With the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite, Xiaomi is adding a cheap variant to the flagship lineup, as it does every year. This year the device is available in two versions: one with 4G and one with 5G. In our test, we have the first model, which, in addition to the different radio standards, also uses a different processor and differs in other small details (more on that later).
Xiaomi wants to market the Mi 11 Lite as a visually appealing smartphone. The device also lives up to this claim. Even the color variants offer the potential for attention, namely “Bubblegum Blue” and “Peach Pink”. If you like it more classic, you get the right option with “Boba Black”. The coloring refers to the frame and the glass back. Xiaomi didn’t specify a particular manufacturer for the latter (Gorilla Glass only has the display), but it’s still scratch-resistant. The black version that we have for testing is quite prone to fingerprints and grease stains. However, the colored variants are said to have a matte “anti-glare glass” that largely protects the back from visible smudges. Incidentally, blue and pink are only available for the 4G version. The 5G model comes alternatively in yellow and mint. The black version has a matte finish there: “Truffle Black”.
But the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite knows how to impress with more than just the colors. The thickness of only 6.9mm and the weight of 157 grams are also impressive. The smartphone is not small, however, because with a frame size of 160 x 76mm and a 6.55-inch display, it is more of a normal one, at least in terms of the area of big smartphones.
Regardless of the color variant, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite is definitely an eye-catcher. The protruding camera module on the back, which we already know from the “normal” Mi 11, is particularly striking. It is square with rounded corners and houses three cameras and a flash. However, two of the cameras are highlighted again and a “holo ring” around the main camera completes the look of the module. Measured at the highest point, it protrudes a proud 1.8mm from the case, which is quite a lot even by today’s standards. By the way, Xiaomi sees it differently and confidently speaks of an “almost flat camera module” on the website.
But enough mockery – back to the case: next to the camera, the back of the device is adorned with a simple Xiaomi logo on the bottom left, as well as a CE mark and similarly irrelevant information on the right. Xiaomi hasn’t changed the positioning of the buttons, so we find the power button and the volume rocker on the right. On the top, there is space for a microphone and an IR transmitter – which I think is completely underestimated. The left side of the frame is completely clean and below the device offers a hybrid SIM tray, a USB-C port, and a speaker. On the edge between the display and the frame, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite has an ear cup on the top. The selfie camera is in the top left of the display. The smartphone does not have a notification LED, but it does have cool display animations – more on that later.
The lower speaker forms a hybrid stereo set up together with the ear cup. The sound quality is good and the maximum volume is usable without the sound clipping. Overall, the sound could be a bit fuller, but the thin case simply lacks the volume.
The fingerprint scanner is integrated into the power button of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite and works in a split second in 9 out of 10 cases. Alternatively, face recognition is available via the front camera.
The processing quality meets the requirements of the smartphone and is really flawless. The case doesn’t offer any space for gaps, nothing creaks or can be dented and the keys are also firmly seated in the case. In high-end devices, the frame is usually made of one piece, and the display is surrounded by a thin plastic bezel. This makes the smartphone a bit more grippy overall and is hardly noticeable, but leaves a stale aftertaste.
Xiaomi is once again generous with the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite and donates a whole range of accessories. First and foremost, of course, the smartphone itself is included. In addition, there is a 33-watt power supply, a USB-C cable, and a USB-C to jack adapter in the box. Xiaomi has also thought of a transparent silicone case and an (already applied) protective film. The set is completed by a SIM needle, a user manual, and a guarantee card.
At least on paper, the technical data of the display read well at first. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite uses a 6.55-inch AMOLED panel with 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 (the 5G version uses Gorilla Glass 6). The display edges measure 3mm from the edge of the frame. The panel has a resolution of FHD+ and achieves a good 402 pixels per inch with an aspect ratio of 20:9 with 2400 x 1080 pixels. The frame rate is 90Hz and the sampling rate even reaches 240Hz with a maximum of ten touchpoints. If you want to use the 90Hz, you should check the settings during setup, because only 60Hz was activated by default on the test device.
