Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Realme 11 Pro+ 5G Review: The Yin-Yang Smartphone

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G has been officially launched in India and going by the nomenclature, it should be the successor to the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G (Review). However, with the number of upgrades on offer, the 11 Pro+ 5G finds itself competing against higher-priced rivals such as the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G (Review), Motorola Edge 40 (Review), iQoo Neo 7 (Review), and the Poco F5 5G (Review). The phone certainly packs some promising hardware on paper, including a new 200-megapixel primary camera, 100W fast charging and a capable performance unit.

With all that is on offer, should you consider buying the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G? Here is our full review to help you decide.

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G price in India

The Realme 11 Pro+ 5G has been launched in two configurations. The base variant of the phone packs 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and is priced at Rs. 27,999. The variant we have comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which is priced at Rs. 29,999.

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G design and display

The Realme 11 Pro+ 5G comes in three finishes, Astral Black, Oasis Green and Sunrise Beige. The green variant we have has faux-leather on the back, which seems to be a new trend now. I do not have any problem here as it feels very premium compared to regular plastic panels and also helps avoid fingerprints and smudges. The beige colour also has a faux-leather back.

Both weigh about 189g and thanks to the textured surface, offer good grip and in-hand feel. The back panel also has a stitch-like pattern running vertically through the centre of the rear panel, which makes it look like the phone’s wearing a fashionable leather jacket. If you want a more simple look, the black variant is always there, which is also a tad lighter at 183g.

The plastic frame has a glossy finish and houses the power and volume buttons on the right, whereas the bottom edge houses the USB Type-C port, primary speaker grille and hybrid-SIM slot.

Realme 11 Pro 5G 10 Realme 11 Pro  5G

The faux-leather textured back offers good grip and in-hand feel

Things have not changed as much on the front of the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G compared to the 10 Pro+ 5G, which is not a bad thing. The 11 Pro+ 5G uses the same 6.7-inch curved-edge AMOLED display with a full-HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The display offers a great multimedia experience with rich colours and ample brightness for outdoor conditions. There is an HDR10+ playback certification, which worked with YouTube at the time of this review, but Netflix didn’t detect it. Despite the curved-edges of the display, I did not experience any issues with accidental touches.

Realme 11 Pro 5G 6 Realme 11 Pro  5G

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G’s chin bezel is among the thinnest in its segment

The Realme 11 Pro+ 5G has an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is fairly quick to authenticate and unlock the device. I would have liked it if the scanner was placed slightly higher than its current position, which is almost towards the bottom of the display.

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G specifications and software

The Realme 11 Pro+ 5G features a MediaTek Dimensity 7050 SoC, which is a slightly tweaked version of the Dimensity 1080 SoC found in the 10 Pro+ 5G. The 11 Pro+ also packs a 5,000mAh battery with 100W fast charging support. The phone has a dual-speaker setup, support for Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and GPS.

In terms of software, the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G boots the Android 13-based Realme UI 4.0. The custom skin based on Oppo’s ColorOS 13 offers many personalisation and customisation options. For starters, users can adjust the shape and size of icons, change the fonts, wallpapers and themes. You can sync the colours of the system icons with the wallpaper as well. There is also support for an Always-on Display, which offers some personalisation including adding a Bitmoji.

Realme 11 Pro 5G 12 Realme 11 Pro  5G

The bloatware in Realme 11 Pro+ 5G makes the app drawer look cluttered

That being said, Realme UI 4.0 is a mess when it comes to bloatware and app recommendations. Currently, among all the custom skins out there, it feels like the most bloated of the lot. If Hot Apps, Hot Games and Hot FreeGames were not enough, the phone also comes preinstalled with a bunch of third-party apps such as Josh, Dailyhunt, Moj, PhonePe, Spotify, and LinkedIn.

To make matters worse, Game Centre, App Market (Realme’s native App Store) and Theme Store spam the notification shade with frequent recommendations. Also, whenever an app is downloaded and installed, you’re redirected to a new screen with the option to open it or check more apps in the App Market. The same screen will also show ads for other apps available in the App Market.

The good news is that Realme has promised to provide two major Android updates and security support for three years for the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G.

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G performance and battery life

The Realme 11 Pro+ 5G is quite capable when it comes to handling routine tasks and casual gaming. The phone did not show any sign of lag or stutter, except for some jitter in the animations while playing videos (YouTube mainly) in picture-in-picture (PIP) mode.

