Written by Cheryl Tan
Mid-range phones have been getting better and better, and the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite might be the epitome of bang-for-buck. This phone offers an insane amount of value for just S$549, and could possibly be the best phone available right now at this price point.
Let’s get straight into it. The Mi Note 10 Lite uses a Snapdragon 730G processor, which is an eight-core chip designed for gaming, alongside 8GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. It’s non-expandable since there’s no MicroSD card slot, so you have to be sure of your storage needs before you get the phone.
You get a 6.47″ AMOLED display which is bright and displays colours vibrantly, with a teardrop cutout for the front camera. Performance is good, switching between apps is seamless and there’s no lag even in games like Asphalt 9. It’s a FHD+ display, but unfortunately, there’s no high refresh rate, so you might be able to tell the difference if you were previously using a flagship phone with 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rates.
You get a single down-firing speaker which can get pretty loud when watching shows or playing games, and it’s pretty immersive. I would have preferred stereo sound, but for a sub-$600 phone, we can’t ask too much from Xiaomi. The placement of the speaker is unfortunate though since your palm will most likely cover it when holding the phone in landscape orientation.
The phone feels good in the hand though, and it feels almost hefty. It’s a glossy plastic back, but it’s not too slippery even though it does attract fingerprints. The display has a curved edge, but nothing too drastic like Huawei’s waterfall display.
There’s even an option to adjust the zone around the sides where false touches won’t be registered, which is a nice feature to have, especially since you wouldn’t expect it on a mid-range phone.
It also boasts a quad-camera array at the back with a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, 2MP macro lens and a 5MP depth sensor while the front camera is a pretty standard 16MP shooter.
It doesn’t use the same 108MP main camera that the Mi Note 10 we reviewed does, but clearly, concessions had to be made to keep the price low.
The ultra-wide angle lens does a pretty good job, and you can see the HDR setting working on the clouds in the sky even if some highlights are still blown. Colours seem to be a bit muted, but there’s definitely a saturation bump in the greenery and foliage
Macro photos are pretty good, they retained plenty of detail in the leather and stitching. Perhaps even a bit more than the photos taken with the Vivo V19, which is a bit of a surprise.
Night mode also works very well to get usable photos in low light conditions, while also ensuring that highlights aren’t blown. It’s actually quite surprising how well the phone handles the detail in the tree leaves.
Battery life is excellent. You get a 5,260mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging, and the fast charger is actually provided in the box so you won’t have to fork out additional cash for it. Watching two episodes of a Netflix drama only resulted in a 7% drop in battery, and on a full charge, this phone will last a single day for heavy users, or even a day and a half on light to moderate use. There’s no wireless charging on this, but that’s to be expected on a mid-range phone.
However, Xiaomi has decided to keep the 3.5mm headphone port on the bottom, and that’s a pretty nice decision since not everybody wants to or is able to use true wireless earbuds.
For people who want the absolute best phone, this isn’t it. The Mi Note 10 Lite can do plenty, but if you’re expecting this phone to be able to edit photos and videos, it most likely won’t be able to do it smoothly.
For the general consumer though, who just wants to play mobile games, watch Netflix and use their phone for chatting with friends and snapping photos, this is a gem in the mid-range phones category.
More information and purchase options for the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite (starting RRP at S$549) can be found on the Xiaomi website.
Or support us and get it on Amazon here.