The Redmi Note 11S smartphone hit the Indian showrooms earlier this year. Coming with 6GB/8GB RAM options paired with 64GB/128GB storage capacity, it has a MediaTek Helio G96 Octa-core processor. Offering a fairly large 90Hz Full HD+ AMOLED display, the Android device comes with a battery of 5,000mAh capacity. However, the centre of attraction of the brand-new smartphone is its 108MP AI camera. As we finally got our hands on this new model from the Redmi brand, we chose to wear our Sherlock hats and take our magnifying glasses to dig deeper into the smartphone and test its capabilities. Here is a complete inside-out review of the all-new Redmi Note 11S, covering every single detail from its exterior design to the performance of its OS and cameras.
Redmi Note 11S Review: Design and Display
The Redmi Note 11S package is a large-sized rectangular box that comes housing a range of accessories along with the smartphone itself. Upon unboxing and digging deeper inside, you will find a 33W adapter, a USB to Type-C cable, a SIM ejector tool, a quick start guide and even a transparent rubber back cover for the brand-new smartphone.
Today, brands like Apple and Samsung have chosen to go green and have made adapters non-inclusive within the packages of their latest smartphone models. However, Redmi still sticks to the older tradition to provide a premium experience to its customers, covering all their needs, which we like.
Upon opening the package, the first thing that catches your sight is the shiny black display of the all-new Redmi Note 11S. The phone comes with a 6.43-inch display size that has an 84.5% screen-to-body ratio. The screen gets protection from Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The smartphone has dimensions of 6.30 x 2.91 x 0.32 inches. However, upon picking up the smartphone in your hand, you will find its weight to be quite light, considering its size.
Flip it over and you will be greeted with its plastic back cover. In India, the Redmi Note 11S gets offered in 3 colours, namely Space Black, Horizon Blue and Pearl White. Out of the three, we were able to get our hands on its Space Black model. Upon touching the surface of its back, you will notice that it does not attract fingerprints easily. On its top left corner is mounted its quad-camera system along with flashlight neatly and symmetrically. The Redmi brand label rests on the bottom left corner of its back silently.
Its side frame is also made up of plastic, but with a slightly darker tone. On its right side lie the volume and the power button while on its left lies its SIM card tray. On the bottom lies one of the two of its stereo speakers along with a Type-C port whereas on the top lies the other sibling of its stereo speakers along with a 3.5mm jack. The Redmi Note 11S comes with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor integrated with its power button.
Upon bringing the smartphone to life, its bright and colourful display will bring a smile to your face. You get offered a Full HD+ AMOLED DotDisplay with a 90Hz refresh rate. The screen resolution is 1,080 x 2,400 pixels and the pixel density of the model is about 409ppi. It has an aspect ratio of 20:9. The display is quite well-lit, the colours appear vibrant and the contrast is high.
For some, the colour saturation of the display might seem slightly exaggerated. However, the vividness and clarity provided by the AMOLED display don’t fail to please the eye. When taken under direct sunlight, the smartphone is well legible with a brightness setting of more than 60%. The touch experience of its display also feels smooth.
Test streaming on Youtube was efficient. You get to enjoy watching videos in up to 1440p running at 60fps, providing you with a seamless and life-like experience. The test streaming on Netflix, however, could have been slightly better in terms of video clarity, despite the colour range being appreciable. Upon testing the Redmi Note 11S display for its performance in gaming, playing Subway Surfers and Shadow Fight 3 was quite fun. The graphics quality was commendable and the response to the given touch commands was also quite swift.
Overall, the design of the Redmi Note 11S model appears quite simple. Some may feel it to be slightly bland and hence, it could have been made a bit more captivating. Speaking of its overall display quality, it is fairly pleasant.
Read also: Redmi Note 11 Review: A decent phone for multimedia use on a budget
Redmi Note 11S Review: Performance and Cameras
Elaborating further upon the Redmi Note 11S specifications, it is available in 6GB/8GB RAM options coupled with a 64GB/128GB storage space. The smartphone is a dual-SIM model, which also has a dedicated slot for a microSD card. One of its major downsides is that does not support 5G connectivity. It comes with a MediaTek Helio G96 (12nm) Octa-core processor with Mali-G57 MC2 GPU.
