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Mi 10 Lite Review

Mi 10 Lite Review

5G support at a low price.

The least expensive 5G smartphone you can buy in Europe, the Mi 10 Lite 5G was launched at a base price of $350, showing that next-gen connectivity doesn't have to require shelling out flagship money. 

So what is Xiaomi giving you for that price, other than high-speed data transfers and improved latency? The 5G support comes courtesy of a potent Snapdragon 765G chipset, but the base version comes with just 64GB of storage and with no microSD slot that could be limiting (the 6 gigs of RAM should be just fine). 

But Xiaomi has put together a very well balanced specsheet within a seemingly impossible budget and you can't have everything at the Mi 10 Lite 5G's price point. Let's move on to examining the new smartphone


In the box

The Mi 10 Lite 5G comes in a black cardboard box like all them other Mi 10s and Mi 10 Notes. Inside, you'll get a fairly typical Xiaomi bundle - adapter, cable and a case, no headphones.


The adapter is rated at up to 22.5W, though the phone is specified to support 20W charging. It's got a USB-A port so the cable is a matching A-to-C type. The case is a soft silicone one, transparent too.


Design

The Mi 10 Lite 5G may be a Mi 10, but its Lite DNA is also fairly prominent. For starters, it's missing the metal frame that the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro have, a feature also found on the Mi Note 10 and, in fact, even the Mi Note 10 Lite. It's made of plastic here and while it's not an inherently bad material for a smartphone as we've said time and time again, for all its practical benefits, it's not quite as premium.


Another notable difference when looking at the Mi 10 lineup is the camera cluster on the back the Mi Note 10 Lite 5G. Where all the others have their cameras arranged vertically, this Lite 5G opts for a 2x2 layout. The camera assembly sticks out a good millimeter.

Our review unit is in the Cosmic Gray colorway, the least exciting of the bunch. Aurora Blue and Dream White are the other options and both offer a bit more personality.


The front of the phone continues with the usual look. The 6.57-inch AMOLED display takes up most of it, naturally, surrounded by relatively thin black borders on the sides, marginally thicker top bezel, and a bit more sizeable chin.


There's a selfie camera notch in the middle of the display's top edge, a waterdrop style. It's a small cutout and the fluid shape helps make it less obtrusive than sharper designs.

Above the camera, there's a long meshed slit where the earpiece is located.


This being an OLED panel, Xiaomi has fitted it with an under-display fingerprint reader. It's the optical variety and it works as expected from a modern optical sensor - quickly and reliably.

The mechanical controls on the Mi 10 Lite 5G are on the right side of the phone. The power button is just above the midpoint, the volume rocker is above it. The buttons are plastic too but click nicely and their relatively close proximity didn't strike us as an issue in use.


The USB-C port is on the bottom of the phone, the primary mic and the loudspeaker to its right, the card tray on the left. The card tray will take up to two nano SIMs, but no microSD - the Mi 10 Lite does not support memory expansion.


Up top, you'll find the 3.5mm headphone jack and an extra mic, but also the IR blaster - we're happy that Xiaomi remains committed to the feature.


The Mi 10 Lite 5G measures 163.7x74.8x7.9mm and weighs 192g - middle of the road numbers for footprint and heft as 5G mid-tier phones go. 



Display

The Mi 10 Lite 5G uses a 6.57-inch AMOLED display, seemingly the same one found on the Redmi 10X and 10X Pro. It's a 0.1" bigger diagonal than the 6.47-inch panels on the Mi Note 10 family. The increase comes from the slightly stretched aspect ratio - the Mi 10 Lite 5G's display has a resolution of 1080x2400px.


6.57 or 6.47 inches, midrange Xiaomi AMOLED displays are in the same ballpark when it comes to brightness, and that applies to most other OLEDs in the segment as well. We measured 610 nits with the phone in auto brightness mode and the ambient light sensor under direct light and 442nits with the auto toggle in its off state.


