The Redmi 11 Prime 5G is currently the company's most affordable 5G smartphone in India, which Xiaomi claims is a 5G all-rounder. The budget smartphone finds itself in a crowded segment, facing competition from the likes of iQoo, Vivo, Realme, Motorola, etc. The Redmi 11 Prime 5G features a MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, which is a popular choice among brands launching 5G smartphones in the segment. The phone also supports seven 5G bands, which should be more than enough to cover all telecom circles in India.
The Redmi 11 Prime 5G also packs a beefy battery, full-HD+ display and a dual-camera setup on the back. With all that's offered, is it the best 5G smartphone under Rs. 15,000 in India? We find out.
Redmi 11 Prime 5G price in India
Xiaomi has launched a 4G and 5G version of the Redmi 11 Prime in India, of which, the 5G version is the more expensive offering of the two. The 5G variant is available in two storage options. Its 4GB RAM + 64GB storage configuration is priced at Rs 13,999, whereas the 6GB RAM + 128GB variant is available for Rs 15,999. The 5G smartphone comes in Meadow Green, Chrome Silver and Thunder Black colour options.
Redmi 11 Prime 5G design
The Redmi 11 Prime 5G follows the 2022 smartphone trend of a flat frame design. The rear panel of the phone curves towards the edges to ensure it sits comfortably when held. Xiaomi has used plastic materials for the back and frame, which is a common practice for smartphones in this price range. That being said, the rear panel offers good grip, thanks to the textured design. Xiaomi sent us the 6GB RAM variant of the Redmi 11 Prime 5G in Meadow Green, which seems to be the hero colour of the three.
Redmi 11 Prime 5G comes with a polycarbonate back
The left side of the phone has the SIM tray with two slots for nano-SIM cards and a third slot for a microSD card. On the right side, you get the power and volume buttons. The buttons are clicky but a bit too recessed for my liking. You also get a 3.5mm headphone jack next to the IR blaster on the top edge. The USB Type-C port and the single speaker grille are located at the bottom edge.
The Corning Gorilla Glass 3-protected display is fairly tall at 6.58 inches and offers a 90Hz refresh rate. The screen has a full-HD+ resolution and Widevine L1 certification, which means users can consume HD content on Netflix, Prime Video, etc. One downside of this display compared to few phones in the segment is the use of an IPS LCD versus AMOLED.
The colours are not as vibrant and the Redmi 11 Prime 5G's screen brightness maxes out at 400 nits. While the display is bright for indoor use, I preferred using the phone at the maximum brightness level for outdoor use. This might not bother some people but the phone has a waterdrop notch for the front camera, which looks dated.
The Redmi 11 Prime 5G is slightly on the heavier side at 200g and is also fairly thick at 8.9mm. Xiaomi has added a silicone protective case in the box. You also get a 22.5W fast charger and a USB Type-A to Type-C charging cable. The phone, however, supports only 18W fast charging.
Redmi 11 Prime 5G specifications and software
The Redmi 11 Prime 5G features a 7nm MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, and supports seven 5G bands in India. The phone has dual-5G, Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11 ac. There is no IP rating but the phone comes with ingress protection around the SIM tray to offer some basic protection against water splashes and dust.
The phone also features a 5000mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging. Like all recent Xiaomi phones, the Redmi 11 Prime 5G runs on the Android 12-based MIUI 13, which is quite feature-rich but also bloated at the same time. Along with some of Xiaomi's first-party apps, MIUI 13 on the Redmi 11 Prime 5G comes preinstalled with many third-party apps, such as Moj, Snapchat, Zilli, Spotify, etc. You can choose to uninstall these apps if you wish.
Xiaomi has not promised any long-term software update details for the Redmi 11 Prime 5G, but we hope the company at least rolls out Android 13 for it.
Redmi 11 Prime 5G performance and battery life
The Redmi 11 Prime 5G, with the MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, is a decent performer. Day-to-day tasks, such as scrolling through social media, browsing the web, etc, worked just fine. However, if you are someone who wants great gaming performance at this price, this one might disappoint. While games such as Asphalt 9 Legends, Call of Duty: Mobile ran decently well on basic settings, we noticed some stuttering during gameplay. The phone scored 521 and 1757 points in Geekbench's single-core and multi-core tests. In AnTuTu, the phone scored 3,37,683 points.
The phone offers good battery life overall. The 5000mAh battery easily lasted for a day and a half with medium to light usage. In our battery loop test, the Redmi 11 Prime 5G ran for 16 hours and 53 minutes, which was good. With the bundled charger, the phone took about two hours to charge completely, from empty.
Redmi 11 Prime 5G features a 7nm MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC
The Redmi 11 Prime 5G has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is quick to authenticate and unlock the phone. While there is a 3.5mm headphone jack, Redmi has not provided a pair of wired earphones in the box. The device also features a single-speaker setup, which is fairly loud. However, we would have liked a dual-speaker setup.
Redmi 11 Prime 5G cameras
There is a dual-camera setup on the back of the Redmi 11 Prime 5G. The phone features a 50-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor, but no ultra-wide camera. For selfies, there is an 8-megapixel front camera.
Redmi 11 Prime 5G features a dual-camera setup
The primary camera is good enough in scenarios with a good amount of light. Photos generally had neutral colours and good details. However, in challenging situations with backlit subjects or in low light, the camera performance was below average and dynamic range was weak.
Shot using the main camera of the Redmi 11 Prime 5G
There is Night mode but I didn't find it to be very effective. In terms of video, the device supports up to 1080p recording at 30fps for the front and rear cameras. Videos shot in daylight with the main camera offered neutral colours but lacked proper stabilisation. In low light, there is visible noise.
Night mode sample shot on Redmi 11 Prime 5G
Selfies offer enough details in daylight but the software messes up the skin tones, making faces look fairer while adding some pink hues. Portrait mode for the front camera does a good job in blurring out the correct areas of the background.
Portrait Mode on Redmi 11 Prime 5G
Front camera sample shot on Redmi 11 Prime 5G
The Redmi 11 Prime 5G is a decent performance package for under Rs. 15,000. The highlight of the phone is offering 5G support with as many as seven bands, along with a decent processor for day-to-day tasks. With a tall screen and good battery life, the Redmi 11 Prime 5G will appeal to those who like to consume video content on their phone. We would have liked to see a brighter AMOLED display with a standard refresh rate, instead of what's being used. If you can stretch your budget by Rs. 500, the Redmi Note 11S (Review) with its 90Hz AMOLED display offers a better multimedia experience.
The Redmi 11 Prime's cameras are not the best either. You might want to look at phones such as the Moto G32 or even Redmi's own Note 11, both of which are 4G-only phone though. If you want 5G network support at this price, you will have to compromise a bit in some areas. There is also the iQoo Z6 Lite 5G (First look), a new performance-focused budget 5G smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 SoC that's worth considering.
Buying an affordable 5G smartphone today usually means you will end up paying a "5G tax". What does that mean for those looking to get access to 5G networks as soon as they launch? Find out on this week's episode. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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