Should I buy a Xiaomi Redmi Note 11?
|Excellent 90Hz AMOLED display||There is no big shake in the camera|
|Tidy design||MIUI is a earned pleasure|
|Powerful battery life||No 5G|
It’s a quiet and attractive budget phone that offers you a 90Hz AMOLED display and exemplary battery life in a well-packaged design for less than £ 200. If you don’t need a 5G or especially a great camera, this is a great choice.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 full review
Over the past few years, Xiaomi has attacked the lucrative smartphone market with the Redmi and Poco brands, providing stunning combinations of high-end components at low prices.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 marks the first effort of these particular sub-brands in 2022, and it’s another high-profile but lucrative endeavor. There aren’t many phones under £ 200 that offer the configuration of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11.
In doing so, it rises above the Redmi Note 10 in several important ways.
Design and Construction
- Stylish looks
- 8.1mm, 179g
Last year’s Redmi Note 10 family was amazed by the “simple but relatively high-end” design. You can usually rate the design of a cheap phone by the number of cheap items that are clearly visible on the screen.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 continues to work well on this front. All materials are matte, from an attractive metal effect frame to a soft-textured plastic back. The latter is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, but it feels good on the hands.
The camera module is a bit more detailed and simpler than last year’s model, but you can’t say it’s a bad decision.
The thick frames on the front are a sign that you’re using a cheap phone, especially an elongated jaw. The same is true of the impact notch with its impressive (and distracting) bright surroundings.
Dimensions 159.9 x 73.9 x 8.1 mm and weighing 179 g, the Note 11 fits perfectly. It is also promisingly strong with an IP53 rating, which is far from that of cheaper phones.
It’s nice to see the 3.5mm headphone jack back. It’s easy to assume that everyone has switched to real wireless headphones so far, but it won’t be until they become standard in the box.
Speaking of nice sound features, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 also includes a pair of stereo speakers. This is not something you see on every phone for less than £ 200.
- 90Hz AMOLED
- Full HD+
Perhaps the component screen that stands out with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11. It’s not particularly large or sharp, but I have 6.43 inches and no complaints about FHD +.
Interestingly, at this price point, the more common is the more live AMOLED display than the boring LCD panel type. Xiaomi has not compromised on smoothness with a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz, which ensures that the content slides nicely and smoothly after activation.
This is a direct improvement over last year’s Redmi Note 10, which is stuck at 60Hz on the second front. It is also a development over new competitors such as the Moto G31, which drops to 60Hz, which is strangely lower than its predecessor.
In general indoor conditions, I noted a peak brightness of 425 nits when the automatic brightness was turned off. Xiaomi claims to reach 700 nits in high-brightness mode and 1,000 nits in direct sunlight and automatic brightness.
Using the i1Display Studio colorimeter, I noted 100% sRGB, 87.8% Adobe RGB, and 99.9% DCI P3 gamma coverage, which is an impressive color accuracy.
Features and Performance
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 680
- Up to 6/128GB
- No 5G support
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 680 4G chip, a relatively new mid-range System-on-Chip (SoC) equipped with 4 or 6 GB of RAM.
One notable shortcoming here is 5G. The Redmi Note 11 doesn’t give you a high-level network connection, which is a bit of a shame, so if that’s important to you, look elsewhere.
In terms of memory, you will get 64 or 128 GB, as well as a microSDXC slot for expansion purposes. In fact, we see an increasing number of compatible phones minimizing 128 GB. Perhaps this regression point reveals one of the ways in which Xiaomi has been able to squeeze in some of the more compelling components.
Other normal but still welcome features include NFC for mobile payments and a fast and reliable side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
- 50Mp main camera
- 8Mp ultra-wide
- 2Mp macro & depth
- 13Mp selfie
The Redmi Note 11 is probably equipped with a four-camera system, but we know what that means in the budget market. In practical terms, only two of these sensors make excellent use of a pair of 2Mp sensors (one for depth, one for macro) that perform multiple stat fill.
So let’s get back to the critical parts as soon as possible. The main thing is a 50Mp wide sensor with f/1.8 aperture, supported by 8Mp ultra-wide. The Redmi Note 11S and 11 Pro 5G have 108Mp main sensors.
