Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Review; Don't Take It Lightly

Anjie lou delos Reyes

Xiaomi is well-known for offering devices with great to specs-to-price ratio, and that is the main reason why they have a huge following, not only in the Philippines, but also around the globe. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite is one of the latest devices from them, and we are lucky enough to take it for our spin.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Review; Don't Take It Lightly
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Review; Don't Take It Lightly

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite is part of the Mi 8 family, and arrives at the same time together with the Mi 8 Pro. As the name implies, it sits at the bottom of the series, and the most affordable among them. We have been using for over a month now, and here is our review to detail our experience with it.


Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Unboxing and Hands-On

The Mi 8 Lite has an elegant and premium looks like its more expensive Xiaomi Mi 8 and Mi 8 Pro brothers. Moreover, its design is far more different, in a better way, than that of Xiaomi's Redmi and Max series. It has a more squarish body with curvy corners similar to that we usually see in the like of OPPO, Vivo, and Huawei, and if you factor in the glass-covered mirror-like gradient back finish, the similarity is really hard to ignore.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Front

The front is mainly occupied the 6.26-inch 19:9 Full Screen Display with resolution of 2280 x1080 pixels, or commonly known as Full HD+, this gives the device a pixel density of 403 PPI. It has a notch at the upper-center that holds the earpiece grill, the front camera on its left, hidden sensors to its right, and notification LED on top of it.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Notch Display
Notch Display

Unlike the flagship Mi 8 models, the Lite version ditches the AMOLED panel and opted for IPS screen. The display produces vibrant and realistic colors with good contrast and great viewing angles. It is quite bright too, and has above average sunlight legibility. You can also adjust lots of display parameters such as brightness level, contrast, and colors to name a few. Moreover, for those who still can get over with the notch, there is an option to hide it.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Display Info
Display Info

The only gripe for us, is the lack of pre-installed screen film, which results to several micro scratches in the long run. That said, we recommend that you immediately have a screen protector or tempered glass installed upon purchase.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Back

At the back, you will find the dual rear camera set-up along with its LED flash, and the fingerprint sensor. Moving around the frame, the top has the microphone, the right side has the volume keys and power button, the bottom hold the mono speaker and the USB Type-C port, and the left side is where the hybrid card tray is located. What's missing is the IR blaster, which is usually present even in more affordable Redmi models.

See Also: Xiaomi to Hold a 3-day Sale in Lazada

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Hybrid Card Tray
Hybrid Card Tray

It is quite slim at just 7.5mm and lightweight too at 169 grams. In comparison, it is thinner than and lighter than the Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus that is 8.1mm thick and weighs 200 grams. It weighs the same as the OPPO F9, yet still thinner when compared to its 8 millimeters girth.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Retail Package
Retail Package

Meanwhile, the retail package consists of the unit, free silicon case, USB cable, 10W power adapter, and paper documents. There is also USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle, but there are no earphones included in the box. To learn more about its physical appearance, watch the above unboxing and hands-on video.


Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite MIUI 9 to MIUI 10
MIUI 9 to MIUI 10

The Mi 8 Lite runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with Xiaomi's MIUI skin. When we first got hold of it around November, it was running on MIUI 9, version 9.6 to be exact, but earlier in December, an update came in - the latest MIUI 10! According to Xiaomi, MIUI 10 is designed for the best full screen experience, and based on our experience, we can say that it works well, even if the phone has a notch. Moreover, even if you are coming from other Android phones with different skins, there is very little learning needed to fully understand the MIUI.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Interface

The MIUI 10 also comes with lots of handy tools, such as App Vault - a one-stop spot for all your most used info and features, Mi Drop - for a lighting fast transfer of files, and Second Space - it's like having two phones in one, as it allows users to have two completely different environments, form homescreen, apps, files, and more. To learn more about MIUI 10, you can visit http://en.miui.com/.


Under the hood, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite got some heavyweight internals. It carries a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE chipset based on 14nm FinFET process, that has an octa core Kryo 260 CPUs clocked up to 2.2GHz each, Adreno 512 GPU with clock frequency ticking up to 650MHz, and Qualcomm AI Engine for improved overall experience. It is the same chip found in the likes of Samsung Galaxy A9 2018, Vivo V11, and Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite CPU-Z Info
CPU-Z Info

It comes in two variants, one with 4GB LPDDR4x dual channel memory paired with 64GB EMMC 5.1 storage, and the other one with 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM. The one we have for this review is the former, and MIUI 10 as well as the pre-installed system apps seem to consume a lot of space, more than 11GB, which leaves users less than 53GB, 52.57GB to be precise.

