Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite test, review and priceCategory: Tests / Reviews
Nothing seems to stop Xiaomi, they continue to launch their models one after the other and today we find a model every 20 or 30 €.
This overabundance translates their strategy, they want to flood the market but they end up creating competition between their own models. The Mi 9 Lite is positioned between the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Mi 9T but which one should be chosen? I will try to answer it with this test.
Manufacturer web site: https://www.mi.com
Structure of my testsI test the phones according to a pre-established structure (see below) to provide you with as much information as possible. Unfortunately, this takes a long time. Some tests like network performance tests take several days and for photo tests I sometimes have to wait until the weather is suitable to take pictures in good conditions. I am therefore obliged to publish the tests step by step, so I invite you to come back if the test is not complete at the time of your visit.
[device_intro device="smartphone" lg="en"]
Price Xiaomi Mi 9 LiteThe list below shows the prices for the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite from more than 50 sites around the world. If you are not satisfied with any price, you can subscribe to a price alert to be the first to be notified when the price drops.
The above links are affiliate links from companies such as Amazon, Gearbest, Aliexpress,... If you appreciate my work, I would be grateful if you could purchase these products through these links. It costs you absolutely nothing but I get a small commission that allows me to buy the material I test. Thank you very much!
Timeline15/10/19: purchase on Gearbest
04/11/19: receipt of the package and unpacking
Why this phone?I bought the Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite a little over a year ago, it was the second Xiaomi I tested after testing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5. The positioning of the Mi 8 Lite was quite clear compared to the Redmi, the Mi 8 Lite was clearly more premium.
Today the positioning of the Mi 8 Lite is less clear-cut. Xiaomi has launched 2 Redmi this year and the level of finish exceeds what the Mi 8 Lite had to offer. Xiaomi has also launched a new range with the 9T blurring the lines between the phones even more.
I'm going to compare this Mi 9 Lite with its predecessor but also with the other models launched this year by Xiaomi.
The box of the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite contains the same accessories as the other Xiaomi, you will find the phone, a small box with the manual and the needle for the SIM drawer and a wall charger with USB-C cable. The layout of the box is strictly identical to what I have seen in the other Xiaomis boxes I have purchased in recent months.
[specs product="xiaomi-mi-9-lite" category="body"]
First configurationFor the first start of the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite, you will have to go through the Android/MIUI configuration. This configuration is the same as for other devices under MIUI 10. In this version Xiaomi encourages a little more to register for Mi Cloud but these steps can be ignored even if they come back several times, a Mi account is not necessary to use the phone. By configuring the phone for the first time you can retrieve data from your old phone or use your Google Account. Transferring from another phone may take time because the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite will have to re-download all your applications but as this phone is quite powerful, you can continue to use it without having to wait for your applications to be downloaded.
I had ordered a Redmi Note 8 Pro on Gearbest and as they were not able to deliver it quickly I asked them to change my order to a Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite without specifying which version I wanted. I was surprised to receive the blue version. I usually only buy black phones to make sure I can resell them after my tests, but I now regret not buying a blue phone before. This Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is really superb. The finish is exemplary and the reflections in the hull give it a unique identity.
On the upper part of the phone, we find the usual ingredients at Xiaomi such as the Jack connector and the infrared port. Most of this year's models follow the same trend, it's not very original but it's effective.
On the lower part is also the same as on the other models, you will find a USB type C port and two grilles, one of which is equipped with a loudspeaker.
On the right side you will find the usual volume knobs and the ignition knob. The buttons have a solid appearance like the rest of the phone, they have a slight resistance to support which gives an impression of solidity.
On the other side is the SIM drawer that can accommodate 2 SIM cards.
The phone is not very original, it strongly resembles the other Xiaomi models but what distinguishes it is its back shell where Xiaomi has designed a material that reflects light in the form of curves. This has absolutely no use in using the phone, but it's very nice. The phone has 3 photo sensors on the back on the side, the borrow sensor is located under the screen.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite has a screen size of 6.39 inches, it's probably the same as in the Mi 9T Pro, I could check it when I received it. The borders are quite thin even the bottom part. At the top is a drop notch that does not take up much space, it is very similar to the other models on the market.
The information below comes from the Device Info HW application. The application provides detailed technical information about the tested phone.