OS and performance

The Mi 10 Lite 5G runs MIUI 11, based on Android 10, a combination we've seen on a ton of recent Xiaomi phones. For the most part MIUI is identical between devices running the same major version.

The Mi 10 Lite 5G features an Always-on display, and you can schedule it or leave it on/off all the time. MIUI 11 has a ton of themes you can choose from and make it yours and some of them can even be further customized. The AOD also supports breathing light - the edges of the display will flash with colors upon new notifications.

In terms of biometric security, the Mi 10 Lite 5G gives you a choice between face and fingerprint unlock. The fingerprint reader would be our top choice as it works quickly and reliably. 


The Mi 10 Lite 5G runs on the Snapdragon 765G platform, Qualcomm's midrange 5G-capable chipset. It's manufactured on a 7nm production process and features a built-in modem unlike the flagship S865.

The CPU has a 1+1+6 configuration with a Prime core clocked at up to 2.4GHz, a Gold core limited to 2.2GHz (both of these Cortex-A76 derivatives) and 6 Cortex-A55-based Silver cores with a top speed of 1.8GHz. The GPU is called Adreno 620. The Mi 10 Lite 5G comes in three RAM and storage configurations - 6/64GB, 6/128GB.

The CPU-focused GeekBench puts the Mi 10 Lite 5G at the top of the chart in the multi-core test, all other S765G devices (and the Exynos 980 Galaxy A51 5G) a small distance behind.



Camera 

The Mi 10 Lite 5G has more of a Redmi-ish camera system - it covers the basics without offering anything too fancy. The main module on the back uses an iteration of a 48MP Quad Bayer style sensor paired with a 26mm f/1.8 lens. There's an ultra wide angle camera too - with a modest 8MP sensor and an f/2.2 aperture lens that should cover a 120-degree field of view.

There's a total of 4 cams on the Mi 10 Lite 5G's back and to get to that number you need to count a couple of 2MP units. One of them is the depth sensor that can't take pictures on its own, but instead only assists in portraits. The other one is a slightly more useful 'macro' cam for taking close-ups, and you do so at varying (short) subject distances as it has autofocus.


For selfies, the Mi 10 Lite 5G uses a rather common cam in Xiaomi's lineup - a 16MP f/2.5 fixed focus unit. It's the same one you'd find on the Mi Note 10 Lite and the Poco M2 Pro, to name just a couple.

As we've witnessed time and time again, Xiaomi's camera app looks and feels mostly the same, regardless of module count and specifics. You swipe from side to side to change modes, but a bit of a nuisance is that you can only switch by one mode at a time - so, for example, going from Photo mode to Night mode requires three separate swipes, instead of one long one. 


There's a nicely capable Pro mode, where you can tweak shooting parameters yourself. You can access both the main cam and the ultra wide, as well as the macro module, while in Pro mode. Behind the A button up top, you can select between focus peaking and zebras for overexposure, but a live histogram is missing. A metering mode selector is available too.


Battery 

The Mi 10 Lite 5G relies on a 4,160mAh battery, a relatively small number for a 5G-capable midranger. 

Having said that, the Mi 10 Lite 5G posted properly excellent results in our standard testing. With the 15-hour result in web browsing, 21 hours of looping videos, the Mi 10 Lite 5G is out of reach for even the Galaxy and the Moto Edge.


Conclusion

Starting with a properly excellent display and the longest battery life in the class, the Mi 10 Lite 5G has a solid foundation. On top of that, it builds with a good camera, some MIUI software goodness and little niceties like the IR blaster and the FM radio, and it's a versatile midranger that makes a ton of sense.

The Mi 10 Lite 5G claim to fame was bringing next-gen connectivity support at a low price. 








Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G Smartphone 6.57 inch Snapdragon 765G 8 Core 48MP + 8MP+2MP+ 2MP 4160mAh Battery Capacity Support NFC Global Version


$349.99


$349.99







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