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Xiaomi 11T review: Better than expected

The vanilla variant surprised us!

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Xiaomi is back with another round of smartphones, bringing the 11T series but without the usual “Mi” branding. All eyes are on the Xiaomi 11T Pro for a multitude of reasons. 120W HyperCharge technology, pro-grade lens for 8K recording, and a Snapdragon 888 processor.

Although, that might be too much for some people. The next best option is the vanilla and toned-down Xiaomi 11T. But is it any good like its promise?

Design

The Xiaomi 11T looks like the Xiaomi 11T Pro. You won’t really notice the difference until you see the Harman/Kardon signature on the Pro variant.

Xiaomi 11T

Despite the glaring similarities, the Xiaomi 11T looks and feels sophisticated. At a glance, it looks like a shiny phone, especially the Meteorite Gray colorway. But the devil is in the details. Underneath the glass coating, you’ll see a brushed metal texture when you peruse it up close. The refinement certainly added personality to an otherwise lackluster rear design.

Xiaomi 11T

The Xiaomi 11T’s top, right, and bottom sides house essential features you’ll need from a smartphone. A SIM card tray, microphone, USB-C port, speaker grilles, volume rockers, a power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner, and an IR blaster.

Xiaomi 11T

The camera placement seemed smooth and subtle with its curves, looking thinner than most cutouts on several smartphones released this year. Lenses are symmetrically arranged, blending easily with the phone’s design.

Xiaomi 11T

Moreover, the back has a curved design for ergonomic reasons. It’s easier to grip, and the phone offers the right amount of heft whenever you carry or hold it.

Display

Sure, the Xiaomi 11T has a curved back design. But up front, it has a 6.67-inch flat FHD+ AMOLED display. It’s something I’ve been enjoying nowadays since I don’t have to worry about my fingers sliding on a curved screen, accidentally swiping and/or opening up apps, windows, and notifications.

Xiaomi 11T

For visual experiences, the Xiaomi 11T is quite a treat. It’s not the best display, but casual users opting for the vanilla variant might enjoy watching and playing on the Xiaomi 11T. The AMOLED display surely helped showcase better colors, contrast, and better dynamic range as compared to its predecessor.

Moreover, those who rave for higher refresh rates will be thrilled to find a 120Hz refresh rate on the Xiaomi 11T. The faster refresh rate will do wonders whether you’re switching between apps, scrolling through social media, or while playing graphics-intensive games.

Xiaomi 11T

My only issue, despite having an AMOLED display, is the sunlight legibility for the Xiaomi 11T. Despite having 800 to 1000 nits, I was struggling to look at the screen especially when taking photos on a sunny day.

It was difficult to appreciate the affirmations I wrote on the customizable Always-On display when you need to squint your eyes a little to read it.

Performance

On paper, the Xiaomi 11T might be a downer. Especially for people who are used to Snapdragon’s buttery-smooth performance. Fret not, Mediatek’s Dimensity 1200 still proved to be enough for the vanilla variant.

I was able to play Sprite Fantasia, a graphics-intensive mobile game, without overheating. It was able to keep it cool even if I was playing for an hour.

Xiaomi 11T

The unit I have runs on MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11 and has a configuration of 8GB RAM with 128GB of internal storage. If you need more, there’s a 256GB option.

Frankly, I’m still in disbelief with how smooth everything was. I’m one of the people who always preferred Snapdragon as a processor because the chipset never failed me and my smartphone experience.

Mediatek is changing the way I think and feel about their Dimensity chipsets. The same experience can be found in my review on the vivo X70, which sports the Dimensity 1200 as well.

Xiaomi 11T

Battery

The Xiaomi 11T may not have 120W HyperCharge, but it’s still capable of 67W wired charging. For most smartphones in the same bracket, Xiaomi’s charging technology is still faster. In less than an hour, I was able to fill its juice to 100 percent, starting from 14 percent.

Battery consumption is also better than most midrange smartphones, draining slowly whether on standby or constant usage. Staying connected all day, catching up with your tasks via email, notes, and other productivity tools, and occasional entertainment can deplete the battery throughout the day.

Xiaomi 11T

I recently went out on a hundred percent battery at 9 in the morning and went home with a 15 percent battery at 10 in the evening.