CPU / GPU Performance[specs product="xiaomi-mi-9-lite" category="hardware"]
Benchmark Antutu/3DMarkWith a score of 210,000 points on Antutu, you have a versatile phone that can both allow you to play in very good conditions or use gourmet applications. In the same price range, the Redmi Note 8 Pro does a little better.
With the score obtained on 3Dmark, the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite confirms its position between the Redmi Note 8 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
[specs product="xiaomi-mi-9-lite" category="benchmark"]
To test the performance in game, I download the mobile PUBG game and evaluate the in-game experience, graphics level and depth of vision. This game is quite demanding and should help you evaluating the performance of a phone.With a score of over 200,000 on Antutu, the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite will allow you to play games like PUBG mobile in the highest level of graphics without having to make sacrifices. The game is perfectly fluid and the landscape is visible over a long distance. The connection speed in 4G will also not be a problem when playing multiplayer games.
Network performanceThe Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite offers a wide frequency coverage, it will allow you to use this phone anywhere in Europe without problems. The B28 frequency is available in the tested version but be aware that Xiaomi is used to launch 3 or 4 different versions for each model and the frequency support can change from one version to another. For Europe, therefore, remember to check if your operator's frequencies are supported. As a general rule, the "global" version should be appropriate but always check the product description to be sure.
[specs product="xiaomi-mi-9-lite" category="radio"] [network_support] Signal 4G
The ability to pick up the network correctly is an essential element for a phone but it is only very rarely measured. To measure a phone's ability to pick up the network, I perform a large number of measurements on the same cells to be able to compare phones under similar conditions. The signal is measured in dBm, a value of -90dBm indicates a worse signal than -70dBm. These measurements are therefore taken under real conditions and not in a laboratory, they are not scientific but give a good indication of performance.
The graph shows that the Mi 9T Pro offers a better network performance than the Mi 9 Lite but the comparison is a little unfair because the Mi 9T Pro is the phone with which I got the best results. This result conceals the fact that the Mi 9 Lite also gets a good score with -93 dBm, this score ranks it among the good students in terms of network. However, I noticed that the phone had switched to 3G several times while most other phones remain in 4G. This may also explain a higher score because 3G coverage is denser and offers a better signal.
To test the download speed, I have identified some 4G cells offering good performance where I test all my devices several times to see what download and upload speed they can achieve.
I have achieved a download speed of more than 80 Mbps and an upload speed of 60 Mbps. Although not the best result I've achieved, this speed level will allow the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite to meet all your needs like watching YouTube HD videos, surfing or playing.
Wifi performanceTo test a phone's ability to receive the network properly, I take measurements near my router and then remotely (and always at the same place). This gives me an average in dBm where a value of -90 dBm indicates poorer performance than a value at -30 dBm.
[specs product="xiaomi-mi-9-lite" category="wifi"] Wifi signal
When I tested the wifi signal near the router I measured a signal of about -25 dBm, this result is good but it is not the best result I got.
When I tested the wifi signal remotely from the router, I measured a signal of about -67 dBm. With this score the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite ranks among the best.
To test the speed in Wifi, I connect to my router in 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz (if available) and use the Ookla application to measure the speed.The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite offers a very good download speed in wifi, I got more than 190 Mbps and I am sure that if my router was less busy serving other devices, the Mi 9 Lite could still go beyond that. With such a high speed you can easily stream in high definition or download large files.
To test the quality of the GPS signal I use the Offline Maps application and I make the same train trip in pedestrian mode. Why? In pedestrian mode, the GPS does not artificially correct the signal to stick to the road, it has no markings, so you can see the actual position. I then use an application to measure the accuracy of the signal.
I have been testing GPS in the same way for a long time and at Xiaomi I generally get good results. So I expected the Mi 9 Lite to follow in the footsteps of the brand's other models, but that's not quite the case. I had more difficulty hanging the GPS signal than with the other Xiaomi I tested. When you launch your GPS application, your phone must find the position of the satellites and possibly use terrestrial data to refine the position. With the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite this step took much longer than with other phones and sometimes when I was inside a train, I couldn't even capture the signal.
