Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G Review: Better Than Galaxy M52?

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G Review
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Today, I’ll be talking about the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G in this review, which is the “upgraded” version of the Mi 11 Lite 4G. If you are wondering what the NE stands for, it’s short for “New Edition”. I am not quite sure how much sense that makes, because this phone is basically the Mi 11 Lite with a few upgrades here and there. Nothing necessarily new. Personally, I think this naming convention is a little odd and unnecessarily lengthy.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G Specifications:

  • Body: 75.72 x 160.53 x 6.81mm, 158 gm, Frosted glass back
  • Display: 6.55-inches AMOLED panel, 90Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, Gorilla Glass 5, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, 800 nits brightness (HBM)
  • Resolution: FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio, 402 PPI
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G (6nm Mobile Platform)
  • Memory: 6/8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB UFS 2.2 storage (expandable)
  • Software & UI: Android 11 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12.5 on top
  • Rear Camera: Triple (with LED flash);
    – 64MP f/1.79 primary lens
    – 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, 119º FOV
    – 5MP f/2.4 telemacro sensor (3 – 7cm)
  • Front Camera: 20MP f/2.24 sensor (punch-hole cutout)
  • Audio: Dual speaker setup, No headphone jack
  • Security: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, Face unlock
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Gyroscope, Proximity, Electronic Compass, Linear Motor, IR Blaster
  • Connectivity: Hybrid Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (Dual-band), Bluetooth 5.1, GPS / AGPS / Glonass / Beidou / NavIC, NFC, 5G, USB Type-C
  • Battery: 4250mAh with 33W fast charging (33W adapter provided)
  • Color Options: Jazz Blue, Tuscany Coral, Diamond Dazzle, Vinyl Black
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 45,999 (8/128GB) | Rs. 48,999 (8/256GB)

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G Review:

In terms of pricing, this phone starts at INR 26,999 (or NPR 45,999 in Nepal), which puts it in the same league as the Realme GT Master Edition, Galaxy M52, and Xiaomi’s own Mi 11X/POCO F3. So, the NE has got quite a competition. Here, I have been testing the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G for the better part of 3 weeks now alongside the Galaxy M52, so you’ll be seeing a lot of comparison between them in this review.

Design & Build

  • 75.72 x 160.53 x 6.81mm, 158 grams
  • Glass front/back (frosted), plastic frames

If you remember, I was quite fond of the Mi 11 Lite 4G’s design, and this new edition is exactly the same with the identical weight and form factor. So, if you are someone who likes lightweight phones, the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE is the best option out there.

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And its color options are quite appealing too. I have this Blue variant which looks quite nice while there is the Coral option that stands out as well. Plus, this frosted glass back does not attract fingerprints either. It also doesn’t feel hollow as the Galaxy M52. Hence, when holding the phone, you’ll find its build quality to be pretty ergonomic.

Having said that, I would have liked its form factor better if it wasn’t so wide. I mean, this phone is ridiculously light, yes, but it’s also a bit wide. So you might not find it as comfortable as you would expect.

Display

  • 6.55-inches FHD+ AMOLED display
  • 90/240Hz refresh/touch sampling rate
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5, Dolby Vision

On the front, you get the same 6.55 inches AMOLED screen as the Mi 11 Lite 4G. Here, it bears some flagship perks like 10-bit color depth. As a result, it is able to render images with greater color accuracy.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G - Display 1

Along with that, there is Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support as well. With all this, watching Dolby Vision content on Netflix on this screen has been a slightly better experience. It’s not a big difference, but it is noticeable if you ask me.

Regardless, seeing that this display refreshes at just 90Hz is rather disappointing, contrary to how practically every phone at this price range has a 120Hz refresh rate. And since I have used and tested a lot of phones with a higher refresh rate recently, going back to 90Hz is quite an underwhelming journey.

As a result, scrolling and swiping through Xiaomi 11 Lite NE’s UI is not a smooth sailing experience. Plus, with a 240Hz touch sampling rate, its touch response isn’t the best either. In comparison, the touch experience on the Realme GT Neo 2 that I have been using for a couple of days now is insanely smooth since its touch response can go as high as 600Hz.

Also, even though this phone has an AMOLED screen, Xiaomi has cheaped out a bit by including a side-mounted fingerprint sensor. Granted it is fast and accurate, at this price range, I think they could have easily included a fast optical in-display sensor instead.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G - Display 2

Moving on, the stereo speakers on this thing is quite good, especially if you compare it against the single speaker setup of the Galaxy M52 and Realme GT ME. They’re quite loud and sound balanced.

Performance

  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G SoC (6nm)
  • 6/8GB LPDDR4X RAM, 128/256GB UFS 2.2 storage (expandable)
  • Android 11 with Xiaomi’s MIUI 12.5 on top (upgradeable)

Getting to performance, you get Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset here which we have seen in action on several recent smartphones. So, I already know how it performs. Normal day-to-day tasks run without a hiccup here and it can handle even heavy multitasking without breaking a sweat.