On standby mode, the Xiaomi 11T lasts longer than expected. It was a Saturday when I took the Xiaomi 11T and the vivo X70 out on my indoor climbing session. I was taking photos to compare which one looks better, and after my exhilarating activity, I passed out.

I left the phones on my tote bag on standby with no Wi-Fi starting from Saturday until Wednesday. As expected, the vivo X70 is dead while the Xiaomi 11T still has 26 percent battery left.

Xiaomi 11T

Cameras

The Xiaomi 11T carries a triple camera setup on its rear: a 108-megapixel wide camera, a 5-megapixel telemacro, and an 8-megapixel 120° ultra-wide lens.

Xiaomi 11T

What I like the most about its rear cameras is the consistency of color accuracy and reproduction whether you use different lenses.

It depicts the scenarios perfectly and balances out the image during the processing for proper portrayal. I didn’t have overexposed photos or came out with blown highlights. Photos aren’t vibrant either, producing real-life-like outputs.

Some people wouldn’t prefer this since the photos might look desaturated, but that’s the result of smartphones constantly producing vibrant and saturated processed results.

The same goes for the 108-megapixel shots.

Selfies, on another note, used less beautification. It’s closer to real life, which I had mixed feelings for. I used to like how Xiaomi pads a little beautification that doesn’t make me look like a Ken Doll — keeping scars and wrinkles throughout my selfies without looking like I just got out of bed or life threw me a curve ball.

This time around, I need to pay attention to how I really look and learn how to not rely on a selfie camera’s processing. If I look weary, I can’t use my smartphone to fake it. That might be a good behavior to fix.

On the other hand, portraits that were taken using both the front and rear camera still have a long way to go like most midrange smartphones.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Xiaomi 11T surprised us when it did wonders for a vanilla smartphone. Most smartphone lineups focus on their Pro variants since their headliners got almost everything you could possibly want out of a smartphone. But not most people want the best, the brightest, or the most feature-packed.

Xiaomi 11T

Sometimes, what people want is a smartphone that can accompany them in their daily lives. Possibly help out with everyday tasks, offer an avenue for self-expression, a tool for unwinding, and capture great life moments. And the Xiaomi 11T did so.

I had really low expectations for most base variants, but for a midrange smartphone, the Xiaomi 11T is really better than expected. It’s packaged with power blended with graceful beauty that might seem too much for a casual user, but enough to use for their everyday, modern life.

Price and availability

Xiaomi 11T

The Xiaomi 11T retails for PhP 21,990 for the 8GB/128GB configuration. For higher storage, the 8GB/256GB configuration costs PhP 24,990. There are three colors to choose from: Meteorite Gray, Moonlight White, and Celestial Blue.

Starting October 30, 2021, every purchase of the Xiaomi 11T entitles buyers to a free Xiaomi Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 Basic. Xiaomi Philippines will also have an open sale on the same date where buyers of the Xiaomi 11T and Xiaomi 11T Pro will get a free Xiaomi 11T Series Edition Bluetooth Speaker worth PhP 3,250.

Xiaomi 11T

Meanwhile, the Official Xiaomi Philippines Shopee store will also be including a free Mi Robot Vacuum and eco bag with every purchase of the Xiaomi 11T. Each purchase of the device comes with a 1+1 year limited warranty and free screen replacement within six months.

Gaming

ROG Zephyrus G15: Lean, mean, gaming machine

And it’s a looker too

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Zephyrus G15

One of my favorite things about getting to try many new gadgets is that I learn more about myself and my preferences. The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 – which henceforth will just be referred to as just Zephyrus G15 – did just that for me and what I want in gaming laptops. 

For context, I have been sparingly using my ROG Flow X13 for most of my general Windows and PC gaming needs. It’s a great device, don’t get me wrong. But having to prop up the laptop itself along with the XG Mobile to reach its full potential can be quite cumbersome.

It’s a huge contrast to the Zephyrus G15 where I simply fire it up and it just works in a jiffy. And all the ports I normally use are right there, ready to use. I’m a big fan of convenience so I absolutely love it when gadgets just work without much friction. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Based on this introduction, I’m sure you already have some idea on what I generally think about the Zephyrus G15. But allow me to discuss it further. 