On the video you will see that the tracking is quite good but it deteriorates quite quickly if I move away from the window. It would therefore seem that the Mi 9 Lite is more sensitive to obstacles because in the open air the problem is much less visible but in a train wagon or a car, the GPS sensitivity seems to be less good.
Battery range[specs product="xiaomi-mi-9-lite" category="battery"] [battery]
With a 4030 mAh battery I expected to have an autonomy of +/- 2 days like most phones with this battery capacity. Unfortunately this is not the case with the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite. I have a very regular consumption because I use my phone the same way every day and I use the same applications and services. By turning off my phone every night, I can last just two days, while with other models with similar battery capacity I can last between 2 and 3 days. As I found this unusual, I repeated the measurement several times but I got the same thing each time.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite has a processor that has proven itself on other phones, it could be that the screen is the source of this consumption or maybe even the fingerprint sensor on the screen that could be activated with the friction in my pocket. It is only an interpretation but in use there is really a difference in the autonomy of this model compared to the others. This is naturally not dramatic, but it is better to know.
Photo camera testTo test the quality of photos produced by a phone, I do a technical test (resolution, sharpness, chromatic aberration,...) in studio (identical conditions) to evaluate the technical part objectively. From the second half of 2020, I built my own laboratory to take completely objective technical measurements. I then take pictures in real conditions to see how the camera performs. I then evaluate these photos according to my criteria but I publish the photos so that you can evaluate the result according to your criteria.
Hardware[specs product="xiaomi-mi-9-lite" category="camera"]The main sensor of the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite (rear) is a Sony IMX 582. This sensor exists in many other phones at Xiaomi as well as other manufacturers but the result can vary from one phone to another because each manufacturer provides an optimization layer. Fortunately, in the case of Xiaomi, the optimization layer generally works quite well. At Xiaomi there are two main families of sensors, one using Samsung sensors and the other using Sony sensors. The cheapest phones are equipped with Samsung sensors and the others are equipped with Sony sensors. Sony sensors are supposed to produce a better result than those from Samsung, but on the latest models of the brand, I find that Samsung sensors also delivered very good results.
The application installed by default by Xiaomi is quite complete, the following modes are available:
- Photo (with 3 zoom levels)
- Video (with 3 zoom levels)
- Short video (with 3 zoom levels)
- Slow motion (only available on the main sensor)
- Portrait (only available on the main sensor)
- Night (only available on the main sensor)
- Panorama (only available on the main sensor)
- Pro (available on all sensors)
In each mode, you can access the settings to, for example, turn on the HDR, turn on artificial intelligence, change the aspect ratio, turn on the 48 Million Pixel mode and some other options. Unlike other models, the 48 million pixel mode is not available at the same level as the photo mode, it must be enabled in the settings. Only one sensor is available in 48 million pixels, so you will not be able to use the wide angle.
Photoquality Photo test / studio
First example: ƒ/1.79 1/60 4.74 mm 114 ISO
Colors: a little lack of saturation
Depth of field: good
Chromatic aberration: none
The Sony sensor does well in the studio, it manages to capture the right amount of light, the photos are properly exposed, this is not very often the case. On paper, the Sony IMX 582 sensor has the same photo features as the IMX 586 found on the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro. In practice this is also true because the photos I took with the Mi 9T Pro have exactly the same characteristics as the Mi 9 Lite. The colors lack some saturation, the sharpness is good, the depth of field and blur are well managed.
As a comparison here is a similar picture taken with the Mi 9T Pro
Second example: ƒ/2.2 1/60 1.66 mm 116 ISO
Colors: lack of saturation
Depth of field: good
Chromatic aberration: none
The Mi 9 Lite's wide angle is not the same as the Mi 9T Pro's, it is also a Samsung sensor but they use a different model. The sharpness is worse than the Sony sensor, the colors are slightly more saturated, the depth of field is a little more important (normal with f/2.2). This type of sensor is not designed for studio photography because it offers a lower richness of detail than the main sensor.
Third example: ƒ/1.79 1/120 4.74 mm 132 ISO
The sensor used is the same as for the first picture, the Xiaomi is content to make a digital zoom as is often the case, so this picture has the same characteristics as the first but the background noise is much more visible because the sharpness processing of the Xiaomi is better seen with the digital zoom.
