Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi released the Redmi Note 11T Pro and Pro+ on Tuesday, priced at RMB 1,799-2,499 ($270-$374). The new models mark a further move into higher-end markets for the sub-brand Redmi, which was previously focused primarily on budget devices.

Why it matters: The new series is indicative of the maturation of Xiaomi’s phone offerings, which have found significant popularity in China and in developing markets overseas. The new Redmi Note phones, targeted at middle- and high-end customers, will intensify competition between Xiaomi and rival brands such as Oppo’s Realme.

Details: The newly released Redmi Note series promises higher specs than previous Xiaomi models without abandoning the brand’s affordable image.

  • The new phone features a highly-rated MediaTek Dimensity 8100 processor, produced by TSMC’s 5nm process and an efficient cooling solution.
  • The Redmi Note 11T Pro and Redmi Note 11T Pro+ come with a 6.6-inch 144 Hz LCD screen, which changes tone according to the environment; however, the screen is a downgrade from the Redmi Note 11 released in February.
  • The two models are distinguished by their battery capacity and charging speed. The plus version has a 4,400 mAh battery which is smaller than the pro’s 5,080 mAh. However, the plus version features a much faster wire charging speed thanks to its in-house Surge P1 charging chip, which charges 79% faster than the pro model.
  • As for the cameras, the new phones have a 64 million pixel primary camera alongside additional wide-angle and macro cameras. 
  • Other features include Dolby-supported dual speakers, high-resolution audio verification from Sony, Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6 capability, and an infrared remote control feature for home appliances.

Context: Xiaomi is the third-largest mobile vendor globally after Samsung and Apple, with a  12.8% of the global smartphone market share in April, according to web analytics firm StatCounter.

  • Xiaomi initially launched the Redmi brand to sell budget devices, but in 2019, it began moves to attract more medium and high-end customers.
  • Redmi said on its social media accounts on Tuesday that sales of its Note series had hit 280 million units in total worldwide. 
  • Xiaomi’s phone sales have been driven chiefly by emerging markets outside its home market. The company is the highest-selling phone brand in India, accounting for a quarter of all sales in the country. In contrast, it occupied just 1.4% of the North American market in April 2022, according to StatCounter.

Ward Zhou is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. He covers stories about industry of digital content, hardware, and anything geek. Reach him via ward.zhou[a] or Twitter @zhounanyu.