The ever-growing list of Redmi Note 11s on our test bed continues with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G – a reasonably priced 5G handset that has shared a lot with the Poco M4 Pro 5G and Redmi 11T 5G for some time.
The Dimensity 810, a popular 6nm mid-range chipset from Mediatek, is responsible for the 5G bit. The usual compromise is here too-this 11S 5G comes with an LCD screen as opposed to the 11S (4G’s) OLED, although the two models differ in several other ways as well. It might be an LCD, it might be a 90Hz refresh rate, so all is not lost.
A well-specified camera system is part of the package, headlined by a 50MP main unit. There’s also an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP telephoto macro camera, both of which are missing from the Poco and 11T 5G. Also different from the M4 Pro 5G, but also the 11S (4G), or the 11T (5G), is the selfie camera-it’s a 13MP here, as opposed to the 16MP units on the others.
No concessions were made in the battery department, and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G comes with a 5,000mAh cell that you can charge up to 33W. Less exciting is the Android version, which still sits at 11, although at least the MIUI layer above is the latest 13.
Body: 163.6 x 75.8 x 8.8mm, 195g; Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame.
Display: 6.60-inch IPS LCD, 90 Hz, 450 nits (typ), 1080 x 2400 px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 399 ppi.
Chipset: MediaTek MT6833P Dimension 810 (6nm): Octa-core (2×2.4 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G57 MC2.
Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM; UFS 2.2; microSDXC.
OS/Software: Android 11, MIUI 13.
Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 119mm, PDAF; Macro: 2MP, f/2.4
Front camera: 13 MP, f/2.4, (wide).
Video capture: Rear camera: 1080p@30/60fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
The battery: 5000 mAh; 33W fast charge, 100% in 59 min (advertised).
Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); FM radio; Infrared port; 3.5 mm jack socket.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G arrives in a two-piece white cardboard box with a picture of the phone printed on top, but our unit is Midnight Black and the lid is Hero Star Blue, so it doesn’t match the contents within.
Inside, you get the 33W charger we mentioned, along with a USB-A to C cable with a “3A” stamped on one end to let you know its current wattage. The included soft clear case won’t score you any style points, but it’s always nice to have protection ready to go.
I’ll be honest, I’ve lost count of how many Note-series Xiaomi I’ve seen on the desktop this year: a massive amount, really. Never as on these occasions, I believe, have consumers really been in difficulty between dozens of models apparently all identical and with a few tens of euros difference from each other.
In fact, together with Realme, Xiaomi is probably the brand that has produced more than anyone this year; the umpteenth I received for testing a few days ago is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G, a smartphone with a sale price of less than BDT 24,000, which, in my opinion, is one of the most eligible in this price range.
Aesthetically, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G looks a lot like all the other Note 11 series smartphones launched this year by the company: the design is quite minimal, with rounded edges, a plastic back cover with an anti-fingerprint matte finish, and a slightly pronounced camera bump. All the specs have already been seen.
As usual, no complaints on the building front. Xiaomi is a cornerstone in telephony and these issues are virtually unheard of on its products. Among the standout features is the IP53 certification for dust and water resistance. This is a rare certification, so I applaud Xiaomi for achieving it in this price bracket. I don’t want to dwell too much on the aesthetic factor because, believe me, there are no stark differences with other Note 11 series devices.
At the equipment level on the left side, there is a hybrid slot for two sims or a sim and a microSD, while on the right side we find the volume rocker flanked by the power button, which, even on this model, incorporates a fairly accurate biometric sensor, although it is not among the most comfortable recently tested.
At the top, beyond the classic Infrared Blaster, we find a stereo speaker coupled to the other present along the underside, which in turn is flanked by a USB-C connector and, above all, a 3.5mm jack for headphones.
Attention to detail: this one in test today is a Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S in the 5G version, different from the 4G variant with which it shares the aesthetic aspect and partially the name, but then there are many differences. An important difference is given by the type of display that the company has adopted: if a panel was chosen on the 4G AMOLED model, in the 5G variant that we are testing today we have a 6.6″ IPS LCD panel and FullHD + resolution.
What are the differences between the two? Basically, the model tested has a lower brightness (450 nits against 700 nits or so) as well as a panel with different technology, AMOLED against IPS. That said, I absolutely can’t complain about the screen of this Note 11S 5G, as it has good color calibration, good viewing angles, and a refresh rate of up to 90Hz.