When it comes to gaming on the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G, BGMI runs at up to ‘Ultra’ framerate with ‘HDR’ graphics. You can also run it at a higher ‘Extreme’ framerate with ‘Smooth’ graphics settings. I did enjoy playing BGMI on the 11 Pro+ 5G as it did not lag or show any signs of stutter. The phone gets marginally warm around the camera module, which is quite normal. The rear camera module tends to get in the way when holding the phone horizontally, which is something to get used to.

The Realme 11 Pro+ 5G scored 5,37,230 points in AnTuTu (v10), which is lower than the Motorola Edge 40’s score of 7,64,083 points and the Poco F5’s score of 10,94,798 points. In Geekbench 6’s single-core and multi-core tests, the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G scored 921 and 2138 points, respectively.

Realme 11 Pro 5G 7 Realme 11 Pro  5G

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G supports 100W fast charging via the USB Type-C port

The Realme 11 Pro+ 5G offers an all-day battery life on a single charge. It averaged about eight hours and 35 minutes of screen-on time (SoT) during the review period. The device also lasted for about 23 hours and 16 minutes in our HD video battery loop test, which is quite impressive. It took about 40 minutes to charge the phone completely in my experience using the proprietary charger, which is about 14 minutes more than the claimed charge time.

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G cameras

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G has a triple-camera setup on the back. It features a new 200-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL HP3 sensor with an f/1.69 aperture, and claims to offer up to 4X lossless zoom. There is also an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera.

The primary camera captures good details in daylight but the colours are slightly on the saturated side. Dynamic range performance is also quite good. While it generally exposes the overall image well and offers good details in highlights and shadows, it tends to make the night sky look quite blue instead of grey or black as it should be.

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G primary camera samples (tap to see full size)

The 4X lossless quality claim by Realme turns out to be true as long as you’re shooing in well-lit environments. However, put the camera in a challenging situation and it loses some details when you zoom.

The primary camera is inconsistent when it comes to human skin stones in Photo and Portrait modes. Many times, I noticed the camera making the skin appear red in photos. Also, 2X portrait mode offered consistent background blur compared to 1X, which often blurred out parts of the subject’s face.

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G primary camera’s lossless zoom test (Tap to see larger size)

 

The camera app also has a new Moon mode, which automatically kicks in if you have AI Scene recognition enabled. It is more of an astronomically gimmicky feature (pun intended) if you ask me. Once you point the camera towards the moon and zoom in at 20X, the camera will capture an AI-assisted photo of the moon. However, if some objects like leaves or branches of a tree gets in the way, that portion of the moon that gets covered is blurred out, whereas the rest of it looks sharp. Fun, but gimmicky.

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G 20X zoom, Moon mode samples: Without obstacles (top), With obstacles (bottom)

Images shot using the ultra-wide camera have a different colour temperature compared to the main camera. That being said, the dynamic range performance is good.

The front camera is quite good when it comes to skin tone accuracy and dynamic range. However, there were times where it too blurred out my ear or hair in portrait mode shots.

Realme 11 Pro+ 5G camera samples (Top: Ultra-wide, bottom: Selfie portrait mode)

In terms of video, the Realme 11 Pro+ can shoot up to 4K 30fps videos using the rear camera. The front camera  can shoot only 1080p 30fps videos. Both do a good job of exposing the subject well. However, the rear camera offers a better dynamic range and colours.

Verdict

The Realme 11 Pro+ 5G tries to level-up over the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G with an improved camera and design, while providing incremental performance, battery, and charging improvements. It certainly is one of the best designed phones in this segment and also offers a great multimedia experience and long battery life. The performance is quite good too for the price but the completion — Motorola Edge 40 (Review), iQoo Neo 7 (Review) and the Poco F5 5G (Review) — does fare slightly better in this regard.

Where the phone struggles is the camera department. While the main camera’s daylight performance is quite good, I cannot say the same about low light and there is inconsistency when it comes to the post-processing. The software too is a bit of a mess. While Realme UI scores high on features, the mix of bloatware and ads scattered across different parts of the interface are quite intrusive and take away from the a good user experience.

The Yin and Yang concept is the first thing that comes to mind with the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G. While the phone has some excellent hardware and features (the Yang), the bloated and ad-heavy software, along with the not-so-consistent rear cameras pull it down a few notches (the Yin). 

Motorola’s Edge 40, one of the closest rivals to the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G, has a sleek design, a curved-edge display and a slightly more powerful performance unit. It even comes with an IP68 rating and wireless charging. While its cameras could have been better too, the software is much cleaner. On the other hand, if you simply want the best-in-class performance and don’t care about aesthetics, the Poco F5 5G (Review) should be the one to consider.


Apple’s annual developer conference is just around the corner. From the company’s first mixed reality headset to new software updates, we discuss all the things we’re looking forward to seeing at WWDC 2023 on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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