi 11T how I’ve put its durability to the test accidentally when it slipped from my hands, and it slid into a tight space. The included silicon case was on, and the fall only nicked the pre-installed screen protector a bit. Other than that, I’ve been able to use it just fine.

The Xiaomi 11T is equipped with Corning’s most durable Gorilla Glass Victus protection. The phone’s body is also rated IP53 for dust and splash protection. Of course, it still isn’t advisable to throw the phone around. But for minor accidents, it can hold its own.

This handset is available in Meteorite Gray, Moonlight White, and Celestial Blue. I have the Meteorite Gray model with me, which reminds me of luggage with the subtle horizontal lines running across its reflective back. The phone is smooth to touch and has a bit of heft to it. It has an aluminum alloy frame, but the part you can feel from the outside is plastic. As with many smartphones out today, it is a phone you use with two hands.

What’s lit and what’s not?

What’s lit about it:

  • Flexible camera setup
  • Versatile and easy-to-use video modes 
  • Gets 120Hz AdaptiveSync AMOLED display with 480Hz touch-sampling rate
  • Full HD + HDR10 support on services like Netflix
  • Customizable sound profiles with Dolby Atmos
  • Stable and speedy performance
  • Responsive and easy-to-reach fingerprint scanner
  • Extra quick 67W charging for its large capacity battery
  • Adjustable haptic feedback response
  • Sturdy, durable body

What needs the extra spark:

  • Wish the Vlog mode was customizable
  • Might be lacking for those looking for more than an FHD+ resolution
  • Volume from the speakers is a bit lackluster
  • No headphone jack (an FYI for wired headphones users)
  • Still could do with fewer pre-installed apps

Final thoughts

The Xiaomi 11T is built to be a handy device for content creators looking to experiment with their footage or for any other user who just wants more unique ways to capture memories. But Xiaomi doesn’t want you to forget that it’s a capable smartphone, too. It is ready to handle your work and keep you entertained when it’s time to unwind with hardly any compromises.

The Xiaomi 11T is available in two configurations:

  • 8GB + 128GB – PHP 21,990 (around USD 441 converted)
  • 8GB + 256GB – PHP 24,990 (USD 502)