The budget smartphone industry is smashing it these days. With 5G connectivity, capable processing power, and beautiful AMOLED displays churning out refresh rates upwardly to 120Hz at surprisingly affordable cost tags, these dark horses put into question the frequently-exorbitant toll of flagship phones.
These are the smartphones that footstep into the band against the likes of Floyd “Apple” Mayweather or Mike “Samsung” Tyson and surprise roaring crowds by rope-a-doping the lot. Currently, the two Android phones knocking out their competition with swift right hooks are the Xiaomi Redmi Note eleven Pro and Realme 9 Pro+ — both at the acme of their game as the
best budget smartphones
to buy. However, in a bout of furious blows against each other, it’s hard to decide who to place your bets on.
- Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G review: At present we’re talking
- Realme 9 Pro+ 5G review: Colour me impressed
- Best phone deals
With both smartphones priced below $400(£400), boasting brilliant and vivid AMOLED displays and bringing 5G into the fold, the Redmi Note 11 Pro and Realme nine Pro+ are gearing up to swipe the lightweight champion belt (we’ll go out the heavyweight title to the likes of Apple and Samsung). Alright, plenty boxing idioms. Find out which budget smartphone is best for you as we pit these exemplary Android phones against each other.
Xiaomi Redmi Annotation eleven Pro vs Realme 9 Pro+: Spec
|Xiaomi Redmi Annotation xi Specs||Realme 9 Pro+ Specs|
|Price||$329 (effectually £240)||£349 (around $358)|
|Os||Android xi/ MIUI 13||Android 12/ Realme UI 3.0|
|Display||6.half dozen-inch 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay||six.iv-inch 90Hz Super AMOLED|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G||MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G|
|Rear cameras||108MP wide (f/1.nine), 8MP ultrawide (f/ii.2), 2MP macro (f/2.4)||50MP Sony IMX766 OIS broad (f/1.viii), 8MP ultrawide (f/two.three), 2MP macro (f/2.four)|
|Front camera||16MP (f/2.4)||16MP (f/2.5)|
|Size||six.4 ten two.9 x 0.iii inches||six.2 10 2.8 x 0.3 inches|
|Weight||vii.ane ounces||half-dozen.iv ounces|
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro vs Realme ix Pro+: Toll
The Redmi Note xi Pro 5G with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is priced at an incredibly low $329 in the U.S., which works out to be around £245 in the U.K. That’due south phenomenal, even when comparing it to some of the other height budget smartphones on the market today. To put its price into perspective, you could grab three Redmi Note eleven Pros ($987) and it would still exist cheaper than the base model
iPhone xiii Pro
The Realme 9 Pro+ is the priciest of the budget ix series lineup, which will set up you back £349 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. For a express time, notwithstanding, it’s available for just £299. This deal initially was meant to just last from March 4 to March 6, only there’southward
another deal running until March 21. It’s safe to say the Realme 9 Pro+ will often have deals taking £50 off the price tag. Realme doesn’t trade in the U.S., so this is one for those in the U.K. and Europe for now. Still, converting to the U.South. dollar, the phone would cost around $391.
Compared to their contest, including the new $429/£419
iPhone SE (2022)
, £399 (around $530)
OnePlus Nord 2
, and $499
TCL 20 Pro 5G
, both smartphones are more affordable choices. Clearly, the Redmi Note eleven Pro is the cheaper option, although it has one-half the storage of the base 256GB Realme 9 Pro+. In that location’due south around a $80/£60 cost departure, and while the Realme offers more storage, the Redmi boasts a larger five,000mAh battery capacity and a smoother 120Hz display.
The Redmi Notation eleven Pro 5G takes the win, equally it offers improve value for money while still having a respectable 128GB of storage.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Annotation 11 Pro vs Realme nine Pro+: Design
Design plays a significant factor in choosing a smartphone, and by look and style lonely, the Realme 9 Pro+ is the fancier model on the catwalk. On the other hand, past form and function, the Redmi Annotation 11 Pro gets the upper mitt.
Cheers to a “three-layer process” used on the back cover, the Pro+ creates a nifty shining result with a vibrant vertical axle that gleams from every angle. It brings a more polished, flagship look to an otherwise upkeep smartphone. In our review, I stated that I was a fan of the glint, simply the back cover is glace, significant it could be decumbent to falling off surfaces if it’s placed on any sort of angle.
