Review, Smartphone

Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G Review: No Longer the Budget Phone It Once Was

Redmi smartphones had always offered great value for money, but one of their biggest shortcomings is the fact that they also feel…well, cheap. That changes with the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G: not only does it sport a more premium design, it also continues to offer excellent value for money.

Of course, it is still not without faults. But if sheer value for money is what you look for below the RM1,500 price point, the Note 11 Pro 5G is one of the best options out there.

What It Is

Display6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED (2400 x 1080), 120Hz
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 695 2.2GHz octa-core
GPUAdreno 619
RAM6/8GB
Storage128GB, expandable
Camera (rear)108MP f/1.9
8MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide angle)
2MP f/2.4 (macro)
Camera (front)16MP f/2.4
Battery
5,000mAh with 67W fast charging
Dimensions164.19 x 76.1 x 8.12 mm
Weight
202g
OSMIUI 13 based on Android 11
Connectivity5G
LTE
NFC
Bluetooth 5.1
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
USB Type-C
PriceRM1,199 (128GB + 6GB), RM1,299 (128GB + 8GB)

Two variants of the Note 11 Pro 5G are offered in Malaysia, which comes with 6GB or 8GB of RAM. This review is focused on the latter, though there shouldn’t be much of a difference between the two models.

Anyway, starting from only RM1,199, the Note 11 Pro 5G is packed with a Snapdragon 695 chipset – it’s quite a capable chip – a 120Hz AMOLED screen, a generous 5,000mAh battery, and a decent triple camera system. More on these hardware in the following sections.

The Good Stuff

My favourite aspect of the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G has to be its design and build quality. Thanks to its glass back and flat frame, it feels really nice to hold in my hands. While the plastic frame doesn’t feel quite as premium as the glass back, it still gives the phone solid, reassuring build quality.

I also appreciate the minimal bezels surrounding the screen of the Note 11 Pro 5G, especially on the bottom “chin.” Gone are the days when budget Android phones had large bottom bezels. It’s also nice to see the relatively small hole-punch cutout on the screen for the 16MP selfie camera.

Speaking of display, the Note 11 Pro 5G’s 6.67-inch 1080p AMOLED screen is (naturally) really nice to look at, especially at this price point. It has bright, vibrant colours, deep, true blacks, and of course, wide viewing angles. The 120Hz refresh rate also lends to a responsive user experience.

Performance level of the Note 11 Pro 5G is quite decent too. Throughout my time with the phone, the Snapdragon 695 did not feel sluggish at all, even when I’m juggling between different apps and completing my daily commissions in Genshin Impact.

Of course, I can’t play that demanding mobile game at maxed out graphics on this phone, but with some tweaks to the graphics settings – and the framerate set to 60fps – it’s certainly playable.

One area where the Note 11 Pro 5G absolutely excels in is battery life. Packed with a 5,000mAh battery, I can get up to seven hours of screen on time with this phone, and I’m quite a heavy smartphone user. If you don’t use your phone quite as much, I reckon you can even get two days of use on a single charge.

The triple camera system of the Note 11 Pro 5G is reasonably good too, especially the 108MP primary sensor. Even in low light conditions, it can still take flattering shots, even if some of them look a tad too saturated. Judge for yourself with these sample shots:

Last but certainly not least is the value proposition of the Note 11 Pro 5G. Really, for only RM1,199, you’re getting so much value for your money, including a capable Snapdragon 695 chipset, a 120Hz AMOLED screen, excellent battery life, and a good camera system…for the most part.

The Bad Stuff

Even though the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G’s 108MP primary camera can take good-looking shots, the same cannot be said for the 8MP ultra-wide angle sensor. Sure, it comes in handy when you need to fit a larger subject into the frame, but the image quality leaves much to be desired, as you can see below.

Aside from that, software experience is still Redmi’s – and effectively, Xiaomi’s too – biggest weakness. While MIUI has improved quite a bit, there are still some niggling issues here and there that affect the overall refinement of the software.

Here are some examples: I don’t like the fact that the “always on” screen isn’t actually always on (there’s no way to constantly have it displayed), and the software doesn’t feel as responsive as it should be. This is especially noticeable when I want to swipe away notifications.

More often than not, I need to do the swiping motion more than once before it actually dismisses said notification.

Is It Worth It?

Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want the best value for your money in the sub-RM1,500 price range, then the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is an excellent choice. For the same amount of money, it’s tough to find an alternative that offers the same feature set.

However, if good software experience is high up on your list, then the Note 11 Pro 5G isn’t the best option. Granted, the software itself is serviceable with no major bugs or issues, but other versions of Android – Samsung’s One UI, for example – offers a more refined software experience.

Nonetheless, there’s no denying the excellent value proposition of the Note 11 Pro 5G – it remains to be Redmi’s best selling point.

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