It’s easy to point out the relative lack of megapixels for the ultra-wide, but the simple truth is that many affordable phones completely abandon the ultra-wide camera.
The main shooter does a decent job of shooting detailed shots when given plenty of light. However, I got a significant amount of grain under fairly “normal” conditions, and the HDR effect isn’t even the most impressive I’ve seen at this end of the market.
As soon as the lights go out a bit, the main camera struggles, and the Night mode gives frames with a grain of confusion. But show a budget phone that does not have it.
When you switch to the ultra wide 8Mp, the detail and stability drop dramatically and the tone changes dramatically. Again, you will often have to spend more money to get an ultra-extensive experience that is fully realized and balanced by experts.
The phone will take 2x magnified shots, but keep in mind that these will be cut off from the main sensor, which means more noise.
The 13-megapixel selfie camera is adequate, but it smoothes the skin a bit to distract. Meanwhile, the portrait selfie mode created a disturbing force field effect around my contours.
Overall, the Redmi Note 11’s camera reaches a comfortable level for a £ 200 phone. However, this is by no means a prominent component.
Battery life and charging
- 5000mAh battery
- 33W charging
- Adapter included
Like other competitors priced at £ 200 today, the Redmi Note 11 comes with a 5,000 mAh battery.
In my experience, a 14-hour daily use of 6 hours 50 minutes of screen time left me with about 40% in the tank. This is an excellent result and shows that the phone is good for “full” use for two full days.
In our regular PCMark Work 3.0 battery test, the Redmi Note 11 performed well for 11 hours and 35 minutes. This puts it above the Moto G31 and Realme 8 in 10 hours and 36 minutes, and below the Poxo X3 NFC in 15 hours and 48 minutes.
These days, as we would expect from almost all Xiaomi sub-brands, the Redmi Note 11 comes with refills. Comes with a 33W wired charger from 0% to 58% in 30 minutes. It will get you to 100% in less than an hour.
- Android 11
- MIUI 13
Xiaomi’s MIUI app has never been a particular favorite with its simple icons and lack of attractive and even unifying visual style.
MIUI 13 works here on Android 11 and is more the same. Still, every time you install an app, you get a surprisingly meaningless extra screen that is visible, mostly devoid of anything.
Still, you get a lot of personalization options that go their own way. Most importantly, there is a Themes program filled with special wallpapers to download and install for free.
There is no doubt about how robust MIUI 13 is. Unlike some competitors, it leaves Google Feed alone on the left side of the main screen, and I personally find the standard split notification shadow a nice touch. It’s also nice to draw that shadow down from anywhere on the screen.
But again, this is a busy and unattractive UI full of many transitions and distractions.
Price and availability
The Redmi Note 11 starts at $ 179 globally (although it is not scheduled to go on sale in the US). The UK market will only buy the middle of the three SKUs for £ 199, which is a shame for the consumer choice.
It is available in Graphite Gray, Twilight Blue or Star Blue and is available from the official Mi Store and Amazon, Very. AO, Argos, Notebooks Direct, Ebuyer.
Those who order before March 10 will receive a free Redmi Buds 3 earphones.
Here are the details of the three Realme Note 11 SKUs
- 4/64GB – $179
- 4/128GB – £199/$199
- 6/128GB – $229
This is an attractive price point, but there is a lot of competition around this brand, including Xiaomi’s own devices and Realme and Motorola. If 5G is needed, look for phones like the Oppo A54 5G.
See more options in our table of the best budget phones.
Xiaomi Redmi 11 offers a combination of attractive features for less than £ 200. Not many cheap phones that give you a 90Hz AMOLED screen at this price.
At the same time, it has a design that does not feel sticky from afar, although it does not look very eye-catching. This is far from what is given at this end of the market.
The durability of the Redmi Note 11 is also noteworthy, which will allow most people to use it for two days on a single charge. Redmi impresses by adding a 33W fast charger.
Performance and camera quality are simply adequate, the Redmi Note 11 Pro is worth considering up to 5G. But if you have a difficult budget, this is a phone with several obvious disadvantages.