The Realme ix Pro+ likewise comes in three colors: Midnight Black, Aurora Light-green and Sunrise Blueish. That last one is the star of the show; it’s Realme’s first “Chameleon” smartphone, changing color from bluish to red under sunlight or ultraviolet light. It’s also the company’s slimmest smartphone to date at 0.three inches thick and weighing a light 6.4 ounces.
Equally for the Redmi Note 11 Pro, Xiaomi doesn’t practise much to make its somewhat brick-ish telephone stand out in the body of water of Android phones. However, it has a formidable yet subtle flagship amuse to it, sporting a classy shine even in its standard Graphite Gray. It also comes in a more appealing Atlantic Bluish and Polar White. Despite being far from the virtually fashionable phone out there, its smooth rounded edges, small-scale centred hole-punch camera, and handy fingerprint sensor (embedded in the power button at the side of the phone) go far like shooting fish in a barrel to handle.
The Realme nine Pro+ places its hole-punch camera on the superlative-right of the display, and while it’south bigger than Redmi’southward, the placement is more visually pleasing on the brandish. The camera layout on the Realme — akin to the iPhone thirteen — is too more attractive, while the Redmi sticks to a bland, quad-lens germination with a noticeably huge lens on top.
In terms of size, the Redmi measures vi.4 ten 2.9 x 0.three inches and weighs vii.1 ounces, which is considerably heavier and bigger than the Realme, just both phones are merely every bit thin at 0.3 inches.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, only the Realme nine Pro+ is the smartphone I’d desire to evidence off. While it may not be equipped with the Redmi Note eleven Pro’s handy side-button fingerprint sensor, it nonetheless comes with an under-display fingerprint sensor that can fifty-fifty measure out your heart rate.
Realme 9 Pro+ 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Annotation 11 Pro vs Realme nine Pro+: Display
Smartphones under $400 that are equipped with an AMOLED display are head-turners, which makes the Redmi Note eleven Pro’s half dozen.6-inch 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay and the Realme 9 Pro+’due south 6.4-inch 90Hz Super AMOLED an absolute treat for budget telephone customers. Equally you can tell, having a bigger screen with a 120Hz refresh rate on a cheaper phone ways the Redmi takes the crown.
In practise, even so, the Realme holds its own in the brandish department. I watched
The Rex’s Man
on Disney+, replaying the fight scene with Rasputin that saw him dance with swords aplenty. I was impressed by the dancing antics being caught in full motion on the brandish, with the phone capturing the ballroom’due south warm and polished atmosphere as the 2 clashed swords. Anyone who likes viewing shows and movies on the motility will be happy with what the Pro+’s AMOLED display delivers. Plus, the Realme’s video colour enhancer, boasting SDR-to-HDR technology, makes colors pop.
That said, the Realme 9 Pro+’due south particular isn’t as well-baked as the Redmi Notation xi Pro’s. I watched Spike Jonze’south
on Netflix, and I was completely engaged past the vibrant shades of red spotted throughout the picture show. The Annotation eleven Pro does a great job at capturing the subtle details of the somewhat futuristic corporate world Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) finds himself in, and it was a joy to watch on the six.6-inch screen. The Redmi as well has a “Vivid” selection that adjusts colours based on the content being displayed.
When scrolling through social media apps and articles online, there isn’t much divergence between refresh rates in reality. Plus, with the Realme only going up to 90Hz, it’s less taxing on the telephone’s battery. Notwithstanding, when information technology comes to gaming, the Redmi comes out on acme, equally information technology allows for the highest available refresh rates in games such every bit Call of Duty: Mobile.
Both smartphones boast great displays for watching content, scrolling through apps and playing games, but the Redmi Note xi Pro has an border over the Realme nine Pro+, thanks to its larger display and higher 120Hz refresh rate.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note xi Pro vs Realme 9 Pro+: Performance
The Redmi Note 11 Pro and Realme 9 Pro+ aren’t the powerhouses the mod flagship smartphones are, merely they can impressively pull their own weight, especially for the toll. For normal tasks such every bit opening multiple apps and tabs, you’d be surprised by how much they tin can handle. However, ane chip outperforms the other.
