Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
+ Bright and vibrant 120 display
- Lackluster camera performance
+ Dual speakers
+ Affordable with 5G support
It was not long ago that the Redmi Note 11 series launched in Malaysia, unveiling 4 new devices: the Redmi Note 11, Redmi Note 11S, Redmi Note 11 Pro, and Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. After the launch event, Xiaomi sent us the highest-end model of the series for review so, let's check it out!
Usually, I will start with the back where most brands express their art and creativity, such as color-changing or glossy rear covers. But for this one, let's look at the edges first. It's been a long while since Redmi uses flat edges for its phones and I think the last one to have flat edges was the Redmi Note 4.
The edges are not completely flat, however, as it uses Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and glass on the back for protection. At first glance, it really looks like an iPhone and even feels like one. The back is quite good at repelling fingerprints but if you hold it at a certain angle under the light, you'll actually notice them.
The design of the rear camera unit is pretty special too with the main camera lens sitting on a higher 'pedestal' among the other lenses. While the camera bump looks pretty when you see look at it on the back, this also means the phone won't lay flat on surfaces, even more so as the main camera unit rises higher than the others.
Physical control buttons are located on the right with a fingerprint scanner built in the power button. On top, there's a 3.5mm audio jack and a speaker, whereas the bottom houses a SIM card tray, a USB-C charging port, and a second speaker. Finally, a dual speaker device!
Overall, I'm quite impressed with the design of the phone, especially the flat edges that make it really comfortable in hands. The unit that I received is black in color or known as Graphite Gray. Without any special texture or glossiness, the matte back cover looks grey under bright light. Besides Graphite Gray, the model also offers two other color options: Polar White and Atlantic Blue.
Display and Audio
The 6.67-inch AMOLED DotDisplay on the Note 11 Pro 5G has an FHD+ resolution and a peak brightness of 1200 nits. The vibrant display is very pleasing for viewing even under the sunlight or in darker conditions. Both edges of the display will illuminate when the phone receives a notification.
Impressively it has a speedy 120Hz refresh rate, which isn't much of a big deal nowadays but it's a big one on a device at this price point. It's worth noting that the 120Hz refresh rate can be changed to a lower 60Hz when you want to preserve battery life. Kudos!
Another surprise present on this phone is the top and bottom speakers that are absent in some more expensive devices we've reviewed lately. The output sound is loud and clear in a middle-sized room. And better, it supports Dolby Atmos and you can adjust the sound in the settings menu.
The triple rear camera unit of this one includes a 108MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, and a 2MP macro camera. It has almost the same sensors as the Redmi Note 10 Pro but the depth sensor in the predecessor is removed on this one.
By default, the 108MP main camera snaps standard pixel-binned 12MP pictures with natural color reproduction. Under bright light, you can capture a fair amount of details but images will look too sharp sometimes.
The results become less satisfying under dim scenarios with noticeable noise in photos. The ultrawide camera didn't perform better but it's okay for you to capture extra wide view of sceneries for memories.
The macro camera has been downgraded from the 5MP sensor with autofocus on the Note 10 Pro to a 2MP sensor on this one and gone is the autofocus feature. Color reproduction is fine but photos are noisy. Since Xiaomi has taken away the depth sensor, I would appreciate it if they, at least, retain the same macro camera instead of a downgraded one.
The front display houses a 16MP selfie camera, which I think is acceptable overall. You'll notice blurred details in your selfies, though.
The Note 11 Pro 5G features a Snapdragon 695 chipset with 5G and the model with me here is equipped with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There's also another variant available with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. On daily use, the 8GB configuration is enough to start up and switch between applications smoothly. If you feel the need for higher memory, it offers a RAM expansion feature of 3GB. Storage can also be expanded up to 1TB via a microSD card.
Gaming-wise, it can handle most mobile games but graphics settings will differ if you want to experience smooth gameplay. In MLBB, you can play at maximum graphics settings but you'll have to settle for low settings at 30fps in Genshin Impact.
This device is powered by a 5000mAh battery with a 67W turbo charging support. I have not much to comment on its battery life as I can manage through the day and only need to charge it at the end of the day. As for charging, it took me an hour to charge up from 6% - 100%.
Buy or no buy
The Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is an affordable 5G smartphone that would make a good choice as it offers a bright 120Hz display and dual speakers with Dolby Atmos support. It also keeps fans' favorite features like a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
At this price point, you really can't expect everything to be perfect. For instance, camera performance is somewhat lackluster and video recording only supports up to 1080p at 30fps. While the Snapdragon 695 processor isn't the most attractive one, it can easily manage your daily tasks and average gaming performance. Still, these could be some small sacrifices you might be willing to make if you're aiming for an affordable 5G smartphone.