Redmi 11 Prime 5G review: 5G on a budget

The Redmi 11 Prime 5G is one of the most affordable 5G handsets on the market. Read our full review.

Review Summary

Expert Rating3.5/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • Sturdy design
  • 90Hz display works well
  • Long battery life
  • Capable performance

Cons

  • Lacks ultra-wide lens
  • Average low-light photography
  • Still uses waterdrop notch

Xiaomi has just launched the Redmi 11 Prime 5G at a starting price tag of Rs 12,499, and its affordable price tag makes it one of the most economical phones in the market with 5G capabilities. There’s also the regular Redmi 11 Prime variant, which can be considered a direct successor of the Redmi 10 Prime (review) from last year. This review, however, focuses on the 5G variant. The budget segment is becoming quite crowded with Xiaomi facing stiff competition from the likes of POCO, Realme, and Infinix. So does the Redmi 11 Prime 5G do anything to stand out? Find out in this full review of the device.

Verdict

While the Redmi 11 Prime 5G lets itself down in terms of camera performance, other aspects of the device make up for this shortcoming. Backed by a capable processor, 5G functionality, 90Hz display, and long battery life, the Redmi 11 Prime 5G has the makings of being a worthy budget contender.

The lowdown

The Redmi 11 Prime 5G has all the characteristics of a typical budget phone. It features a plastic unibody design and the back panel has a textured finish quite reminiscent of some Infinix phones I have used in the past. The device does not seem particularly heavy and the curved sides on the back provide an easy grip. A dual-camera setup is present on the top-right which juts out slightly from the chassis. On the bottom, you get a USB Type-C port and a speaker grille while the 3.5mm headphone jack is present on the top. Finally, on the right, the power button comes integrated with a fingerprint sensor and the volume rocker sits just above it. The overall design language is not really fancy, and has a utilitarian look to it, which the budget audience can appreciate.

As for the front, there is actually a slight downgrade from the last iteration with the Redmi 11 Prime 5G opting for a waterdrop-notch instead of a regular punch-hole setup. The LCD display still has the same FHD+ resolution and refreshes at 90Hz. In terms of brightness levels, 400nits is not particularly high for easy outdoor usage although it will not be a problem indoors. The colour profile on the panel is slightly on the saturated side with some off-axis tinting visible. For a phone under Rs 13,000, though, the viewing experience remains decent enough for my liking. There is also WideVine L1 certification available to stream content in HD quality.

Talking about the optics, there is a 50MP primary shooter on the back supported by a 2MP depth sensor. The photos in the daytime are actually very good with plenty of detail and a good white balance. Colours are, for the most part, as realistic as they get on a budget phone and even the dynamic range is healthy. I also like how quickly the sensor’s focus latches onto the subject. If you want there is the option to click full resolution 50MP images instead of the default pixel-binned 12.5MP shots. The depth sensor allows for portrait shots with Xiaomi offering the ability to adjust the bokeh manually after the picture has been clicked. Apart from that, there is no macro or ultra-wide sensor, both of which were a part of the Redmi 10 Prime.

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In low light, the photos are pretty average with a lot of noise visible in darker parts of the frame. The dedicated night mode is of little help and focusing on objects can also get difficult. I recommend using the flash module to get even a halfway decent image at night unless there is a lot of ambient lighting around to help the sensor. Finally, the 16MP selfie camera clicks acceptable photos that can mask some facial details but match your skin tone.

The Dimensity 700 SoC that powers the device is a capable chipset that can handle most of your daily smartphone needs. I ran a few benchmarks to assess its capability and, keeping in mind the phone’s price tag, came away decently impressed. On Antutu V9.4 the device outputs a score of 340,756 while on Geekbench 5’s multi-core test the score was a healthy 1,728. The device also does not throttle under sustained load and maintains upwards of 89 percent of its peak performance. In short, the usual tasks like social media scrolling, opening your Gmail, browsing Chrome, and other utility apps will not be hampered. Gaming that doesn’t push the phone to its limits is decent. Titles like CoD: Mobile can operate at 45fps without a hitch but BGMI only runs at 30fps with graphics set at Smooth.

Other features include the obvious support for 5G, which should be accessible on the device when the commercial rollout begins. Apart from that, the side-mounted fingerprint sensor works effectively even when my thumb is a bit smudgy. The single speaker unit at the bottom is loud enough for my liking and the headphone jack up top supports Hi-res audio with compatible wired headphones. Xiaomi’s MIUI 13.0.4 based on Android 12 is the software skin on the device. Over the years, MIUI has become more intuitive and clean while retaining its customisability. You can read more about it in our review of the Redmi K50i.

Battery-wise, the Redmi 11 Prime 5G packs in a 5,000mAh cell that can be charged at 18W. The battery life on the device is quite good with screen-on times ranging from seven to eight hours on a full charge. As for charging speeds, the entire cell gets juiced up in a little over two hours, which I consider to be pretty average.

Final verdict

With its 5G capabilities and affordable price, the true potential of the Redmi 11 Prime 5G should come to the fore in the coming months once the 5G roll-out is in full effect. However, it also has the benefits of being backed by a capable processor, sturdy design, and long battery life. The cameras lack diversity in terms of taking ultra-wide or macro images, but the primary shooter does a fairly decent job in daylight conditions. You can get slightly better phones at the 11 Prime’s price point but the latter’s 5G capabilities are something that most people should start considering now.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros

  • Sturdy design
  • 90Hz display works well
  • Long battery life
  • Capable performance

Cons

  • Lacks ultra-wide lens
  • Average low-light photography
  • Still uses waterdrop notch

Key Specs

Xiaomi Redmi 11 Prime 5G
RAM4 GB
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 700 MT6833
Rear Camera50 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera8 MP
Battery5000 mAh
Display6.58 inches (16.71 cm)
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Xiaomi Redmi 11 Prime 5G Price
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Rs. 12,999.00
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Rs. 12,999.00
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