Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G global version is now available. Last year, AndroidHeadlines did a review of the stellar Redmi Note 10 Pro. At that time we thought it was probably one of the best smartphones available for around $300. This year Xiaomi sent us a couple of different versions of the Redmi Note 11 series. I decided to do a full review of the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G because it is the direct successor to one of the best mid-rangers from 2021.
As usual, there are a few variants of this device. Of course, as usual, Xiaomi sent us a black er Graphite Gray 8GB RAM/128GB storage which is the highest specced version of the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G series. One of these days we will see the Polar White or Atlantic Blue version for review purposes.
Unboxing experience is quite familiar at this point
The review device retail box has the smartphone, a clear TPU case (a bit beefier than cases of yesteryear), a film screen protector (not applied), USB-C cable, and a 67W fast-charging brick. In the chipboard insert, you will find some paperwork and a SIM tool as well.
Hardware Design gets a modern squarer look
While last year’s model was all about curves, the new Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G sports a much ‘squarer’ design. If you think that this look resembles the current iPhone series you are definitely right. However, while the frame rails are vertical like the iPhone there is an ever so slight curve where the display and back glass merge on the frame. And the end result is a phone that is ergonomically superior to hold compared to the new iPhone. As a side note, I currently have an iPhone 13 Mini and an iPhone 12.
The other big change is the layout of the camera module. I like the new all-black muted look compared to the chrome ring around the main camera in the previous version. Rounding up the changes is the SIM tray location which is now next to the USB-C charging port leaving the left-hand side rail clean looking. And of course, the matte “Graphite” finish backplate resists fingerprint smudges quite well.
On the front, you have the center hole punch selfie camera and Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the AMOLED display. On the top rail, you get a headphone jack, speaker grille, microphone, and IR blaster. The fingerprint scanner is built into the power button just below the volume rocker on the right-hand side rail.
In summary, I like the new look of the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. Xiaomi made all the right iterative choices and the end result is a very good-looking smartphone.
Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G display is a carryover and that’s not a bad thing
The 2022 Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G carries over the 120Hz Full HD+ display from last year. So even though this is a carryover it is still a great display. During the review period, I had zero trouble using it outdoors on bright sunny days here in Southern California.
With just ever so slightly slimmer bezels the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G has an 86% screen-to-body ratio while maintaining 395 ppi pixel density. You will be quite happy with the display on this smartphone. For folks who really like to customize their display settings, MIUI 13 continues to have an extensive list of options to set up the display output to your liking and schedule.
Snapdragon 695 on the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G offers great all-round performance
For this iteration of the Note 11 series, Xiaomi settled on the Snapdragon 695 processor. The specs only crowd will say that this is a downgrade since last year’s model had the Snapdragon 732G. So from a nomenclature standpoint, it looks like a downgrade but actually, the Snapdragon 695 is a much more capable processor than the low-end Snapdragon 7 series from 2020/2021.
This processor made on the 6nm manufacturing process has 2 main Kryo 660 Gold cores running at 2.2GHz. In addition, there are six 1.7 GHz Kryo 660 Silver processors. The graphics processor gets an upgrade as well to Adreno 619.
Geekbench 5 scores are substantially better than the previous version and there is 5G connectivity. The 6nm vs 8nm architecture should help achieve good battery life despite getting a more power-hungry modem. As far as gaming goes, you should be able to play most games on medium to high settings with the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G.
MIUI 13 on Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is on top of Android 11
It is 2022 and still no Android 12 on the latest Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. This is a problem I am hoping Xiaomi fixes in a hurry since for years they had better support than most other Android device makers out there. Right now Samsung is basically eating everyone’s lunch when it comes to software updates and support for Android devices.
My review unit is running MIUI Global 13.0.3 and February 2022 security patch. In my daily use, I do not find the MIUI 13 to be too different from MIUI 12.5 in Poco devices from the second half of 2021. There are some minor annoyances that you can easily fix though. Out of the box the default notifications and quick settings mimic iOS but you can change that in the Settings menu > Notifications & Control center > Control center style to look like the regular Android version.
On the plus side, most default apps are identical to that on a Google Pixel including Phone, Messages, Chrome, Contacts, and Google Discover. As usual, there are a bunch of Xiaomi apps tucked away in the Tools folder and are quite useful so I suggest you hide the folder away if you don’t like them on the main screen. Bloatware is limited to 7 apps and you can uninstall every single one of them. I actually use 4 of the 7 apps on a regular basis so this did not bother me as much.
Step by step guide to turning off Ads
Typically budget devices from Xiaomi tend to display ads – I guess it helps keep the prices low. Follow the steps outlined here during setup and just after getting to the main screen and you will pretty much encounter zero ads during daily use.