Tale of the tape

Zephyrus G15

Specs and benchmarks never tell the whole story. But specs are a good place to start. Here’s what our review unit is packing: 

  • AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
  • 15″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9 240hz Pantone Validated 100% DCI-P
  • RTX 3070 TI 8GB GDDR6
  • 16GB DDR5 on board  + 16GB DDR5-4800 SO-DIMM
  • 1TB M.2 NVM PCIe 4.0 SSD
  • Moonlight White

Some standout stuff from the information provided above are the new processor, the Pantone Validated display as well as the RAM available. This isn’t even its highest configuration. There’s a variant that runs RTX 3080. You can upgrade your RAM up to 48GB and there’s another SSD slot so you can expand your storage. 

Zephyrus G15

That means there’s plenty of room to up the ante down the line should you choose to do so. That’s not something that you can say for every gaming laptop. 

Immaculate look and design

I love that ROG sent over the Moonlight White version for us to try. Black is great, don’t get me wrong. But it’s refreshing to see gaming laptops brimming with power come in other colorways that could appeal to people that are kind of just over with black. 

The magnesium-aluminum lid and chassis also maintain the Zephyrus look giving it a sleek and tough exterior, while keeping the ROG Zephyrus identity. And you don’t have to worry too much about it picking up dust and dirt. In the few weeks I spent with it, it stayed pristine looking despite little to no wiping maintenance. That’s thanks largely to the wear-resistant coating which works exactly as advertised. 

Zephyrus G15

Adding to the overall functional design is the ErgoLift Hinge. This is one of my favorite things about ASUS laptops. The ergolift hinge not only allows a 180° for more flexibility, it’s also just ultra satisfying to move and look at. 

It looks fresh, feels tough, and is relatively compact making it easy to carry around. It’s a looker with some bells and whistles in the right places.

Ports, keyboard, and trackpad

Zephyrus G15

Speaking of those bells and whistles, the Zephyrus G15 is packed with possibly all the ports you’ll need. Whether that’s for a remote setup or one that’s neatly tucked into a home office desk. 

Zephyrus G15

Here’s everything it has to offer: 

  • USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (2x)
  • USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-C(supports DP 1.4 & 100W PD Charger), (2x)
  • LAN RJ-45 jack (1x)
  • HDMI 2.0b (1x)
  • Micro SD Card Reader (UHS-II), (1x)
  • 3.5mm Audio combo jack (1x)
  • Kensington Lock (1x)

 

Zephyrus G15

The Stealth Type keyboard was a curious choice but one that I welcome. I was of the impression that the gaming demographic skews more towards the clickity clack of mechanical keyboards. But the one equipped on the Zephyrus G15 is about as quiet as they come. No complaints here though, as it didn’t distract my at-the-moment entanglement in slumber as I toiled away over late night labor. 

Zephyrus G15

One of the best trackpad experiences on a Windows Gaming laptop.

The trackpad, too, was such a pleasant surprise. Perhaps it’s also in conjunction with Windows 11 but using a trackpad on Windows now doesn’t feel as laggy as it used to. On days that I only worked using the Zephyrus G15, I never felt the need to connect a mouse. That feels like a breakthrough as I have never been able to say that for any of the Windows laptops I’ve reviewed in the past. 

Plays like a console

Yes, I paired a DualSense controller with the Zephyrus G15

Alright, before any PC gaming enthusiasts come at my throat, what I mean here is mostly the quality of life things. When I got the Zephyrus G15, I didn’t tweak it very much. Heck, I even opened Armoury Crate less than five times during my time with it. Despite this, it had no trouble running the games I attempted to play. Some of which are even very demanding AAA titles. 

Zephyrus G15

I’m a big fan of tech that just works. Especially with my current workload, the less time I have to figure something out, the better. And that’s the case with this gaming laptop. I simply fired up Steam, downloaded the games, and played to my heart’s content. 

Zephyrus G15

Teen Gohan vs Cell is a classic.

Naturally, I checked the settings on some of the first few games I tried like Control, Genshin Impact, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Everything was consistently on the highest settings right off the bat. Lags and stutters? I don’t know them. Not with the Zephyrus G15 in tow. 

To better understand where I’m coming from, I own an ROG Flow X13. The one that comes with the ROG XG Mobile. It’s a great machine, no doubt. But to get the most out of it, I still have to hook up the XG Mobile to the Flow X13. Whereas with the Zephyrus G15, I simply have to turn the laptop on. That’s an underrated level of convenience that may or may not mean much for some of you. 