Below are the scores it got from our favorite benchmarking tools.

Antutu - 144,278
Geekbench - 1,627 (single core)
Geekbench - 5,842 (multi core)
Geekbench - 5,616 (RenderScript)
PC Mark - 6,166
3D Mark Sling Shot - 2,064
3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme - 1,072 (Vulkan)
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme - 1,361 (OpenGL ES 3.1)
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited – 26,339
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme - Max

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Benchmark Results
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Benchmark Scores
Benchmark Scores

Almost all the benchmark results are slightly higher than those with 12nm chipset devices, such as the Huawei Nova 3i and Huawei Y9 2019 that have HiSilicon Kirin 710 chip, and Cherry Mobile Flare S7 Plus and OPPO F9 that have MediaTek Helio P60 chip. The only test it scored lower is the PC Mark, and to be honest, we don't know the reason why.

Also Read: Redmi Note 7 Now Official

We also made a video of a simple speed test comparison between the Mi 8 Lite versus the Y9 2019, and Mi 8 Lite versus Flare S7 Plus, and the Xiaomi device emerged as the winner for both tests. You can watch those videos at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V54dqzwI3S4 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwj1fRUM2pg.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Sample Game - PUBG Mobile
PUBG Mobile

In terms of real life usage, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite is buttery smooth, navigating between multiple apps is pretty fast, even if those running on the background are resources-hungry applications. Moreover, playing popular games like Asphalt 9, PUBG Mobile, NBA2K19, and Mobile Legends are quite satisfying as they are very responsive, no noticeable dropped frames, and almost lag-free. Yes, it is not a flagship device, and we admit that when the RAM is depleting due to tons of background apps, it still choke. Just remember that the unit we have, has only 4GB of RAM, therefore, the 6GB RAM variant will surely give a smoother experience.

By the way, those who are looking for face unlock feature, sad to say that it does not have one. Unlocking and securing the phone can only be done with either use of a password or through the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. We do not know the reason why Xiaomi omitted this, thankfully the fingerprint reader works pretty well.

Meanwhile, the single-firing speaker placed at the right side of the USB port has an above average output, as the phone able to produce solid and clear sound, thanks to the upgraded DSP algorithm. However, the audio out is not that loud and usually drowned by noise, especially when outdoors. In addition, there is no 3.5mm jack, so, intimate music listening can be done with Bluetooth headphones, unless you are comfortable using the USB dongle.


Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Camera Interface
Camera Interface

The camera department employs a total of three hardware, two at the back and one at the front. A 12MP dual pixel with f/1.9 large aperture and a 5MP Samsung S5K5E8 are in charge as main shooters, while a 24MP Sony IMX576 sensor is the champion of selfies. Both the rear and front cameras are AI-assisted that allows users to have stunning photos day or night through AI scene detection, AI Beauty, AI Makeup, AI Portrait Mode, and AI Studio Lighting to name a few.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Dual Rear Cameras
Dual Rear Cameras

In terms of shooting modes, the main cameras offer Photo, Portrait, Square, Video, Short Video (10 seconds and below), Panorama, and Manual, while the front-facing one has similar modes, except for the last two items.

Dual-Rear Camera Samples:

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Day, Auto without HDR, Pool
Day, Auto without HDR, Pool
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Day, Auto with HDR, Pool
Day, Auto with HDR, Pool
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Day, 1x Zoom, Snowman
Day, 1x Zoom, Snowman
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Day, 2x Zoom, Snowman
Day, 2x Zoom, Snowman
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Day, Normal Distance, Flower
Day, Normal Distance, Flower
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Day, Macro Distance, Flower
Day, Macro Distance, Flower
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Night, Auto, Pool
Night, Auto, Pool
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Night, Manual (4 Sec, ISO100), Pool
Night, Manual (4 Sec, ISO100), Pool
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Night, Auto, Playground
Night, Auto, Playground
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Main Camera Sample - Night, Manual (4 Sec, ISO100), Playground
Night, Manual (4 Sec, ISO100), Playground

As you can see in the sample photos above, the Mi 8 Lite dual rear cameras performed a very decent job of producing images with good exposure, near-realistic colors, and more than sufficient details. And, when HDR is turned on, the phone is able to produce photos with nice highlights, especially those shots at bright environment or against the light.