During setup turn off “Personalized Recommendations” when you get a prompt. Once you have the phone set up and arrive at the home screen, then manually go into Themes, File Manager, Security, and Cleaner apps. Once inside each app, go to Settings and turn off Recommendations/Ads. And as a last step, open Settings, search for ads, tap Ads, then tap Ads (2nd from bottom menu option), and make sure “Opt out of Ads Personalization” is toggled off.
That’s it. You can now use this as any other Android smartphone and take advantage of MIUI’s exhaustive customization options.
Battery on the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G will last all day and 67W Fast Charging will top it up very quickly
Despite a large 5,000 mAh battery and a more power-efficient Snapdragon processor, overall battery life is slightly worse this year mainly due to the 5G modem. Toggling connectivity to 4G and maybe dialing down screen refresh rate can help. But even with high refresh rate and 5G connectivity, you can get through a full day without too much trouble. Screen-on-time is easily 6+ hours on this device and your mileage may vary.
Xiaomi doubled the charging wattage this year and bundles at 67W fast charging brick in the box. A quick 15-minute charge will get you to 51% charge from zero which should be good for light to moderate day’s use.
Dual Hi-Res audio speakers produce stellar quality sound and the headphone jack output is great too!
Audio output on the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is almost flagship-grade. Good spatial distribution – check, dedicated speaker grilles – check, crisp out put at around 40% volume level – check. Besides hardware design, this is the best feature on this device.
And unlike some budget Xiaomi devices, this device doesn’t suffer from having to crank up the volume with wired headphones plugged in. Sound quality through the headphone jack can easily go toe to toe with the offerings from Samsung or Google. I used Audio Technica and AKG wired earbuds and left the sound settings at factory default during my review period.
Bluetooth audio quality is on par with the output from the 3.5mm jack. If you like to crank up the volume while gaming or listening to music you will absolutely enjoy the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G.
Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G has a versatile camera system
This review section is going to be short because, for the most part, all the cameras are a carryover. There are a couple of changes and both are a slight downgrade. The Macro camera is now a 2MP snapper instead of the 5MP camera found in the Redmi Note 10 Pro. The 2MP depth sensor is no longer
The main camera at the top of the module is a 108MP camera with a 1/1.52” sensor size,0.7μm 9-in-1 pixel binning (12MP) with a ƒ/1.9 6P lens. Next is the 8MP ultra-wide camera with a 118° FOV and aperture of ƒ/2.2. The third camera is a 2MP Macro with f/2.4 aperture. Selfie camera remains the same and even though it is serviceable I believe it is high time Xiaomi did something about upgrading it.
One small thing to note is that Snapdragon 695 can only support 1080p resolution videos. So the capability to shoot 4K videos from the main rear camera is gone this time around. The app still has a lot of photo and video features – Night Mode, Short Video, Time-lapse, Dual Video, Long exposure, Super Macro, and full manual Pro mode. You need to decide which camera you are going to use to record video because you cannot switch between ultrawide and main cameras once you start. The zoom during photo and video is digital crop since there is no dedicated telephoto sensor. On the plus side, there is Dolby Atmos support for video recording so sound capture is excellent during videography.
Despite a couple of steps back, photo and video output should be satisfactory to most users during normal use. And yes, go ahead and share the results on social media because for the most part pictures are quite good unless you go pixel peeping on a 24-inch monitor.
5G Connectivity out of the box on T-Mobile in the USA
Xiaomi never skimps on connectivity options and the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G has all the bells and whistles you can ask for. As soon as I put in my SIM card I could see the 5G data connection symbol which was great. Of course, data speeds were not that great because I have a really poor signal where I live.
I did not encounter any issues during the review period with calling, texting, updating apps, watching videos, or browsing on the go. And as is customary with Xiaomi, you get Screen Cast, Nearby Share, ShareMe, and even an IR blaster which you can use as a remote control. For contactless payments or file transfers, NFC is on board and I did not have any issues using Google Pay.
Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G Verdict
Xiaomi has delivered yet again with their Redmi Note series. The Redmi N0te 11 Pro 5G is a worthy successor to the AndroidHeadlines Editor’s Choice 10 series device from last year.
The hardware design has great improvements, the processor delivers better performance, and has 5G connectivity and you now get an ever faster 67W charging brick in the box. Xiaomi did not mess with the display, battery capacity, great-sounding speakers, headphone jack, or the multitude of connectivity options. There are a couple of small compromises, namely the lower resolution macro camera and lack of 4K video. The first one isn’t too meaningful because the main camera with 2X digital zoom produces better output than the macro camera in my experience. The only big drawback then is the inability to record 4K video.
On the plus side, you get great hardware, excellent ergonomics, a beautiful screen, good performance, lots of RAM, 67W fast charging, NFC, and stellar audio. Main and ultrawide camera performance is quite good as well for still photography.
As usual, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G series is a great buy around the $350 price range. If you are in a geographical region where the Pixel 5a 5G is not available then the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is the device I would recommend.