You still have Armoury Crate but I didn’t feel the need to touch it as much.

It’s seriously making me consider trading up for the Zephyrus G15. And that’s just with the raw performance of games. I haven’t even talked about how good the display and speakers are. 

Eyes and ears candy 

Zephyrus G15

Its high-level performance is of course complemented by a stellar audio-visual experience. As indicated in the specs section earlier, this laptop sports a 15” WQHD 16:9 display with a 240Hz refresh rate. It’s also Pantone Validated which is great for color accuracy if you’re working on anything that involves visual media.

But all you really need to know is that it’s an absolute treat to the eyes. The 240Hz refresh rate on the panel is great for first-person shooters. Unfortunately, I am not great at first person shooters. I’d like to take this opportunity to whoever I played Valorant with because I totally dragged the team down. 

Zephyrus G15

This is a “Tomboy” fancam but listen to her album “MY” too!

 

It is a visual treat, no doubt. But like (G)-IDLE’s Miyeon, the Zephyrus G15 isn’t just a treat for the eyes. It also sounds hella good. I spent a good chunk of time watching Miyeon’s fancams on this thing and it’s just a fantastic overall experience. 

I also watched a few episodes of Netflix’s Business Proposal at the time of writing. Really, whatever type of content you consume, it’s bound to look and sound great on this thing. 

Zephyrus G15

Kim SeJeong is just adorable

One thing we did learn is that the display struggles a bit under really bright environments. When taking photos of the device, we opted to step out for natural light. But if you’re using this to work or play remotely, I recommend you find some place that isn’t too bright. 

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Zephyrus G15

The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 is easily one of my personal favorite devices that I’ve reviewed so far in 2022. It’s about as close as it can get to a plug and play PC gaming experience. And that’s not something you can say for many laptops and/or PCs. 

The Zephyrus G15 (2022) brings with it a distinct look, top-notch gaming performance, and a really solid audio-visual experience. As a gaming laptop, this is about as perfect as it gets and is something I can easily recommend especially if you’re willing to splurge for it.

Official pricing will be announced soon. We’ll update this space when it’s out.

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vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review

vivo’s best smartphone just got even better!

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The vivo X70 Pro+ was launched just several months ago. However, we’re already having a follow-up!

Unlike the X50, X60, and X70 series, the X80 series only consists of two models this time around.

Namely the X80 and X80 Pro — with the latter being vivo’s latest flagship smartphone.

But what makes it different from its predecessor? And what makes the successor a lot more exciting?

Watch our vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review now to find out more!

 

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Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S22+ review: Love at first touch

Can’t help but fall deeper

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Galaxy S22+

A cosmic pull. A supernatural attraction. These aren’t phrases one normally says on a smartphone review. And yet, here I am. Falling madly for the Samsung Galaxy S22+. 

However, this wasn’t the case from the get go. First, I saw it in photos and it was alright. Then, I saw the specs on paper. Yeah, that’s pretty good. It was just another flagship, I thought. 

But everything changed when it came to my doorstep and held it in my hands. 

(P.S. All of my subheadings below are taken from the song “One Touch” by Gabe Bondoc. You can play it while you read 🙂). 

One touch and I’m hooked and I am drowning

Galaxy S22+

I am completely aware how overly infatuated I’m coming off and will come off for the rest of this article. But, having been in this smartphone reviewing gig for close to seven (7) years now, I’ve become almost numb to the usual releases. 

Yes, every now and then I take a liking to a smartphone or two. But it has been a while since I really, really wanted to keep and/or buy a phone I’m reviewing. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ just felt perfect on my hands. The right width, the right length, and the right thickness. The heft of the device, its shiny metallic edges, and the clean premium finish of the back all scream premium. The material on its back has a smooth, matte feel and finish. It’s both smudge and scratch resistant.


I’m a fan of its button placements too. With both the power button and volume rockers flushed on the right-hand side. It’s easy to slide up and down to press what you need to press.

And the metal lining on the edges feels smooth but grippable and perfectly complements the flat display. 

Excuse me, I don’t mean to be staring

It’s no secret that Samsung consistently offers one of the best displays, especially in their flagship line. This remains true for the 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel equipped on this beaut. The colors are rich and crisp under favorable lighting conditions. But even in broad daylight, the display is bright enough (1750 nits peak) to be comfortably operated without having to squint. 

