Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review: Looks are everything
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite's feel in hand will surprise youXiaomi

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review: Looks are everything

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite takes a different approach to being the affordable, mid-range smartphone. Does it work?

Price: Rs. 23,999/-

More than any other smartphone that has come out this year, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite will surprise you even before you have switched it on. In a time when smartphones are typically around the 200g mark, the 157g weight of the Mi 11 Lite is refreshing. You’d think that 50g cannot possibly make a big difference, but the low weight combined with how slim the phone is at 6.81mm is really quite something to experience in 2021. What’s even more surprising is the fact that the Mi 11 Lite is not a compact phone by any measure. Its 6.55-inch screen makes its just as wide and tall (if not more) as most other smartphones today. And that makes the low weight all the more surprising. You’d expect that Xiaomi would have gone in with an all-plastic construction to achieve such a number, but you’d be wrong. The front and back are glass (Gorilla Glass 5 at that) and the frame is plastic. The back, finished with a rather smooth, matte treatment, feels great to the touch and especially stands out in the ‘Tuscany Coral’ that we reviewed.

The phone is quite good looking
The phone is quite good lookingXiaomi

The light weight does not mean that Xiaomi has skimped on having a great display. The 6.55-inch, 10-bit, full HD+, 90Hz refresh rate AMOLED unit is possibly the best display on a sub Rs.25,000 phone out there. The colours are vivid and it gets plenty bright, even for outdoor use. Under the hood, things aren’t as great and the Mi 11 Lite receives last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G with the option of 6 or 8 gigs of RAM and 128 gigs of storage. It is, however, expandable storage. Performance is adequate for the price and it does handle what you throw at it. Don’t expect this to function as a gaming phone though.

It gets a large AMOLED display
It gets a large AMOLED displayXiaomi

Then there are the cameras. The triple-camera setup here is made up of a 64MP main sensor, an 8MP ultrawide and a 5MP macro. Unlike in most phones in the price range, the two secondary cameras aren’t just making up the numbers here and are perfectly functional. With good light, the main sensor does produce decent images and even without OIS, the video output is pretty good. The 16MP selfie camera also does a fine job in sufficient light. You will have to live with some artificial smoothening though.

Despite its slimness, the Mi 11 Lite gets dual speakers – quite the revelation in this class and even in classes much above. The audio, as you’d expect, is loud and fairly good. Another revelation is the pretty large (4250mAh) battery that the phone is packing. With fast charging, you can the battery full charged in a bit over an hour. With the day-and-some battery life that the Mi 11 Lite has, the charging-battery combo is perfectly judged.

With everything taken into account, the Mi 11 Lite does seem slightly expensive. But while it lacks when it comes to downright specs, it makes up for it in design, a great display and its lightweight/slim nature. Its low weight in itself makes it easy to carry around and it is surprisingly good as an everyday phone with great battery life and adequate performance.

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