The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S hits all the right notes for a mid-range smartphone. It has a 108MP main camera, a 90Hz AMOLED screen and a solid mid-range chip that keeps everything ticking along comfortably. Battery is good, too. Its design, though, is nothing to shout about, and there's no 5G support. But it's a solid value-for-money pick for the S$300 price range.
- 6.43-inch AMOLED screen (2,400 x 1,080 pixels), 90Hz refresh rate
- MediaTek Helio G96 chip with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage
- Quad cameras: 108MP (main), 8MP (ultra-wide), 2MP (depth), and 2MP (macro)
- 5,000mAh battery
The Redmi Note 11S has a flat AMOLED screen with a hole-punch selfie camera. The display is decently bright and is mostly usable under the glare of the mid-day sun. You can set the refresh rate to 60Hz or 90Hz. I recommend the latter for that extra dash of smoothness. However, you don't get HDR and the viewing angles are far from the best. But for its price, I doubt there will be complaints. The phone itself has a relatively large camera bulge, though the overall design is typical. Unusually for phones nowadays, the 11S still retains an IR blaster and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It also has stereo speakers that can get rather loud, albeit without much bass.
The highest-end model in the series — the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G — uses a 5G-capable Snapdragon 695 chipset. However, you won't get 5G connectivity with the 11S, which uses a mid-range MediaTek Helio G96 chip. This processor also supports only Wi-Fi 5 instead of the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard. But the phone performed well enough. It ran games like Asphalt 9: Legends without a hitch. Gameplay was smooth and the phone was barely warm to the touch after 30 minutes of gaming. Battery life also seems good. The 11S lasted just over 14 hours in a video playback test with the screen set to maximum brightness. A minor grouse: It takes almost an hour to fully top up the phone's 5,000mAh battery with its relatively slow 33W fast-charging feature.
While the 11S has a quad-camera system, the only camera of note is its 108MP main camera. There's a clear difference in image quality and sharpness between this 108MP shooter and the secondary ultra-wide camera. That said, the resulting images from the 108MP camera were detailed, though they can seem overly sharp at times. Colours were generally spot-on, though greens and reds seem slightly boosted. However, the low-light performance could be better. Images were not significantly brightened and parts of them looked grainy. Most users shopping in this price range, though, will be satisfied with the camera performance, especially in the day.
At around S$300, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S offers good value for its features and performance. It's a solid and affordable mid-range phone that you can get at Lazada or Shopee. However, if it's a 5G phone that you want, you can consider these affordable models instead, but you'll need to top up a bit for this feature.
Note: Review unit provided by Xiaomi.
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