If you have around $400/£400 burning a hole in your pocket, and you’re looking for a mid-range smartphone to buy, then the iPhone SE (2022) and Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G have to be part of the conversation. .
So which of the two represents the better buy? This is a tricky comparison, given that the two phones look and function completely differently.
Both phones have their share of advantages and quirks, but we’ve come up with a clear winner, at least for most people. Let’s take a closer look.
iPhone SE (2022) vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G: price and availability
The iPhone SE (2022) starts at $429 / £419 / AU$719 for the 64GB model. The 128GB model costs $479 / £469 / AU$799, while the 256GB model costs $579 / £569 / AU$969. It hit stores on March 18, 2022.
There are various configurations of Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, but not all of them are available equally. The base model, with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, has a listing price of $329, although it is not available in the US. The most common model is the one that comes with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage , and that one has a reference price of $349/£319. There’s also a 128GB/8GB model for $379, but it’s not for sale in many regions.
The Redmi Note 11 Pro is certainly the cheaper phone of the two, but its availability is a bit tricky compared to the iPhone SE (2022).
iPhone SE (2022) vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G: Design
The iPhone SE (2022) looks a lot like the 5-year-old iPhone 8, which is positively old in terms of smartphones.
You get a phone with a sizable forehead and chin, a physical home button (albeit one that doesn’t actually move), and a tiny 4.7-inch screen. At 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm and 144g, it’s one of the smallest phones on the market.
We quite like how different it feels from any other phone on the market, but let’s not pretend here. It’s an outdated approach and we wish Apple had changed the range to a fresher design language.
Compare that to the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, which is a much more modern phone but also more anonymous looking. We dug the glass back, which isn’t a common feature on an Android phone at this price point, but the frame is made of square plastic rather than aluminum, like on the iPhone SE.
It’s a big phone at 164.2 x 76.1 x 8.1mm and 202g, certainly much bigger than the iPhone SE (2022), in any case. It also packs a much more prominent camera module than its rival, for reasons we’ll cover in the corresponding section.
While the iPhone houses a fingerprint sensor in its dedicated home button, the Redmi hides its own sensor in the power button on the right edge. It’s good and fast, but no one beats Apple at this kind of thing.
Both phones give you stereo speakers, which is great to see at this price.
One final advantage to the iPhone SE is that it has an IP67 rating, while the Redmi Note 11 is stuck at a low IP53. The SE will better withstand rain showers and dusty pockets.
Simply put, the Redmi is bigger and more modern, but the iPhone is better built and uses more premium materials.
iPhone SE (2022) vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G: display
With such a small body and huge bezels, the iPhone SE (2022) screen was never going to be huge. However, at 4.7 inches, it’s positively small.
Plus, it’s just an IPS LCD panel, meaning it lacks the punchy color and contrast of its OLED rival. It also doesn’t get too sharp, at 750 x 1334 resolution nor does it get particularly bright at 625 nits, while its refresh rate tops out at 60Hz.
The Redmi Note 11 5G sweeps this round in all aspects. It is a 6.67-inch Super AMOLED with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 (FHD +) and a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz. Its brightness goes up to 700 nits in normal conditions and reaches a maximum of 1200 nits.
Bigger, sharper, brighter, smoother, and more vibrant. It’s simply better than Apple’s old-fashioned display, just as good as it was in its heyday.
iPhone SE (2022) vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G: camera
You can assume that the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G has the camera in the bag, especially if you simply go by facts and figures.
Xiaomi’s budget phone has a triple camera system for the iPhone’s single camera system, and the main wide sensor is a great 108MP example compared to the iPhone’s small 12MP.
But in terms of actual image quality and reliability, the iPhone SE (2022) is way ahead. Thanks to Apple’s unmatched image-processing skills, coupled with the A15 Bionic chip, iPhone SE produces photos that our reviewer found “pleasing to the eye, color-accurate, and often beautiful.”
“Overall, the photo quality on this mid-range phone can still rival that of competing phones that sell for almost twice as much,” they concluded.
Smart HDR 4 and Deep Fusion techniques ensure these shots look far better than you’d expect from such humble hardware. Plus, Apple remains the undisputed king of video capture up to 4K 60fps.
By comparison, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G disappoints, given its flashy hardware. “We captured too many blown skies, and it often misses scenes at dusk,” observed our reviewer.
While it can still capture great results, it just wasn’t as consistent as we would have liked. You’ll have to work more with settings, whereas the iPhone SE is blissfully fire-and-forget.
Still, you can at least take ultrawide photos with Redmi, courtesy of its dedicated 8MP ultrawide camera. Sure, the results are a bit soft, there’s also an obvious drop in dynamic range and you can’t use Night mode at the same time, but at least the option is there, unlike on the iPhone.
The iPhone absolutely shreds the Redmi when it comes to video recording, capturing superior images up to 4K. The Redmi can only handle 1080p.
iPhone SE (2022) vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G: specifications and performance
There’s no competition on the power front either, with Apple’s phone again taking a clear victory. The iPhone SE (2022) is powered by Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, which is the same one that powers the iPhone 13 family.
It’s enough to tear apart the best flagship Android phones, not to mention the modest Snapdragon 695 5G in the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G.
We found the latter to be relatively slow, even in terms of mid-range Android smartphones. The Redmi specs also explain the phone’s limited video capture capabilities, as mentioned in the previous section.
Needless to say, while the iPhone SE can run Fortnite and Genshin Impact to its fullest, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is more of a mid to low end device.
This also makes the iPhone SE (2022) much more future-proof. It will feel fast for years to come, while the Redmi Note 11 5G already seems to be reaching its limits in places.
Aside from the processor, the iPhone SE (2022) gives you 4GB of RAM and a choice of 64, 128, or 256GB of RAM. The Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G offers 4 or 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB or 128 GB of storage. Both phones support 5G connectivity.
Another victory for the iPhone comes with the provision of software. With iOS as standard, just like any other iPhone, you know you’re getting a clean, elegant operating system with guaranteed timely updates.
The Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G comes with MIUI 13, Xiaomi’s clunky custom UI, which sits on top of the outdated Android 11 operating system. Our reviewer called it “for the most part…pretty harmless,” which is damning with mild praise if we ever hear it.
In particular, we found that MIUI aggressively closed apps running in the background, which was particularly annoying for background audio apps.
iPhone SE (2022) vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G: battery life
The small body of the iPhone SE (2022) packs a very compact 2018 mAh battery. That’s bigger than the previous generation, but it’s still small by modern standards.
Throw in 5G connectivity, and it’s no surprise that our reviewer often couldn’t get through a full day on a single charger. It usually lasted 12 hours before giving up the ghost.
By contrast, the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G packs a much larger 5,000mAh battery, which lasted a full day of heavy use without running out of power. This was also with the screen set to 120Hz.
The Redmi also wins when it comes time to recharge. Xiaomi has included a 67W fast charger, which will take you from 1 to 48% in 15 minutes.
Apple hasn’t provided you with a charger with the iPhone SE, and it only supports up to 20W in any case. On the plus side for Apple, the SE supports 7.5W wireless charging, unlike the Redmi.
While the iPhone SE (2022) may seem like a much older device than the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, its performance, main camera, and software are on another level.
In contrast, the Redmi boasts a much bigger and better display, longer battery life, faster charging, and the ability to take ultra-wide photos.
All in all, we have to give the iPhone SE (2022) the upper hand in a direct mid-range matchup. While these two phones feature fundamental compromises, and while the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G is certainly cheaper, it’s the iPhone SE (2022) that is likely to provide more consistency and more value over the duration of ownership.