Last month, we were immensely impressed by the new Xiaomi Mi 11 (Review) flagship which once again lives up to our expectations, bringing along all the highly coveted specs at an ultra-competitive pricing.
However, the Xiaomi Mi 11 isn’t the only Mi 11 series smartphone which was launched in Singapore. Along with the flagship model, Xiaomi also introduced another exciting mid-ranger phone known as the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite that will take on other recently announced models like the OPPO A94 (Review) and Samsung Galaxy A32 5G.
Despite bearing the “Lite” moniker, the Mi 11 Lite is in fact a highly capable phone which punches above it’s own weight – with many aspects that make the device stood out against its competitors. So, does it actually have everything you’re looking for in your next smartphone? Read on to find out from our Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review!
Design & Display
There are plenty to love about the design of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite. Firstly, the Mi 11 Lite is doubtlessly the sleekest smartphone we’d reviewed till date, with a super duper slim profile of just 6.81mm. This means the phone is even thinner than the OPPO Reno5 Pro (Review), which was previously the thinnest smartphone we’d reviewed this year.
Aside from it’s ultra-slim chassis, the Mi 11 Lite is also incredibly light at just 157 grams. This makes the phone a joy to hold whether in portrait or landscape orientation, and is also perfect for single-handed use too. The benefit of that is real, I hardly felt any strain on my wrist even when using the phone continuously for several hours.
Around the back of the phone, you’ll find a square-shape camera module which closely resembles what we saw on the Mi 11 flagship. Though it all boils down to personal preference, but we’re quite huge fan of the new camera layout which looks way more refreshing than those usual ones out there.
For the Boba Black variant that we received for review, it’s back panel is really glossy – just like the Mi 10T Pro (Review). It surely goes well with the overall package, but you do have to make sure your hands ain’t greasy or sweaty as the rear panel is pretty prone to fingerprints and smudges.
Anyway for those who’re not in favour of such glossy finish, the Mi 11 Lite is also available in both Bubblegum Blue and Peach Pink colorways that dons an “Anti-Glare Glass” which has a more subtle matte finish that handles fingerprints better than the Boba Black variant.
Over at the front, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite flaunts a 6.55” AMOLED display which features a hole-punch cutout on the upper-left corner for it’s selfie camera. Like the majority of Xiaomi smartphones, the Mi 11 Lite gets a flat panel upfront as well.
Diving into the specifics, it’s AMOLED display offers a sharp FHD+ screen resolution and a smooth 90Hz refresh rate that’s capable of delivering an immersive graphical experience with vibrant and punchy colors.
Furthermore, the display can also get really bright with it’s peak brightness of 800 nits that helps ensure the screen remain visible even when you’re directly under the sunlight. Speaking of this, it’s also worth highlighting that the ambient light sensors of the phone are highly reliable and automatically adjust the screen’s brightness to an optimal level that’s comfortable for your eyes.
Interestingly, Xiaomi also treated the Mi 11 Lite’s front display with a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 for protection against accidental drops or scratches. This is definitely a much welcomed feature which we don’t usually see among smartphones within it’s price range.
Under the hood, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite is powered by a capable Snapdragon 732G chipset which delivers a maximum clock speed of up to 2.3GHz. It’s one of the most powerful mid-ranger chipset which boasts better performance than the Snapdragon 720G and Snapdragon 730G chipsets which are commonly used in mid-ranger phones.
During normal usage, the screen flows fluidly when scrolling or navigating, and doesn’t felt sluggish at all. Multi-tasking also works like a charm, with an ample 8GB RAM available in the memory department. For a average user, you’ll hardly encounter any stuttering when multi-tasking, unless you’re a power user who requires much more resources.
In fact, you’ll be surprised that the Mi 11 Lite comes with plenty of gaming muscles too. Even when indulging in graphic intensive game titles like PUBG Mobile or COD Mobile, it managed to handle all the frantic onscreen action without any noticeable lag under the default game settings.
Despite it’s ultra-slim chassis, there isn’t any heating issue during intense gaming runs. That’s partly thanks to the LiquidCool technology which Xiaomi had managed to fit into the thin body to help with efficient heat dissipation.
On the photography side, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite relies on a triple-camera system on the rear side that includes a 64 megapixels main camera, 8 megapixels ultra-wide camera, as well as a 5 megapixels telemacro camera.
Photos taken by the main camera generally turn out well in both daylight and low-light environment with good amount of dynamic range and details. Similarly, color accuracy is also well-handled, giving you natural-looking scenes without oversaturated colors. Considering the price of the phone, it certainly punches above it’s own weight in this aspect.
For night photography, the phone also has a nifty night mode to help brighten up the scene naturally, reducing image noise and improving shadow details. As I mentioned in all my past reviews, the night mode feature on Xiaomi and POCO smartphones are among the most impressive I’d seen so far – even on their mid-range models.
Coming to it’s ultra-wide camera, it turns out to be pretty great as well. Color contrast remain natural with ample of details. Most importantly, edge distortion is also nicely corrected by the phone too.
In terms of zooming, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite is able to achieve up to 10x digital zoom via the usual cropping technique. Anywhere between 2x to 5x zoom factor, you’ll get highly usable images with decent details and minimal noise. That’s probably good enough for the majority of us, since we hardly goes beyond 2x zoom in our daily usage.
As for close-up shots, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite settles with the same 5 megapixels telemacro camera that’s also found in the POCO F3 (Review) and Xiaomi Mi 11. Therefore, you can expect the same superior quality as the latter two.
Honestly speaking, the Mi 11 Lite has one of the most proficient macro camera when you compare it to other competing models within the same price range, which usually gets a lower resolution 2MP macro camera.
It’s capable of snapping flattering images with nice bokeh shape at the background that looks pleasing to the eyes. Also, it’s autofocus felt really snappy, and is able to focus quickly between a distance of 3cm to 7cm from the subject.
Finally, there’s also a 16 megapixels selfie camera upfront. Overall, selfie quality is decent for a mid-ranger phone with consistent exposure and wide dynamic range. As with any of the Xiaomi smartphones, beautification can be easily turned off, so you don’t have to worry about those unnatural skin smoothing.
Battery & Charging
To keep it’s light on, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite draws power from a respectable 4,250mAh battery which will probably be larger, if not of it’s super slim and compact design. Despite that, it’s able to easily last me through the day with more than 30% left in the cell under normal usage condition (with auto brightness on).
Charging-wise, the Mi 11 Lite is also blessed with a 33W fast-charging support which manages 0 to 100% in slightly more than an hour. In fact, I’m glad to see that a growing number of Xiaomi mid-ranger phones are now equipped with above 30W charging speed which really helps in real life.
Looking at it’s price, it will be way too unreasonable for us to demand wireless charging and reverse charging on this device. As such, we can’t really complain about the lack of these features on the Mi 11 Lite.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite is a phone that will certainly win the heart of those looking for a budget mid-ranger smartphone. It’s by far the sleekest and most beautiful mid-ranger phone in the market, topped with some enticing flagship features like a vivid AMOLED display, smooth refresh rate, highly capable telemacro camera and fast-charging support.
There’s hardly any reason for you not to pick this phone up, unless you’re a fan of bulkier or heavier phones – which I believe you’re unlikely to be. It’s indeed an ultra-value phone that offers more than what a typical “Lite-branded” smartphone does.