- Nice Display
- Decent Specification and Performance
- Hardware-wise there are upgrades, but marginal one at that
- The price increase doesn't justify the marginal upgrades
- Really becoming harder to recommend as it tries are to be something it isn't
- MIUI seriously needs to improve
Just like how we have plenty of fish in the sea, the mid-tier smartphone segment is filled with many as well. While some may hit homerun, ending up in many pockets, others would end up not doing so well, killing those fishes at sea. Redmi series has been a fan favourite, myself included, but their track record since 2020 has been off. That said, does the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G put up a good show? Let’s find out.
A Cupertino-esque Design with a Dash of Xiaomi’s Flavour
Coming from a brand that usually makes curvier phones to give a better grip, comes a phone where it shares a similar design with the Cupertino brand, with flat glass covered front, back and around the device itself that you could make it stand on its own (although you can’t, we tried :P). Now that’s the only thing that looks rather similar, otherwise the phone sure does have some Xiaomi flavour to it – noticeably the back glass which is one of the nicest surfaces I have ever touched.
The matte and buttery smooth finish with the frosted look is one to look at. It feels great and I have to say it does look like a premium Redmi smartphone. One thing I am not a fan of is the camera cut-out which looks too big for its own good.
Display is Pretty Nice though
One of the things I love about the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is how beautiful the display is, as it houses a 6.67” FHD+ AMOLED Display with a Dot cutout at the top. Samsung has excelled in displays a lot to a point that many phones in the current market is powered by their display. Which includes Xiaomi as well.
So, there isn’t much to miss out here as it does offer the best viewing angles possible, a nice 1200 nits peak brightness and with up to 395 ppi that just looks crisp.
Specification and Performance
The variant we have at hand is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage that can be expanded with the help of a MicroSD card. Now the 695 is a quite alright processor to take on day-to-day tasks and even perform well in most aspect sans intensive gaming as that’s where you can see it take a huge hit.
Not that you can’t play games, it’s just that the performance isn’t as great as a 700 series processor of today which would have been a nice touch in a phone like this and given its price a lot higher than the usual Redmi Note smartphones.
Camera still falls short by a lot
Sure, it does have three cameras but only two of it are proper cameras with usable optics: the main with a 108MP sensor and the secondary Ultrawide sensor at 8MP. Here’s the thing about smartphone cameras, these hardware leaps can only do so much and the rest of it falls under the software department to see how well it performs.
What really irks me is that the phone shoots with the similar colour dynamic as its older brethren with darker blacks and HDR that makes the image unusable. In bright conditions, sure it excels and many cameras fare well in day light situations that are brightly lit but the quality goes down as the sun goes down.
Xiaomi should take the camera software seriously if they are going to heap praises about the whole 108MP which in our books doesn’t matter as phones with lower Megapixel count has left such an astonishing mark in our eyes and hearts.
Endurance and Charging Speeds
One of the highly praised things about the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is its battery capacity but more so with the charger that’s included in the box. This Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is the first to support charging speeds up to 67W which we have seen with the Xiaomi 11T, which happens to be our favorite Xiaomi phone to date.
In this case, it does get the battery from zero-to-hundred in less than an hour and that’s amazing – which means, say if you forget to charge the night before and in just an hour where you take time to do your morning routine, it will get you all juiced up and you could step out easily, stress free. The 5000mAh paired with MIUI optimisation is hard to kill and boy, the thing can last for more than a day in my use case scenario. We chose to leave even with like 40 percent of battery and make it back with like 4 percent just in time to get it all juiced up.
Oh, so Many Variants once again…
Just when I thought Xiaomi is doing well, although I am not happy with the many variants that exist when the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G was announced initially, now there’s two more variants added to the portfolio. Making matters worse, their sister brand POCO has also brought life to two new phones that’s exactly identical to the Redmi Note 11 Series. This begs the question, why so many variants and just like the Redmi Note 10, we are really flabbergasted by the move Xiaomi did here.
Doesn’t really instil much confidence.
MIUI 13 has little (to no) improvements
This is another issue, a big one at that. Coming from someone who has enjoyed MIUI, this is disappointing. While most of the UI seems similar, there are almost no fixes from its predecessor MIUI 12 or even 12.5. It looks and feels the same, the menus are still cluttered and finding a simple toggle to switch things to your liking is buried under many tabs, making me wonder if the MIUI 13 actually brings any changes to the table.
Here’s the thing though – it’s not that I don’t like the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, in fact there are so many appealing things about it, but the phone tries too hard to be something it isn’t, hitting a price point where you could much rather pick up the Xiaomi 11T. It is neither here and nor there, in so many aspects of the phone.
Given that now the Redmi lineup has entered the sub RM1000 price point, a lot of users are going to question more so than ever and with the new Pro+ 5G, get ready for a more chaotic lineup of Redmi. It’s saddening for us to say that the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is really that hard to recommend, and it’s not just us that concluded on that note.