I was not 100% convinced by the maximum brightness of the screen: I tried other smartphones, like some Realme models, for example, and in the same price range I found slightly better results. Too bad for the refresh rate up to 90Hz. Xiaomi could have done a bit better and gone straight to 120Hz, although the practical differences would have been very small to the naked eye.
OK, but let’s talk about serious things: what’s pawing under the body of this Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G? Well, the answer is the Mediatek Dimensity 810 Octa-Core, paired with a Mali-G57 GPU, 4 or 6 GB of LPDDR4X RAM (in addition to 1 GB of virtual expansion), and 64 or 128 GB of expandable UFS 2.2 storage with MicroSD.
Let’s say that the best choice that Xiaomi could make could only be this architecture from Mediatek, the best solution to integrate 5G on a smartphone in this price range. Personally, I find this chip a balanced solution capable of offering more than good performance, guaranteeing excellent autonomy, and bringing 5G within everyone’s reach, even if its expansion in Italy is not happening so quickly.
In daily use, this Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G manages to wiggle through all the tasks without difficulty; it does not suffer from any lag of any kind and freezes during use, although this should will be verified in a few months since Xiaomi’s often change their faces radically compared to the first weeks of use.
Other than that, in my typical routine testing, I encountered no opposition; even games run pretty well, the smartphone handles temperatures well, and performance is consistent even during prolonged stress sessions. The graphic details of Call of Duty Mobile, the protagonist of our video game tests, can be set to medium quality, that is to say, two notches below the maximum resolution offered by the game; the framerate is fixed at 60 Hz and the user experience is good for the price range.
With a Xiaomi smartphone, it’s nearly hard to talk about software without sounding repetitious. We now know the ROM of these devices very well. The MIUI arrived at version 13.0.5 based on Android 11 with updated security patches at the beginning of April.
The MIUI interface, as usual, does not change and stays the same, bright and colorful, and completely customized by Xiaomi. There are many applications, integrations, and possibilities integrated by the manufacturer on board its operating system, which, if it were not heavy, would probably be the best ROM in circulation in the Android world, but it is a pity there are some annoying reiterations on which Xiaomi seems unwilling to straighten out.
In addition, it has Widevine L1 DRM support and can play Full HD content from virtually all online streaming platforms.
The data sheet speaks for itself: as for cameras, Xiaomi has never left a bad taste in my mouth since in any price range it is able to satisfy its users without particular sacrifices. On this Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G, we find a primary lens of 50MP f/1.8, followed by an ultra-wide 8MP f/2.2 and a Macro 2MP f/2.4; frontally, the company opted for the classic 13 MP lens with an f/2.4 aperture.
But coming to us, how does this new Redmi take off? The answer is unique: exactly how you would expect it to capture a smartphone from around us, BDT 19200, nothing more and nothing less. In the photographs taken during the day, the new Xiaomi device has good quality and definition, although, for personal taste, I would tell you that I found the colors a bit cold and poco contrasted, but maybe that’s too personal an opinion.
The ultra-wide-angle, on the other hand, can’t boast a high-quality lens, which is why shots are often grainy and poco-defined; in any case, acceptable during the day, to be discarded at night.
Speaking of night shots, even with the main lens, make sure you have a good steady hand to get good results. Otherwise, it will be a lot more complicated than expected. sufficient and average selfie room, too bad at sunset where the definition is really low. Video compartment offering recordings in FullHD at 60fps promoted, in particular, due to the almost ultra-fast focusing in the details, a little less in the wide-field views.
Much like its 4G sibling, Xiaomi picked a 5000 mAh battery for this smartphone. One of the positive points of the processor present on this Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G is precisely linked to good management of consumption, which, even in the event of stressful use, is well controlled. The battery consumption drops very slowly. Just think that in a day with the SIM card inserted inside and the social notifications turned off, it did not consume only 5% in about 16 hours.
Speaking of everyday use, however, I can tell you that the smartphone supports more than intense days, arriving in the evening with more than 20% charge remaining, a very interesting value. Moreover, it supports 33W fast charging and can fully recharge from 0-100% in about 60 minutes.
Among hundreds of purchasing options and dozens of alternatives at about equal prices, the question naturally arises: which is the appropriate one for me? We assume that the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S 5G is a very valid product, like 90% of other smartphones of the same series, so unless you have special needs, it can be a great solution in the price range between 200 and 230 euros, the price at which it is offered on Goboo these days.
If you need something more powerful and have a little more muscle, the Realme GT Master Edition is probably one of the most interesting smartphones of the moment, both for its exceptional value for money and for the excellent performance it is capable of delivering. Then there is also the Poco M4 Pro in the 5G version, but also the corresponding 4G version.