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Thursday, November 9, 2023

realme 11 review: Midrange Glory

Three months after the launch of its flagship number series with the realme 11 Pro 5G and realme 11 Pro Plus 5G, the leading smartphone brand is capping off the year with the highly-anticipated release of the realme 11

Not only is it the most accessible in terms of price, but it also brings with it several innovative upgrades such as faster charging, a 108MP Pro camera and a trusted processor that’s been optimized for the phone. And for those looking to upgrade or get a new phone in time for Christmas, here’s why we think the realme 11 is one of the best options.


 

What’s in the box?

As always we’ll start the review with our unboxing experience. My partner’s cabinet has been filling up with yellow boxes and just like the ones before it this is one box that would look good in your display shelf. 

 

The realme 11 comes in the trademark bright yellow box with a black stripe at the bottom. Upon opening the box you’ll be greeted with the “Welcome to the realme Family” compartment that contains the QuickStart guide and warranty information, a sim card eject tool which you need to set up your phone for the first time, and a clear plastic case to protect your phone from the daily wear and tear. 

 

Underneath is the realme 11 unit wrapped in plastic. And at the bottom section is a 67W SUPERVOOC Charger, a notable upgrade from previous models, emphasizing Realme's commitment to fast charging technology. This inclusion, especially in a mid-range device, highlights the brand's focus on providing value and convenience to its users. Alongside the charger is the USB-C cable, designed to support the phone's fast-charging capabilities. 

 

GLORIOUS DESIGN:

As someone who prioritizes style in a smartphone, I must say that the realme 11 is quite a premium looking device. 

 

Without a doubt, the most attractive part of the realme 11 is its back, which debuts the company’s Glory Halo Design that’s distinguished by a unique circular camera island with an outer ring embellished with track markings. realme says it took inspiration from designs of traditional luxury watches, and it does look great in person and makes the phone stand out among dozens of similarly priced competitors.


 

Our unit sports the Dark Glory finish, but the realme 11 is also available in Glory Gold, should you want a brighter color option. The back of the gold colorway has a glittery undercoat on top of a smooth. What I don’t like is despite its matte finish it can still attract some smudges.                                                                                                                            

 

There’s obviously a lot going on here, and the design is something that will really attract some attention. The size is another plus. The realme 11 will fit nicely in most hands and is admittedly quite easy to hold and operate one-handed, thanks in large part to its 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display. It has an advertised thickness of 7.95mm.

 

The basics are covered, too. There’s a physical fingerprint reader on the side, just below the volume rocker; you get a standard headphone jack, which has become a rarity on many smartphones in 2023; the USB-C port supports fast charging; and the screen bezels are reasonably narrow — not too chunky and distracting except for the bottom chin. And with Ultra Volume mode, you can increase the mono speaker’s volume up to 200% for louder sound, albeit at the expense of clarity.

 

SUPERFAST CHARGING

The realme 11 has a 5,000mAh battery and in our daily use it easily lasted us a day of moderate use which is expected. What I didn’t expect was how fast it can recharge. You see it has an improved 67W SUPERVOOC quick charging capabilities.   This technology enables the phone to charge from 0 to 50% in just 17 minutes, and a full charge takes about 45 minutes. This rapid charging capability means minimal downtime for users, making it easier to get back to full power even during short breaks.

 

The convenience of fast charging transforms the user experience, especially for those with busy lifestyles. Whether it's a quick top-up before heading out or a full recharge during a lunch break, the Realme 11's charging speed ensures that the phone is always ready to go when needed.

 

But that is not all, as realme not only focused on capacity and charging speed but also on the overall health and safety of the battery. The device comes with multiple layers of protection to ensure safe charging, guarding against overcharging, overheating, and short-circuiting. This attention to safety is crucial, considering the fast-charging speeds and the battery's large capacity.

 

BRIGHT AMOLED SCREEN

The FHD+ AMOLED display is pretty bright and punchy offering a respectable refresh rate of 90Hz for smoother animations, web browsing, and scrolling, along with 360Hz touch sampling. The brightness can go as high as 1,000 nits, which helps visibility when used under bright sunlight. But what makes the display really impressive is its Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to provide better protection against bumps and drops.

 

The AMOLED screen makes it way better than other displays in this segment and the realme 11 even lets you switch between Vivid, Natural, and Pro color options in the display settings. You’re also free to tweak the screen’s color temperature to suit your preference via a slider. You get Eye Comfort mode as well, plus the option to switch the display to monochrome — useful when reading downloaded documents, ebooks and long emails.

 

108MP CAMERA

The centerpiece of the Realme 11’s camera setup is the 108-megapixel main sensor that utilizes the ISOCELL HM6 sensor and paired with the MediaTek Helio G99’s Image Signal Processor (ISP). This combination results in clearer, more detailed images that is great for everyday shoots.

 

Another highlight is its 3x digital zoom, which I was quite surprised that a phone of this price does really well. Digital zoom is often a feature reserved for flagships as the realme 11 is able to maintain clarity and detail even when using the zoom. This capability is a testament to the advanced camera software and the effective utilization of the ISOCELL HM6 sensor.

 

realme 11’s Street Mode is also a mode that I’m sure you’ll enjoy using as it maximizes the potential of the camera, making it an ideal choice for street photography. This mode leverages the camera's strengths, allowing users to capture the vibrancy and dynamism of urban landscapes with ease.

 

For videos the realme 11 is limited to Full HD video recording and is enough for most users and the video output is clear and stable, making it suitable for casual videography, vlogs, and social media content.

 

Complementing the main sensor is a 2-megapixel filler camera, primarily used for depth sensing in portrait shots. This camera aids in achieving that sought-after bokeh effect, giving portraits a professional touch.

 

I’m also quite happy with  the 16-megapixel front camera, which sits in a punch-hole cutout in the upper-left corner. Under good light, it’s reliable and you can get accurate background blur when shooting in Portrait mode.

 

MADE FOR GAMING

Mobile gamers will not be disappointed with the realme 11 as it is powered by a 6nm MediaTek Helio G99 4G chipset. The processor is paired with 8GB of physical RAM and supports dynamic RAM expansion, allowing you to swap the storage for additional virtual memory up to an extra 8GB. Multitasking feels fluid enough, and the realme 11 is consistently fast when it comes to day-to-day tasks and switching between light apps.

 

It can play all games you install, even resource-intensive ones like Genshin Impact with the graphics set to Medium quality and Mobile Legends at the highest graphics settings.

 

It’s also worth mentioning that you get 256GB of storage on the lone variant of the realme 11 sold in the Philippines. For most users, the 256GB configuration should prove more than sufficient for apps and media and if you do need even more storage it has a microSD slot that can accommodate up to 1TB.


Here are some sample photos. 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

The realme 11 offers plenty of value for money and brings numerous improvements from its predecessor. It might look different from its Pro brothers but its unique design makes it stand out. You also get faster charging, and bigger storage without spending extra and a camera that you lets you level up your photography game. Speaking of games, it also has a processor that’s optimized for gaming. If you’re in the market for a capable yet affordable phone with an AMOLED display, and 5G is not important, then the realme 11 is definitely something you should look into especially with their current offers. 


The realme 11 officially retails for only PHP 13,999 SRP and comes in the Glory Gold and Dark Glory colorways.


Lucky realme fans can get a chance to score 11 PESO deals on realme Official Shopee and Lazada, while scoring up to PHP 3,500 OFF on realme E-store and TikTok Shop.

 

For more info and updates about realme, follow the realme PH Facebook page at http://facebook.com/realmePhilippines or visit the official realme website at https://www.realme.com/ph/.

  

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