Colors: lack of saturation
Depth of field: good but high granularity in the blurred area
Chromatic aberration: none
Photo test / sunny
I took advantage of a sunny afternoon to take some pictures near the river that passes near my house. The light at the end of November is very different from the light observed in summer, the sun is lower, the colour is different and the shadows are more present. I tested the Mi 8 Lite under the same conditions a year ago, so I was curious to see what this Mi 9 Lite would deliver.
EXIF: ƒ/1.79 1/1114 4.74 mm 112 ISO
The Sony sensor does a good job because it has reproduced reality fairly accurately, Xiaomi did not force the processing to increase saturation and give brighter colors than in reality. The sky was slightly veiled and it is visible, the green of the vegetation is also well rendered. The sharpness of the image is really good without being forced as is often the case. We can clearly see the details of the branches of the trees and even where the branches are in contact with the sky, I didn't see any chromatic aberration. It is even possible to read the panels in the background of the image.
EXIF: ƒ/2.2 1/827 1.66 mm 100 ISO
With the wide angle I obtain a rather similar result while usually the wide angle leads to a degradation of quality. The picture is slightly darker than the previous picture but you can barely see it. The sharpness is good but it is here on the other hand a little forced. If you look at the photo more closely in some areas, you will notice that the sharpness is forced and the photo loses some details. I also see digital noise in the sky but all this is not visible when the picture is displayed in normal size.
EXIF: ƒ/1.79 1/1199 4.74 mm 112 ISO
As is often the case at Xiaomi, the zoom is a digital zoom, the picture is taken with the same sensor as the first picture. Fortunately this sensor delivers good quality photos but inevitably, a digital zoom will always degrade the photos a little bit and here it is the sharpness that is too pronounced. The details are too visible and it gives a more artificial side to the photo.
EXIF: ƒ/1.79 1/207 4.74 mm 112 ISO
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite has a night mode that combines photos at different exposure levels to compensate for differences in brightness. The night mode can be used perfectly in broad daylight but it can lead the phone to make radical choices that will distort the picture. The Mi 9 Lite does quite well, the night mode enhances color saturation without completely eliminating shadows and lighter areas are better colored. The image is full of detail without exaggerating the sharpness.
The following pictures will complete my observations on the pictures, the colors of the pictures are really beautiful, the level of detail is good and the dynamics between shadow and light is also good.
Photo test / cloudy
First example: ƒ/1.7 9 1/612 4.74 mm 112 ISO
Exposure: slightly underexposed
Depth of field: ok
Chromatic aberration: ok
Digital noise: light
The photo on cloudy days is slightly underexposed, this problem can be corrected directly on the phone by increasing the brightness a little. I've seen this choice of underexposure on other Xiaomi phones and I don't think it's a sensor problem, I rather think it's a voluntary choice because the light conditions were sufficient to take a picture with a longer exposure. Why did it make that choice? I think that this choice avoid getting overexposed areas too quickly as it is often the case on photos with a high contrast between the sky and the ground. It allows to display a more dynamic image but if it gives the impression to have been taken in HDR.
Second example: ƒ/2.2 1/1656 1.66 mm 100 ISO
Sharpness: gradient on the edges
Depth of field: ok
Distortion: visible at the edges
Chromatic aberration: ok
Digital noise: light
With the wide-angle sensor, the picture is even darker. Xiaomi doesn't seem to have adapted her settings for the wide angle and we end up here with a photo that's too dark. The photo could have been taken with a slower shutter speed to avoid this problem. I also notice differences in sharpness between the center and the peripheral, the distortion related to the wide angle is also a little more visible.
Third example: ƒ/1.79 1/295 4.74 mm 112 ISO
Exposure: slightly underexposed
Depth of field: ok
Chromatic aberration: ok
Digital noise: light
The zoom uses the same sensor as the first shot, so it's not surprising to find the same image characteristics. The photo is slightly underexposed but the sharpness is more forced as it is often the case with Xiaomi's zooms.
Fourth example: ƒ/1.79 1/120 4.74 mm 147 ISO
Exposure: underexposed sky
Depth of field: ok
Chromatic aberration: ok
Digital noise: light
The night mode corresponds to an aggressive HDR mode, it brings out contrasts in a slightly exaggerated way to give an unrealistic aspect to the photo. This doesn't mean that the photos are bad, they are technically incorrect but everyone will appreciate this kind of photo according to their tastes.
