Three months after the launch of the realme 11 Pro 5G and realme 11 Pro Plus 5G, realme has announced the realme 11 in the Philippines. The phone is the more affordable but still highly capable version of its Pro counterparts.
Locally, the realme 11 is priced at P13,999, or around $250 converted, for the lone variant with 8GB of physical RAM and 256GB of storage, but you can get it for P2,000 ($35) less if you purchase it today from the brand’s official TikTok Shop or e-commerce store. realme is also offering up to P2,000 ($35) off at its upcoming 11.11 sale on Lazada and Shopee.
Should you hit the “buy” button? You may want to read our review first to find out if the smartphone is worth your time and money.
The unboxing video that we posted almost two weeks ago
Design to watch for
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 Glory Gold finish, but the realme 11 is also available in Glory Black, should you want a more subtle and understated color option. The back of the gold colorway has a glittery undercoat on top of a smooth, glossy surface that doesn’t pick up fingerprints easily, adding yet another touch of class and practicality. It also displays shimmery curves that move across the panel and change color as light hits them from different angles.
There’s obviously a lot going on here, and yet the design doesn’t scream for attention either — at least, not to us. 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. 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.
Bright and handy AMOLED screen
The FHD+ AMOLED display is pretty bright and punchy, as expected, and offers 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 is decent given the price, and the panel is also layered with a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to provide better protection against bumps and drops.
It looks nice overall, especially when paired with realme’s colorful and youth-oriented realme UI 4.0 based on Android 13. It’s noticeably better than your typical AMOLED affair in the budget segment. Personally, we have no major complaints, except we would have wanted to see a higher refresh rate to make some of the animations look more fluid, even though the brand caps the fps at 60 in all the games we tested.
And we appreciate that realme lets you switch between Vivid, Natural, and Pro (read: manual) color options in the display settings, and you’re also free to tweak the screen’s color temperature to suit your preference via a slider. Similar to the realme 11 Pro series models, the realme 11 comes with the Video Color Boost toggle, which makes the colors pop even more in supported apps while consuming more battery power. You get Eye Comfort mode as well, plus the option to switch the display to monochrome — useful when reading downloaded documents and long emails.
Besides the charging speed, which we’ll talk about in a bit, the 108-megapixel main camera at the back of the realme 11 is arguably its most eye-popping specification. The native camera app allows you to use the full resolution, but we don’t advise doing so, particularly in low-light environments. Instead, you’ll likely shoot with the default Photo mode most of the time. This will provide you decent 12-megapixel outputs in all kinds of lighting. The primary camera is accompanied by a 2-megapixel filler sensor for portrait shots.
Sadly, there are no macro and ultrawide shooters here, though the latter is probably a more notable omission when you consider that last year’s realme 9 arrived with an 8-megapixel ultrawide. The built-in Night and Street modes are solid, while videos are capped at 1080p and 30 frames per second. Image stabilization was acceptable even with our jittery hands.
Pictures taken in Street mode
We’re satisfied with the performance of the 16-megapixel front camera, which sits in a punch-hole cutout in the upper-left corner. Under good light, it’s reliable and renders accurate background blur when shooting in Portrait mode.
Built for (charging) speed
While not as powerful as its Pro siblings, the realme 11 is powered by a 6nm MediaTek Helio G99 4G chipset that can play resource-intensive games like Genshin Impact at around 30 fps with the graphics set to Medium quality. Mobile Legends ran smoothly at the highest graphics settings.
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.
Plus, it doesn’t heat up like a curling iron on heavy usage or prolonged gaming. In the CPU Throttling Test app, our unit managed to perform at peak capacity during a 30-minute run. That’s an impressive showing from any smartphone regardless of price. We didn’t expect much in terms of performance, but we were pleasantly surprised.
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.
The realme 11’s 5,000mAh cell lasted 15 hours and 56 minutes in the PCMark battery test. This translates to over five hours of on-screen time with heavy usage on a single charge. When it comes to charging, realme ships a 67-watt SUPERVOOC quick charger with the phone. It takes about 45 minutes to fully charge the battery in our unit. The match checks out, too, as it usually takes the realme 9 and realme 10 about 70 minutes to go from zero to full using the bundled 33-watt power brick.
While not a big upgrade, the realme 11 offers plenty of value for money and improves on previous iterations, with a more attractive design, faster charging, and bigger storage without spending extra. If you’re in the market for a capable yet affordable phone with an AMOLED display, and 5G is not important, then you could certainly do worse than this, especially after the discount realme is offering right now on it.
realme 11 specs
- 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, FHD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate
- 6nm octa-core MediaTek Helio G99 4G processor
- Mali-G57 MC2
- 8GB RAM + 8GB dynamic RAM
- 256GB storage
- Dual 108-megapixel main, 2-megapixel portrait rear cameras
- 16-megapixel front camera
- Side fingerprint reader
- 5,000mAh battery with 67-watt fast charging
- realme UI 4.0 based on Android 13
- Colors: Glory Gold and Glory Black
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