It’s only when playing really demanding games like Genshin Impact in the highest graphics settings under 60fps mode that this phone shows signs of distress. The gameplay here is extremely stuttery, while the phone heats up near the camera module rather quickly as well. Even the 8GB RAM variant that I have with me is not able to handle the game in the highest settings.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G - Design 2

On the contrary, relatively less taxing titles like PUBG Mobile run quite well in 60fps under Smooth graphics and Extreme frame rate settings. Call of Duty Mobile too runs smoothly at 60fps under Very High graphics and Max frame rate settings. And I am also happy to report that higher fps optimized games like Critical Ops and Oddmar utilize the 90Hz refresh rate and run at 90fps.

MIUI remains as under-optimized as ever

All in all, I didn’t encounter any major problems regarding the performance of the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G. However, I do have a few things to say about the software side of things. Honestly, even though MIUI has its perks in terms of various customizations and all, I’m still not a huge fan of it.

Plus, if you’ve watched our review of practically every Xiaomi phone, be it a midrange or their flagship lineup, I have always been complaining about the lack of proper implementation of dark mode and the 11 Lite NE 5G comes bearing the same issue.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G - UI

And over time, you will also face issues with MIUI here and there. Yet, I am pleased to see Xiaomi finally joining OnePlus and Samsung by committing to 3 years of OS upgrade and 4 years of security updates on its premium mid-range phones.

Cameras

  • Triple camera setup at the back
  • (64MP primary, 8MP ultrawide, 5MP telemacro)
  • 20MP selfie camera inside the punch-hole cutout

So, when it comes to Xiaomi’s mid-range phones, the camera is one of the aspects where they don’t really hold a strong ground. But I feel like the company is slowly improving its algorithm and color science—which is reflected well on the 11 Lite NE.

Normal Images

With its 64MP main lens, you will get sharp and detailed pictures that are bright with slightly boosted whites.

I compared its cameras with the Galaxy M52, which is arguably the best mid-range phone for photography, and found Xiaomi’s output competing amazingly well.

Samsung’s color optimization is still better, but the pictures from 11 Lite NE aren’t bad either. I also noticed slight focus issues when shooting close-up shots on the Galaxy M52 while Xiaomi 11 Lite NE was able to handle that quite well.

Wideangle Images

Other than that, as expected, the 12MP ultra-wide images from the M52 are more detailed than the ones from 11 Lite NE’s 8MP sensor.

Plus, Xiaomi’s ultra-wide shots are slightly darker in comparison too. So, it’s an easy win for Samsung in this department.

Portrait Images

On the other hand, portraits look good from this phone, although they are slightly beautified.

M52 handles exposure better at most times, but Xiaomi’s output is quite eye-pleasing and social media-ready—so no complaints on that part.

Selfie Images

Even the 20MP selfies have similar properties as the portrait images with the mild beautification going on here.

But the skin tone does look good though. To compare, Samsung’s photos look more natural, but Xiaomi does a decent job too.

Videography

But when it comes to videos, the 11 Lite NE performs much better than the M52. It is able to shoot stable videos across 4k 30fps, 1080p 60fps and 1080p 30fps modes whereas M52’s outputs are incredibly shaky. Yet, the NE crops the videos to maintain proper stabilization, and the recordings also appear slightly washed out. In any case, M52’s videos are almost unusable if you don’t use a gimbal for stabilization.

Battery

  • 4250mAh battery with 33W fast charging

Finally, the battery life on the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE is good enough, despite featuring a modest 4250mAh cell only. In my typical usage, I got 5.5-6 hours of SoT on average with activities consisting of a lot of social media usage, streaming Netflix, a few calls and messages every now and then, and a little bit of gaming as well.

This result is quite comparable to the Galaxy M52 and the Realme GT Master Edition, which is great! Likewise, you get a 33-Watt fast charger inside the box that takes the phones from 0-100% in about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G Review: Conclusion

In conclusion, the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G is a pretty balanced offering from the company. Its performance is on par with the competition, while it also brings competent cameras alongside an appealing design.

And I think this phone is priced well too. I just wish Xiaomi had included a 120Hz refresh rate instead of 90Hz—which would have made this phone even more compelling. Still, if you value performance over anything else, Flipkart is currently selling the Snapdragon 870-powered Mi 11X below INR 25,000 in India, which if you ask me, is an insane deal.

  • Watch our video review of the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G.

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Decent value for money
  • Lightweight, attractive design
  • Dolby Vision AMOLED display
  • Pretty powerful performance
  • Promising software support
  • Competent camera setup
  • Decent battery endurance

Cons:

  • No 120Hz refresh rate
  • No in-display fingerprint sensor
  • MIUI requires optimization
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Build
9
Display
9
Performance
8
Back Cameras
8.5
Front Camera
8
Battery
8.5
Speaker & Haptics
8
Value for Money
8.5
Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G is a pretty solid premium mid-range phone. Targetting the lifestyle category of smartphone users, the company has delivered an almost perfect smartphone for those crowds. Even its software support is commendable. However, it would've been a lot more impressive if Xiaomi had provided a smoother 120Hz refresh rate and an in-display fingerprint sensor instead.xiaomi-11-lite-ne-5g-review