This is the Redmi Note 11, the global version, not the Dimensity-powered one, but the Snapdragon 680-powered version which is technically an upgrade over the Redmi Note 10 as it comes with a 90hz display and improved design, well… That’s technically, but… Should you buy this phone?
Now let’s get started! So, Xiaomi had a global launch of the Note 11 series a few weeks ago and it was exciting for the most part because it had interesting specifications except for the fact that the global versions of these devices were not as powerful as the earlier launched Chinese variants.
Now, compared to the Redmi Note 11 which is powered by the 6nm Snapdragon 680, this is miles ahead in performance wise as you can see from the benchmark scores. The Poco M4 Pro 5G just gives you an idea of what could’ve been for the Redmi Note 11, but let’s not dwell on the thought of the Chinese variant being more powerful, not like we have it to choose from. Let’s focus more on how it performs compared to its predecessor the Redmi Note 10.
Redmi Note 11 Price In Nigeria
Xiaomi is known for offering the most competitive pricing when it comes to their smartphones, and the Redmi Note 11 series is no different. It starts at N99,500 or $179 for the base version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. I actually purchased one for significantly less in Naira via Aliexpress, got it for just under 85k but you see it’s over 3 weeks since I made that purchase and it is yet to arrive.
Redmi Note 11 Review
So I had to purchase Redmi Note 11 when it became available in Nigeria so as not to delay my review. I’ll probably put that one on sale when it eventually arrives. This one with me is the 6GB version with 128GB of storage. Now, compared to the Redmi Note 10, this is only an upgrade in very few areas which we’ll explore shortly. The box of the Redmi Note 11 contains all the expected accessories typical of Xiaomi, no earphones in the box but you do get a 33watts charging brick, a transparent protective case, and a pre-installed screen protector.
Build Quality & Design
On design, the Redmi Note 11 is very similar to the Note 11s. You could mistake them for each other unless you take note of the camera bump which is slightly different on the 11s. Everything else looks the same even down to its size at around 6.4 inches. It gets a slightly flat design profile with little curves on the rear which makes it a really comfortable phone to hold. The rear is built of plastic with a premium feeling matt finish. You have its quad cameras and flash aligned in a slim bump to the top left of the rear.
The frame also has a matt finish which adds to the premium feel. You can find all ports and buttons in their expected positions except for the headphone jack which is now repositioned at the top alongside one of the dual speakers and that signature IR blaster. Its fingerprint scanner is mounted on the side just below the volume keys and also double functions as the power button.
You’ll have no problems unlocking your device as it is responsive and accurate most of the time. Unlike the China version which is 5G capable, the Redmi Note 11 supports 4G and accepts dual Nano sim cards, with an added slot for a micro SD card. It still maintains a stereo speaker setup with the primary speaker at the bottom alongside the USB-C charging port. The top stereo speaker complements the bottom one to make for decent stereo sound, definitely better than what you’ll get from a mono speaker.
Redmi Note 11 Review: Display
On the display side of things, the Redmi Note 11 has a 6.43 inches display protected by Gorilla Glass 3. It has a center hole cut-out for its selfie camera and slim bezels on the side which would’ve made for nice symmetry except for the slightly thicker chin. It is an AMOLED display that looks really good and can get up to a thousand nits of peak brightness. It is a sharp and vibrant display with a resolution of 1080 by 2400 and a 20:9 aspect ratio with a display density of 401 pixels per inch, pretty much the same display specifications as the Redmi Note 11s. You’ll get the always-on-display functionality but that can only show for up to 10 seconds, you can’t increase or reduce this limit. You can also choose Edge lighting for when you get notifications.
Aside from being a good-looking AMOLED display, much to the delight of the consumer, the Redmi Note 11 comes with a 90hz screen refresh rate. This was absent from its predecessor. This is a much welcome improvement as I can say for certain it makes for a better user experience with scrolling and the animations that come with MIUI 13. It is however not enabled by default so you have to enable it from the display settings.
Speaking of MIUI 13, the Redmi Note 11 comes with Xiaomi’s new UI out of the box, though Android 11 is probably pending the perfection of the experience on Android 12. Hopefully, we should be expecting an Android 12 update in the not-too-distant future. You can expect another review when that happens. Having experienced MIUI 13 on the Redmi Note 11s, I couldn’t help observing that it lacks a couple of features on the Redmi Note 11, making the experience feel a bit incomplete.
While it comes with all the ads and bloatware experience typical of the UI, you won’t get the sidebar, a lovely feature introduced with MIUI 13 which is present on the 11s and Pro but absent here. Hopefully, it might come with a software update as that makes for a much better multi-tasking experience, but we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed for that one. Another subtle feature of MIUI 13 missing here is the slight transparency of the quick panel.
