The year was 2014 and a relatively new smartphone maker – Xiaomi launched its first-ever Redmi Note device in India. The smartphone sold out in just six seconds on Flipkart. The USP of the smartphone was 4G network support at a time when the rest of the brands were still stuck on 3G. However, before the smartphone could come back in stock for the next sale, it was banned in India due to Ericsson’s plea alleging patent violation by the Chinese mobile phone maker. The uproar surrounding the ban set the tone for Xiaomi’s and more specifically its Note series’ success in the country.
Xiaomi seems to have put the initial setback in the past and has been enjoying the massive success of the Note series ever since. The Note series went on to become a full-blown line-up with the brand launching several iterations of each generation targeting various niches. This year too, Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 11 and Redmi Note 11S, joining the Redmi Note 11T 5G in India. The new launches are identical except for the processor and camera setup. I have been using the standard Redmi Note 11 for more than a week now to find out whether it’s a ‘note’-able upgrade to the last year’s best-selling Redmi Note 10 (review) or is not so ‘note’-worthy. Here’s how I feel.
Redmi Note 11 review of specifications
Redmi Note 11
6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED (90Hz)
MIUI 13 based on Android 11
|Rear cameras||50MP + 8MP + 2MP|
|Fast charging||33W fast charge|
|Dimensions||159.87 x 73.87 x 8.09mm|
|Price||Rs 13,499 starting price|
Design and display
- 159.87 x 73.87 x 8.09mm, 179g
- 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, 100% DCI-P3 Colour Gamut, 4,500,000:1 contrast ratio, 1,000 nits peak brightness, 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate, Reading Mode 3.0, Sunlight Display, Gorilla Glass 3
The Redmi Note 11 seems to have retained the design ethos of its predecessor with minute changes in the camera module and has flatter sides. The front remains identical with the fat chin still present. Xiaomi has retained the EVOL design and the camera module now has the LED flash sitting next to the fourth lens, which looks more symmetrical compared to the Redmi Note 10. The overall design of the camera module is the same with a large primary camera on the top. Moreover, the smartphone continues to be lightweight with the scale tipping at just 179g, which makes it comfortable to use for long hours.
The Stardust White colour variant that I received has a glossy finish —unlike the matte finish on the Redmi Note 10— which picks up micro-scratches and smudges like a magnet. I would suggest slapping on the provided protective case the moment you take the phone out of the box. Moreover, the glittery finish on the Stardust White combined with the glossy finish feels quite tacky for the lack of better word. Xiaomi is also offering the phone in Horizon Blue and Space Black colourways, which have more of a matte finish (specially the Space Black variant) and should feel better in hand. The phone comes with IP53 rating, which makes it splash-resistant.
Coming to the I/O options on the Redmi Note 11, the bottom edge is housing the noise-cancelling mic, USB Type-C charging port, and a speaker grille. You’ll find another speaker grille on the top with a 3.5mm audio jack, noise-cancelling mic, and the ubiquitous IR sensor, which doubles up as the universal remote controller for several appliances. You’ll find the SIM tray on the left edge, whereas the left edge is housing the volume keys and power button with an embedded fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner is in a comfortable position for your thumb to land on and is quite fast as well as accurate.
The Redmi Note 11 offers one of the best displays under Rs 15,000 in India. It’s an AMOLED panel measuring 6.43 inches with 100 percent DCI-P3 Colour Gamut, 4,500,000:1 contrast ratio, and 1,000 nits peak brightness. The panel is similar to the Redmi Note 10 except that it now offers 90Hz refresh rate as well. Additionally, Xiaomi has equipped the smartphone with features like Reading Mode 3.0, Sunlight Display, Dark Mode, Colour Scheme, and more.
The screen comes with Widevine L1 certification and is capable of playing OTT content in full HD resolution. On the flip side, it doesn’t support HDR playback but that would be asking too much from a smartphone at this price point. I watched the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) on this phone and enjoyed the deeper blacks in dark scenes and vibrant colours. The stereo speakers add to the whole video viewing experience by delivering punchy audio.
- Rear: 50-megapixel primary sensor, 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, 2-megapixel macro sensor, 2-megapixel depth sensor
- Front: 13-megapixel sensor
Coming to the cameras, the Redmi Note 11 comes with a quad-camera setup like its predecessor but has swapped the primary 48-megapixel sensor with a more advanced 50-megapixel lens. Xiaomi has retained the 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, 2-megapixel depth sensor, and 2-megapixel macro camera from last year. On the front as well, the Redmi Note 11 features the same 13-megapixel sensor as its predecessor.
