2018 has been an amazing year for Xiaomi! From their official launch to unveiling a slew of products, Xiaomi has had quite a run. Enter 2019, Xiaomi continues the trend of launching amazing products with the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite. The phone brought in all the craze of a modern smartphone into a compact form factor. But with a price tag of Rs 31,999 is the Mi 8 Lite worth it? Is it the best smartphone available in the market right now? And most important of them all, is it the best among, Xiaomi’s other lineups, the Mi A2 and the Redmi Note 6 Pro? Well, let us find out the answers to these questions in this full review.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Nepal Review
A quick disclaimer! Before we get into the review I would like to mention that I have been using the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite for almost three weeks now. Unlike other reviews, this one is going to be purely based on my experience and how the device held-up in the above-mentioned time span. So, without wasting your time any further, let’s get started!
I talked a little about the in-hand feeling of the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite in my initial impressions article. Check that out, if you haven’t! In it, I mentioned how good the in-hand experience of the phone was. And after three weeks of usage, I still feel it has one of the nicest form factors. It just blends into your hands! This has largely to do with the shape and weight of the phone. Measuring in at just 169 grams with a squircle design, the Mi 8 Lite feels light-weight and ergonomic. That said, being made out of glass and metal, the phone is a bit slippery. You might want to invest in a good case to tackle that! All in all, though, the raw in-hand feeling of the phone is very good and I absolutely love it.
The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite is a capable multi-media device! It packs a 6.26-inches Full HD (1080 x 2280 pixels) IPS display, with a 19:9 aspect ratio. The notch makes an appearance, residing in the top center of the display.
Getting into the details, the media-consuming experience on the Mi 8 Lite has been amazing. Lately, I have been binging on older shows like “Supernatural” and “A certain magical Index” (Anime). And the phone has been a perfect companion during this escapade. This is largely thanks to the vibrant colors and sharpness that the display offers.
The speaker that the Mi 8 Lite packs are not bad either! It is good enough for day-to-day media consumption and gameplay. Speaking of which, playing games on the Mi 8 Lite has been an amazing experience. I tried out a slew of games like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9, N.O.V.A Legacy and others. They all ran very well on the phone! I faced no lags or shutters during my gaming sessions. This is all thanks to the Adreno 512 GPU and 4GB of RAM the phone packs.
In the camera department, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite packs a rear dual-camera set up made by an f/1.9 12MP and an f/2.0 5MP sensor. This combo makes for quite a photography experience. The two sensors work in conjunction to produce some amazing pictures. Photos taken from the camera are amazing with great details, depth, and vibrancy. That said, I do feel that the images are a bit soft especially in low light situations. Speaking of which, the overall image quality does suffer a bit in less than optimal lighting conditions. That said, for the price, the Mi 8 Lite takes some amazing pictures.
The phone also flaunts an f/2.2 24MP front camera for all your social media ready selfies. Just like its rear counterparts, the front camera takes some great selfies during the daylight but suffers a bit in night time shots. To make up for that, Xiaomi packs in a slew of modes and features. It also comes with a beauty mode to add a layer of oomph to your self-portraiture.
Like everyone else, my daily activities constitute of scrolling through Facebook/Instagram, checking my E-Mail and calendar, binging on some shows, and a lot of messaging & web surfing. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite was easily able to handle these task, no-brainer! I also didn’t notice any visible lags or stutters while doing so. This is largely thanks to the octa-core Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 660 processor that the phone packs.
I also listen to a lot of music, use a billion apps, and take a ton of photos on a daily basis. The onboard 64GB of storage keeps the phone ready for more files. Besides that, the Mi 8 Lite also supports storage expansion via a micro-sd card up to 256GB.
One feature worth talking about is the inclusion of the Face Unlock or a lack thereof. By default, you can’t use the Face unlock feature on the Mi 8 Lite. You have to make some adjustments! For one, you will have to change your region to India. That is kind of sad. Face Unlock is a feature that should be available by default. Come on Xiaomi give us the Face unlock feature already!
If you are someone who doesn’t want to do this, you can always use the built-in fingerprint reader. And let me tell you, it is as fast as a snap. Maybe faster!
And finally, talking about battery life, the 3350mAh non-user removable cell on the Mi 8 Lite has been very good. I got around 5-6 hours of battery life in my day-to-day usage. Even while gaming continuously, more like playing PUBG all day, I was able to get 5 hours of on-screen time. This is quite good for a phone of this caliber!
Moving on, at the software end, the Mi 8 Lite runs MIUI 10 based on Android 8.1.0 Oreo. MIUI has always been my favorite custom UI! And the MIUI version on the phone just proves why that is. Everything works seamlessly with no signs of lags or stutters. Even visually, the UI looks more modern than any of the custom skins available on other phones.
Recently I have been trying to adapt to the gestures of Android. And the implementation of this “new” way of the navigation on the Mi 8 Lite has made things a bit easier for me. The animations are smooth and the back mechanism is not that bad either. That said, it still needs a bit of work. For now, though, I will stick to the good old on-screen buttons!
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Nepal Review: Verdict
The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite is an amazing smartphone that brings all the necessary changes to a Xiaomi device. It ditches the old metal back for a more trendy dual-tone finished glass back. It also incorporates a slightly narrower notch than its cousin, the Redmi Note 6 Pro. Besides these, the phone also packs an amazing display, praise-worthy cameras, feature-packed software, and an ergonomic fit and finish. These combinations definitely are a great recipe for a good mid-tier smartphone.
Another thing worth mentioning is the inclusion of the USB Type-C port. Xiaomi has finally listened to their consumers and added in a USB Type-C port. That said, I still do have some minor gripes with the phone. I wish Xiaomi hadn’t ditched the headphone port like a certain fruit company. Also, I wish that Xiaomi had included a fast charging brick with the phone. I know the usual “if you want a better charger- just buy it” dialogue. But for Rs 31,999, a fast charger by default is a must! Not the biggest deal in the world but worth mentioning!
But with all that, the phone is still a great buy at the price point. It has a lot more to offer than its competitors! That being said, things do get a bit tricky when taking into consideration Xiaomi’s own other line-ups viz, the Redmi Note 6 Pro and the Mi A2. So which among the three should you get? Well, having used all three phones, I would go with the Mi 8 Lite. The phone clearly has a better design and feels a lot more ergonomic than its counterpart. It also looks more modern! Although the Mi A2 is quite compelling with its Android One software, the MIUI 10 on the Mi 8 Lite is a lot better in my opinion. So among the three, I would definitely go with the Mi 8 Lite. It is just that good!
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