According to Xiaomi, the panel covers the reasonably extensive DCI-P3 color space and supports HDR10 and Widevine L1 is also included. The maximum brightness in the manual setting is at least 650 lux. In automatic mode, the smartphone is good for a real surprise and achieves (probably thanks to the new “Sunlight Mode 2.0”) a maximum brightness of an outstanding 1150 lux.
As usual from Xiaomi, there are a number of different modes available: “Reading mode 3.0” filters the blue light, dark mode inverts the colors, and bedtime mode converts the image to grayscale. All modes just mentioned can be activated either manually or with schedules.
The “always-on-display” of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite is pretty weak for my taste. It can be activated in the settings, but it doesn’t stay on all the time, but for a maximum of 10 seconds. You then have to touch the display to turn the display back on. It takes a good three seconds for this to happen after touching it – I’ve already switched the smartphone on twice in that time… After all, Xiaomi offers a choice of many skins, but these are largely useless for the reasons mentioned. The animations that can be set for incoming messages are better solved. You can choose between “rhythm, pulse, and starlight” – three modes that light up in different forms. With this, Xiaomi replaces the notification LED, at least in part, but since the animation only lasts a few seconds, this replacement is by no means adequate.
But how does the displayed fare in practice? The brightness is definitely worth mentioning. The display can also be read perfectly outdoors and in the sunshine. The viewing angle stability couldn’t be better and the color representation can be adjusted as desired thanks to the extensive settings. The only flaws are the lack of DC dimming and the clipped AOD. Flickering is therefore noticeable for sensitive users at low brightness and Xiaomi should make an official statement about what is actually meant by “always-on-display” there…
In the previous aspects, the 4G and 5G versions do not differ (except for the color and the Gorilla Glass). However, the processors of the two sister models are completely different. The 5G model relies on the brand new Snapdragon 780G – the successor to the 765G. The 780G processor is manufactured using the 5nm process and has eight cores that are divided into two performance clusters. Two fast ARM Cortex-A78 cores with 2.4GHz provide plenty of power, and six economical ARM Cortex-A55 cores with 1.8GHz are used for simpler tasks. As a GPU, the 780G uses an Adreno 642, which should be ideal for gaming. It isn’t easy to classify this chip because we have not tested any devices with it before.
The Snapdragon 732G, on the other hand, relies on the slightly older 8nm manufacturing process. It also has eight cores and two power clusters. The SoC shares the energy-saving ARM Cortex-A55 cores with the 780G, but ARM Cortex-A76 cores are used in the performance cluster, which is a tick slower at 2.3 GHz. The Adreno 618 graphics unit also offers slightly less performance.
In practice, the Snapdragon 780G in the 5G model with up to approx. 500,000 Antutu points should be significantly more potent than the Snapdragon 732G, which “only” achieves 350,000 points in the 4G version of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite. Nevertheless, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 4G is convincing in the test: Apps open quickly, multitasking works without any problems and the system runs smoothly. Graphics-intensive games like PUBG also run smoothly with high details without the device getting hot. Considering the RRP of 27000tk. the performance of the chipset is rather low in relation to the price. A Poco F3, for example, achieves almost twice the performance in the benchmarks for the same money and feels a little snappier in practice. However, the performance is reasonable for a price of around 20800tk.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 4G is available in Bangladesh with two different memory sizes: 6/64GB and 6/128GB. Especially the version with 64GB is no longer really up-to-date at the price and for 128GB you pay directly 4500tk more – cheeky! At least the memory can be expanded via micro SD if required.
So far, the 5G model can be in worldwide with 8/128GB, on international sites, there is also talk of a version with 6/128GB or even 8/256GB. The speed of the UFS 2.2 hard drive in our test device in the 6/64GB version is 468MB/s reading and 110MB/s writing. That’s not really much compared to other devices in this price range, but the working memory speed of 23.5 GB/s is on par with the competition.
