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Gadget of the Week

Affordable entertainment arrives

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro delivers the latest in flagship performance in a device that’s under R7,000. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK reviews the handset.

What is it?

Xiaomi has always been a champion of affordability and has now become the ideal replacement for Huawei lovers who need Google Play Services on their handset.  The Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 series had a massive impact, and became one of those handsets that users love to recommend to their friends. And their friends were rarely disappointed, mainly thanks to a superb price-for-features combination.

 The Note 11 series builds on this recent legacy with a strong camera set, vibrant screen, and premium glass-back design.

The Redmi Note 11 Pro features the MediaTek Helio G96 chipset, which enables a balance between long battery life for lighter tasks, thanks to highly optimised efficiency processors, and fast gaming, thanks to its performance processors.

The G96 offers another improved aspect: computational night mode photography. Users of the Note 11 Pro can expect much sharper and vibrant low-light photography compared to any of the previous Xiaomi flagships, and a night mode that’s similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S20. The camera set consists of 108MP primary, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro lenses, and a 2MP depth sensor.

@gadgetza Tested out the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro’s camera after 9PM 📸 #xiaomi #nightphotography #southafrica ♬ Meet Her At The Love Parade – Vieze Asbak

The built-in stereo speaker set alongside the 120Hz 6.67-inch OLED display make this one of the strongest devices for watching videos and listening to music. 

It has all the ports and sensors one would expect for a device in this product set: a 3.5mm headphone jack, side-mounted fingerprint sensor, and dual SIM functionality – or one SIM and a microSD card.

The 5000mAh battery will get one through the day and, when the battery is drained, can get back to 50% in 15 minutes with 67W wired turbocharging.

Xiaomi has followed the strategy of other handset makers like Samsung with its Galaxy A-series: release 4G and 5G variants and see who bites. In South Africa, it seems we’ll have to wait a little longer before the 5G variant – and widespread 5G connectivity – arrives. For many users, 4G will provide sufficient connectivity to stream video and make video calls over the data connection.

Finally, it offers a great upgrade to those with an ageing device – giving users the best bang for their buck.

What does it cost?

For the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant, the Note 11 Pro costs R6,499. That’s about a quarter of the price of flagship devices from Apple and Samsung.

Why should you care?

For those needing an upgrade to a current high-end device but are put off by the R10-R30,000 price tags, the Redmi Note 11 Pro is a great all-rounder that won’t break the bank. The strong battery life, great camera set, and snappy performance with the latest Android 11 operating system make it a device that will remain current for the next few years.

For those moving to mobile-first entertainment, this device is excellent for watching streaming video on its vibrant screen. This is complemented by stereo speakers, which enhance immersion in content.

What are the biggest negatives?

  • No locally available 5G variant yet – all other competitors have a 5G option.

What are the biggest positives?

  • Super-fast charging: up to 50% in 15 minutes.
  • Great low-light photography – at an accessible price.
  • Dual SIM functionality make it great for work and play.

* Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee. 

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