Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite review

GSMArena team, 15 August 2018.

Design

A good first impression is usually worth a thousand words and the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite aces that. It's made of metal and has an almost bezel-less screen with a trendy cutout for the earpiece and the selfie camera.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite review

Indeed, the 5.84" screen that occupies most of the front complies to the trendiest specs - there are minimal top bezels thanks to the notch, and it has 19:9 aspect ratio. While the jury is still out on the coolness of the cutout, the aspect ratio is undeniably useful. And all but the bottom bezels were kept impressively tiny.

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

Inside the display notch are the earpiece grille, the 5MP selfie camera, and a couple of sensors. The front snapper isn't as impressive as on the Mi A2, but it still does HDR and can do 1080p videos.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite review

The bottom bezel hides a tiny single-color LED notification light. Other than that there are no buttons at the front - you will rely on Android's virtual ones. You can hide those in some apps as well and use the entire screen area for yourself.

The back of the Mi A2 Lite looks more like a Redmi instead like the Mi A1 and A2. It's not a single piece of metal with embedded antennas, but instead, the aluminum ends on plastic strips around the top and bottom. Those hide all the Mi A2 Lite antennas, and in the meantime, don't add complexity to the design and its production.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite review

Unfortunately, that large metal piece gives in when you hold the phone firmly. Applying just minor pressure with your thumb or index finger will produce some odd cracking sounds and you can feel the whole thing sinking a bit. There is probably some empty space between the battery and the rear panel, which Xiaomi could have handled better.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite review

The back has a vertical dual-camera setup, also a trendy placement lately, and nearby is the fingerprint scanner. The camera on the back is similar to what we saw on the most recent Redmi Note 5 models - a 12MP sensor behind a f/2.2 lens with phase-detection autofocus, and a 5MP secondary cam for depth information for the portrait shots. A single LED flash sits between the sensors.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite review

The Mi A2 Lite has both a microSD slot and a 3.5mm audio jack, unlike the Mi A2. Even better, the card slot is not a hybrid one - you can have two nano-SIMs and a microSD card.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite - Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite review the tri-card tray - Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite review
Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite the tri-card tray

The Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite feels great in hand and looks as modern as the Mi A2, some might consider it even fresher. We don't mind the metal and plastic combo at the back and we think most of the users will like both the looks and the grip. Our only beef was with the wobbly back.

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

The Mi A2 Lite has a smaller screen than the Mi A2 - 5.84" unit - the same size as on the Huawei P20 Lite. And the Mi A2 Lite spreads at 149.3 x 71.7 x 8.8 mm - same as the Huawei, just 1mm thicker. The Xiaomi is heavy though at 178g - 33g over the P20 Lite - probably due to the larger battery and choice of materials.

The Mi A2 Lite has a smaller screen than the Mi A2 and thus a smaller footprint.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite reviewXiaomi Mi A2 and Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

On the other hand, the Mi A2 looks more like an old-school smartphone with that rectangular screen and thicker bezels. It's nice Xiaomi offers a choice for both the traditionalists and those who prefer more trendy design.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite reviewXiaomi Mi A2 and Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite

The Mi A2 Lite might not be the best-built device, but Xiaomi did try to make it look like a flagship and it succeeded in that. And when the Lite is wrapped in its original case, the odd cracking disappears completely.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Mi A2 Lite or Nokia 5.1 plus ?

  • fdt

I really don't mean to be nasty, but do these reviewers realize that some people still buy smart phones for the purpose of making and receiving phone calls, amongst other things? It's all about cameras and audio and practically nothing is said about ...

  • HAM511

There are issues with Sim 2. When it is enabled for data only and text and calls is left for Sim 1, incoming calls don't get through on Sim 2 and texts cannot be sent from Sim 2