Soon after the Mi 11 Lite, we have another Xiaomi phone that adds to the growing lineup. This time the phone boasts of not just its specifications, something the brand’s devices are known for, but also the aesthetics.
The Xiaomi 11 Lite is the first Xiaomi branded smartphone in India since the Mi-branding was phased out, and it also happens to be one of the lightest and slimmest smartphones around.
I reviewed the phone for about a month and ahead of the Diwali sales, here’s what I have to say about the company’s new phone and whether it is worth the Rs 26,999 price tag it comes with.
Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G specs: 6.55-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen | up to 8GB RAM/128GB UFS 2.2 storage | Snapdragon 778G | 64MP+8MP+5MP rear camera, 20MP front camera | 4,250mAh battery + 33W fast charging |
Design: The best aspect of the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G is something competing phones like the OnePlus Nord 2 and the iQOO Z5 are not even close to in comparison, and that is the design. With the aluminium frame, glass sandwich design, super slim profile and lightweight, you simply cannot get a phone that looks and feels so great in your hands in this segment.
Even areas where brands often cut corners, like the buttons on the side, feel perfectly positioned and are not wobbly at all. Also, if you happen to be someone who likes a case on their phone, do everyone a favour and skip the Diamond Dazzle colour variant, which looks absolutely fabulous.
Note that there is no 3.5mm headphone port here, but Xiaomi will throw in a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter in the retail package.
Display: Unsurprisingly, there is a great AMOLED panel on the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G as well. The colours produced are vibrant and the viewing angles are good. The contrast levels and colours that make pictures feel like they’re about to pop out the screen is what sets this phone apart from rivals like the iQOO Z5, where you get an LCD panel.
The HDR 10+ certified panel also has 90Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling that while not the best on paper, offer a decent experience while using the phone, and gaming respectively. The panel is also decently bright, has slim bezels and a corner-aligned punch-hole instead of a center-aligned one, all of which adds to the good experience.
Camera: Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G comes with a triple camera on the back and a single front-facing shooter. The pictures we got from all the sensors were good and not just satisfactory. Pictures captured ample detail and colours looked great, although a tad on the warmer side with some daylight shots. It’s also great that all three sensors are actually useful and there is no pointless 2MP depth or monochrome sensor thrown in.
Night shots looked satisfying when you had some amount of lighting around and selfies looked great in daylight but somewhat soft in low/artificial lighting. Check out some of our sample shots by clicking on the picture below.
There is also video recording at up to 4K 30fps and a number of software-powered tools. Xiaomi has also thrown in features like steady video and object tracking, which work great.
Performance and software: Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G excels at everyday performance and while it can handle most games out there very well, we wouldn’t recommend this device to gamers, despite the very capable Snapdragon 778G. Don’t get us wrong, the performance is great, but the sleek build, smaller battery, average cooling and smaller factors like UFS 2.2 storage and 240Hz touch response aren’t the gold standard in gaming. However, day-to-day tasks are a breeze and you will run multiple heavy apps fairly easily.
The software experience is also consistent with other phones we’ve seen like the Mi 11 Lite. While we have MIUI 12.5 here, you get the same usual mix of handy features, rounded aesthetics and a little bloatware that you can’t get rid of. Whether you like it or not is a matter of personal preference.
There is not a lot that the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G gets wrong but if we were to nitpick, the phone’s smaller battery capacity does fall slightly short when its put against rivals like the iQOO Z5.
Yes, a 4,250mAh unit isn’t very far from the average 4,500mAh and it isn’t bad either, but of all the Snapdragon 778G phones you get in India, this has the smallest battery right now, a price to pay for the thin-and-light build. You also get 33W fast charging, which is not bad at all, but again is not the best in the segment either.
The Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G is a very well balanced smartphone and stands out with its unmatched design, beautiful display and capable cameras, but if those aren’t enough to get your attention, the phone is still a complete package and does well at pretty much everything else too, including additions like multiple 5G bands, NFC support and the signature Xiaomi IR blaster.
I’d pay the Rs 26,999 price for this phone, but do keep your eye out for any bank discount offers or the currently running extra discount on exchanges before you checkout.