The Xiaomi 10T Lite is the cheapest phone of the Mi 10T series, which also includes the more expensive Mi 10T (499 euros) and the Mi 10 T Pro (599/649 euros). The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite costs significantly less at 279 euros, but what do you get for that amount? I have been able to test the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite in the color Rose Gold Beach for a number of weeks and in this review you can read what you get for those 279 euros.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite review: the pros
1. High-end specifications
The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite is a phone that is at the bottom of the middle segment in terms of suggested retail price. But that does not apply to many features of this phone. For example, Xiaomi has equipped the screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate so that the images move smoothly across the screen. It is not an OLED screen, but the 120 Hz LCD screen does its job very well. If desired, you can reset the refresh rate to 60 Hz.
The frame of the phone is made of plastic, but the back is made of glass. Both the screen and the back are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. A feature that we mainly encounter with more expensive phones. In addition, there are stereo speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack and even a notification LED on the phone.
Wireless charging and an IP certification for waterproofing are missing, but at this price I didn’t expect those options either.
2. Super fast
The chipset, on the other hand, is not intended for the higher segment. The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite is the first phone with the Snapdragon 750G, which is a chipset intended for more affordable phones. That does not mean that the Mi 10T Lite is inferior to other phones in terms of speed. This phone is very fast in daily use. I have not encountered any hitches while using the phone, everything runs very smoothly. Of course, the 120 Hz screen also contributes to this excellent performance.
Another advantage, the Snapdragon 750G comes with 5G support. So with the Mi 10T Lite you are immediately ready for this fast 5G connection. The 5G modem in the chipset introduces download speeds of up to 3.7 Gbps, making the 5G modem of the Snapdragon 750G as fast as that of the Snapdragon 765.
3. Four excellent cameras
Xiaomi has placed four camera sensors in the camera module on the back. The 64 MP IMX682 sensor from Sony is the first to notice. This sensor is also in the Xiaomi Mi 10T, the Poco X3 NFC , the Samsung Galaxy M31s and the Samsung Galaxy M51 .
- 64 megapixel main camera, PDAF, 26mm (f / 1.9)
- 8 megapixel wide-angle camera, 120 ° (f / 2.2)
- 2 megapixel macro camera (f / 2.4)
- 2 megapixel depth camera (f / 2.4)
- 16 megapixel selfie camera, 25 mm (f / 2.5)
There is no telephoto lens to bring objects closer and OIS for the necessary stability for photos and videos is also missing. Here you clearly see a saving in costs. Instead of a telephoto lens, Xiaomi adds a macro camera and depth camera to the phone. At the front, a selfie camera is located in the hole at the top of the screen. So there are five cameras in total, four of which I classify as the plus points.
With the main camera you can shoot 64 MP pictures, but the camera is set to 16 MP by default. Sony uses its so-called quad-Bayer RGB layout with this sensor in which pixels are divided into four per color (red, green or blue). The 16 MP photo is thus a 1.6 µm 4-in-1 super pixel, as it were.
The main camera captures a lot of detail thanks to its larger aperture, with a nicer depth of field effect. The 64 MP pictures also contain more details and are also sharper. But don’t expect four times better photos than the photo shot at 16 MP. However, by taking the images together, extra details can be added.
The wide-angle camera has an 8 MP sensor and gives you an image of 120 °. You can take great group photos with this in small spaces or shoot a beautiful nature photo in the forest. Do that during the day because when the evening falls, the quality quickly decreases.
The portrait photos and selfies are fine for a smartphone in this price range. It is a pity that such an unnatural beauty filter is present, but Xiaomi makes up for that with the other camera functions. Each photo mode includes different filters, the ability to add artificial intelligence, and more.
You can also take panorama photos, time-lapse and slow-motion videos and scan documents. In addition, you can use the front and rear cameras at the same time, make vlogs with different cinema-like effects, clone photos and make videos with the same people in multiple poses and photos with slow shutter speeds. An example of the latter option can be found below. As you can see, there are more options than you expect for a 270 euro phone and that makes the camera set-up very versatile, despite the lack of a telecamera.
Filming is of course also a possibility. This is possible with a maximum resolution of 4K at 30fps. Filming at 60fps is done with a resolution of 1080p. Slow motion videos are made with a maximum resolution of 960fps. Image stabilization is available in the form of EIS. You can read more about electronic image stabilization in this article . So there is no optical stabilization to be found on the phone, but that is normal in this price category.
4. Excellent battery life
The Mi 10T Lite is not lightweight with its 214.5 grams, but you do get a large 4820 mAh battery in return. Although that capacity is smaller compared to the Mi 10T, it does come with the same 33 watt charger, which is a nice accessory in the box (next to the transparent case). You charge the phone completely in an hour and it does not need to be recharged immediately while sleeping. I have an average of 40% to 45% left at the end of the day and that is exceptional. Of course, the aggressive battery saving also has to do with it, but you can read more about that later.
