Xiaomi’s devices are growing in popularity, with handsets like the Xiaomi 12 proving to be fierce competition for worldwide giants like Samsung, Apple and OnePlus. But not everyone is willing to spend big on one of the very best phones money can buy.
Redmi is Xiaomi’s answer to that, offering a range of smartphones that maintain a similar look and feel to their flagships but for much less money.
Last year’s Redmi Note 10 Pro impressed us here at T3 with its big, bright screen and decent camera quality, especially given its very attractive price point. So how will the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G compare? To cut a long story short, it’s not that different, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Keep reading to find out more about it.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G review: price and availability
You’ll be able to buy the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G soon in the UK, but it won’t be available in the US. We don’t have official UK pricing yet but we do know that its global price starts from $329 for the variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which goes up to $379 for 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage. It’s likely to be similar in GBP.
Take a look at the widgets on this page for the most up to date pricing news where you live.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G review: design and display
Sharp and angular with completely flat surfaces on both sides, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G looks a little different to a lot of cheap phones on the market right now. In fact it actually looks more like some recently released flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S22.
You can buy it in three colours: Graphite Grey, Polar White and Star Blue. I tested out the first one, it looks great although I would be more inclined to call it black than grey. It’s smooth and completely matte, you won’t see it glisten even under direct sunlight.
When I first took the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G out of the box, the very first thing I noticed was how light it was (202g) despite having a similar-sized screen to the likes of the Oppo Find X5 Pro (218g) or the Huawei Mate 40 Pro (212g). While it may not seem like a huge difference, in terms of comfort and ease of use I’d always say the lighter, the better.
Measuring 164.19 x 76.1 x 8.12mm, it is a pretty standard size for a smartphone with a 6.67-inch screen. It’s a little wide for my small hands but won’t be a huge problem for most people.
Around the frame, things are just as you expect them to be. There’s a volume rocker, a USB-C port and a power button which also doubles up as a fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone. Side-mounted sensors like that are fine and relatively accurate, but it’s a bit more of a stretch for your thumb than one placed within the display.
Still use wired headphones? It might be time to upgrade because the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, you’ll either need to use Bluetooth or buy a USB-C adaptor.
An IP53 rating means that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G only has limited water and dust resistance, so it’ll survive splashes of rain but not a dunk in the sea, for example. Being made of plastic, the body of the phone seems relatively durable. It may be prone to a scratch here and there but luckily it comes with a protective case included in the box.
The flat 6.67-inch display looks great and has a resolution of 2400 x 1080p (FHD) as well as a peak brightness of about 1,200 nits. While it won’t match up to the priciest flagships out there in terms of vibrancy of colour or clarity, it’s still one of the better screens you’ll find amongst the cheap phone crowd. And thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate the screen feels silky smooth to use as well, whether you’re flicking through menus or playing mobile games.
It’s not that easy to distinguish the display from last year’s handset, they’ve pretty much reused and recycled it, but I don’t blame them because it does look really good given its price. You’ll enjoy watching videos or doing some online shopping using the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G review: camera system
The camera system on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is surprisingly effective considering how cheap this phone is. That's not to say it will compete with devices that cost twice the price, but up against other cheap phones, Redmi is onto something.
There are three rear lenses including a 108MP wide camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro camera. To snap selfies, there’s a 16MP front camera. Take a look at some examples of shots taken on the phone below.
Using the default point-and-shoot settings, photos actually came out looking quite good, especially on a sunny day. Colours are accurate and there's a good amount of balance between light and dark areas of the shot for the most part, although admittedly not every single time.
If you take a closer look, you'll notice that the photos aren't necessarily as detailed as you'd find elsewhere and they don't have the same punch as you'd find on a more expensive piece of kit. But when the lighting is right, the shots look great whether you're snapping cityscapes, people or getting up close to your subject.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G review: performance and battery
Sporting the mid-range Snapdragon 695 chipset, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G promises to be a ‘smooth and reliable smartphone’.
The processor comes alongside a Qualcomm Adreno 619 GPU, either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage which you can expand using a MicroSD card.
You get 5G support as well which means you’ll be able to make the most out of the fastest connection speeds possible when you’re out and about, if your area is set up for it, that is.
The phone feels perfectly fine to use, it’s not going to deliver knockout performance but for most tasks, it’ll do a good enough job. I just wouldn’t use this for the bigger mobile games like Call of Duty Mobile because it will struggle to load them and it might start heating up a little as well.
On the Geekbench 5 benchmarking test, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G picked up scores of 691 in single-core and 1,749 in multi-core which places it at a similar level of performance to handsets like the Vivo V21 5G but it’s quite far off some of our favourite cheap phones like the OnePlus Nord CE 2.
A 5,000mAh battery will keep you up and running through the day - it worked well for me. After watching a few videos, answering messages and opening up apps throughout the day, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G still had some battery life left over.
I downloaded and played an HD video over the space of two hours. In that time the battery level dropped by 12% which suggests it would have lasted almost 17 hours in total. That's just about as good as a smartphone can be.
Charging it back up again took about an hour and a half which isn't too long to wait but it's not quite the super-fast 30 minutes offered by some devices.
In the driving seat, you’ll find MIUI 13 based on Android 11. Despite being brand new for 2022, the phone still doesn't ship with the latest Android 12, although you can expect another 3 years of OS updates to be made available on it.
The operating system itself is easy to use although it does come with a whole host of pointless apps pre-installed, including random games and shopping apps, so when you start it up for the first time, you may find that you have to spend a while getting rid of the ones you don’t want.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G review: verdict
As far as cheap phones go, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is definitely one of the better ones out there. It's fantastic value for money even if it's not that different to last year's handset.
The performance may not quite be up to scratch and the operating system has its flaws but those are the only noteworthy complaints I have about it.
Other than that the 6.67-inch screen is big and bright, the battery lasts for ages, and the camera system can take some really nice shots when the lighting is right.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G review: also consider
You should also consider the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G. Now is the perfect time to buy it because prices have recently dropped. You’ll get a fantastic camera, a large display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a long-lasting battery. The best part is that because it’s a Samsung Galaxy device, it comes with Android 11 with One UI 3.0, and you get 3 years of updates to that which will get you up to Android 14.
The Realme 9 Pro is another similarly priced phone to consider. You get really solid performance and a clear, bright 6.6-inch FHD+ display but the best part is that this phone looks like it costs about twice as much as it actually does, the design is stunning. It’s not perfect and the camera system could be improved but even that will be good enough for most people.