If a smartphone manufacturer takes design inspiration from the slim Apple iPhone 13 series, then they should at least make some improvements to it. The look of the Xiaomi 12 Lite was clearly influenced by the iPhone 13, so did the company do the decent thing?
I’m very happy to say that it beat Apple in one crucial aspect: comfort in the hand. Also, the phone itself is armed and ready to take on several of the most anticipated Android phones of 2022. It’s definitely hot, but it is just a little too hot?
The square, flat look of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 is excellent. However, if you hold one of the phones without a case, they can quickly become uncomfortable as the sharp edges quickly dig into your palm. It’s far from the end of the world, and if you’re using a case – which most will be – you won’t even notice it. However, after the extreme convenience of the iPhone 11 series, the redesign for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 has been irritating for longtime Apple phone owners.
Take a step forward Xiaomi and the Xiaomi 12 Lite. The phone has flat sides, but some careful chamfering has rounded out the sharper edges that come with this design choice and it has worked wonders for the in-hand feel. Hold an iPhone with it and the difference is clear, as the Xiaomi 12 Lite snuggles up rather than digging into your fingers and palm. That means you can conveniently use it without a case.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite weighs 173 grams and is only 7.2mm thick, which adds to its comfort and makes it easy to slip into your pocket. It comes in three colors, the beautiful Lite Green in our photos, a Lite Pink, or a simple black version. Despite the Lite name, the phone is made of glass and aluminum and not plastic as you might expect. The camera module stands proud on the flat back and houses three cameras, while the etched divider line gives it an unusual look.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite might not have the most original design, but it fixes the one bad thing about flat-sided phones and that makes the style choice that much easier to forgive.
The main camera is the headline feature of the Xiaomi 12 Lite. It’s a Samsung-made 108-megapixel HM2 sensor with features like eye-tracking to help you pinpoint focus when photographing people. There is also an 8 MP wide-angle camera and a 2 MP macro camera. On the front is a 32-megapixel selfie camera in a punch-hole cutout at the top center.
After the short time I’ve been using the camera, I’m quite satisfied. Photos have that very distinct Xiaomi look, meaning electric blues and greens, and an often detail-obscuring approach to exposure. The wide-angle camera is the worst culprit, and due to the low megapixel count, it doesn’t record much detail either. The main camera really boosts colors, and if that’s not your thing then you probably won’t like the results very much.
Worth noting is the eye tracking, which isn’t seen on many phones outside of some Sony Xperia devices. It’s useful when you want to take great portrait shots, as professional photographers use the eye as the focal point to ensure a person’s face really pops in the photo. It works quickly and effectively on the Xiaomi 12 Lite. So if you take lots of photos of your friends, you might find that this is where the 12 Lite punches above its weight.
Inside the Xiaomi 12 Lite is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage depending on which version you buy. You’re looking at a 6.55-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a touch sampling rate of 240 Hz and HDR10+ certification. There’s a 4,300mAh battery with 67W fast charging, which is said to fully charge the battery in around 40 minutes.
The processor seems to be working pretty hard inside the Xiaomi 12 Lite as it got noticeably warm during my early testing and almost got hot when gaming. A short 30 minute session with Asphalt 9: Legends I saw the back of the phone getting warm, with much of the heat pooling at the top of the phone and therefore just below where you are holding the device. It was never too hot to hold, but the heat was much higher than most phones I use and definitely felt almost immediately.
What could be causing this? It can be more of a software issue than something to do with processor or phone design. My test phone has the latest version of Xiaomi’s MIUI on Android 12, but it hasn’t been updated since I’ve used it, and that was before the final public release. I haven’t used the Xiaomi 12 Lite long enough to determine its reliability or battery life. The software is the same as that on the Xiaomi 12 Pro and I would expect to experience the same issues. In addition, the battery capacity is quite small compared to phones like the Samsung Galaxy A53 and it can be difficult to last more than a full day if you play a lot of games. Especially when it’s always hot.
On the plus side, the screen is very attractive despite being set to 60Hz by default. So make sure you change this to 120Hz right away. Without them, the text blurs uncomfortably when scrolling. Watching videos reveals the stereo speakers on the Xiaomi 12 Lite. Unfortunately, they don’t have the bass masses you’d expect, and above around 70% volume, distortion quickly causes you to turn them down. You’ll definitely get loud, but it’s not the most refined audio experience.
Xiaomi has priced the 12 Lite at $399 for the 6GB/128GB version and up to $499 for the top-of-the-line 8GB/256GB model. Although Xiaomi has given US prices, the 12 Lite will almost certainly not appear in the country. At least it will be available “internationally”. Xiaomi hasn’t confirmed exactly where yet, but we expect Europe and India to be on the list, and possibly the UK too.
At this price point, the Xiaomi 12 Lite is up against the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, and based on the specs it will likely face competition from the upcoming Nothing Phone 1 and the Google Pixel 6a. Samsung’s Galaxy A53 5G is a great buy, but even in the short time I’ve been using the Xiaomi 12 Lite, the performance of the Snapdragon 778G chip is noticeably smoother and faster than the A53’s Exynos chip. However, it cannot be overlooked that it gets quite hot, since the A53 runs much cooler.
If you are interested in the Xiaomi 12 Lite, we recommend that you not only consider the Galaxy A53, but also persevere and see what Nothing delivers with the Phone 1, as well as how good the Pixel 6a’s camera is .
Android 12L and Wear OS 3 show that Google is still not serious about tablets and smartwatches
The camera test iPhone SE (2022) vs. Galaxy A53 does not go as expected
Smartphone game modes are fun, flashy, and terribly unhelpful
Nothing Phone 1: Everything we know about Carl Pei’s next phone
iOS 16’s new lockdown mode takes iPhone security to the max
This article was previously published on Source link