Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G review: Well-rounded stylish phone

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G review: Well-rounded stylish phone

After launching the 4G variant earlier in the year, Xiaomi, the leading phone-maker in India, launched the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE (New Edition) with upgraded processor and photography hardware in addition to the 5G cellular modem.

I spent a week with the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G and here are my thoughts on the new device.

Design, build quality and display
As I said in the first impression article, the new Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G takes forward the premium 11 series' 'Evol' design language. 

It flaunts a silky smooth finish on the back, but the super-slender body is unique and personifies the 'Lite' model. 

Our review model -Tuscany Coral-looks stunning and undeniably one of the best looking phone in its class. Xiaomi offers the device in three other colours--Diamond Dazzle, Jazz Blue and Vinyl Black. They too are visually appealing.

It measures just 6.81 mm thickness and weighs 158g. It is really light and the glossy exterior makes it a bit vulnerable to slipping out of hand, particularly those including me, who have butterfingers.

Thankfully, the company is offering the transparent silicone case with the retail package. It offers a very good grip to hold on to the phone and also help in protecting the device from cracking open during accidental falls.  The device's display panel is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and also it comes with an IPXX water-splash resistant rating. It can sustain moderate rains or accident water splashing.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite NE 5G. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

On the front, it features a 6.55-inch full HD+ (1080 × 2400p) AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, offers a peak brightness of 800nits, supports Dolby Vision, HDR10+. The screen is bright and so far, I did not face any issue reading content. 

The new Xiaomi phone comes with value-added features such as reading mode and also sunlight mode, which comes in handy to read contents clearly in any type of lighting conditions throughout the day be it inside the home or office, or in the outdoors.

The side-mounted fingerprint works flawlessly and fast too, in terms of responding to the touch of the thumb.

The only qualm is that the device features a hybrid SIM tray, which can accommodate one nano-SIM and people have to choose between the second nano-SIM and the microSD card for extra storage. It's probably due to the slim design language and there is no space for the third slot in the tray.

The 4G model came with 8nm class Snapdragon 732G and now the new model features an advanced and efficient 6nm class Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G octa-core processor. It is backed by Adreno 642L GP with liquid cool technology. 

It runs Android 11-based MIUI 12.5 OS with 6GB / 8GB LPDDR4X RAM with 128GB UFS 2.2 storage (expandable memory up to 512GB).

During the entire review period, the device was able to perform really good without any pressing issues. Even while gaming, it was smooth and there was a sign of overheating.

Also, the device is slated to be new to Android 12 in the coming months.  In total, the device will get three major Android OS updates and an additional year ( four years in total) of security software support.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G's score on Geekbench performance testing app.

It houses a 4,250mAh battery with a 33W charger in-box. During the trial period, it consistently delivered a full day under normal usage. Also, the device can fully charge up from zero to 100 for around one hour. In under 30 minutes, it can charge from zero to 60 per cent.

The interesting thing to note about the new Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G is that supports 12 5G bands-- SA/NSA: n1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 41, 66, 77, 78. As there is no clarity on which spectrum bands will be allotted to the cellular service providers in the auction, the Xiaomi device has a better chance compared to rival bands to support super-fast internet connectivity when the infrastructure gets ready in India. 

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G comes packed with a triple-camera module-- main 64MP (f/1.79) + 8MP (f/2.2) 119-degree ultra-wide sensor +  5MP (f/2.4) telemacro macro camera with Contrast AF (3cm-7cm) with LED flash on the back. 

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It takes pretty good pictures in all conditions. As you can see in the sample pictures, the phone has managed to get the natural colours of the flowers even under a cloudy outcast sky. Also, the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE was able clearly to get the edge detection right at close range pictures. I am mighty impressed with this aspect.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Even at the night, the phone was able to perform well.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G camera sample without night mode on. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G camera sample with night mode on. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

On the front, it features a 20MP (f/2.4) camera, an improvement over the 4G model, which by the way had a 16MP sensor. The new variant takes really good selfies in natural light conditions.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

But, what I like the most about the new phone or any other Xiaomi device is that the company offers bountiful filters and editing tools to enhance the photography experience.

Yes, it offers superficial tools such as face tone enhancer, options to adjust eyes, jawbones, but it just caters to the demand of the customers. And, users never have to look for any third-party photo apps, as they can find everything in the native Xiaomi camera app.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

For the uninitiated, it offers 50 Director Modes such as Magic Zoom, Slow Shutter, and more in addition to vlogging styles, all natively available in the camera app. 

Both the front and the back cameras can take 4K resolution videos too and but aware that this content fill up the storage in no time.

Final thoughts
Xiaomi has done an excellent job with the design and dual-tone colourway. Even the build material used for the phone exudes a premium-quality experience in terms of hand-feel. It also excels in photography in natural sunlight and even under challenging conditions of the overcast sky.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

And, performance-wise, it is smooth in terms of operational speed and day-long battery life. Overall, Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G is a compelling well-rounded stylish phone under Rs 30,000 range.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G is available in two variants-- 6GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB RAM + 128GB storage-- for Rs 26,999 and Rs 28,999, respectively.

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