You’ll notice it doesn’t show any traces of the wallpaper in the background. Easily negligible but it won’t be a bad idea to have it. You do get second space here though and also that new RAM extension which allows you to extend the RAM by 2GB by using the available internal memory. This works best if you have enough internal storage space left. It should help the system keep more apps running in the background when multi-tasking.
Speaking of multi-tasking you’ll also notice split-screen multitasking is absent on this version of MIUI 13. That’s a lot of features less than what you get on the Note 11s and Pro. These aside, there have so far been no bugs or issues from my experience with MIUI 13 on the Redmi Note 11. It’s a much more stable experience than the previous version MIUI 12.5. Hopefully, no issues come with Android 12.
Redmi Note 11 Review: Battery, Processor & Performance
For its battery life the Redmi Note 11 packs a 5000 mAh battery, and the majority should agree with me when I say the battery has never really been a problem for the Redmi Note series. The Note 11 comes with a 33watts fast charger and supports that much amount of charging via USB C, this powers up your phone from 0 to 100 in just a little over an hour in my experience. Coming from the Redmi Note 10, the Note 11 doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade especially when it comes to the processor.
The Snapdragon 680 though is a 6nm processor which I’d say is probably more stable as it has a slightly higher CPU frequency and a little improved memory optimization, but from benchmark results, it appears to be a slight downgrade from the 678 both on Antutu and Geekbench. Not to stick with just the numbers, but in actual user experience, I can say this has been more balanced than my experience on Note 10, particularly on the gaming aspect.
While gaming on the Redmi Note 10 I experienced occasional crashes during my period of use and some overheating, but so far I’ve not experienced this here. Time will tell if it’s better optimization or has just not been used long enough. No crashes here don’t guarantee the best gaming performance though. You get fewer graphics and frame rates when compared to its predecessor. This uses the Adreno 610 GPU while the Note 10 of last year had the Adreno 612.
You can only play titles like Call of duty mobile on medium frame rate if you want to get anything above low graphics. To get up to a high frame rate you have to stick to low graphics. If you prefer PUBG, the best graphics you get here are balanced and medium frame rates. For high frame rates, you have to stick with the lowest graphics. Not the smoothest of gaming experiences but it should be good enough if you’re not really into serious gaming. If you are then I’d recommend upping your budget a bit and taking a look at the Redmi Note 11s or the Note 10s which should have dropped to around the same price point as this.
How about the cameras of the Redmi Note 11? Well compared to its predecessor, not much has changed. You get a 50mp main camera accompanied by an 8mp Ultra-wide, 2mp depth, and 2mp macro camera. The selfie camera remains 13mp. Its selfie image processing is decent if you like your selfies softened and looking over-processed. This is with beauty mode turned off. The portrait selfies are okay on edge detection.
The rear cameras of the Redmi Note 11 have no problem giving you good-looking and color-accurate photos, great with dynamic range, and you can get those super high res photos when you enable the 50mp mode. Its 8mp Ultra-wide camera does fine but you’ll notice it has a slightly different color profile from the main camera. You will get decent results from its 2mp macro camera for what it’s worth, and with really close subjects you can get a really cinematic-looking photo with good depth of field.
If you take night shots, the Redmi Note 11 tries its best to give you usable photos but I’d say it struggles and I’ve definitely seen better from similarly priced devices. Thankfully this has GCAM support so if you want better out of the cameras you can always get GCAM. These are some shots using GCAM, you can see the major difference in quality, especially with selfies. For videography, you only get 1080p 30fps recording from both the selfie and rear cameras of the Redmi Note 11, software stabilization is not the best here but you can get better results if you got steady hands, unlike mine. Its cameras are not really much of an upgrade nor is its processor but I guess a 6nm processor is welcome.
Redmi Note 11 Full Specifications
|Model||Redmi Note 11|
|Launch Date||2022, January 26|
|Price In Nigeria||N99,500 Or $179|
|Battery||Li-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable|
|Display Type & Size||AMOLED, 90Hz, 700 nits, 1000 nits (peak), 6.43 inches|
|OS||Android 11, upgradable to Android 12, MIUI 13|
|RAM & Storage||64GB 4GB RAM, 64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G (6 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (4x2.4 GHz Kryo 265 Gold & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo 265 Silver)|
|Rear Camera||50 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.76", 0.64µm, PDAF|
8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚ (ultrawide), 1/4", 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
|Features||LED flash, HDR, panorama|
|Video Recording||[email protected]|
|Selfie Camera||13 MP, f/2.4, (wide), 1/3.1", 1.12µm|
|Video Recording||[email protected]|
|USB||USB Type-C 2.0|
If you’re considering this as an upgrade to the Redmi Note 10 I would say to skip it or up your budget and go for the 11s, or you could wait to see what Samsung brings with the upcoming A series.