Redmi has quite a history of producing absolutely breathtaking phones. Redmi 10 was the last phone we reviewed by the well-known Xiaomi sub-brand and fell in love with its holographic exterior. The company recently sent us their Note 11 Pro+ 5G. This phone clearly got the memo too as it was equally gorgeous. Hosting an insanely brilliant matte blue body, the Note 11 exudes sophistication and class.
Body and Accessories
We were fortunate enough to receive the Note 11 in Atlantic Blue. The phone also comes in two other color variations, namely Polar White and Graphite Grey. With a thickness of 0.3 inches and a total weight of 0.4 lbs, the Note 11 is a fairly slim phone with considerable weight. With the ideal weight of an average smartphone phone lying between the 0.3 to 0.37 lbs range, 0.4 lbs is slightly on the heavier side. All in all, the phone is gorgeous. It has a clean matte exterior with the camera lens bump on the top-left of its back and the brand name emblazoned on the bottom left. Unlike Poco, Redmi was kind enough to not dedicate around half of the phone to stamp its name on.
The front of the phone features quite narrow bezels with just the front camera and a speaker on top. The latter is accompanied by a sign that tells you that they’re powered by JBL. My hopes got significantly high upon reading this sign. The speakers are coupled with an IR blaster and a 3.5mm audio port. I prefer audio jack to be on the underside of phones so that wired connectivity is easier, but I think we have to wait for a while for Android phones to adopt that. The underside of the Note 11 hosts a MicroSD card slot along with a Type-C charging slot. With a volume rocker and an unlock button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor, the right side of the phone offers a generous set of interfaces as well.
This stunning phone comes with a clear plastic case apart from a Type-C charging cable, a 120W converter and some paperwork. Redmi’s generosity in terms of the accessories it includes is always appreciated.
The Note 11’s display is one of its best features. It’s a gorgeous 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz and brightness that goes up to 700 nits. It offers a resolution of 2400×1080. The colors are bright, rich and vibrant. The 4,500,000:1 contrast ratio makes sure the blacks are really black and the whites are extremely white. The brightness is pretty impressive too considering 400 – 500 nits is the average brightness on a smartphone. Anything under that would require you to find some shade if you need to use your phone outdoors.
The 120 Hz refresh rate that the phone features is its adaptive rate. This means the rate will change depending on what you’re using the phone for. But it will only ever go down to 60Hz, and that too, during tasks such as scrolling the internet. While gaming, for instance, it goes back up to 120Hz. The Note 11’s display is fast, responsive and sensitive. It reacts to your touch in the blink of an eye and responds with the appropriate action.
This brings us to the performance of this smartphone. Note 11 comes in various configurations. I received the 8GB + 128GB one which is the ceiling RAM and ROM for the phone. Hence, my experience might be a little better than people who opt for cheaper versions. The phone leverages the Snapdragon 695 along with an octa-core CPU that clocks speeds up to 2.2GHz and a Qualcomm Adreno 619 GPU. Having gamed for hours on the Note 11, I can vouch for its processing power. I played a couple of visually intensive titles as well and the phone didn’t even once stutter or lag.
Apart from the fact that there is a lot of unnecessary bloatware the phone comes loaded with, the Note 11 has a pretty neat interface. The layout is intuitive and easy to get used to. I also tested the phone by multi-tasking quite a bit on it. I watched videos and switched between dozens of tabs. Again, not a single stutter. If Redmi could take its bloatware issue into consideration, I’d give this phone’s efficiency a 10/10.
Speaking of efficiency, the Note 11 will easily last you two days if your workload is not very heavy. If you’re using it for processor-intensive tasks, it will last you a little more than a day. But this powerhouse of a phone will surely not bail on you in less than a day. That’s pretty impressive. Even when it does, the 120W charger that accompanies it is capable of charging it back to 100% within just an hour. If your screentime is a lot like mine, this phone is ideal for you.
I was very excited to test the Note 11’s JBL-powered speakers out. And they successfully fulfilled my expectations too. The phone delivered sound that is loud, clear and focused. I listened to a variety of songs and podcasts on it. It accentuated the treble nicely and gave the lower end a noticeable thump. It made sure not to overdo the bass as well. The orchestra is layered and you can hear overlapping tracks pretty well.
If you’re looking to upgrade your phone for the purpose of improved phone photography, the Note 11 is not the phone to go for. Its camera features a significant amount of noise and isn’t the most recommendable for low-light shots. The 8MP ultra-wide lens probably does a bit of a better job than the 109MP wide camera but the difference is negligible. There’s also a 2MP macro lens that seems more like a token camera Redmi has added just to make the specs look better. The 16MP front camera is not very impressive too. The color reproduction is pretty poor and the picture quality is inferior in terms of sharpness.
All in all, the Note 11 is an impressive phone. It features powerful performance coupled with a beautiful display and a battery that’s incredibly long-lasting. The camera could have been a lot better but if you need it for general everyday use, it should be enough. Priced at $350, the phone is pretty reasonable for all that it offers.
Is It Hardcore?
You can say that.
The Note 11 is a sufficiently hardcore device. Excluding the camera, all of its features offer quality. If you’re looking to upgrade for a better display, faster performance or a battery that offers excellent endurance, this is the phone for you.