The Redmi Note 11 Pro comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor with a Qualcomm Adreno 619 GPU, 8GB of RAM and 128GB for storage. I tested its real-world functioning, opening a couple of dozen active
tabs while watching
in a minor window. I as well slipped between the Chrome tabs and Call of Duty: Mobile to see how fast information technology could switch between the two. Even when I had the Netflix window playing and another video running in a tab, I didn’t experience any slow downward. Nonetheless, the frame rate seemed to take a hit, as scrolling through a web page became more jittery. Once I striking the 24 tab mark, I did run into a filibuster in other spider web pages loading upward, but but past a couple of seconds. All in all, the Redmi Note 11 Pro has plenty of multi-tasking potential.
The Realme 9 Pro+ is equipped with a capable MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Putting it through the same paces, I opened a couple of dozen active Google Chrome tabs while watching
The Rex’south Man
on Disney+ in a small window. I also slipped between the Chrome tabs and Call of Duty: Mobile to see how fast information technology could switch between the two. Fortunately, I didn’t notice whatsoever hiccups or delays in apps launching; the 90Hz refresh charge per unit stayed shine throughout my continuous scrolling and swipes.
Putting both phones through the Geekbench 5 exam, the Redmi Annotation eleven Pro delivered a multi-core score of two,018, while the Redmi 9 Pro+ scored a better 2,318. In the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited test, the Pro+ as well took the win with an overall score of 2,297 with an boilerplate frame rate of 13.8 frames per second. The Note eleven Pro clocked an overall score of i,210 with an average frame rate of 7.3 frames per 2nd. The latter just can’t keep up.
Interestingly, while playing a few rounds of Call of Duty: Mobile, the Pro+ automatically switched to “medium” graphic quality and to “very loftier” frame rates. The Note 11 Pro ran on high-graphics quality and max frame rate, showing that information technology’s surprisingly the improve smartphone to game on. This is due to the Redmi’southward 120Hz refresh rate, along with a “Gameturbo” menu that lets users switch to “Performance mode” for a ameliorate experience. Even so, I was able to get all the same headshots with the Realme ix Pro+, and the differences aren’t equally apparent.
The Realme nine Pro+ outperforms the Redmi Note 11 Pro, so it takes another win.
Realme ix Pro+
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro vs Realme 9 Pro+: Bombardment life and charging
With the Redmi Annotation 11 Pro sporting a v,000 mAh bombardment with a 67W turbo charger, and the Realme 9 Pro+ offering a 4,500mAh battery chapters with a 60W SuperDart charger, you’d think that the Redmi would come out on top. However, the 120Hz refresh rate and optional functioning way tin can bleed the battery; the Redmi’s 90Hz brandish doesn’t suck up every bit much juice.
With the Realme, I was able to make it through a twenty-four hours of heavy usage and even so have 15% left. The Note 11 Pro’s bombardment but went below the 10% margin afterward nearly a full day (merely under fourteen hours) of heavy usage. With moderate usage, I could eke out two days with both phones.
In terms of charging speed, I was able to charge the Annotation xi Pro from 0% to fifty% in effectually xix minutes, while information technology took 22 minutes for the Pro+. The Redmi is slightly faster thanks to the 67W turbo charger, but in the existent world, that iv-infinitesimal difference isn’t that noticeable. Both phones accept not bad battery life, and charging speeds are nigh equally as zippy.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro vs Realme 9 Pro+: Cameras
If Realme stuck with its usual 108-megapixel main shooter, there wouldn’t be much of a match with Redmi Note eleven Pro’s same 108MP wide photographic camera. Nevertheless, Realme changed upward its camera system this time around, housing a 50MP Sony IMX766 camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS) as its chief sensor. This changes the game; the Realme had a more capable photographic camera.
Birthday, the Pro+ is equipped with a 50MP,
Sony IMX766 OIS broad lens,
ultrawide sensor, a 2MP,
macro, and a 16MP,
front end-facing photographic camera. The Notation 11 Pro has a 108MP,
wide lens, 8MP,
ultra-wide (118-degree angle) lens, and a 2MP,
macro, along with a 16MP,
selfie camera on the front end. The numbers on the Redmi may await amend, but the pictures tell a different story.
