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  • Fitri Aiyub

Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G: Noteworthy Mid-Range Champ?

With all the hype surrounding the launch of the next-gen mid-range series from Xiaomi – the Redmi Note 11 Series – it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and glittery glitz. But is it all that since the global take swapped out the MediaTek Dimensity 920, which the Chinese versions use for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695?

Let’s take that deep-dive with the remarkably sleek Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G.

The first day of the short period we had with this next-gen mid-ranger is an experience on its own. Out of the box, which packs in all the essentials like a massive fast-charger and USB Type-A to Type-C cable, the Redmi 11 Note Pro 5G looked like a tiny blocky monolith. It’s certainly something you don’t expect in a crowded space of slim and curved devices. This is due to the boxy design that this next-gen Redmi Note entry now sports. Even with the rounded corners, the chassis – all 6.67-inches of it – looks snappy and sharp. Personally, this is a welcome sight with curved-edged form factors now being the rage everywhere.

All in all, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G looks impressive. Even the backplate, done up in matte finish that adds a nice clean and polished look to the Graphite Gray colourway, is outstanding to look at. Only the camera bump ruined the sleek design as it consists of two raised cut-outs that house the trio of lenses.

Handling wise, it is very much a smartphone that demands to be in large hands. The 6.67-inch Full HD+ AMOLED Display is relatively easy to navigate with two thumbs and an index finger, but it can be a little challenging when you’re forced to use the large and tall smartphone with one hand. The block-like design with its 202g though gives it a nice heft that promises easy all-day use.

Would the large display, which punches out 700 nits at High Brightness Mode and 1,200 nits for peak brightness, be a cause for concern? When using the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G as our daily driver and not having “Reading Mode” mode turned on, there have been no instances of any eye strain. Of course, it is advisable to engage the auto-brightness function and configure the warm-tones to activate themselves in the late evening.

How does this really bright display perform with enriched content? Most of the Full HD streams – 1080p60 and 1440p60 content on YouTube with some Netflix bingeing in between really popped. With the AMOLED Display panel and 120Hz refresh rate, visuals turn out silky smooth and colours are vivid even when it leaned towards red hues more. It’s unfortunate the black pixels blended in some areas, making the darks look splotchy.

Thankfully, the soundstage of the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G more than makes up for the slight lack in multimedia experience. We played a variety of tracks on Spotify and YouTube Music, featuring video game soundtracks and anime songs; popular classical; Korean and Japanese Pop; R&B; and the entire track list from Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show.

While most smartphones with stereo speakers, even flagships – produce really loud audio outputs that favour mid-to-high frequencies, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G produced a nice and well-balanced mix. Even as sharp cymbal crashes came out loud and jarring, the bass back-tracks that can be heard on proper speakers showed up as well. Some of the underlying baritones from the rappers at the Super Bowl event even showed up and that is beyond impressive. Hats off to Xiaomi, as this is usually a core strength for another Chinese smartphone maker.

Having switched out the somewhat high-performance processor that is in use with the China version to something more power-efficient, the first question that comes to mind – can it perform under loads?

With social media scrolling, gaming, and chatting, all of that is smooth sailing. There was a slight lag or two when loading up apps but that is to be expected with the lower-spec Qualcomm processor. Gaming, especially those with plenty of animated cutscenes and fast-moving action sequences, looks and plays with no issues. From Honkai Impact 3rd to Fate Grand Order and some quick drives in Asphalt 9, everything ran like it should. Even with maxed out graphics, no significant slowdowns appeared.

The benchmarks told a different story as only the “Wild Life” test on 3DMark managed to run, showing an overall score of 1,207. Geekbench 4 and 5 pulled up some average results too. The former produced a score of 3,160 and 7728 for Single-Core and Multi-Cores tests, while the latter came up far shorter with a 686 and 1,819 rating for the same tests. As for OpenCL and Vulkan benchmarking, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G put out 1,408 and 1,301.

While it seems that this next-gen mid-range entry for the Redmi Note line can punch hard, it didn’t really perform as well when under heavy loads that benchmarks are known for. Surprisingly, throughout all-day downloading of games and playing those games at maxed out graphics, there is almost no heat coming out of this newcomer to the Redmi Note line. Even benchmarks didn’t drive up the temperature by much as recorded during the PCMark Work 3.0 Performance test as recorded readings confirmed that the heat idled at 36°C to 39°C.

Spending an entire day to download games and updates took out only 60% from the full charge and the battery only dropped to 20% by the day’s end after a few rounds of games and scrolling through social media and chats. It didn’t even drain out through the night and only needed 35 minutes of being plugged in for the battery to be at 90% charged.

On paper, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G rocks an impressive rear-mounted triple lens camera array. This includes a 108MP main wide lens that rocks a 1/1.52-inch sensor and two smaller lenses – 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro. Up front, there is a 16MP f/2.4 snapper.

While the selfie shooter does a good job of taking portraits with a slight over-exposure, the ones at the back are just decent at best. When snapping shots in well-lit locations, everything turns out nice with just the right amount of hue and saturation balance. In low-light though, things start to get grainy and night shots are just passable at best.

On a surprising positive note, the macro lens is one of the better ones for a mid-range flagship as photos taken in close range came into focus very quickly and captured minute details of the subject. As for zoom, interestingly, when used with 1:1 ratio, everything looked great up to 6x zoom while 10x became a bit of a mess of colours. When doing the same zoom tests with widescreen, everything turned out to be a sad mix of grainy noise.

Video resolution on the other hand tops at only 1080p which is quite the let down. Factoring how most phones are already 4K equipped and how shifting exposures are noticeable when moving the camera around. Not the results to look forward to coming from a 108MP sensor.

The Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is priced at RM1,299 or S$429.

All in all, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G does perform as promised and only falls below expectations in photography.

And this next-gen entry does deliver on exceptional battery life and super-fast charging. Is it worth RM1,299 for the spec-up variant? While it may be a sore point for some, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G does offer decent performance and the right looks to match the price.


Written by Led Wayline

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