Galaxy S22+

I had a grand time watching my favorite shows on the Samsung Galaxy S22+. I’ve had it for a while so I saw a few episodes of the Netflix K-Drama Business Proposal on it. I have also been catching up weekly on the HBO series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. For content that supports it, HDR10+ kicks in to elevate the visual experience. 

Galaxy S22+

The display looks so majestic that it prompted me to put the love of my life Momo Hirai of TWICE as my wallpaper. And then of course, there’s the dynamic refresh rate that goes up as high as 120Hz. This means the screen changes its refresh rate depending on what you’re doing. If you’re scrolling through socials and what not, it kicks into high gear to give you a smooth experience. When idle, the refresh rate lowers down to save battery. 

My heart won’t slow ’cause of you

The Galaxy S22+’s overall performance will really keep your heart racing. Normal, day-to-day interactions with your phone just feel extra sharp. The many features mentioned above coupled with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering this phone keeps it humming no matter what you do. 

Keeping up with the news in the morning, checking socials to see what you missed, using messaging apps to keep in touch whether for work or personal matters – all of these just feel like a breeze. And the ONE UI 4.1 skin on top of this Android 12 flavor definitely contributes to just how things flow when you use this smartphone. 

Galaxy S22+

I didn’t do a lot of gaming, though. To test it, I defaulted to my go-to which is a few hours of Call of Duty Mobile. As expected it runs without hiccups on high graphics settings. There’s a game manager of sorts here that I didn’t tinker with much. It’s not too different from the ones implemented in previous Samsung phones. Some key features include focusing the phone’s resources to gaming and limiting or completely blocking notifications. 

Battery life is also admirable. One afternoon, I used it to tune into a friend’s wedding via Zoom. The entire ceremony lasted roughly around two (2) hours. In that period, the Galaxy S22+’s battery went from 82% to 76%. 

Naturally, that isn’t the single indication of its battery performance. I generally start my days at around 9AM and end at around 8PM. On days that I’m glued to my laptop, with only occasional glimpses on the phone, I would end the day between 60% to 70%. On days that I’m out and about and rely on it a lot to get work done, my day ends with around 25% to 35% of battery left. 

You’re looking fine today, not that I only noticed now

Galaxy S22+

I have already done an entire separate article about the cameras on the Galaxy S22+. It’s one of the things that I enjoyed the most about the phone. It’s almost as if it’s impossible to take a bad photo with this on hand. 

Easily switching between lenses is great. But what’s even better is how the quality and color reproduction doesn’t vary much from lens to lens. Check these samples out.

Samsung Galaxy S22+

And you can even use 10X Zoom with barely any detail loss, especially if it’s a photo that you’re just uploading on social media. 

Samsung Galaxy S22+

That versatility is unmatched and is fantastic for quick, run and gun shoots like the one I did during the opening of the XM Studio in Singapore. 

I am thoroughly impressed and extremely satisfied with the quality of images it produces. And that’s saying a lot seeing as my regular daily phones include an iPhone 11 Pro and an OPPO Find X3 Pro. Both of which are excellent shooters in their own right.

Oh and yeah, “Nightography”. 

Samsung Galaxy S22+

You think there is a way that I can get you to stay?

You see, the thing about the Galaxy S22+ is that with just the first touch, you already know you’re in contact with something that you should hold onto for dear life. I can’t tell you how many oohs and aahs I got after letting other people hold it in their hands. It just has that effect.

Additionally, the phone is a smooth amalgamation of many other standout phones. It has the breathtaking display of Samsung phones, an overall footprint that feels like an iPhone 12/13 Pro Max, cameras that rival those that partner with notable camera brands, and much, much more. All of that comes in this package that looks and feels well-built on a phone that is easily an all-rounder performer. 

Truly, I never want to let it go. And that’s not something I always say about smartphones. So here’s to hoping that this high praise leads to the Galaxy S22+ staying with me more than a little while longer. 

The Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G is still available today in Samsung stores near you, via online at Samsung.com, or at your preferred telecommunication service provider. Pricing information on our key markets are linked in the following: USA | Singapore | Philippines

I know it’s been a while since its release. Despite all the hype long gone, it’s still a phone you won’t regret buying.

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