Image i of 3
Realme 9 Pro +
Epitome 2 of iii
As you can encounter with the Realme, I was able to capture the mucky weather nosotros had that day, but each snap delivered rich detail of the near-miserable looking log demote, along with the blue sky briefly coming through in the back. The 119-degree, ultra-wide lens does a good chore of capturing wide angles while still offering clear detail, although the ultrawide and macro lens’ colors were a little off when compared to the primary sensor.
Epitome i of three
Xiaomi Redmi Notation 11 Pro
Image 2 of three
Image 3 of 3
As for the Redmi, I was impressed by the detail captured in the objects in focus, specially the yellow flowers surrounding the base of operations of a tree. Colors are accurate, and despite information technology being a twenty-four hours with no sun in sight, I captured a brilliant shot with articulate contrast between low-cal and nighttime areas. I could further control this in the Annotation 11 Pro’s “Pro” mode, letting me mess around with the ISO, shutter speed, lens blazon and more.
That said, I establish the Pro+ could capture more natural-looking shots, and didn’t have trouble with contrasts between light and dark areas. On the Note eleven Pro, each of the lenses showcased unlike brightness and colors, and shots seemed as well nighttime in sure areas. That can be changed with the Pro manner, but as for those who aren’t photographic camera savvy, it isn’t as helpful as simply taking out the Realme and taking decent shots.
Another feature the Realme has over the Redmi is that information technology comes with support for 4K at 30fps or upwardly to 1080p at 120fps. The Annotation 11 Pro? Video support maxes out at 1080p at 30fps. If the Realme can bring 4K capabilities, there shouldn’t be annihilation stopping Xiaomi having the same video recording specs, as well. As for the 16MP forepart-facing cameras, both phones are capable of capturing a decent amount of detail, but don’t wait the polished touches flagship smartphone offering.
Realme nine Pro+
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro vs Realme 9 Pro+: Software
The Redmi Note eleven Pro falters by running MIUI 13 over an ageing Android 11, while the Realme nine Pro+ comes with Realme UI iii.0 over Android 12. Equally you lot’ll find in our
Android 12 review, nosotros’re fans of Google’s latest OS, and information technology’s dandy to see this system updated equally before long every bit you take the Realme ix Pro+ out of the box. We can’t say the same for the Annotation eleven Pro.
What’s worse, Xiaomi doesn’t officially state the amount of software updates for each of their phones, merely the Redmi Note series generally simply gets one major Android update. MIUI xiii isn’t anything special either, offering the bare minimum of unique personalisation tools and an interface that feels a tad dated. There is a boat-load of bloatware when starting up the phone, which is a nuisance. A majority can be deleted, but it’due south abrasive having them there, especially since they seemingly need abiding updates.
The Pro+, on the other hand, offers a much more personalised experience. From its fingerprint sensor styles to its edge lighting and live wallpapers, the OS feels more than upward-to-date. There is some bloatware, such as the Amazon app, forth with Booking.com and Realme’s own atmospheric condition and music apps, but these aren’t a hindrance compared to other budget smartphones that constantly remind you to update apps yous never utilise.
Realme is besides known to offering ii major Android updates, which means you can continue hold of the Pro+ for a while longer than the Note 11 Pro.
Realme ix Pro+
Overall winner: Realme 9 Pro+
Surprised? I know I am. Going into this, I idea the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G would take the win purely considering of its stunning 120Hz AMOLED display that fabricated everything from apps to gaming look great. Plus, I idea its bigger bombardment and more than affordable toll tag would tip it over the winning line. However, it’s performance, cameras and software couldn’t go along up with the fashionable Realme 9 Pro+.
At that place are pros and cons to both of these lightweight champions, especially if you lot’re after a laudable smartphone experience on a budget. For $329, the Redmi Note xi Pro is a stellar choice you won’t be disappointed with, but at merely under $400 (£299 at a discount), the Realme 9 Pro+ takes the win overall.
If you’re looking to take the leap into the heavyweight division, merely aren’t certain if you lot should go with iPhone or Android, nosotros asked three telephone experts which is best:
Android or iPhone