In a smartphone market that’s increasingly seeing cash-strapped consumers faced with high tech prices, Xiaomi’s Redmi smartphones have been a welcome addition to the mid-range offerings in Kenya
Last month, launched its latest Redmi Note series in the country with the arrival of the Redmi Note 11 Pro, Redmi Note 11S and Redmi Note 11.
Redmi Note 11 Pro
The new Note 11 Pro feature a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 108MP main camera setup, a 16MP selfie camera, and a side fingerprint sensor it also has a different chipset compared to Redmi Note 11, a newer version of Xiaomi MIUI OS, and improved charging speed.
Other differences are marginal: such as the 20mAh difference in battery capacity and 3MP difference for one of the main camera lenses.
Display and performance
It delivers a vivid display with great saturation. While the default refresh rate is set to 60Hz, upping the setting to 120Hz creates a smooth scrolling experience with a premium feel.
The typical brightness on the display is slightly increased which improves the screen’s visibility in different settings — especially sunlight.
Switching between apps is seamless, while unlocking the phone with the side fingerprint sensor is quick.
The software is customizable, allowing you to adjust settings to your liking – from your app drawer, to your notification bar and more.
While some games and other Xiaomi apps come pre-installed, these are easily removable if you don’t want them taking up space. In fact, to some extent, bloatware seems to actually be reduced on MIUI compared to other custom ROMs for popular brands.
However, its performance is noticeably smooth when compared to many other devices in its price range. Apps don’t struggle to load and the smartphone continued to run smoothly.
The only noticeable hiccup was the security scanning of these apps, which took some time and would interrupt camera testing and using the phone during the installation process.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro camera
Between the performance and battery, the camera is another reason you have to keep reminding yourself that the Redmi Note 11 Pro is a mid-range smartphone.
The camera on this smartphone is able to let you take speedy snaps and adjusting to different lighting settings.
The high-resolution 108MP camera is great for landscape shots and other images you want to capture in extra detail, without the noticeable watercolour distortion that affects some other high res smartphone cameras. You can see some distortion if you zoom in significantly on an image, but it isn’t as noticeable as high-res images from some other devices.
In auto mode, the only drawback seemed to be some of the AI filters applied – some appeared oversaturated or too similar to social media filters.
Besides the AI filters, the software is snappy, and you won’t have lagging when you click the shutter.
Videos also come out clearly, though the framerate cap of 30fps and no 60fps option is a bit of a drawback.
But overall, the camera performs exceptionally for a device at its price range – outperforming devices that are much more expensive.
Battery life is a hallmark of many of Xiaomi’s phones, and the Redmi Note 11 Pro is no different. The phone easily lasts more than a day, even with email and app notifications for multiple accounts sapping the device’s power.
When running a PCMark for Android battery benchmark test, the smartphone lasted just under 10 hours 30 minutes. This means that at 50% brightness, it took this time to drain the battery from 100% to 20% while running through browsing, photo editing, and video playing tasks.
But how fast is this 67W charging? According to Xiaomi, 15 minutes of charging can get you 50% battery power.
In our test, 20 minutes of charging took the battery from 19% to 77% (a total of 58%). With an extra five minutes, the battery reached 87%.
Fast charging is often quicker when the battery is empty, with speeds tapering off as the battery reaches full capacity. But even with the battery partially filled, the 67W charging on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro delivers speedy, efficient charging.
Is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro worth buying?
Its flat screen and side fingerprint sensor are some ways the company has kept device costs down, but these aren’t as noticeable when even premium flagships have opted for these choices for some devices.
The video framerate cap of 30fps is also a bit of a drawback, but mostly for people who would want to capture a lot of video content on their device. When it comes to the AI software for photos, some improvements in performance would be welcome.
At the end of the day, many of these caveats have to take the phone’s price into context.
For Sh32,000, it’s a very appealing deal. I wouldn’t recommend jumping from a Redmi Note 10 Pro to this smartphone, since there aren’t huge leaps between the generations.
But if you’re looking for a new smartphone in this price range, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro stands to be the competition to beat when it comes to value-for-money in 2022.