The Redmi Note 11S comes pre-installed with Android 11 MIUI 13 OS. It supports Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity. It is also IP53 dust and water-resistant. It comes with a 5,000mAh battery, which runs well for about 1 day upon heavy usage and more than that upon mild to moderate usage. The phone also supports fast charging and can get fully charged from 0% battery in about 1.5 to 2 hours, via its 33W charger.
The Redmi Note 11S comes with stereo audio output having a high-resolution certification, offering great sound quality. The loudness and crispness in its sound are quite evident when streaming videos, movies and TV series on Youtube, Netflix and other OTT platforms. Even the background score of games speaks loudly of the same. The phone may get slightly heated on continuous heavy usage for prolonged periods.
During the initial setup, you are provided with an option to set up either a classic home screen format with a separate app drawer or directly make the app drawer your home screen. Icons have been given a square shape with rounded corners as standard, giving a neat look to the home screen as well as the app drawer. Moreover, most of the icons already come categorized within app folders provided by the system.
For example, the Tools folder includes utility apps like Calculator, Clock, FM Radio and more, while the More apps folder includes entertainment and social media apps like Facebook, Spotify and more. Overall, the interface is pretty easy and efficient to use.
Coming to the subject of Redmi Note 11S cameras, it has a 108MP+8MP+2MP+2MP quad-camera setup on its rear along with a 16MP selfie camera on its front. There are 7 zoom modes provided for the rear camera, namely 0.6x, 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x, 8x and 10x. The quality of the shots stays put up till 4x zoom, but starts degrading and gets pixelated as we go up the ladder.
A drastic downgrade is noticed in the colour scheme visible through the 0.6x zoom, appearing faded and losing its saturation and contrast. Unfortunately, the selfie camera does not offer any variety for zoom or wide-angle shots. However, quality-wise the selfie camera works great, giving bright captures with colours close to reality. The skin appearance gets a subtle enhancement while still giving a natural look.
Speaking of its video recording mode, the rear camera provides a 0.6x, 1x and a 2x zoom mode while the front camera, again, does not provide options. Videos can be recorded in up to 1080p at 30fps. Captures from the rear video camera are decent whereas those from the front camera seem slightly better in terms of clarity, brightness and contrast balance.
Another disadvantage is that the smartphone’s night mode is available only for its rear camera. Plus, the night mode needs ample lighting to take legible captures, especially of the close-ups. Details seem to get lost slightly affecting the clarity of the images. The camera does not make any effort in brightening up the low-light captures at all. This may prove as a pro in case of sufficient lighting around during the night, which provides image results of objects looking closer to reality. But it proves as a serious con in low-light scenarios, which in worst cases may fail to provide any reflection of the object at all, except for darkness. However, the wide-angle results are better than the close-ups.
The highlight of the camera system is its 108MP Ultra HD mode, which again unfortunately is not available for the selfie camera. This mode is able to capture the most vivid images of all, registering all the fine details and providing a good balance between brightness and contrast. The colours are given a slight pop and the results produced are of high quality. Furthermore, the camera is also equipped with an AI mode, which detects the in-frame scenario and optimises the camera settings accordingly. For example, if the shot being captured consists of flora and nature, it automatically detects the same and enhances the greens in the images.
Overall, the Redmi Note 11S camera quality and tech provided is good but it misses out on crucial elements, which are seen as standard in most comparable smartphones. Maybe the next software update will take care of it.
Read also: OnePlus Nord CE 2 Review: Super Stylish Design With Excellent Performance
To sum up, the Redmi Note 11S is a decent smartphone in its range, coming with a few cons along with a lot of pros. It offers a quality display and performance coupled with a decent camera and a humble design. The cameras, although promising a 108MP resolution along with AI support, might need a few tweaks to deliver premium results. One does miss out on Android 12 OS and 5G connectivity, and the design of the smartphone may need a pinch of sass sprinkled on it.
Geekbench 5 gives it a single-core score of 520 and a multi-core score of 1,840, with a good number of smartphones scoring over it. However, the model is definitely a good upgrade over feature phones, considering the overall package it provides in its price range. The Redmi Note 11S price in India starts from Rs 15,499 onwards and seems to be a very good contender in the price bracket.
Redmi Note 11S Pros
- Good Display
- Great Sound Quality
- Youtube Video Streaming In Up To 144p60
- Good Battery Life
Redmi Note 11S Cons
- No 5G Support
- No Android 12 OS
- Design Could Be Better
- Camera Capabilities Can Be Expanded
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