The other examples below show the same defects/qualities for this phone. In bad weather, the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite could do a little better in terms of exposure but if you take the trouble to change the brightness yourself, this phone can produce interesting pictures in this kind of condition.
Test photo / night
To test the night shot I walked around town to test the camera in different light conditions. It was quite cold and sometimes you will notice that some photos are blurry because of the shaking of my hands. The shutter speed allows you to take pictures in the middle of the night without assistance, but the slightest movement will be visible in the picture.
First example: ƒ/1.79 1/20 4.74 mm 1212 ISO
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite has a 4.74mm sensor like the Redmi Note 8 Pro but the latter uses a Samsung sensor instead of a Sony sensor on the Mi 9 Lite. The photo is quite accurate, the Xiaomi does not try to overexpose certain areas and even if the photo was taken at ISO 1212, the presence of digital noise is quite limited. Some areas are less clear, but on the scale of a normal phone or screen, you can't see it.
Second example: ƒ/2.2 1/20 1.66 mm 1613 ISO
As with other Xiaomi models, the Mi 9 Lite has an ultra wide angle sensor of 1.66mm. It allows to capture a very wide angle but when the brightness decreases this sensor cannot accumulate enough light. The picture is therefore darker overall than with the 4.74mm sensor, this is always the case with sensors of this type. ISOs go up to 1613 but the digital noise is almost invisible
Third example: ƒ/1.79 1/33 4.74 mm 1336 ISO
The x2 zoom is not really a real zoom, it is simply a digital zoom. Xiaomi often uses this technique and few manufacturers add an additional sensor to obtain an optical zoom. Xiaomi's strategy focuses more on taking large photos (48, 64 or 108 million pixels) to be able to isolate part of them and make it look like a digital zoom. This sensor therefore offers the same result as in the first example.
Fourth example: ƒ/1.79 1/17 4.74 mm 4701 ISO
For this picture I used the 4.74mm night mode. The night mode brings together several photos taken at different exposures to recompose one that will normally be of better quality than an individual photo. This is quite common practice on smartphones, but to be successful in this kind of photo you must be able to hold the phone in the same position for a few seconds. The result can sometimes be surprising but if the conditions are not met, the result can lead to a worse picture. In this example, the night mode has made shadow areas lighter to reveal more detail and a sharpness treatment has also been added. Up to a certain zoom level, this picture is quite good. The texture of the walls is clearly visible, whereas this was not the case in the other examples.
The night mode also reduces the effect of halos of light, it corrects a whole series of defects but it will cost you a few seconds each time. To take a picture and wait until the pairing is ready for the next picture, it will take 3 to 5 seconds. This mode can therefore only be used for static scenes. If you limit yourself to static scenes, the night mode will allow you to take good night shots, digital noise is almost totally absent and the level of detail is enhanced.
In the following pictures, you will find the same qualities and defects depending on the sensor used. The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite and its Sony sensor do a good job in night mode and in this price range, you can't really blame it.
Video quality Stabilisation
Video stabilization has never been Xiaomi's greatest strength and despite the presence of stabilization, the vibrations are clearly visible in the following videos. The result is not catastrophic but other brands are doing better.
Video normale conditionsIn December, the light is not very good and instead of waiting for a day with sunshine, I did this video test on a cloudy day. The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is able to shoot in 4k and the image quality is mostly good. I don't see the exposure jumps between light/dark areas, the video is smooth and the brightness is quite good despite the cloudy weather. The only big drawback is the stabilization, each step causes a big shake in the video, the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite stabilizes quickly but can't completely absorb big vibrations.
Video low light
The following video was taken in the evening on a partially illuminated car park. As I wrote above, the vibrations of walking are clearly visible but the video is still quite viewable. I expected to find digital noise for this type of video but overall the digital noise is well controlled, the Xiaomi seems to apply a smoothing of the image which has the effect of reducing the level of detail but also the digital noise. The Xiaomi moves from dark to lighted areas without difficulty, it is probably not the best device for this kind of exercise but it does well.
Audio qualityTo test the quality of the phone's audio output, I connect the device's audio output to a measuring tool, then play sounds on all frequencies and measure the differences between the original sound and the sound produced by the phone. In this way I measure the phone's ability to correctly reproduce all sounds.
