Xiaomi smartphones in India often offer value-for-money specifications. The likes of Redmi Note 10, Mi 10i, and even premium smartphones like the Mi 11X are some examples of the brand's offerings in India that offer top-notch specs for the price. However, most devices that pack solid hardware weigh on the higher side. The company did try and strike a balance with the Redmi Note 10 series, which offered never-seen-before specs in smartphones under Rs 20,000 while maintaining a lightweight design. Xiaomi did not stop here. The company has set foot in a new category of lifestyle phones with the Mi 11 Lite launch in India.
The Mi 11 Lite still sticks to Xiaomi's philosophy of value-for-money phones, albeit not as aggressively. However, unlike most Redmi and Mi phones, the Mi 11 Lite's true value lies in its chic design that does not make many compromises. Priced at Rs 21,999, is the Mi 11 Lite the best smartphone under Rs 25,000 for you? After spending a week's worth of time with the phone, here is our Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 4G review.
Let's jump directly to the USP of the Mi 11 Lite - the design. The Mi 11 Lite, surprisingly, is among the few smartphones in its price range that sport a glass body. Such devices, while offering a premium in-hand feel, typically weigh upwards of 180 grams. Yes, other factors like the battery capacity, screen size and internals also play a key role but the Mi 11 Lite, somehow, ensures that there's enough oomph under the hood while keeping itself ergonomic.
Design: The Mi 11 Lite is unusually slim at 6.81mm. Xiaomi told us that it had to re-engineer the overall design to maintain the thin design profile. The thin form factor might not be as noticeable when you hold the phone. What will make the in-hand feel better is the device's 157-gram weight. With that combo, the Mi 11 Lite is a treat for those who crave slim and lightweight phones. The glass back also ensures that you get an uber premium in-hand feel. The frame is still plastic though but isn't as slippery as you would expect. The premium-ness is also extended to the colour options. Our Mi 11 Lite review unit comes in this Tuscany Orange colour, which like the Jazz Blue option gets a frosted finish. Unlike us, if you prefer glossy phones that attract a lot of fingerprints, there's the Vinyl Black colour option for you.
Design: The downside of such a slim design is that you don't have enough room for the 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone tries to compensate with its loud and clear dual Hi-Res speaker setup. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack to USB Type-C adapter in the box, just in case. If you are looking for a phone with a 3.5mm headphone jack, there's the OnePlus Nord CE 5G and the iQOO Z3 5G.
Display: Things are quite good at the front as well. The Mi 11 Lite sports a fairly large 6.55-inch Full HD+ display. The 10-bit AMOLED display is sharp and offers vibrant offers. The screen is also HDR10-certified to offer excellent contrast and brightness levels. If you watch shows or movies with darker scenes on your smartphone, this one's likely to offer a good viewing experience. However, we did notice a slight colour shift at times while viewing content on the screen from a tilted angle.
Display: The AMOLED display on Mi 11 Lite also supports a 90Hz refresh rate. Yes, the tech enthusiast in you knows that the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max offers a better 120Hz AMOLED display for a lesser price. However, we mentioned about the lag and stutter in our Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review. This could be due to the SD 732G SoC + MIUI 12 combo on that device. While Mi 11 Lite also boots on MIUI 12 out of the box and has the same SoC, we did not notice any stutter while switching between apps or scrolling through social media.
Software and Performance: While we are at it, MIUI 12 on Mi 11 Lite comes with a few third-party apps pre-installed, most of which can be uninstalled. The custom Android 11 skin comes with a bunch of customisation options and features. One of our favourites is floating windows that lets you run an app in a tiny window while you are working on something else. The feature is handy when you are watching a cricket match while scrolling through social media. MIUI also has multiple animation settings and features like Second Space, Game Mode, Dual Apps, etc. That being said, the software often throws these pesky notifications from the Theme Store and will also suggest enabling Glance even when you have disabled it at setup. Fortunately, you can turn off most notifications.
Software and Performance: When it comes to gaming, Snapdragon 732G can handle most of the popular games out there. We played Battlegrounds Mobile India, aka PUBG Mobile, and Call of Duty: Mobile. BGMI ran smoothly with HD graphics and High settings. If you are into casual gaming, this one gets the job done without breaking a sweat. The phone gets slightly warm to the touch but that's quite normal. For those into competitive eSports, maybe look at the POCO X3 Pro and spend a bit more and get the Realme X7 Max, Mi 11X or the iQOO 7 5G. Our Mi 11 Lite review unit packs 8GB of RAM, which is more than enough to keep apps open in the background. Apps like BGMI or CoD will restart only after you open the camera app to capture photos and videos.
Battery life: For a phone this slim, the Mi 11 Lite delivers a solid battery life. The 4,250 mAh battery typically lasted for approx a full day. The battery's going to die by the evening if you do excessive gaming or shoot content. For those who dont play games on their phone, expect around 6-7 hours of screen-on time. The device comes with a 33W fast charger in the box, which can refuel the battery from zero to full in an hour or so.
Camera: The Mi 11 Lite comes with a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, and a 5MP tele-macro camera. Among the three, we found the 64MP main camera and the 5MP tele-macro to be quite impressive. We can go ahead and say that Xiaomi's 5MP tele-macro camera on the Mi 11 Lite (and on the Redmi Note 10 Pro, Note 10 Pro Max) simply knocks out other macro camera sensors in the price range. You get great details and good colours in broad daylight.
Camera: The main camera also shoots great quality photos with ample detail. The saturation is slightly boosted though, which many might prefer for their Instagram uploads. The 8MP ultrawide sensor also clicks good, colourful shots but lacks details and is generally soft around the edges. Click here to see some of the images shot during our Mi 11 Lite review.
Camera: For selfies, you get a 16MP front camera that clicks decent quality selfies. The skin-smoothening is well controlled, provided you disable the beauty mode features. Edge detection in Portrait mode is also excellent in most cases. Click here to see some of the images shot during our Mi 11 Lite review. Verdict: The Mi 11 Lite is a solid package for those seeking a slim, lightweight smartphone. It does not cost a premium and also offers some great specifications. Sure, there are phones like the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max (Review), POCO X3 Pro, Mi 10i (Review), iQOO Z3 5G (Review) that offer better specs. However, they are either too bulky or offer a less-premium design. There is also the OnePlus Nord CE 5G but it is priced higher at Rs 22,999. The Mi 11 Lite isnt a lot different from the Redmi Note 10 Pro if you look at the overall spec sheet. However, when you experience the phone, you are liekly to appreciate the comparatively compact design that's very ergonomic. The Mi 11 Lite belongs to the rare breed of devices suitable to an audience that wants lightweight phones without compromising on the specs.
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