The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 4G is the most affordable phone in the Mi 11 series, but it’s not without drawbacks. Its most notable features are its affordable price and long battery life. We’ve been using it for more than a week and here is our review:
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 4G At a Glance:
- Display: 6.55 AMOLED (1080×2400)
- Refresh rate: 60/90Hz
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G
- RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
- Storage: 128GB UFS 2.2
- Rear cameras: 64-megapixel (f/1.79) + 8-megapixel (f/2.2) + 5-megapixel (f/2.4)
- Front camera: 16-megapixel (f/2.45)
- Battery: 4,250mAh
Design and Build
Mi 11 Lite is not to be confused with the Mi 11 Lite 5G. The standard Mi 11 Lite is a 4G-only, lightweight smartphone that shines because of its sleek design and wide range of features. It is a phone designed for users who want an excellent product at a reasonable price.
The newest phone from Xiaomi is impressively thin and light. This new device focuses on providing a big-screened experience in a thin, light package. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite is thinner than any other smartphone currently on the market at 6.81mm, and it weighs only 157 grams.
The chassis of the Mi 11 Lite 4G is nearly identical to the one in the Mi 11 Lite 5G. Xiaomi offers the Mi 11 Lite 4G in three colors: Boba Black, Bubblegum Blue, and Peach Pink. The back of this phone features a reflective glass design that looks stylish but is also a fingerprint magnet. Fortunately, Xiaomi has included a transparent case with the phone, which allows the phone’s best characteristics to show through while providing extra protection.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 4G has a tough screen: it’s protected by Gorilla Glass 5, and it’s IP53 rated. This means it’s protected against splashing water and dust.
The Mi 11 Lite 4G does not include a headphone jack and some users might be disappointed. However, the thin metal frame houses the USB-C port, speaker grille, volume rocker, power button, and an IR blaster that ties into the Mi Remote universal remote app.
The power key doubles as a fingerprint sensor, which is conveniently placed and easy to use. Face unlock is an option too, using the phone’s built-in front-facing camera.
Display and Audio
Mi 11 Lite has a satisfying symmetry to the front that makes it stand out from other phones in its price range. You’ll find that the thickness is even all the way around – not too thin, not too thick.
The Mi 11 Lite has a great screen-to-body ratio. The 6.55in FHD+, HDR10-compliant, 10-bit color AMOLED panel boosts brightness, contrast, and colors–providing a great viewing experience.
Xiaomi’s MIUI offers tons of control over the visuals. You can set or schedule dark mode (to change bright UI elements to dark or black) and set the color gamut and temperature to a fine degree. Most importantly, you can switch the refresh rate.
In the settings, you can change the phone’s refresh rate from 60Hz to 90Hz. MIUI doesn’t say explicitly whether this implementation is dynamic or fixed. When this refresh rate is set at 90Hz, you’ll get a smoother user experience and a loss in battery life, but it will be worth it.
The Lite’s broad display means that one-handed mode is necessary. The UI can be shrunk down to bring everything within a thumb’s reach. All you need to do is swipe across the navigation keys at the bottom with a simple touch.
This phone’s design is amazing. It has a barely noticeable slit that outputs sound with great clarity. The stereo setup delivers much louder and clearer sound than you might expect from something this thin.
Software and Features
With so many features, MIUI 12 may seem overwhelming. Yet it offers a level of customization and personalization unmatched by other operating systems.
The Mi 11 Lite has a lot of bloatware pre-loaded for a modern smartphone. For example, there are entries like eBay and PUBG Mobile. You also get some Xiaomi apps that either does the same as Google’s or serve a niche purpose.
When you first start using MIUI, the experience is different from other overlays. Advertisements from third-party apps pop up in your first-party apps, which can be annoying. But when you get used to MIUI, you find out that it offers rich control over how everything looks and behaves.
The Snapdragon 732G inside the Mi 11 Lite is on the lower end of the 700 line, but this solid phone carries out everyday tasks like messaging, browsing, and streaming video without a hitch. The only real sign that the Lite is not powered by a top-of-the-line SoC is its slower app loading times.
The Xiaomi 11 Lite 4G comes with up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage. With software updates from Xiaomi, it should maintain a competent use for at least two or three years.
Xiaomi has a surprisingly large 4250mAh battery in its device. This is not the largest capacity battery among Android phones, but it should be enough to run your phone for an entire day with some charge still left over.
The phone’s power menu is a useful tool, displaying important stats such as your estimated battery usage and the amount of time left before your phone dies. There are two levels of battery saving, which you can choose between by clicking on the button in the corner: the first one restricts background app activity and clears your cache, disabling features like raise-to-wake. The second level also restricts performance and functionality to increase battery life even more.
MIUI notifies you when apps are using the most battery life, and offers suggestions to optimize power consumption. For example, it can suggest you switch the screen’s refresh rate down to 60Hz, turn off location services, and more.
The Mi 11 Lite 4G comes with a 33W fast charger that can charge the phone to full power in 1 hour and ten minutes.
The Mi 11 Lite is equipped with a triple-lens rear camera. The 64MP main camera has excellent low-light capabilities, while the 8MPl ultra-wide-angle camera captures even more of the gorgeous scenery. The 5MP ‘telemacro’ camera has autofocus for snapping stunning closeups. As for selfies, it has a 16MP F2.5 front-facing camera.
For old-time Android smartphone users, the camera app will seem very familiar. Xiaomi brings some of its favorite features such as short video, vlog mode, dual video, long exposure, and clone into this app.
When shooting with the rear cameras of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 4G, pictures are often sharp and accurate with rich colors and decent dynamic range. The photo is also boosted by AI, which enhances the image without losing quality. And because the phone has a depth effect, you’ll get the added dramatic effect to your shots.
The Wide-angle camera tends to have a subtle fisheye effect, but it’s not a deal-breaker if you’re not a perfectionist. Macro mode, on the other hand, takes pictures with excellent subject background separation and great quality. For night photography, its dedicated night mode gives a slight boost in exposure, but it can still be too dark for some people.
The front-facing camera has a variety of options, but there’s one that stands out: the portrait mode. The quality isn’t perfect, but it manages dynamic range well and is especially good for taking selfies. The HDR function for selfie photos, on the other hand, struggles a bit. It’s not perfect, but hopefully, it can be fixed with a software update.
This camera can shoot in HD or 4K. You can use the steady video stabilization, but only for 1080p at 30fps. It has cool native video features like tracking moving objects, filters, and more video editing options. You can also use the Pro Mode for more granular control.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite is sleeker and more affordable than other devices in the Mi 11 series. It’s a great mid-range device for day-to-day casual use, but it lacks some of the flagship features. Still, it has an incredibly slim design and good cameras plus a vibrant AMOLED display. This phone is a good choice considering its price range. Though, there are other Xiaomi mid-rangers that have better specs.