Redmi Note 11: Basically Budget

Redmi Note 11
Snapdragon 680
6.4-inch @ 90Hz
50MP(wide), 8MP(ultrawide), 2MP(macro), 2MP(Depth)
Android 11, MIUI 13
5,000mAh (33w)

As a mobile gamer I get excited when a new budget smartphone lands on my desk. Over the past few months, I’ve looked at a number of impressive mobile phones that retail for under R6,000 and offer really good gaming performance. Notably among those is the previous generation of this smartphone series, the Redmi Note 10 Pro, a budget phone that really impressed me.

This week, the latest phones in this series were unveiled in South Africa and I managed to secure the Redmi Note 11 (non Pro version) a few days before release. The Pro version features upgraded specifications.

Right out of the box you can tell that this is a more refined handset design than the previous generation. The edges feel sharper and matt finish on the back of the phone feels much nicer in hand than its glossy backed predecessor.

Along with the phone you also get a phone case, 33w charger and USB-C cable.

Now, when we talk budget phones these days, we usually mean that the chipset inside the phone is lower specced, and performance not as snappy as you’d get on a high-end device. In this case, Xiaomi opted for the Snapdragon 680 processor and bundled it with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The bright 6.4-inch screen looks really good and with a 90Hz refresh rate, sits above most entry-level smartphones in its class. For day to day tasks, watching videos, and browsing your socials this phone works like a charm.

You’ll encounter the occasional speedbump in apps as the processor tries to keep up with all your open tabs and apps but it’s nothing that I would call unexpected from the Snapdragon 680 processor.

It’s when you start to game that you’ll notice the lack of performance coming from this chipset. It’s not unplayable but you certainly won’t be able to push your graphics beyond a medium setting. In PUBGM for example, I could not enable any of the HD graphic modes. In a game, the performance drop is noticeable and the rendering distances are not particularly good. For graphic intensive first-person shooters, this phone may not be ideal but there is a myriad of other mobile games that run really well on this smartphone. Rhythm games like Beatstar and top-down shooters like Brawlstars play nicely though.

For content creation, the camera and video capabilities of the Redmi Note 11 are par for the course. The 50MP camera offers great features and I love the addition of an 8MP ultrawide lens but don’t expect it to perform miracles in low light.

For video, you are limited to 1080p at 30fps and again, good image quality from both the main and selfie cameras but there is a fair amount of compression visible, if you want to do some more serious video work, this phone may not be ideal.

Looking at the 3DMark Benchmark results it pretty much confirms my findings, with a score of 445, the Redmi Note 11 sits at the bottom of the logs in game performance. PCMark delivered a score of 7902 showing a more reasonable work performance scorecard from this budget smartphone.

The Redmi Note 11 is a well-built budget smartphone that struggles with graphic-intensive games but shines as a mobile companion for everything else.
Screen is bright and sharp
Good design and build quality
Good audio from the speakers
Top mounted 3.5mm audio jack
Struggles with action FPS games
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