The current MIUI 12 based on Android 11, which we know from all current Xiaomi smartphones, is used on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite. This is a heavily customized Android system that offers many options for customization. In particular, the always-on display (which actually isn’t one) can be configured very freely. Overall, MIUI 12 runs super smoothly on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite and without any problems. The advertising in the system is a bit annoying, but you can deactivate it with these instructions. The incredibly large number of pre-installed apps and app suggestions shouldn’t have been there either. Fortunately, all of them can be uninstalled or removed. If you find an app that you want to get rid of, you can do so with our instructions.
Since this year Xiaomi has limited itself to the essentials and no longer installs useless sensors. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite gets by with “only” three sensors. These are divided into a 64MP main camera with an aperture of F/1.79, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera with F/2.2, and a 5MP telemacro lens with F/2.4. A 16MP front camera with an F/2.45 aperture is also available for selfies.
The main sensor is a Samsung GW3. This sensor is quite new and has not yet been used in any of the smartphones we have tested. As with Sony’s Quad Bayer sensors, four pixels are counted into one with the GW3, so that the camera (unless otherwise set) saves 16MP photos.
The ultra-wide-angle camera is based on the Sony IMX355 and has a fixed focus, which, however, depicts a fairly large sharpness range. The field of view of the lens is 119° and corresponds to a 0.6x zoom.
Xiaomi uses the same sensor for the macro camera as in the normal Mi 11 – a Samsung S5K5E9. It has a double optical magnification and takes pictures in a focus range of approx. 3 to 7cm. An automatic focus is available for this purpose, but it can also be adjusted manually.
The camera app of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite convinces many great functions. In addition to Google Lens integration, there is also a function for scanning documents, a night mode, long exposure times, and various video effects. In the following sections, we will look at the results the camera delivers.
With the decision to offer a 4G and a 5G version of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite, Xiaomi gives the user the choice of which wireless standard they need. This has the advantage that we don’t have to pay for features that we can’t use (almost) anywhere in Bangladesh anyway. After all, anyone who is a customer of O2 or Vodafone will not have any added value from 5G in the foreseeable future. In the tested smartphone, we only get 4G with all the frequencies required in Bangladesh:
The call quality is good, but the microphone’s noise reduction could be a bit better. Of course, the smartphone also offers VoWiFi and VoLTE. It has a hybrid SIM slot, so it can take either two SIM cards or one SIM and one MicroSD.
The 4G and 5G models differ slightly in terms of Bluetooth: The 5G device comes with Bluetooth 5.2, while our test device only achieves the Bluetooth 5.1 standard.
The other wireless standards are the same, regardless of 4G or 5G: The not-quite-modern Wifi 5 (.ac) is on board and the reception in the test was wonderful – from my (unfortunately very slow) 16MB/s line comes after two walls and 7 meters away still 12.5MB/s. GPS, GLONASS, and Galileo are used for navigation – the reception is really good and accurate to +-4 meters even indoors. NFC for Google Pay etc. is also on board.
As a further feature, Xiaomi again supplies an infrared transmitter. In addition to the standard sensors (acceleration, proximity, and brightness sensors), there is a gyroscope and a compass. Unfortunately, we have to do without a 3.5mm jack connection, after all, a USB-C to jack adapter is included in the package.
The 4G version, therefore, offers all the features it needs, even if there are minimal differences to the 5G version apart from the 5G support.
With 4250mAh, the battery of the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite is of average size. Nevertheless, the device achieves acceptable values of 11 hours with 60Hz and 9 hours with 90Hz in the battery benchmark. In practice, however, the device sucks a lot on the battery: 12% of the battery was used up for one hour of YouTube and an hour of PUBG consumed a whopping 21% in the test. All values were measured with a display brightness of 200 lux. Nevertheless, the smartphone easily manages a day with 6-7 hours of display-on-time even with 90Hz. After that, it has to be charged.
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite is charged via the included 33-watt power supply with cable. The device does not support QI charging. The charging time is almost exactly one hour, after a good 20 minutes the battery level is already at 50%.