The Mi 8 Lite completes the Mi 8 family. We already have the more premium Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8. Being a cheaper alternative and a mid-range smartphone, of course, some corners had to be cut. But that doesn’t mean this phone is a pushover.
Largely Similar Design
For starters, the Mi 8 Lite is nearly indistinguishable from its more expensive siblings. That is until you look at the back – the camera arrangement on the Lite is horizontal. Back to the front, the Lite has a much smaller notch.
The front glass panel on the phone is flat, looking as though its glued right on top of the phone body. This makes the corners protrude, but still smooth and comfortable.
As for bezels, they come in slim, but the top and bottom ones are still wide. Nevertheless, the Lite manages to hit 82.5% screen-to-body ratio – an impressive figure still.
The 19:9 aspect ratio means the phone is going to be difficult to operate one-handed (I have small hands). But the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is rightfully placed, easily reachable. Speaking of the rear, it’s glass-backed – a fingerprint magnet and no wireless charging here. However, the gradient effect makes up for it and here, the black version is sleek. Oh yes, no headphone jack here but it does have a nifty USB-C port.
Large and Tall Display
The Mi 8 Lite has a 6.26-inch LCD (IPS) display, a generous 1080 x 2280 resolution but a rather low 403 ppi. Coupled with a 19:9 aspect ratio, it’s not exactly a fantastic display. And as mentioned, the smaller notch compared with its pricier sibling is not a bad thing.
Now, the only gripe I have with this is the backlight around the notch and the top bezel. There is a noticeable light bleed, especially with white or light gray backgrounds. If you can’t stand that, there’s always an option to hide the notch which replaces it with a black area across the top. As for the brightness, it’s decent outdoors but not to the point of being completely legible under direct sunlight.
Large but Decent Cameras
On the rear, there are dual lenses. But not the fancy kind you would expect given its price point. So, no telephoto and wide-angle shots. Lenses come in a primary 12MP unit with a f/1.9 aperture with dual pixel phase detection autofocus, and a 5MP camera used only for depth sensing. Still, image quality is consistent, given sufficient lighting. It’s decent with HDR and AI coming into the picture to enhance it further. At this price, don’t expect fantastic shots under low light. A lack of optical image stablisation (OIS) is not helping either. But it does have a decent manual (pro) mode which offers plenty customisation.
For the front, it employs a generous 24MP camera by Sony. That’s higher than the 20MP found on the Mi 8. However, autofocus is absent. Overall, the quality here is mediocre at best.
Large on Performance
The Mi 8 Lite runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with Xiaomi’s MIUI 10 software interface. It is powered by the slightly older Snapdragon 660 octa-core chipset 9 (four cores running at 2.2 GHz and four cores running at 1.8 GHz). Benchmark scores are what you would expect from a Snapdragon 660 phone. Of course, it’ll be slower than its more premium siblings running on the flagship 845. Nevertheless, it’s still a fast chip. Coupled with 6GB RAM, the phone does not disappoint. This means the phone will handle most games well. A round of PUBG Mobile with balanced graphic settings ran smoothly without any issues. Meanwhile, the fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone makes unlocking a breeze. It’s very quick and responsive.
The phone packs a rather generous 3,350 mAh battery. Phones these days are beginning to adopt larger batteries. But given the fact that the Mi 8 Lite has to power a Snapdragon 660 octa-core (note, there are no dedicated energy-efficient cores), battery life is not exactly impressive. Still, it’s still respectable. It managed just under 10 hours in our benchmarking test.
Well, this is not the perfect phone. The screen and battery life could be improved. But, considering its pricing, it’s one of the best ones out there. Not many phones can match the performance of the Mi 8 Lite at this price point. A solid phone indeed.
Display: 6.26-inch LCD (IPS) panel, 1080 x 2280 pixels, 19:9 ratio
Weight: 169 grams
Camera: Dual Rear Camera: 12MP primary shooter + 5MP depth sensor; Front: 24MP selfie camera
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260)
GPU: Adreno 512
Memory: 6GB RAM
Storage: 128GB, no expandable storage
Battery: 3,350 mAh
Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo with Xiao MIUI 10
3D Mark Slingshot Extreme: 1355 (OpenGL ES3.1); 1064 (Vulkan)
3D Mark Slingshot: 2047
Geekbench 4: 1612 (Single-Core); 5664 (Multi-Core)
PCMark Work 2.0 Performance: 6054
Mi 8 Lite
Solid phone with an attractive price. Too bad there’s no headphone jack. But it doesn’t matter.