Redmi Note 11T 5G Review: A Redmi Note 11, but not THE Redmi Note 11!
The Redmi Note for those who want 5G
- The Redmi Note 11T 5G is the first phone to be released in India with the Redmi Note 11 moniker. However, it is actually the successor of the Redmi Note 10T 5G, released a few months ago.
- It comes with a Dimensity 810 processor and a large 5000 mAh battery but has an LCD display, which might disappoint the AMOLED fans.
- While the phone comes with just two cameras on the back in this age of triple and quad camera set-ups, both are good performers.
- It has its task cut out with some stiff competition, not least from its own Note siblings, and of course, the burden of the Redmi Note legacy.
After launching an unprecedented number of different Redmi Note 10s, it seems Xiaomi is now ready to move on. The brand has now launched a new Note, and while it is a Redmi Note 11, it is not THE Redmi Note 11 many of us were expecting to debut in the new range.
Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 11T 5G in the market, which actually is the successor of the most recently launched Redmi Note — the Redmi Note 10T 5G.
This may seem like an odd order of business as Xiaomi usually starts a new Note series with the cream of the Note crowd – the OG Redmi Note and the Redmi Note Pro (sometimes with a Max too). But those devices seem to have taken a backseat with the Redmi Note 11 series. We have the Redmi 11T 5G with us, but can it live up to the Redmi Note hype?
A very “next door smartphone”
With the Redmi Note 10 series, Xiaomi had really upped its design game. The mid-segment devices looked good enough to fit in with the premium smartphone crowd without looking out of place. Most Note 10 devices had glass on both front and back and sleek design, giving them a great hand-feel. We expected to see something similar from the new Note, but unfortunately, the Redmi Note 11T looks rather basic. While the Note 10 phones had a very distinct look, the Redmi Note 11T fails to stand out from the crowd and has a very ‘next door smartphone’ look. Nevertheless, the phone is not bad looking; it just is not cut from the new Note design cloth.
The device’s front is dominated by a 6.6-inch full HD+ LCD display with a 90 Hz refresh rate. The display is routine – it comes with thin bezels around, dons a punch hole notch in the top middle, and is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The phone comes with dual stereo speakers, one at the top and another at the base. There is a 3.5 mm audio jack at the base as well (next to the USB Type C port), while an infrared port sits on the top. The phone’s right side is home to a flat power/lock button that doubles up as a physical fingerprint scanner, while the volume rocker sits on the right.
The back of the phone is what gives the phone an underwhelming look overall. The grainy textured carbonate back has a color gradient finish which means the color on the top transitions into a different color, depending on the light. The back also carries a rather big camera unit on the top left side, which seems like it holds four or five cameras and flash but only has two actual sensors, which in our opinion is quite deceptive and not as classy as one would expect in a Note.
The back is plastic, and unlike in some other devices (where plastic seemed classy enough to be glassy), Xiaomi seems to have made no attempt whatsoever to make it look anything else but plastic. We do not mind plastic backs when they are done sophisticated, but with the Redmi Note 11, it is almost like Xiaomi did not even try. That said, the slightly rough back provides a good grip and keeps the phone from picking up smudges and scratches easily.
The phone is slightly heavier at 195 grams, but Xiaomi has still managed to keep it relatively slim at 8.75 mm. We received the Aquamarine Blue color variant, and there are Matte Black and Stardust White options as well.
Smooth daily operator
The Redmi Note 11T is a mid-segment device, and its spec sheet says the same. The MediaTek Dimensity 810 processor powers the phone, definitely a step up from the Redmi Note 10T powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700. This is paired with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage with UFS 2.2 storage, which is faster than the more commonly found UFS 2.1 storage.
There are two more variants– 6 GB/ 64 GB and 6 GB/ 128 GB. Not only the storage on the phone can be expanded up to a massive 1 TB by using a microSD card, but even the RAM on the phone can be increased temporarily using the RAM Booster mode, which basically borrows some storage when needed to give the extra push your phone requires at times. You can get an additional 1 GB RAM on the 6 GB/ 64 GB variant, 2 GB additional RAM on the 6 GB/ 128 GB variant and 3 GB additional RAM on the 8 GB/128 GB version of the device.
The Redmi Note 11T can easily handle your everyday needs in terms of performance. You can scroll endlessly on social media, chat for hours or hop from one app to another and the phone will match you every step of the way. In addition, the phone can handle casual games with ease which is a given, but can in no way be called a gaming boss as high-end games can only be played if you turn the settings down.
But what makes the gaming and overall content-consuming experience really great on the device are the display and the dual speaker combination. Even though the Redmi Note 11T comes with an LCD display that may not be fancy enough for the AMOLED crowd, it reproduces sharp colors and deep contrast and comes with an adaptive refresh rate, which changes depending on the content being displayed on it. It also has what Xiaomi calls a Sunlight Display, making it especially readable under harsh, bright light.
And it shows – the phone is easy to use and read even under the brightest daylight. The dual speakers are the cherry on top of this cake, delivering some loud and very clear sound and also adding an element of surround sound gets added to this mix.
