Yes, we’re doing another two-in-one review and comparison because these two phones are very similar to each other, honestly. So, on your left, we have the Redmi Note 11 and on your right is the Redmi Note 11S. Without further ado, let’s talk about these two phones.
Honestly speaking, we’re a little late when it comes to the review of this phone. Many other YouTubers already imported the Redmi Note 11 series of phones from China to review, but we waited till the official global variant.
That is because of two reasons – one, importing from China is costly, and secondly – getting the phone might have a different name in different regions of the world, or different specs entirely. We don’t want to contribute to the confusion, so we waited for the global, retail units of the Redmi Note 11 smartphones.
With that said, let’s talk about the differences between these two phones first and we’ll start with the specs. They both use completely different chipsets – the Redmi Note 11 uses a Snapdragon 680 chipset, whereby the Redmi Note 11S comes with a MediaTek Helio G96 chipset.
Even the RAM and storage capacity are different too. The Redmi Note 11 starts from 4GB RAM with 64GB of storage, whereas the Redmi Note 11S starts from 6GB RAM with 64GB of storage. That extra 2GB RAM makes a whole world of difference when multitasking.
When it comes to gaming though, they’re both very similar to each other. They both stutter on Genshin Impact at the lowest graphical settings but ran fine on the 4 other games that I’ve tested. You can watch our full gaming test of both these devices below:
And since these two phones are using low-powered chips, they only go up to about 40°C on the surface and that’s the most it can go.
Another difference is the cameras – sorry, the camera. Only the main camera is different. They both come with a total of 4 cameras I’ll only consider both main and ultrawide angle cameras to be usable as the depth sensor and 2MP fixed focus camera are pointless.
To have a look at all the pictures taken with these two phones, watch our video at the top of this review.
And those are the only differences between the Redmi Note 11 and the Redmi Note 11S – the chipset and the main camera.
Other parts of these two phones are the same – so let’s speedrun through them.
In terms of design, I had a hard time identifying which phone is which when I had both of them on my table, especially since both of them are in the same color – almost.
The only difference is that the Redmi Note 11S has a double camera bump for the 108MP sensor. which I think looks ridiculous. And it rocks back and forth on the table way more than the Redmi Note 11.
They both also have the same matte finish at the back which I think is fantastic to touch and feel. The type of matte finish that Xiaomi used here will catch more finger oil and grime, but it can be easily wiped away.
As for the screen, these two phones come with the exact same 6.43-inch AMOLED screen with 90Hz refresh rate have a resolution of 2400×1080 pixels.
Nothing particularly new, though I must say that under direct sunlight, I can see anything on the screen at all.
In terms of battery, they both come with the same 5,000mAh battery and the Snapdragon 680 chipset in the Redmi Note 11 lasts a lot longer than the MediaTek G96 chipset in the Redmi Note 11S. I mean, it’s a huge gap even though the gaming performance isn’t that much different. Yikes.
To charge that 5,000mAh battery, Xiaomi included their own proprietary 33W fast chargers in the box and they both took about an hour to charge from 15% to 100% so there’s nothing out of the ordinary here.
I really wish Xiaomi adopts USB-PD standards though. If you want to learn more about it, check out our other video at the top right corner where we talk about why chargers are complicated.
Software – MIUI 13 with Android 11?!
Yes! You read that right! Both the Redmi Note 11 and Redmi Note 11S ships with MIUI 13 but with Android 11 out of the box. Unfortunately, I seriously can’t find any significant difference compared to MIUI 12.5.
The UI remains the same and the settings menu are still as hectic as before. I don’t really care about the new aesthetics or animations unless the basics are done properly.
Whatever “atomized memory” feature that they boast is also not working properly since MIUI’s built-in FPS meter was closed by MIUI itself because of their own RAM management algorithm, as shown in our gaming test.
Xiaomi did add a new sidebar feature that is reminiscent of Samsung’s Edge Panel. However, Xiaomi’s sidebar is just a bunch of app shortcuts and I think it’s a missed opportunity here.
Should you buy the Redmi Note 11 or the Redmi Note 11S?
Finally – the ultimate question is – should you buy the Redmi Note 11 or the Redmi Note 11S? Between these two phones, I can’t really pick for you. They both have their own strengths but they’re not significant enough to differentiate themselves from each other.
I generally think both the phones have increased in terms of price – particularly the Reedmi Note 11S. When we compare with the last generation’s Redmi Note 10 and Redmi Note 10S, the differences are apparent.
Personally, I’ll wait for the Redmi Note 11 Pro and also the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G before making any decisions. Though from what I can see, the specs of these two Pro variants are very similar to the Redmi Note 11S.