Redmi Note 11 Pro 4G Review: Still the KING – HT Tech

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The Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus 5G has attracted a lot of attention for its price and what it offers underneath. Is it good value or not; we can’t say since we did not get our hands on it. What we have though is its affordable iteration, the 4G only Redmi Note 11 Pro. Starting at Rs. 17,999, the Redmi Note 11 Pro looks largely unchanged from its predecessor but attains a lower starting price. It has some upgrades, and some downgrades, which is unheard of in the Redmi Note Pro lineup.
With the sub- 20,000 smartphone space filling up with great alternatives from Realme, Motorola and Samsung, is the Redmi Note 11 Pro a step in the right direction for Xiaomi? Can it surpass the benchmark set by the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max? Let us find out together.
We had reviewed the Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge earlier this year and that was originally the Redmi Note 11 Pro in China. The Indian variant borrows the same design, but looks a tad slimmer and sleeker.
The flat sides look refreshing but the finish on the plastic surface doesn’t feel as premium as it did on the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. The rear still has a glass panel, and my Phantom White variant gets a matte white texture. The front is protected by a Gorilla Glass 5 layer, which should be helpful during accidental drops. Xiaomi still pre-applies the screen protector, which is a nice touch. On the whole, the Redmi Note 11 Pro is among the best built smartphones I have seen in the sub- 20,000 space.
And by the way, you get the 67W charger and a plastic case in the box — something Redmi’s rivals have started to omit in favour of cost-cutting.
Not much has changed on this front. Compared to its predecessor, you still get the same 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate. While it doesn’t entice on paper, it is certainly the segment leading display we have seen in this segment. After all, you don’t get AMOLED and 120Hz together on any other phone for less than Rs. 20,000. The screen, as expected, is marvellous to look at, with high brightness levels, vibrant colours, and smooth animations. No complaints here.
With the responsibilities of the 5G network going to the Redmi Note 11 Pro Plus, the regular Pro variant is all about offering good everyday performance. The MediaTek Hello G96 won’t set hearts racing with its performance but it has enough power to keep things going smoothly on a daily basis. Hence, whether you are browsing Instagram for hours or doing a group video call on WhatsApp, or editing photos, the Redmi Note 11 Pro keeps things chugging smoothly, just like its predecessor used to. It isn’t as sprightly as the Snapdragon 695 we saw on the similarly priced Moto G71 5G but it can do decent gaming. In fact, as long as you keep your graphics settings in BGMI and COD Mobile in “Smooth”, you can get High frame rates and a reliable gameplay experience.
Running the show here is Xiaomi’s MIUI 13 experience, which is better optimised than before, and comes with lesser bloat. In fact, the Redmi Note 11 Pro has lesser pre-loaded apps and bloat than similarly priced Realme and Samsung phones. You can delete those 3rd party apps, if you wondered. MIUI 13 runs smooth and is fun to use, with its umpteen customisation options and modifications. The animations are smooth and memory management is decent (still optimised for maximising battery life though). Sadly, it is still on Android 11 and Xiaomi hasn’t given a specific date for the Android 12 update. There’s also no info on the OS update cycle.
Keeping its momentum of positive things intact, the Redmi Note 11 Pro is the only phone in its class to offer a dedicated dual speaker setup. The audio output is good; class leading to be honest, although volume levels could be a bit better. And yes, the 3.5mm jack is present, along with all the Audio output settings.
I was also satisfied with the call quality and network performance. Being a 4G-only phone, you will miss out on 5G support here but we aren’t expecting a reliable 5G network rollout until at least a few more years. Hence, you won’t miss out much, plus 4G LTE is here to stay for years.
This is where our opinions are a mixed bag. The 108MP main camera is among the best cameras we have seen in this segment, carrying the usual Xiaomi tuning, i.e., photos in daylight look bright, more colourful than reality, and decent levels of detail. The larger sensor size means the focal plain is limited and you see loss of sharpness around the corners. This camera also works decently at night, with decent levels of sharpness, noise suppression, and brightness.
The 8MP ultrawide camera is usable as long as there is good lighting. Even then, this camera struggles with exposures and details. You will need a lot of editing to make ultrawide photos look brighter.
Click here to check some photo samples.
The 2MP macro camera is garbage and is no way near as capable as the 5MP shooter on the Note 10 Pro Max. Don’t even bother using it, it is rubbish.
Thankfully, the 16MP front camera retains its performance from its predecessor, retaining good details, colours, and exposure. Dynamic range is limited though.
Thanks to the Helio G96 chip, the Redmi Note 11 Pro with MIUI 13’s clever power management solution and the 5000mAh battery can make the phone last an entire day easily with a busy day’s usage, which includes regular tasks such as calling, texting, browsing, casual camera usage, and watching videos. Throw-in gaming and the stamina drops. That isn’t an issue too as Xiaomi has given this phone an upgraded 67W fast wired charging solution, which takes around 40 minutes to do a full charge. This makes it the fastest charging phone in this segment at the moment.
The sub-Rs. 20,000 smartphone space is no more the same as it was last year. Component prices have risen and the shortage only adds to the woes. Hence, phones in this price segment are making bigger compromises than ever to attain those appealing starting prices. The Redmi Note 11 Pro 4G is the phone that does the least amount of compromises in comparison to the more on-paper tempting options such as Realme 9 SE and Moto G71 5G.
You still get the best display experience with the Note 11 Pro in this price segment, and we can say the same for its battery + charging speeds. The build quality is class leading too and most consumers will like its iPhone 12-inspired design. The MIUI 13 experience is great and the Helio G96 chipset is capable enough to keep general tasks running with ease.
That said, Xiaomi could have tried retaining the same quad-camera setup from its predecessor, and at least offered it with Android 12 out of the box.
But when you look at the bigger picture, we can all agree that the Redmi Note 11 Pro is still the value king in its class. As an all-rounder and even in terms of overall appeal, there is nothing that beats the Redmi Note 11 Pro at the moment. Our new top recommendation for a smartphone under Rs. 20,000.
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