Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G First Impressions: Sleekest Xiaomi Phone Is Now Future-Proof

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Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G marks a new beginning in the company's product line-up. It is the first handset to come under the 'Xiaomi' branding in India, thus concluding the 'Mi' portfolio that had a great run in the country. Henceforth, the brand will launch the new smartphones under Xiaomi and Redmi branding, making things a bit easier for consumers.

 
Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G First Impressions

The products under the Xiaomi branding will cater to the value flagship and premium segment, whereas the Redmi portfolio will largely focus on democratizing the innovative technology features for the masses. This is the right way forward since Xiaomi's wide portfolio covering different categories is pretty overwhelming for consumers.

Coming on to the handset, the 11 Lite NE 5G is touted as the slimmest and lightest 5G phone. The sleek and lightweight device is essentially a 5G variant of the MI 11 Lite 4G, which is currently selling at Rs. 21,999 for the 6GB/128GB variant. The base version (6GB/128GB) of the new 5G variant costs Rs. 26,999 and Rs. 28,999 for the 8GB/128GB configuration.

With this pricing, the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G locks horns with the OnePlus Nord 2, iQOO Z5, Poco F3 FT, and other handsets priced around Rs. 30,000. Should you consider buying the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G? Let's find out.

Extremely Handy To Use- 158g Weight & 6.8mm Thickness

Extremely Handy To Use- 158g Weight & 6.8mm Thickness

True to its name, the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G feels feathery light in hands. The handset weighs just 158g and has a thickness of 6.81 mm. The weight and dimensions are in stark contrast to what most mid-range smartphones offer making the 11 Lite NE 5G extremely handy and easy to use. The smooth anti-glare matte-finish frosted glass black feels good to touch and isn't quite a smudge magnet.

All-Plastic Construction

All-Plastic Construction

As far as the build quality is concerned, the phone feels sturdy but it lacks that premium touch. The all-plastic construction (to keep the weight in check) takes away that premium feel. Xiaomi mentions that the 11 Lite NE 5G is splash-proof. You can buy the smartphone in four color variants- Diamond Dazzle, Tuscany Coral, Jazz Blue, and Vinyl Black.

Vivid & Fluid 10-Bit 90Hz OLED Display & Dual Stereo Speakers
 

Vivid & Fluid 10-Bit 90Hz OLED Display & Dual Stereo Speakers

The 5G variant also gets the impressive 10-bit OLED screen, one of the finest displays on a sub-30K smartphone for media playback. The 10-bit screen can show up to 1 billion colors and ensures excellent brightness. The 6.55" FHD AMOLED screen has a 90Hz refresh rate, which isn't best-in-class but ensures a fluid user experience. You will enjoy streaming HDR videos and playing games on this panel since the 10-bit screen has Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support.

For protection, the screen gets the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 layer. In comparison, most sub-30K devices feature the conventional 8-bit panels that fail to match the color vibrancy of a 10-bit display. Videos and games look more vivid on a 10-bit screen. The video playback experience is enhanced by a dual stereo setup with Hi-res audio support that produces loud and clear audio.

Capable Camera System

Capable Camera System

There's no hardware change in the camera department. The 5G variant also gets the triple-lens setup featuring a 64MP f/1.79 primary camera (PDAF), complemented by an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle and 5MP f/2.4 tele-macro sensor. For selfies, the handset offers a 20MP sensor with a narrower f/2.24 aperture. The handset can record 4K 30fps, 1080p 30/60fps and 720p 30fps videos. For some reason, the 720p 60fps isn't offered.

Picture Quality

Picture Quality

Pictures shot in daylight from the main camera represent vivid colors and excellent dynamic range. The HDR performance is also pretty good. My personal favorite is the 5MP macro sensor. It captures extreme close-up shots with plenty of details and good color science. The portrait sensor gave us some average-looking shots. We are still evaluating the camera so stay tuned for our final verdict on the overall camera performance.

There's plenty to experiment with the software side of camera features. The MIUI 12.5 camera app has 50+ director modes for creative video shooting. Besides, you also get the usual MIUI camera features such as time-lapse, documents mode, Night mode, slow-motion, short video, vlog mode, and a feature-rich native photo editor.

Hardware & Software

Hardware & Software

The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC and comes with LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.2 storage. You can buy the handset in two configurations- 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 128GB. We are testing the 8GB variant and it runs MIUI 12.5.1 out-of-the-box. The smartphone feels very responsive with general usage, UI navigation, and multitasking. It is also running games without any glitches. The SD778 is a very capable SoC and the new MIUI iteration is very well optimized.

3-Years Of Android Updates

3-Years Of Android Updates

Most importantly, the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G comes with a promise of three years of Android updates and four years of security updates. This is a big improvement and we expect more Xiaomi phones to get on-baord with the new software upgrade scheme. The smartphone has a 4,250 mAh battery cell and comes with 33W fast charging support. More on the gaming, software, and battery performance in our comprehensive review.

Should You Consider Buying The Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G?

Should You Consider Buying The Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G?

The sleek and lightweight 11 Lite is now future-proof with 12-band 5G support making it worth your money. This is a stylish and handy phone with an excellent display and promising hardware. The Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G will be available from 2nd October 2021 starting 12:00 midnight across Mi.com, Amazon.in, Mi Home and Mi Studio, and authorized retail partners.

And while it is priced at Rs. 26,999 (6GB/128GB) and Rs. 28,999 (8GB/128GB), you can manage to get the device at Rs. 23,499 and Rs. 25,499 respectively with some bank offers and Diwali discounts.

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