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Even photos taken at night or it low light situations are full of details, and have great separation of colored subjects against the dark background. Yes, noise is part of the output, but somehow the Mi 8 Lite is able to kept it at a minimum, even if the ISO is bumped up as high as 9600. If you need to control the ISO and shutter speed, better switch to Manual mode.

One thing we hope it will have in the future is the Night Mode, so users do not need to worry about adjusting parameters just to capture great night shots and light painting. Other brands have that, so I believe Xiaomi can implement it easily.

Another thing to note is that, it does not have animated emoji, for us it is not a big deal, but nonetheless is still fun to have, besides even Cherry Mobile has their very own Flare Moji.

Front Camera Samples:

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Front Camera Sample - Selfie
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Front Camera Sample - Portrait Selfie
Portrait Selfie

As for the 24MP selfie camera, it does its job pretty well, actually we are impressed with its capability, adding two more things on top of AI Beauty - the AI Remodeling and AI Makeup. The former allows users to adjust the shape of the face, eyes, nose, chin, lips and risorius, while the latter, as the name implies, adds digital makeup, such as eyeliner and lip gloss.

The AI Portrait is superb too, it really blurs the background without degrading the looks of the subject. If you take a closer look at the samples above, there is a clear separation of the background to the foreground, and that the edges of the face are polished well.

In terms of In terms of video capabilities, the main shooters can record videos in different resolutions and frame rates, namely 120fps slow motion video at either 720 or 1080p, 30fps stabilized video at 720p or 1080p, 30fps video at 720p, 1080p, and 4K, and 60fps video at 1080p. Based on our test, 30fps stabilized video works well, minimizing shakes and abrupt movements.


Connectivity wise, it supports dual SIM cards with simultaneous 4G/LTE, dual band WiFi at 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac protocols, Bluetooth v5.0, and USB Type-C port, all of which are working properly. There is no FM radio, NFC, and again, no 3.5mm audio jack.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Network Settings and GPS Test
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite

As for the GPS, it has A-GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou, using GPS Test, it is able to get an instant fix, with 33 satellites on sight, 31 of which are in use, and an accuracy of just 3 meters.


The battery capacity is 3350mAh capacity, and even if the SD660 supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0, Xiaomi opted for QC 3.0 instead. Using the supplied 5V2A (10W) charger and USB cable included in the package, recharging the fuel from 0 to a 100 only takes a little over 2 hours. Meanwhile, daily usage usually last through the day, which includes using it as a WiFi hotspot, checking and posting on social media platforms from time to time, playing around 30 minutes of games, several texts, and a few minutes of calls. Of course, your battery uptime differs with us, and highly depends on how you use it.


The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite is one of the best mid-range smartphones in the market today, it offers stunning design that makes it look like a flagship device, nice sets of cameras that gives great output in both still and moving images, and decent choice of chipset paired with ample amount of RAM that results to great overall performance.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite

However, with an SRP of Php13,990 for the 4GB/64GB variant and Php16,990 for the 6GB/128GB version, there are several compelling offers from other brands around this price range, and even in Xiaomi's own arsenal. Take the Xiaomi Mi A2 for example, priced almost similar with the 4GB Mi 8 Lite, it has the same chipset, memory, and storage, as well as dual rear cameras, not to mention runs on Android One, giving it an advantage in term of software updates. Another one is the Pocophone F1, which our team awarded as the best value smartphone and the best smartphone under 20K, for having flagship-grade hardware.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Specs (Philippines):

  • Dual Nano SIM, dual standby, supports 4G/LTE connectivity
  • 6.26-inch FHD+ (2280 x 1080) capacitive touchscreen display
  • Dimensions: 156.4mm x 75.8mm x 7.5mm
  • Weight: 169 grams
  • MIUI 10 based on Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 2.2GHz 64-bit octa-core Kryo 260 CPU, Adreno 512 GPU, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE chipset
  • 4GB/6GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via MicroSD card, uses SIM 2 slot
  • 12MP f/1.9 dual pixel PDAF + 5MP f/2.0 main cameras with AI and LED flash
  • 24MP f/2.2 Sony IMX576 selfie camera with AI
  • Multimedia Player
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band (2.4GHz, 5GHz)
  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
  • USB Type-C with OTG
  • Sensors: fingerprint, accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
  • Battery: 3350mAh, non-removable, supports Quick Charge 3.0
  • Colors: Aurora Blue, Midnight Black
  • Price: Php13,990/Php16,990

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