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Marketed from 448 dollars, the Mi 10 Lite is presented by Xiaomi as a smartphone “ready for 5G”. Xiaomi Mi10 Lite will be among the cheapest 5G smartphones. In view of France’s delay in this matter, it is not this characteristic that caught our attention so, in this post we will test the majority of functionnalities for this new cell phone, therefore we advise you to complete reading the article to have a detailed informations about this product.
Since few months, there seems to be a mismatch between brand marketing promises and user demands. When the French operators have just completed the auction for 5G frequencies, many manufacturers have already launched a smartphone compatible with the future cellular network and are betting on this argument to convince you to change mobile.
The term 5G is omnipresent without taking into account the fact that, for the moment, this network does not exist in France. The first commercial offers will arrive at the end of the year but will only concern limited areas. Then a question arises, is buying a Mi 10 Lite to have a 5G device really worth it? The smartphone is marketed from 379 euros excluding promotion.
A very classic smartphone
Launched at the same time as the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro as the cheapest 5G smartphone on the market (it has since been overtaken by the recent Mi 10T Lite, equipped with a poorer display and processors), The Mi 10 Lite (without T) looks like any other mobile released by Xiaomi between 2019 and 2020.
Fortunately, the device, tested here in its 8 GB / 128 GB version sold for 471 dollars, proves rather convincing in use due to its reasonable weight of 192 grams and its thickness of only 7.88 millimeters. In a world where smartphones getting bigger, this is a real advantage. It is quite pleasant to use this device … although it is also the case with other Xiaomi smartphones like the Redmi Note 9 Pro.
Another highlight of the Mi 10 Lite is its OLED screen. Paradoxically, Xiaomi markets high-end smartphones with LCD screens (the Mi 10Ts) but equips its 5G mid-range mobile with an OLED screen. The latter is doing very well according to our laboratory tests with a maximum brightness of 602 cd / m2 and good color fidelity (our measurements confirm this with a Delta E of 1.75 in original color mode)
Thanks to its edge to edge appearance, the Mi 10 Lite therefore has a trendy look. Its front camera is hidden in a very discreet teardrop-shaped notch and is easily forgotten.
A good processor for 5G
In order for its Mi 10 Lite 5G compatibility, Xiaomi had to opt for… a 5G chip. It is the Snapdragon 765G that we find in this device, a Qualcomm SoC known for its high performance and reasonable power consumption.
Unsurprisingly, the smartphone was very smooth in terms of navigation during our few days of testing, although we did note some abnormal display bugs that are not usually seen with Xiaomi devices. Nothing serious though, these are mostly bugs in the animations. The Chinese brand having accustomed us to near-perfection, we were just surprised.
The other features of the device are quite attractive. The mobile has 64, 128 or 256 GB of non-expandable storage, 6 or 8 GB of RAM and can be unlocked by fingerprint using a sensor under the screen …
This equipment is more of a mid-range device, in line with the OnePlus North sold for $ 469. This Xiaomi is even better than a Pixel 4a, even if the latter stands out especially in photo. The problem, in our view, is that Xiaomi offers some really good devices that are even more affordable, with much the same specs, except for 5G. Did it really deserve to launch a new and umpteenth device ?
Indeed, it appears that the real strength of the Xiaomi Mi10 Lite: its autonomy. If the device does not shine by the capacity of its battery (4160 mAh, which is little compared to the 5000 mAh of some competitor mobiles), this cell phone really impressed us with its use.
Indeed, we quickly realized that the Mi 10 Lite easily lasted two days, which is rare in the market. Our laboratory tests confirm that the smartphone withstood our multi-purpose autonomy measure at 5:38 p.m., 1:38 p.m. in video streaming and 11:45 p.m. in communication. These are much above average results even though most direct competitors of the Mi 10 Lite have a 90 Hz screen and not limited to the classic 60 Hz as on this Mi 10 Lite.
Also in terms of recharge level, the Mi 10 Lite goes fast. It only took us 1h16 to go from 0 to 100% with the charger provided in the box. And yet its power is only 22.5 W. Xiaomi’s engineers have done a particularly effective job.
The photo device
Let’s go back to the “hideous” camera module of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite. Inside, there are four cameras in addition to an LED flash. You won’t be surprised to learn that like many other brands, Xiaomi wants you to believe that its smartphone has four real cameras like premium mobiles… which, of course, is not the case.
Only the main lens related to a 48 Mpix sensor and the ultra wide-angle attached to an 8 Mpix sensor are really essential, the other two sensors (for macro and depth) are just there to make illusion. We would have preferred Xiaomi to assume by claiming only a double camera module (like Google or Apple) rather than a quad, wobbly camera module.
The photo quality of the Mi 10 Lite is nevertheless up to scratch. Unsurprisingly, Xiaomi got us used to offering good photo quality even for entry level. This mid-range is therefore, logically, efficient even if, for unknown reasons, its Camera application is abnormally slow. Moving from the main view to the ultra wide-angle sometimes takes 4 to 5 seconds, which is far too long. The Snapdragon 765G processor isn’t the cause of these slowdowns, so it’s thought Xiaomi’s software teams can improve all of this and fix it with an update.
On the other hand, it is at night that the Mi 10 Lite disappoints the most. When the light starts to run out, the photos lose sharpness. We were hoping for better from Xiaomi, but at this price level, we are not really surprised.
Short Technical sheet
Xiaomi Mi10 Lite
The veridict of the test
In our opinion, Xiaomi has not been able to showcase its Mi 10 Lite sufficiently. Instead of playing the 5G card, the Chinese brand should have highlighted the insane autonomy of its smartphone and its enticing technical record.
It could then have put it in competition with OnePlus North, Realme X50 5G and other Google Pixel 4a, mid-range devices that bet everything on their good criteria quality-price. By promoting 5G compatibility, Xiaomi does not make its smartphone very attractive… yet it is a golden case.
With the exception of the photo where the Pixel 4a remains our favorite product, the Mi 10 Lite proves really convincing for a camera sold from $448. If you’re not interested in 5G compatibility and your budget doesn’t exceed $295, we also recommend Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 9 Pro.