The fingerprint scanner is quite accurate and swift (the side remains the best place for it), and the call quality on the device is very good as well. Much like its predecessor (the Redmi Note 10T 5G), which was the first Redmi device in India with 5G support, the Redmi 11T also comes with 5G on board with support for seven bands as well on both SIMS. Even though 5G is yet to make its way to India, it is always good to have a future-ready phone.
Two, not four cameras…
Ever since the multiple camera idea hit the smartphone market, brands have been piling up cameras on their devices, and so has Redmi. This is why it came as a surprise to see a new Redmi Note come with just a dual camera set up on the back. The Redmi Note 11T’s back might suggest that it comes with at least four cameras, but the actual story is quite different. The device comes with a 50-megapixel primary sensor which is supported by an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera. But, of course, the number of cameras does not indicate how good cameras on the phone actually are, and the Redmi Note 11T proves this.
…that are impressive in daylight, not so much in low light
The pair of cameras on the back of the Redmi Note 11T can capture some really good pictures in well-lit conditions. Even though the slightest bit of saturation creeps in pictures in broad daylight, the amount of details the cameras deliver is quite impressive. The main sensor works for the details, but the 8-megapixel sensor widens the horizon, allowing you to capture more, albeit at the cost of detail. Details also take a dip when faced with dim light situations.
[Click here for full resolution pictures + additional samples]
The camera reproduces some really grainy images in low light conditions, although colors remain bright, which is a small plus. The Portrait mode on the phone is a little inconsistent and blurs out even the subject’s edges along with the background at will, but that is not unusual at this price point. The videos on the device are decent enough to make it to your social media feed but are not exceptional. The smartphone comes with a 16-megapixel front-facing sensor for selfies and video calls and can capture some really good selfies.
There may only be three cameras on the Redmi Note 11T (two on back, one in front), but the cameras perform very well apart from a slight struggle in low light conditions.
The real star of the Note show
One of the biggest highlights of the Redmi 11T 5G is the massive 5,000 mAh battery that the phone brings to the table, which is not really surprising considering most Redmi Notes have come with big batteries. As a result, the phone can easily last a day and a half of normal to heavy-ish usage and is pushed can even survive to see past a second day, with slightly more careful handling.
It comes with support for fast charging and is bundled with a 33W charger in the box. That might not sound as impressive as some other chargers, but it performs at a decent clip. The phone takes about an hour to go from zero to 100 percent charge, which may not be lightning fast but makes life a little easier.
Smooth, steady, feature-rich MIUI
Running the software show on the Redmi Note 11T is Xiaomi’s in-house UI – MIUI 12.5, on top of Android 11 out of the box. MIUI has been quite a feature-rich yet pretty simple UI to get on board with. We have had our problems with the ads on the interface, but those have been not just reduced but can also be avoided if you are careful enough. The interface is not heavily loaded with third-party apps either and is easy enough for people to transition to it from any other interface. Unfortunately, Xiaomi has not given any official statement regarding how many Android updates the phone is likely to receive in the future, which might disconcert some, but the brand will be updating the phone to a more advanced version of MIUI.
Diving straight into competition infested waters
A new Redmi Note generally is supposed to cruise through the competition without breaking a sweat, but the task does not seem as easy for the Redmi Note 11T 5G as it was for some of its predecessors. With a starting price of Rs. 16,999, the Redmi Note 11T 5G dives into competition-infested waters.
It is likely to face some significant heat from one of its own, the Redmi Note 10 Pro, which has a 6.67-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, a 108-megapixel primary sensor, and a more premium design, all at the starting price of Rs. 17,999, although it comes with an older and slower Snapdragon 732G processor.
A phone that also lurks in this range is the Poco X3 Pro which brings the most powerful processor in the segment — the Snapdragon 860 at a starting price of Rs. 18,999. However, both these relatives lack 5G, which is one of the key features of the Redmi Note 11T 5G.
In the 5G mid-segment smartphone, the Note 11T 5G goes head to head with the likes of the Realme 8S 5G, which has the same processor, a 6.5-inch display, and a 5,000 mAh battery, all with a starting price of Rs.17,999. Then there is the Lava Agni 5G which also has the same chipset, comes with a slightly bigger 6.78-inch display and a quad-camera setup but comes with a higher price tag of Rs. 19,999 too.
The Redmi Note 11T does seem competitively specced and priced when you bring 5G into the equation, but that apart (and we repeat, 5G is not yet on the Indian horizon, leave alone Indian networks), the phone does not bring any out of the ordinary specs or features (which the Note series generally does) to this price range making it just one of the phones in this segment.
With the Redmi Note 11T 5G, the Redmi Note 11 series has come to India, but definitely not THE Redmi Note 11. But, that said, this definitely is THE Redmi Note to go for if you want a Redmi Note with all the futuristic goodness of 5G.
- Good display
- Smooth performance
- Great battery life
- 5G support
- Noisy low light performance of cameras
- Not the greatest design
- No Note-like extraordinary features or specs
The Redmi Note 11T 5G is the first phone to be released in India with the Redmi Note 11 moniker. It has its task cut out with some stiff competition, not least from its own Note siblings, and of course, the burden of the Redmi Note legacy.