Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review

GSMArena Team, 16 April 2021.

Design, build, handling

The two Lite models of the Mi 11 are without a doubt some of the sleekest and most lightweight phones we've handled in a while. It's like love at first sight, or first touch in this case - we liked both Lites the moment we unpacked them out of their retail boxes.

Each of these Lite models is 6.8mm thin and weighs about 157 grams or so. That's in stark contrast to what most of the modern mid-rangers offer. But even with the trimmed profile and reduced weight, both devices seem to be packing some impressive oomph under the hood.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite reviewMi 11 Lite 5G and Mi 11 Lite 4G

So, we've already seen the Truffle Black Mi 11 Lite 5G, so here is the Boba Black Mi 11 Lite 4G.

Both Lite models look identical except for the finish on the rear glass - frosted for the 5G and glossy on the 4G. But this Boba Black option we have for review is the only one with glossy back across the entire Mi Lite 11 series. All other versions, like the Mi 11 Lite 4G's Bubblegum Blue and Peach Pink, are with smudge-resistant frosted finish.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite reviewMi 11 Lite 5G and Mi 11 Lite 4G

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 4G, officially known as simply Mi 11 Lite, is a dual-glass smartphone with a plastic frame. The front panel is made of Gorilla Glass 5 (vs. 6 on the 5G), while the maker of the rear glass is unknown.

The sides of the Mi 11 Lite are rather peculiar. See, there is the usual curved plastic frame, but on top of it, you can also see (and feel) the screen's outer frame jutting out.

The screen's outer frame is a thin black piece of plastic, which you don't see on flagship devices. But thanks to its presence, we enjoyed a secure enough grip and pleasant handling despite the glossy surfaces.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review

Unfortunately, there is no ingress protection for the Mi 11 Lite, not even splash resistance. Sure, the SIM slot is secured with a rubber gasket, but other than that - this phone should be considered completely unprotected against water damage. We'd love for Xiaomi to keep adding IP53 protection as on the Poco X3 Pro and the Redmi Note 10 Pro.

We continue with our close-up inspection of the Mi 11 Lite. Quite expectedly, the whole front is taken by the 6.55-inch 90Hz OLED screen. It has a small cutout for the 16MP selfies camera around the top left corner. All four bezels are reasonably thin and balanced.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review

You may notice one super-thin grille above the screen - this is where one of the stereo speakers is hidden, and you've guessed that right; it also doubles as an earpiece.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review

There is no notification LED on the Mi 11 Lite, but you can always enable the breathing effects for notification and use the whole OLED screen as such.

The back, and specifically the camera setup, is similar to what we saw on the Mi 11 and Mi 11 Lite 5G. The Black Mi 11 Lite has this mirror dark gray flat glass, while the other two options are pink and yellow with a frosted fingerprint-resistant finish.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review

The glossy option we have is dazzling and lovely to look at, but fast-forward fifteen minutes of handling, and it's a nightmare. Fingerprints are everywhere, smudges, dust, too. And probably because there is no oleophobic coating - these unpleasantries are tough to clean up. Our advice is to go for a frosted option.

The camera arrangement is identical to the Mi 11 and 11 Lite 5G. It's a two-step glass - the larger glossy island houses the 8MP ultrawide camera and the dual-LED flash, while the smaller and thicker glass packs the 64MP primary and the 5MP macro snappers.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review

Last, let's see the frame. There is nothing on the left, while the volume and power keys are on the right. The power/lock key also contains an embedded fingerprint scanner. It's always-on and reacts immediately upon touch. If you are getting misreads because of it being trigger-happy while taking the Mi 11 Lite out of your pocket, just change its working method from Touch to Press, and yous should be good.

The sides of the Mi 11 Lite - Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review The sides of the Mi 11 Lite - Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review The sides of the Mi 11 Lite - Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review The sides of the Mi 11 Lite - Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review
The sides of the Mi 11 Lite

The top of the Mi 11 Lite has the IR blaster and one of the mics. The bottom has the primary mic, the second stereo speaker, the USB-C port, and the ejectable SIM tray.

The SIM tray is of the hybrid variety - you can fit either two SIM cards or a SIM card + microSD card.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review

As you can see, the Mi 11 Lite is one very likable phone because of its thoughtful build, balanced size and weight, what seems to be one very promising OLED screen, and flagship-reminiscent design with a thin camera design on the back. Indeed, the Mi 11 Lite wobbles a lot less on a desk compared to many of its competitors.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite review

If only it were splash-resistant, the Mi 11 Lite would have been perfect. Now it's "just great", which is still more than enough for a €299 mid-ranger.

Reader comments

Too bad its not dolby atmos,or maybe they will add in the next firmware?

Yes, mate glass

  • Anonymous

Hey sameeee