After the Mi 11 Lite 5G launched in spring 2021, Xiaomi is refreshing the most affordable of its 5G-enabled 11 series devices with an 11 Lite 5G NE (for new edition). A smartphone that is identical to its older sibling in appearance, but differs from it by using a Snapdragon 778G chip.
Alongside the 11T and 11T Pro, the latter of which benefits from a 120W fast charging system, Xiaomi announced in the fall of 2021 its 11 Lite 5G NE, stripped of the Mi mention. It is nothing more than a slight refresh of the Mi 11 Lite 5G tested in spring 2021. The sales prices are similar to those of the first Mi 11 Lite 5G and that rank the smartphone among models such as the OnePlus Nord CE or Oppo's Find X3 Lite, for example.
Ergonomics and design
While there are some differences between the Mi 11 Lite 5G and the 11 Lite 5G NE in terms of technical equipment, it is clear that the design of the newcomer is a carbon copy of its predecessor.
One gram lighter (158 g), the smartphone has a plastic shell, but one that imitates frosted glass, as well as a very satisfactory construction. However, we note the absence of a mini-jack socket on this device, while a fingerprint reader is hidden under its power button. For the rest, we invite you to refer to the Mi 11 Lite 5G test.
The 11 Lite 5G NE may look like the first generation Mi 11 Lite 5G, but it seems that Xiaomi has taken advantage of this upgrade to improve the screen of its smartphone. We put it under our probes to check its performance and, surprise, there is better in all aspects. Let's start with the maximum brightness of this slab which gains in legibility outdoors with 686 cd/m² at the maximum. The Amoled screen benefits from a slightly lower reflectance rate (49.5%), improving the whole.
This screen also does better in terms of colorimetry. By default, in Intense mode, its delta E is slightly lower (3.3 against 4) with a color temperature still a little cold (7837 K), but switching to Original Color mode allows it to reduce its delta E to only 1.2 and reach a temperature of 6532 K. From then on, there is nothing to reproach to this screen which does not have much of "lite". However, we regret that Xiaomi swapped the Gorilla Glass 6 protection of the 11 Lite 5G screen for Gorilla Glass 5, which is a little less resistant to shocks and scratches.
The Mi 11 Lite 5G was powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 780G chip flanked by 8GB of RAM. The 11 Lite 5G NE, on the other hand, prefers the Snapdragon 778G, which is positioned in the mid-range and is generally very efficient in the smartphones we have tested.
Based on our tests, the newcomer behaves exactly like its predecessor in the multitasking department, with identical results within a few tenths of a second. Gaming doesn't cause any more problems for the smartphone than it did for its predecessor: if it doesn't exceed 62 fps, it doesn't break the 53 fps floor for an average identical to its predecessor's 61.8 fps. This is a versatile model, capable of running all types of applications.
The 11 Lite 5G NE retains the triple camera module of the Mi 11 Lite 5G. It houses a 64-megapixel main sensor (f/1.8 wide-angle optics), an 8MP sensor with ultra-wide-angle optics (f/2.2) and a 5MP macro sensor (f/2.4).
The performance of the 11 Lite 5G NE is overall similar to its predecessor, although there is a slight improvement between the two devices, probably due in part to a software evolution.
Main module: 64MP, 26mm eq, f/1.8
Thanks to pixel-binning, the 11 Lite 5G NE does capture 16MP shots. The smartphone delivers slightly less saturated colors and slightly better managed microcontrast in the center of the scene. Above all, the sharpness of the peripheral areas is slightly better. In short, during the day, this smartphone captures very decent photos.
At night, we also observe some improvement. The smoothing is less pronounced, especially on the cover of the book, at the cost of a digital noise however a little more present. The tints are much better restored. The color balls in our test pattern, for example, retain their brightness when they were desaturated with the Mi 11 Lite 5G.
64 Mpx mode
It is possible to force the capture in 64 Mpx, that is the full definition of the sensor. However, the maneuver lacks interest, day or night: by isolating an area of equal size in both shots, we do not observe more details. No need to clutter the smartphone's memory, then.
Ultra-wide angle module: 8 MP, f/2.2
The differences between the ultra wide angle of the 11 Lite 5G NE and its predecessor are tenuous. During the day, we just perceive slightly less marked contrasts. A good thing, by the way, these being accompanied by chromatic aberrations visible both on the lion and on the characters of the book.
The trend is reversed at night, these lower contrasts playing then in the disadvantage of the 11 Lite 5G NE. Let's not lie to ourselves: both struggle to take really usable shots when the light is not there.
Front module, video
The 20MP front camera of the 11 Lite 5G NE is identical to the Mi 11 Lite 5G, still allowing for detailed selfies. On the video side, the mobile is capable of filming in 4K at 30 fps.
With its 4250 mAh battery still compatible with fast charging at 33 W, the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE maintains the capacity of its predecessor. Its charging time, measured at 1 hr 1 min, is moreover strictly identical.
On the other hand, there is no reason to get excited about the autonomy. Despite its battery capacity, the smartphone did not manage to exceed 13 h 9 min of use during our tests, with its screen set at 60 Hz. At 90 Hz, the autonomy drops quite a bit since it is around 12 h 30 min. That's not as good as the Mi 11 Lite 5G did.
Our sustainability score allows us to determine the sustainability of the smartphone for both the consumer and the environment. It is based on the repairability index, durability criteria (protection index, standard connectors, warranty period and updates...) and an evaluation of CSR policies (Corporate Social Responsibility). You can find all the details of the analysis in our article presenting the sustainability score.
Interface & OS
The smartphone is installed under Android 11 and takes advantage of the MIUI 12 interface. We invite you to read our dedicated MIUI file for more details on the features offered by Xiaomi.
Identical to the Mi 11 Lite 5G in appearance, the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE (new edition) improves on its older sibling in small ways. Its screen is brighter, its camera is slightly more efficient and it keeps excellent performance for its price thanks to the Snapdragon 778G chip. It's just a shame that it's not as good as its predecessor in terms of autonomy.