As a mid-range and budget-phone champion, it’s highly likely Xiaomi will put out a Mi 11 Lite – the brand has a huge roster of affordable 5G phones, and they tend to be some of its most popular.
Until the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite does get announced, we’ve collected everything we’ve heard about it so far, and you can find all that information below. We’ve also drawn up a wish-list of what we’d like to see in the phone.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A low-cost version of the Xiaomi Mi 11
- How much will it cost? It could be one of the cheapest 5G phones
- When will it be out? That’s the big ‘question mark’ right now
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite release date and price
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite didn’t come with its ‘vanilla’ sibling on February 8, so we’re not sure when we’ll see the budget phone.
We probably won’t see it until March at the earliest as we imagine Xiaomi would want to give the Mi 11 space in the spotlight before other phones join it in jostling for attention. One leak has suggested it’ll come this month, but it’s from a source with a mixed track record so take it with a pinch of salt.
In terms of price we’ve not heard any specific leaks on that, but we can take a rough guess given the brand’s history with affordable flagship variants.
The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite cost £299 (roughly $400 / AU$540), and that’s the lightest ‘Lite-version-of-flagship-phone’ the company has put out, so it’s a good indicator of the rough price we could see the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite come at.
News and leaks
Two main sources have leaked the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite details we know so far. Reliable leaker Digital Chat Station has stated the phone will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 755G chipset – that hasn’t been launched just yet, but the name suggests it’ll be a mid-ranged 5G processor.
The same source says the phone will use a 64MP main camera, with a secondary snapper that supports 5x optical zoom.
Another leak from a less reputable provider called The Pixel suggests the phone will only be 4G-compatible, and will have a Full HD+ screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’ll also likely have a punch-hole selfie camera in the top left of the screen.
This source also suggests the phone will have the Snapdragon 732G processor with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. They state the phone will have a 65MP main camera backed up with 8MP and 5MP extras.
Finally, some Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite renders were leaked, and you can see them below. They came from The Pixel leak we’ve mentioned, so take them with a pinch of salt.
Mi 11 Lite 4G With Snapdragon 732GPoco F2 For India?🙄🙄🙄Source: https://t.co/IlpDXIqTIT pic.twitter.com/yNetWPAkeqJanuary 5, 2021
The two main sources leaking Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite information are providing significantly divergent information, so we’re reluctant to take either of them seriously until more details surface.
What we want to see
Here are a few things we want to see in the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite, including comparisons to other Xiaomi phones and newer trends in the smartphone market.
1. A new design
We’ve seen a good few affordable Xiaomi phones use a very similar design recently, with a circular rear camera bump – the Poco X3 NFC, Mi 10T Lite and Redmi Note 9T have all used it in the past few months.
To signal a new flagship phone generation, we’d like to see Xiaomi find a new way of presenting its smartphones – perhaps we could see a camera bump similar to the Mi 11, or something different entirely.
2. Good camera specs
If there’s one common weakness in Xiaomi’s affordable phones, its that their cameras don’t match some others at a similar price tag. We frequently list camera performance on the brand’s cheaper phones as a negative in our reviews.
We’d like to see Xiaomi improve its cameras in the Mi 11 Lite. Perhaps instead of packing loads of useless 2MP auxiliary cameras, it could aim for quality over quantity, with a better sensor on the main camera.
Xiaomi low-cost phones rarely come with telephoto lenses too, despite them being important for zoomed-in pictures, and the brand could do well to use such a tool.
3. A smaller design
Xiaomi is somewhat of a stranger to compact phones, and it hasn’t put out a single smartphone at any price point in years that could reasonably classed as ‘small’.
Some people like small phones though, as they’re easily to slot in your pocket or use one-handed, and they often have top battery life too.
Perhaps the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite could be the brand’s first compact phone in a while, ready to extend an olive branch to people who want mini mobiles.