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Best of the rest, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 11

The perfect compromise in terms of price, performance and looks, writes Sbu Mkwanazi

10 June 2022 - 15:15 By Sibusiso Mkwanazi
Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 11.
Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 11.
Image: Supplied

As a Xiaomi sub-brand pitched to be affordable, the Redmi Note 11 is perfect if you’re looking to learn one of life’s most important lessons: compromise. It’s great if you’re about to get married, have children or go on a few dates, as you’ll need to do a lot of give and take in the process.

For R5,299, you get bang for your buck in terms of a fast-charging 500mAh battery (0 to 100% in 60 minutes), a decent 6.43-inch AMOLED display that performs well for most applications, such as overdosing on social media, unsolicited e-mails from your boss while you’re on leave and dodging WhatsApp groups.

One of the main reasons people consider a phone is its camera quality, and the Redmi Note 11 does well, just so you can be a proper paparazzi when you spot your “fave” Twitter celebrity at the trendiest spot in town. The 50-megapixel main lens is a quad camera allowing you to take wide, ultra-wide, macro and deep shots, complemented by an LED flash, panorama capabilities and a 1080p video. The all-important 13-megapixel selfie camera takes highly impressive photos of you falling off your bicycle or almost checking out on a cliff.

This Chinese device is a solidly built phone poised to shake up the mid-tier market. It has the look and feel of more premium offerings, with the cover finished off in matte, and it feels perfectly balanced in your hand, a characteristic often missing with this segment, as some tend to be too light or too heavy. As we all know, the perfect size does matter.

Unboxing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 (global edition), the latest budget-friendly smartphone.

In terms of performance, you never have to wait too long for anything, including loading and switching between apps, thanks to a competent MediaTek Helio G96 chipset and 6GB RAM. When it comes to storage, the standard space allows you to hide plenty of your digital contraband without needing to buy an additional memory card. Thankfully, you can also lock away your naked ladies, gentlemen and others, as a security feature, by renaming the folder “cryptocurrency passwords”.

The honeymoon phase ends when you have to compromise on the fact that it doesn’t support 5G, which is a real shame in terms of connectivity. This will most probably direct some potential customers to its competitors, such as the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G. Another potential issue is the quality of the photos and videos of the rear camera in low light conditions. You will struggle to take striking shots without plenty of natural light as the device isn’t meant for highly specialised operations like that. Do not even think of capturing moving objects, as this is a futile experiment. It would be a bit like your first crush, known to your mom as The Creep, who could not string a sentence together and who thought his life’s two-year plan referred to a cellphone contract. He was cancelled almost immediately.

In short, the Redmi Note 11 is one of the best budget “note” phones on the market that ticks all the usual boxes, but you’ll have to compromise when it comes to some performance issues, and most notably, the lack of 5G connectivity. But, as they say, no-one is perfect, so it is a great compromise. It does everything just well enough for you not to start looking over your wall to see if the neighbour’s partner is a better catch.

The Redmi Note 11 is on sale at Takealot, myTFGWorld, Cellucity, Incredible Connection, Makro and other outlets.