The camera iteration is classic MIUI with preview, shutter, and selfie toggle at the bottom, and toggles for flash, HDR, AI camera, filters, and Google Lens on top. You’ll also find the hamburger icon on top from where you can access the aspect ratio, timer, settings, movie frame, gridlines, macro, tilt-shift, pro colour, and timed burst options. You can swipe on the viewfinder for modes like Pro, Video, Photo, Portrait, and More. In More, you’ll find Night, 50MP, Short Video, Panorama, Documents, Slow Motion, Time-lapse, and AI-watermark modes. You can also zoom by clicking on the 1X icon on the viewfinder and the camera supports up to 10x optical zoom.
The primary camera clicks detailed and vivid images during the bright daylight with visible saturation boost for colours like green and red. However, if you click pictures in dim conditions, the image tends to get over processed resulting in a noisy picture. The wide-angle images are usable but there’s a visible colour shift from primary to wide-angle lens and pictures are not as detailed as well. Moreover, it’s best not to use the zoom beyond 2X unless it’s absolutely necessary as higher zoom results in quality loss.
As I mentioned before, the Redmi Note 11 doesn’t do well under dim lighting and things go even further south after the sun has set. The standard mode clicks grainy night-time pictures with no details in darker areas. Toggle the dedicated night mode on and there’s not much difference except for a slight exposure boost. The portrait mode works well with accurate edge detection and the macro mode captures details well but has muted colours.
As for the selfies, the 13-megapixel shooter captures detailed self-portraits with accurate colours but struggles with exposure and tends to blow whites. The selfie portrait also works well except for a slight edge detection mishap here and there.
Performance, software, and battery
- Snapdragon 680
- 4GBGB + 64GB, 6GB + 64GB, 6GB + 128GB
- MIUI 13 based on Android 11
- 5,000mAh battery, 33W fast charging
The Redmi Note 11 comes with the new Snapdragon 680, which is a slight upgrade over Redmi Note 10’s Snapdragon 678 in terms of power consumption. The former is built on 6nm fabrication as compared to 11nm of the latter. Xiaomi is offering the smartphone in 4GBGB + 64GB, 6GB + 64GB, and 6GB + 128GB variants. I received the top-end variant with 128GB storage for this review. The RAM on all three variants can be further extended by up to 2GB, thanks to the virtual RAM feature.
During my day-to-day usage, the smartphone performed reasonably well with intense multitasking, social media browsing, YouTube, and multimedia consumption. I didn’t experience any stutter and the 90Hz refresh rate added to the whole experience. However, things go south when you start gaming on the Redmi Note 11. The smartphone opens BGMI with Smooth graphics and Medium frame rate settings by default and maxes out at Balanced graphics with medium frame rates. After 40 minutes of intense gaming the phone does heat up slightly and gameplay gets jittery. I would suggest sticking to the default graphic settings for the best gaming experience.
In the software department, the Redmi Note 11 boots MIUI 13 based on Android 11 out of the box. The interface does come with several third-party bloatware, but they are easy to uninstall. Apart from that, the software is loaded with goodies like an always-on display, themes, Game Turbo, Video Toolbox, Floating windows, and more. Pro tip: turn off the personalised adds feature while setting up the phone for the first time to avoid pesky notifications from Themes and GetApps.
The Redmi Note 11 is powered by a 5,000mAh battery, which comes with support for 33W fast charging. The phone charges from zero to 100% in just under an hour, which is fast for a 5,000mAh battery. With my usage that I mentioned above, I usually had around 15 – 20% battery leftover at the end of the day with 6-7 hours of screen-on time.
Starting at Rs 13,499, the Redmi Note 11 does deliver well in some aspects and not so much in others. The stunning AMOLED display panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and a 5,000mAh battery with 33W fast charging are a double thumbs-up from me. However, the average camera and gaming performance is something to take note of. In case you plan to click a lot of pictures using your phone and take BGMI seriously, the Redmi Note 11 is not for you.
If you can stretch your budget by Rs 3,000, you can pick up the Redmi Note 11S with the same stunning 90Hz AMOLED display and 5,000mAh battery with 33W fast charging. In addition, you also get a more powerful Helio G96 gaming processor, more RAM, and 108MP primary camera. Another commendable offering is the Vivo T1 5G with a 120Hz LCD display, Snapdragon 695 SoC, and Android 12. You do, however, miss out on the wide-angle lens and 33W fast charging.
However, if you have a hard cap on your budget and can’t exceed Rs 15,000 barrier, the Redmi Note 11 will serve you well. The long-lasting battery with a stunning display will appease multimedia consumers for sure.
Pricebaba rating: 7 / 10
- Stunning 90Hz AMOLED display
- Stereo speakers
- Long battery backup
- Fast charging
- Sub-par cameras
- Average gaming performance
- No 5G