[specs product="" category="sound"]With each Xiaomi I test, I get different results but there are two main trends. Sometimes Xiaomi chooses a very powerful sound that deforms when the volume is increased (e. g. Redmi Note 8 Pro) and sometimes Xiaomi limits the maximum power and offers a sound with limited distortion (e. g. Redmi Note 8). The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite looks more like the Redmi Note 8, the sound is not very powerful but its quality is maintained even when the volume is pushed to the maximum, this model has a very limited distortion.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is not a phone for loud music lovers but it offers good sound quality across all frequencies.
This test is intended to test the device's ability to correctly reproduce all frequencies. The white line in the middle of the graph is the ideal situation and the other colors come from tests on different phones. A deviation from the reference line indicates a deviation from the ideal situation. To see good sound at all frequencies, it is therefore necessary to get as close as possible to the reference line.
I measured +0.02 and -0.08 for the frequency response test, these are very low values that indicate that the sound is very close to the reference. Comparing the Mi 9 Lite with the Redmi Note 8 Pro, we can see that the Mi 9 Lite has a better frequency response, this indicates a more faithful reproduction of the sound but it is also much more stable. If you look at the graph you will notice that the curve of the Mi 9 Lite does not fluctuate much unlike that of the Redmi Note 8 Pro. The Mi 9 Lite and the Redmi Note 8 (not the pro version) have many more similarities.
This test is designed to test a phone's ability to play sounds at different volume levels. Here too, the phones must be as close as possible to the reference.
The lack of power in the sound places the Mi 9 Lite below the Redmi Note 8 Pro for the reproduction of certain frequencies. This does not affect quality, but this phone is not for people who love powerful music.
This test aims to identify if the device under test is able to reproduce sounds without too much noise. A high score indicates a low parasite rate, a lower score indicates a higher presence of parasites.
The Mi 9 Lite does not have any problems with interference, but it has a lower value than the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
The purpose of this test is to measure the recording quality of the phone when there is a lot of ambient noise. Since I don't have the opportunity to go to a concert every time I test a phone, I simulate the noise of a concert in a closed environment.
Screen qualityTo test the screen, I use a colorimetric probe that measures the color accuracy of a screen, as well as other parameters to see if a screen is able to correctly reproduce an image. I also test the brightness level to determine if the screen will be able to display an image in full sunlight.
[specs product="xiaomi-mi-9-lite" category="screen"] Colorimetry
When I bought the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite, I still had a Xiaomi Mi A3 that also had an AMOLED display. Since the two phones were quite similar in size, I thought Xiaomi would use the Mi A3 screen for his Mi 9 Lite, but the first time I turned on the phone, I realized that this was not the case. The analysis of the probe reveals that the Mi 9 Lite screen is perfectly calibrated if you change a parameter, you have to force the display to keep a constant contrast ratio, the phone is configured by default with dynamic contrast and this affects colorimetry. When the contrast is constant, the colorimetry is accurate and reaches the level of a Samsung Galaxy S10+ at a cost of 500€ less!
Brightness / Contrast
The theoretical brightness of the Mi 9 Lite is 600 cd/m² but with my measurements I obtained a maximum of about 450 cd/m². How can such a difference be explained? Some phones do not allow you to push the brightness to the maximum in manual mode, this could explain why I get to 450 when the phone is supposed to be able to go up to 600. With 450 you should be able to read your screen in full sunlight but the readability will not be extraordinary, with 600 on the other hand it will not be a problem. I tested this phone in winter, so I never had an extraordinary sun to test the screen under the sun.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is equipped with an AMOLED display and this is visible from the start. The blacks are very black and the contrast is excellent. Xiaomi had launched a first AMOLED screen below 200€ with the Mi A3 but this screen was not well calibrated. The Mi 9 Lite does much better, it will probably be one of the best AMOLED displays in the price range between 200- and 250 euros.
The smartphone screen reflect light and sometimes turn them into a real mirror. This mirror effect makes it harder to read.
The absorption index below indicates the percentage of light absorbed by the screen. The readability of a screen is better when the absorption index is high.