5. MIUI software
Xiaomi also equips the new smartphone with its own MIUI 12 software shell based on Android 10. I expected a glaring shell, but the software leans closer to stock than I expected. You can still not compare it with a Pixel phone from Google, but the shell is already quite mature. The icons and folders are pretty standard. The clear settings and the notification panel are clearly more adapted by Xiaomi but pleasant to use. The security level at the time of writing is September 2020.
In addition, there are useful extras such as an extra warning to give certain permissions for apps and the standard removal of a screenshot after you have shared it. They are minor additions but they caught my eye. The beautiful animations and overall pleasant user interface also struck me immediately. In that respect, Xiaomi has delivered a nice piece of software.
The built-in IR blaster at the top receives an honorable mention. This is especially useful if you often lose your remote control. With the Mi Remote app you can easily add devices that you want to control with the phone. These are not only TVs, but also air conditioners, beamers and set-top boxes. The supplied application guides you quickly through a wizard to find the correct device codes.
The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite immediately stands out for its color. The Rose Gold Beach version has a separate gradient on the back that immediately stands out. I like it very much. The Atlantic Blue and Pearl Gray versions look a little less striking.
The back of the Mi 10T Lite also immediately stands out because of the camera island. That island is quite large and protrudes considerably. Fortunately, the island is in the middle so that the phone does not wobble when it is on the table, but it is not very beautiful. You don’t have to count on fingerprints around that island on the back, because you hardly see them. Overall, the phone looks good, and it gets a premium look from Xiaomi, thanks in part to the glass housing.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite: the negatives
1. Forget 2 MP macro cameras
I am dissatisfied with the quality of the 2 MP macro camera. That is also more often the case in this price range and that is a shame. Making macro photos is a very nice activity, but the Mi 10T Lite does not deliver any nice pictures in this area. A 5 MP macro camera could have improved the quality significantly.
2. Lots of ads, lots of apps and lots of promotions
Although I am pleased with the software that Xiaomi uses on this phone, there are clearly advertisements and additional apps on the Mi 10T. First of all, when you open newly installed apps, you will see advertisements and some apps folders on the home screen contain promoted apps.
Apps and games are also pre-installed, but just like with Samsung, you can uncheck a number of them in the set-up. In any case, they can be removed. This does not apply to the aforementioned advertising in the software. Because Xiaomi uses these apps and advertisements, it can lower the price of the phone. I don’t find the advertisement very disturbing and can handle it just fine. For me, this point is more in between the plus and minus points.
Of course Xiaomi also comes up with its own system apps and there are many. For example, the Mi Remote is a very useful one, and that also applies to the screen recorder and FM Radia. In contrast, many other apps like the Mi Browser, Compass and Notes are probably unnecessary for many. You will have to learn to live with it. They are not going away.
3. Battery saver
As we see more often on Chinese phone, battery saver level is red. On the one hand, this ensures a fantastic battery life as you saw with the plus points. On the other hand, you often do not receive notifications from your messengers or social media apps. With this phone, with the battery saver option in the settings, you will have to set all your apps one-by-one to ‘No restrictions’ to take them out of the battery saver. That takes some time but pays off. And the battery life does not suffer too much.
The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite has pleasantly surprised me. In daily life, the phone is very nice to use. The Mi 10T Lite not only looks good but also works very well. In terms of performance thanks to the 120 Hz screen and the Snapdragon 750G, but also in terms of software and 5G.
In addition, the battery will not let you down after a day like most phones do and you also get a 33 watt charger. Four of the five cameras also perform as you would expect from a phone in this price range and the LCD screen performs well in terms of contrast and brightness.
Yet I have also been able to find a number of weaker points. The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite has a 2 MP macro camera that underperforms. I therefore hope that manufacturers will put a 2 MP macro camera on the blacklist from now on.
Then there’s the ever-aggressive battery saver that keeps you going all day without notifications. Nice zen maybe, but I switched everything off immediately after starting. The number of extra apps and the advertisements in the software are also present, not explicit for me, but perhaps for someone else.
The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite with 64 GB costs 279 euros and the variant with 128 GB costs 329 euros. If you need 64 GB of storage, then with the Mi 10T Lite you get a phone with an excellent price-quality ratio. The variant with 128 GB is close to the OnePlus Nord (399 euros) and the Samsung Galaxy A51 (369 euros) and only gives you a lot more storage. So can you live with advertisements in certain places in the software, a mediocre 2 MP macro camera and some unnecessary apps? Then the Mi 10T Lite is a great choice.
Buy Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
You can buy the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite in the colors Atlantic Blue, Pearl Gray and Rose Gold Beach for 279 euros. The variant with 128 GB of storage costs 329 euros and is available in the same colors.