Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G First Impressions: Is Xiaomi’s Popular Series Still Worth It?

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The new Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G has just launched in India and starts at Rs. 20,999 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The other options are 8GB RAM with 128GB storage for Rs. 22,999 and 8GB RAM with 256GB storage for Rs. 24,999. This represents a significant change for a series that we are used to offering excellent value for less than Rs. 20,000. There is also the Redmi Note 11 Pro which is priced at Rs. 17,999 and Rs. 19,999 for 6GB and 8GB RAM respectively. Both variants have 128 GB of storage space.

Last year, the only difference between the Redmi Note 10 Pro and the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max (Review) was a better main camera on the back. This time around, the new Redmi Note 11 Pro and Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G have different processors, different network support and also slightly different camera settings – although not in the way you might expect. Read on for everything you need to know.

Xiaomi now has a huge product portfolio in India, but the annual update of the Redmi Note Pro series usually reminds us of how this company started – with smartphones that offered far better specs than anyone expected for the price. The Redmi and Redmi Note series helped solidify Xiaomi’s position in India by targeting a generation of entry-level and emerging buyers respectively. Now that prices are rising across the industry, we’ve entered a higher tier of the market. Let’s see if it’s still value for money and if fans can still find what they’re looking for.

At first glance, the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G looks quite plain and simple. The body is fairly rectangular with rounded corners and flat sides. The sculpted “Evol” design of the previous generation has been superseded by the “Evol Pro”, but everything has been smoothed out so that nothing really stands out about this phone. We saw the recently introduced Redmi Note 11S (review) in a similar way. The front is all black and the shiny silver ring around the embedded front camera is the only way to know which end is up and which is down when this phone is lying flat on a surface. But just like last year’s models, I find it very annoying.

Turn this phone over and you’ll see where the design flair comes into play. My Mirage Blue device has an intriguing pattern of diagonal lines that look like ripples on the surface of a pool when you tilt this phone under the light. I actually found it a bit difficult to focus my eyes on the pattern that’s somehow attached under the extremely reflective back panel. It certainly stands out, and in my short time with this phone I was pleasantly surprised to see that the back doesn’t stain as easily. The other two options are Phantom White and Stealth Black, both of which have plain, frosted textures.

The camera module in the upper-left corner juts out quite a bit, in a two-tiered design that makes the primary 108-megapixel camera stand out. The power button on the right has an embedded fingerprint sensor, although it’s quite small, and the volume buttons are just above it. The top has grilles for the earpiece speaker, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack and Xiaomi’s branded IR emitter. On the bottom you’ll find the primary speaker, the USB Type-C port, and the hybrid dual SIM tray.

The Mirage Blue finish has a unique pattern and catches light like the water’s surface

With a weight of 202 g, the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ is slightly heavier than average. It’s also not particularly comfortable to hold and use in one hand, thanks to its flat, boxy design. The case is said to have a spill-resistant nano-coating, and the SIM tray has a rubber seal to prevent water ingress. A protective film is glued to the front.

Inside, Xiaomi has opted for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC, which is relatively powerful and supports seven 5G bands. You get either 6GB or 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and either 128GB or a whopping 256GB of UFS2.2 storage, meaning you most likely won’t need to add a microSD card and sacrifice a second SIM card. You get a 5000mAh battery and 67W fast charge with the necessary charger and cable included. Xiaomi promises a “full day’s charge” in 15 minutes.

The 6.67-inch Super AMOLED panel has a Full HD+ resolution (1080 x 2400 pixels) and a peak refresh rate of 120 Hz. Xiaomi uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for the display. Xiaomi claims a peak brightness of 1200nit, but HDR is not mentioned. You get stereo speakers, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi ac, GPS and the usual sensors.

On the back is a 108-megapixel main camera with a Samsung HM2 sensor and f/1.9 aperture and 6P lens that matches the specifications of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max. This phone also has an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The front camera has a resolution of 16 megapixels and an aperture of f/2.45.

Interestingly, the slightly cheaper Redmi Note 11 Pro uses MediaTek’s G96 SoC and, as the name suggests, does not support 5G. It’s a bold move for Xiaomi in this segment, especially since 5G networks could finally be available to end users in India by the end of this year. The lower-priced brother has the same display, battery and charging features – it even has the same dimensions and weight. While it has the same front and rear cameras as the Redmi Note 11 Pro+, it actually has an additional 2-megapixel depth sensor. That’s pretty odd, and we’re looking forward to testing the portrait photo capabilities of both phones. The Redmi Note 11 Pro+ is also available with up to 256GB of storage, while the Pro sits at 128GB. Instead of the Mirage Blue finish, there’s a Star Blue option with a simpler gradient finish.

It seems that the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G is more future-proof than its near-identical sibling, but in terms of value for money, some people might prefer to spend less and then upgrade a few years later. Xiaomi has partnered with HDFC to offer a discount of Rs. 1,000 for cardholders, and a new Redmi loyalty program allows owners of an older Redmi model to claim an exchange bonus. However, Xiaomi also says that the announced prices are introductory and subject to change due to current global geopolitical and supply chain issues.

Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for a full review of the Redmi Note 10 Pro+, coming very soon. We cover performance, camera quality, display, sound, battery life, charging speed, software, ease of use and much more to help you with your purchasing decision.

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