BiometryThe Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite can be unlocked by a fingerprint sensor under the screen, 2D facial recognition or a code on the screen. I am quite puzzled about the possibility of capturing the fingerprint on the screen because it doesn't always work very well. I had tested the Samsung Galaxy S10+ where this fingerprint sensor irritated me because it didn't work well and then I had a Xiaomi Mi A3 where it worked very well. The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is a bit in between. The fingerprint sensor under the screen is less reliable than a sensor at the back, it often takes several attempts to succeed. I used to use the fingerprint sensor to access some applications more quickly, I disabled this feature on the Mi 9 Lite because the failure rate was too high. I find that a fingerprint sensor has to be placed behind the phone, the finger positioning is more natural and the success rate is much higher.
Fortunately, facial recognition works much better, and it is through this method that I most often unlock the phone because I almost never manage to unlock the phone with fingerprint sensor in a single attempt.
When I received the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite, it was running under MIUI 10 like most of the Xiaomi sold at the end of 2019. After a few weeks, I had the opportunity to install MIUI 11. Without going into all the details I made a video of the main screens under MIUI 10 and then I did the same for MIUI 11.
At first glance, the differences are minimal and if you don't pay attention, you won't see the differences.
What are the differences? What's new in MIUI 11?
- slight adaptation of the design and icons
- the call screen has been simplified
- the hierarchy of parameters has changed and the whole is more spaced, new options have appeared
- screen casting is now easier, it is available in shortcuts and it appears in some applications
- new animations for screen changes
- new version of the Xiaomi browser
- improvement of the battery saver
- it is now possible to display information on the screen when the screen is off such as time display, number of messages, battery level,...
- some new features such as a step counter, options for sound adjustment or in-game performance
For the rest, I find that the experience offered by MIUI remains a very good experience, Xiaomi pushes its own applications like every major manufacturer but some are really very useful, the others can not be uninstalled but I isolate them in a folder and they no longer bother me.
Encoutered bugsThis section is usually empty when I test a Xiaomi but this time I found something that looks like a bug. When I charge the phone, it starts vibrating at irregular intervals as if it was receiving a message when it was not receiving any messages or notifications. This problem was present under MIUI 10 and MIUI 11 and I only encountered it on the Mi 9 Lite. I had to decide to turn off the phone when I charged it because the vibration was too annoying.
Accessories Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite[accessoires type="smartphone" product="xiaomi-mi-9-lite" lg="en"]
Compare Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite with the others[ranks type="smartphone" device="Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite"]
Test / Review conclusionXiaomi keeps launching new phones to occupy the market and sometimes it makes it difficult to choose the right phone at the right price. The Xiaomi Mi A3 was launched around 250€ 4 months ago and this Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite was launched in the same price zone. The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is however a phone of a completely different calibre that seems to have a more logical place in this price range where we also find the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is elegant and original with its bright curves at the back, it has a very good level of finish and all that will perhaps distinguish it from a more expensive phone is the photo sensor that stands out a little bit at the back where the more expensive phones offer an almost smooth surface. Like many other phones of this type, you will not escape the many fingerprints everywhere but so far I have not found an ideal phone at this level.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite offers a good level of performance for playing, its camera delivers a good photo quality if you use the main sensor because the wide angle delivers a lower quality, so it should preferably be used when the light is good and the level of detail is not important. At night, the main sensor delivers good pictures as long as you don't move too much, the night mode works quite well too.
I was positively surprised by the screen which after a simple adjustment delivers a performance worthy of a high-end phone.
In the same price range there is the Redmi Note 8 Pro then between the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite and the Redmi Note 8 Pro, which one should you choose? The answer is not simple because these phones are quite different. The Redmi Note 8 Pro offers more power and a better battery but it has a rougher and more massive look where the Mi 9 Lite plays a little bit more the finesse card. The Redmi Note 8 Pro is able to take better pictures when the light is good but in bad weather, it does not always make the right choices. In terms of sound, it's the same, the Redmi Note 8 Pro chooses power over quality while the Mi 9 Lite plays does the opposite. So there is always something where the Redmi Note 8 Pro is better than the Mi 9 Lite but there are probably as many elements of the Mi 9 Lite that are better than the Redmi Note 8 Pro and this is reflected in the final score as well, they end up with an almost identical score.
Display (after changing the settings)
Photos with the main sensor
Battery a little below average (the fingerprint sensor must be deactivated)
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