Realme 11x 5G review: Good Value for money offering
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The Realme 11x 5G is the latest entrant in the Chinese smartphone manufacturer’s ‘Number Series’ and features a 120Hz display, SUPERVOOC fast charging, and the Dimensity 6100+ processor. It is Realme’s new entry-level 5G smartphone and competes with the likes of Samsung’s M14 5G, and Xiaomi’s Redmi 12 5G.
The Realme 11x 5G starts at Rs 14,999 for the entry-level model with 6GB RAM and goes up to Rs 15,999 for the variant with 8GB RAM. Both models feature 128GB internal storage. The distinctive feature of the phone is its ‘S-curve gradient design’ and slim 7.89mm body. Does this new budget smartphone have what it takes to stand out from the crowd? We have been using the phone as our primary device for the last few days, and here are our thoughts.
The Realme 11x 5G looks sleek and modern and the design is very distinctive. The back panel reflects light in an S-shaped pattern. This glossy, patterned ‘S-curve’ design certainly catches the eye and helps the handset stand out amongst a sea of identical smartphones out there. That said, the design is admittedly quite flashy and those who prefer more subtle-looking phones should look elsewhere. The glossy finish also attracts a lot of fingerprints and makes the phone a little slippery.
The new budget smartphone from Realme is very slim, at just 7.89mm, and has angular edges and rounded corners. Just like most, if not all smartphones these days, the Realme 11x 5G is a bit too tall, which makes one-handed use difficult. The handset is available in two colours – Midnight Black and Purple Dawn.
The 6.72-inch Full HD+ display is adequately bright indoors but legibility in bright sunlight is a bit of a concern. Even though it’s an LCD panel, the colours are punchy and contrast levels are good. The display has a bluish-green tint out of the box. The good news is that Realme lets you control the colour temperature of the display, and setting it to a warmer setting helps mitigate the issue. The display has a refresh rate of 120Hz, which makes reading books, scrolling through webpages and viewing videos a pleasant experience. It does not support any form of HDR though.
Performance and software
The Dimensity 6100+ lags slightly behind its competitors like the Exynos 1330 and Snapdragon 695 in benchmarks like Geekbench 5. This is because it has older Cortex A76 cores instead of the newer Cortex A78. That said, the phone performs well in day-to-day use, like web browsing, scrolling social media applications, and consuming media. Overall performance is smooth and fast enough for the price with the UFS storage leading to snappy app opening times. You do feel the occasional slowdown every once in a while, with the keyboard sometimes taking a few beats to catch up. In addition, the processor sometimes struggles with the 120Hz display leading to stuttery animations.
The Realme 11x 5G handles games surprisingly well, with consistent frame rates and minimal heating. You do have to make do with medium settings in Call of Duty and HD instead of Ultra HD graphics in Battlegrounds India though. There is a ‘Game Engine’ on board as well, which frees up memory, optimises performance, and stabilizes the frame rate. We got around 58fps while playing Call of Duty and around 29fps in Battlegrounds India.
As mentioned above, both variants of the Realme 11x 5G feature 128GB internal storage. There is a dedicated microSD card slot which supports up to 2TB of memory expansion. The presence of a dedicated slot instead of the usual hybrid SIM/SD slot is greatly appreciated.
In our experience, calls were crisp and clear and 4G as well as 5G connectivity was consistently solid with our Airtel and Jio sim cards. The single-firing speaker is crisp and clear and is good for vocals but the bass and volume are nothing to write home about. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor is also fast and responsive.
The Realme 11x 5G comes with Realme UI 4.0 out of the box, which is based on the latest Android 13. The software is loaded with useful features like ‘Smart Sidebar’ which allows you to quickly launch apps, ‘App Cloner’ which allows you to run two instances of the same app, a self-explanatory ‘App Lock’, the above-mentioned ‘Game Engine’, and a ‘Phone Manager’ app which allows you to clear cached data and scan apps for viruses. The software is mostly fluid and responsive and is generally stable.
What lets the software experience down is the incessant amount of bloat as well as the app recommendations and suggestions peppered throughout the OS. There are a ton of apps like Josh and Dailyhunt pre-installed and on top of that, the phone tries to trick you into installing many more whilst setting up and through the App Market.
Alongside the now common ‘Hot Apps’ and ‘Hot Games’ on the home screen, we have recommendations in the Global Search, in the app drawer itself, and within Realme apps such as Internet and Phone Manager. These inbuilt apps also spam you with a lot of notifications. A lot of these recommendations and notifications can be turned off but the process is not straightforward and most users will just end up living with them.
The 64MP primary camera is a bit of a mixed bag. It performs well as long as the light is adequate, with shots having above-average detail, sharp focus, and natural colours. However, the camera struggles when the light is poor or inconsistent.
Shots taken at night are overly sharpened and quite fuzzy at times. The dynamic range is also lacking. Night mode does help the situation, especially when it comes to pulling in more light. The processing time is quite slow though.
The same situation applies to the 2MP portrait camera as well as the 8MP selfie shooter. Both produce average photos in well-lit situations but struggle in the dark.
Along with the Portrait mode and Night mode, a Pro mode, Time-lapse mode, and Panorama mode are also offered. There is a Street Mode as well, which allows you to apply certain filters. Video recording maxes out at 1080p for the rear camera. The footage is quite stable (considering the lack of any optical stabilisation) and has a decent amount of detail. Quality takes a dive at night, though.
We were quite impressed with the battery life of the Realme 11x 5G. Thanks to the modern and efficient 6nm Dimensity 6100+ processor and the sizeable 5,000mAh battery, the phone lasted well beyond a day with moderate to heavy use. We ran benchmarks, played games for around two hours, watched YouTube videos, and used Maps and social media applications like WhatsApp and Instagram throughout the day. Users with a less intensive workload could easily get more than a day’s battery life from this phone.
Realme claims the SUPERVOOC 33W system can charge the phone from 1 to 50 per cent in 29 minutes. For us, the charger took the phone from 1 to 44 per cent in 29 minutes, which is still pretty fast.
Pricebaba Rating: 8/10
The Realme 11x 5G is a solid entry-level 5G smartphone. The distinct S-curve gradient design is the main selling point of the phone and helps it stand out from the pack. The battery life is also excellent, the 33W SUPERVOOC fast charging enables fast top-ups, day-to-day performance is good for the price, there is a dedicated microSD slot, and the display has a high refresh rate of 120Hz.
What lets the phone down though is the bloated and messy software riddled with app recommendations as well as the inconsistent cameras. Even though the LCD panel is of high quality, the lack of an AMOLED display may also put some people off.
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Reasons to buy
- Great battery life
- Eye-catching design
- Decent performance
Reasons to not buy
- Bloated and spammy software
- Cameras struggle in low light
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