The Redmi Note 11 series is officially coming to the U.K., and if you're looking for a new cheap phone, you need to pay attention.
Between them, these four phones represent the follow-up to the Redmi Note 10 Pro, one of the best UK phones from last year. Xiaomi's budget brand expertly blended premium parts with basic components to create well-balanced handsets for all sorts of users. And while you may have correctly identified that Redmi launched the Note 11 series in November last year, that was the China-only debut of a different batch of handsets, so this is effectively a whole new phone reveal.
So, we have four new devices to look at. In price-ascending order they are: the Redmi Note 11, Note 11S, Note 11 Pro and Note 11 5G. You can see how all four models compare in the table below, but we'll also look at the key features in more detail.
One other point: while the prices are given in dollars, these phones aren't coming to the U.S. as far as we know, given Xiaomi hasn't been selling phones there for some time. Just take the figures as guidance on how much these phones will cost in comparison with one another.
|Row 0 - Cell 0||Redmi Note 11||Redmi Note 11S||Redmi Note 11 Pro||Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G|
|Display||6.43-inch FHD AMOLED||6.43-inch FHD AMOLED||6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED||6.67-inch FHD AMOLED|
|Rear cameras||50MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth||108MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth||108MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth||108MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro|
|Chipset||Snapdragon 680||Helio G96||Helio G96||Snapdragon 695|
|RAM||4GB, 6GB||6GB, 8GB||6GB, 8GB||6GB, 8GB|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB||64GB, 128GB||64GB, 128GB||64GB, 128GB|
|Battery||5,000 mAh||5,000 mAh||5,000 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|Charging||33W wired||33W wired||67W wired||67W wired|
All four phones share the same flat-sided design, 5,000 mAh batteries, power button-mounted fingerprint scanner and include a headphone socket, too. But everywhere else the phones diverge in some sometimes confusing ways.
The standard Note 11 and Note 11S (launching this month) both use 6.43-inch, FHD displays with 90Hz refresh rates, and 33W wired fast charging, which fills the phone from 0 to 100% in an hour. The Note 11 then adds a 50MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP depth camera, plus a 13MP selfie camera. The Note 11S takes is much the same, but swaps the main camera to a higher-resolution 108MP sensor, and the front camera to a 16MP one.
The two phones also use slightly different chipsets: the Note 11 has a Snapdragon 680, while the Note 11S gets a Helio G96 instead, which is more powerful but slightly less power efficient, according to benchmarks.
The two Pro models (which are arriving in February) match up on their 6.67-inch FHD displays with 120Hz refresh rate, 67W wired fast charging which promises a 50% charge in just 15 minutes, and most of their cameras: 108MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, and 16MP selfie.
They then diverge, with the Note 11 Pro offering an additional 2MP depth camera on the back and a Helio G96 chip. The Note 11 Pro 5G doesn't get this extra camera (odd for the supposed top model in the range), but it does get a Snapdragon 695 chipset, a marginally more potent slice of silicon that also gives it the 5G compatibility it's named after.
Putting aside the confusion of having some lower-priced phones offering better specs in some areas compared to the top model, this is a good follow-up to the Note 10 series. Redmi's still holding back on giving these phones much computing power, but the diversity of cameras, the fast charging and particularly the big and responsive display are all still present.
We've yet to hear precise details about when the phones will arrive, and how much they'll cost in the U.K, but for the latter point, we can look to the Note 10 again. The Note 10 Pro started at £249, putting it a good way below the price of the £399 OnePlus Nord 2 or $449, U.S.-only Google Pixel 5a, two of our favorite cheap phones.
However, while the Redmi Note 11S or Redmi Note 11 Pro look to cost about the same, the Note 11 Pro 5G could potentially cross the £300 mark, reducing its price advantage over the OnePlus and Google rivals.