The Redmi Note 11 series arrives in India… but has it put its best foot forward?
A 'Naya Note' with a lower denomination?
- The Redmi Note 11T 5G is the first phone in the Redmi Note 11 series to be launched in India. It seems very similar to the Note 11 that was launched in China in October.
- There has, however, not been much talk of when other Redmi Note 11 devices will be launched in India – China has already seen the much-better-specced Note 11 Pro and Note 11 Pro+ being launched.
- It is very unusual for a brand to launch a relatively lower specced device in a series well before higher specced ones. More so when the series is as big a bestseller as the Redmi Note series is in India.
The Redmi Note series is credited by many as being the phone series that laid the foundation for Xiaomi’s becoming India’s number one smartphone brand. The Redmi Note 3 in 2016 got the ball rolling, and the Redmi Note 4 in 2017 suddenly made Xiaomi a real force to reckon with in the mainstream phone market, well beyond being an “online only” player.
Sales that ran into millions in the following years have made the Redmi Note series perhaps the bestselling phone series in India.
As Xiaomi loves to remind us, if the Redmi Note had been a brand in its own right, it would have been a leading phone brand in the country. Small wonder that the launch of every new edition of the Redmi Note series has been marked by fanfare – for Xiaomi, the Redmi Note series has been its REAL flagship in India.
This is why we are a little surprised at the manner in which the latest series of the Redmi Note has made its way to India. Of course, we know that some will – quite correctly – point out that this was the launch of a single phone rather than an entire series. That said, the fact is that the Redmi Note 11T 5G by its very name is from the Note 11 series, and in spec terms, it looks pretty similar to the Redmi Note 11 launched in China in October.
The nomenclature of the phone indicates that the Redmi Note 11 series is now in India. And oddly enough, its sole representative currently is not its most powerful or impressive device.
While it is too early to comment on how good the Redmi Note 11T 5G is (stay tuned for our review in the coming days), what cannot be denied is that in spec and design terms, it is the least note-worthy (pun intended) of the three Note devices launched in China. We would like to stress that we are not bashing the Redmi Note 11T 5G, which has some notable features like an adaptive refresh rate, a Dimensity 810 chip, support for seven 5G bands, and a large 5000 mAh battery. Still, it would be naive to deny that the Redmi Note 11 Pro and 11 Pro+ (the ones launched in China) are both significantly superior to 11T 5G.
Unlike the Redmi Note 11 Pro and 11 Pro+ launched in China, the Redmi Note 11T does not have an AMOLED display, a 108-megapixel primary sensor, a Dimensity 920 chips, and its 33W charging speed is the slowest of the three (the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ has a 120 W charging speed!).
Interestingly, Xiaomi did not refer to the Note 11 Pro or the Note 11 Pro+ during the launch of the Redmi Note 11T 5G. In fact, there was no real stress on the fact that this was the first of a new Note series. So much so that in many regards, the Redmi Note 11T seemed to be more part of the Redmi Note 10T 5G series than the Redmi Note 11 series. And well, the Redmi Note 10T 5G was not exactly the most powerful of the Redmi Note 10 series, something we had remarked upon in our review.
Interestingly, the Redmi Note 10T 5G came at the very end of the Note 10 series, after the Redmi Note 10, 10 Pro, 10 Pro Max, and 10S had been released. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 11T 5G has come before any other Note 11 device. It is a bit like a brand launching a Lite version of the phone before its more powerful version. Of course, no law says that it cannot be done, but most brands tend to introduce a series with one of its stronger performers and bring in slightly less endowed (and more affordable) versions later.
This is what makes the Redmi Note 11T 5G a rather odd choice to bring the Redmi Note 11 series to India. However, some believe that the current chip crisis might have stopped Xiaomi from bringing in higher variants and that better specced Redmi Note 11 series devices will come in early next year.
Others believe that the Redmi Note 11T 5G is an attempt to build on the success of the Redmi Note 10T 5G, which is said to have done well, but then that is a rationale that can be applied to the entire Note series. That’s what makes the Redmi Note series devices special – they always do well!
Whatever the rationale behind the decision (and we are sure better-informed minds than ours took it), we cannot help but wonder if the device could have been given a different name – maybe even another alphabet and placed in the Note 10 line up (Redmi Note 10K/L/Q/Z/whatever), because it seems a slightly odd choice for being a frontrunner (in launch terms) of the Redmi Note 11 series. On the other hand, perhaps the device itself will change our minds. Stay tuned for our review.
As of now, all we can say is there is a “Naya Note” (a new Note) in India but not of the highest denomination.