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Xiaomi’s Mi 10T Lite 5G brings a device that offers 5G connectivity, and a whole lot more, with a budget-friendly price tag. The device offers a surprisingly high-quality build and impressive specifications to go along with it, with a price tag, at the time of this review, of just under £230.

Video Review

Design

Unlike other devices which may fall into the “budget” category, Xiaomi has not used a plastic construction on the back or front of the device. The front and back of the device are both glass, Gorilla Glass 5 to be specific, and feel great and result in a device that feels much more premium in the hand. The sides of the Mi 10T Lite 5G are plastic, however, but for the price this phone comes in at you can’t exactly expect a metal and glass build that is found on flagships that cost over double if-not triple the price of this.

Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G Back
The Mi 10T Lite 5G features a surprisingly premium choice of materials for a budget device.

The use of glass means that the device will not be as prone to light scratches or scuffs that could appear on a plastic device after regular use, but this does of course mean that the glass could shatter if you drop your phone and it lands in an unfortunate position. Xiaomi does have you covered with the basics to help prevent this, a screen protector is installed out of the factory and a silicone case is included in the box.

The Mi 10T Lite 5G is a big phone, with a 6.67” display on the front of the device. I’m usually a fan of smaller devices, so this phone is definitely one to use two hands with as it’s very difficult, at least for me, to even get near to reaching the top corner of the device. The display features a hole-punch cut-out camera in the middle, earpiece speaker, curved corners, and a little bit of a chin at the bottom. I didn’t notice the selfie camera much within the display during my testing, which is good as it is unobtrusive. This larger size does result in a device that packs quite a bit of weight, weighing in at 214 grams — almost 100 grams more than my, albeit much smaller, iPhone 12 mini.

Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G fingerprint sensor
The fingerprint sensor is integrated into the sleep/wake button.

Looking around the sides of the device, the right-hand side is home to all the buttons. There’s the sleep/wake button with an integrated fingerprint reader as well as the volume rockers. The left-hand side has the SIM and microSD card slot. The bottom of the device has the speaker, USB Type-C port as well as a headphone jack – which is certainly a welcome inclusion, especially on a budget phone.

The back of the device is very shiny and a bit of a fingerprint magnet. I’m a big fan of the satin glass finishes on recent devices from OnePlus, as this still has the advantages of glass but in a sleeker and less fingerprint-covered manor. The back of the device also is home to the quad-camera system, housed in a circular camera bump.

Display

The Mi 10T Lite 5G has a 6.67” display with a 2400×1080 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. High refresh rate displays have been making their appearances in high-end flagships and gaming phones and with the Mi 10T Lite 5G, it is clear to see that they’re also making their way to more budget-focused devices as well. This high refresh rate setting does need to be enabled in the settings as the device runs at 60Hz out of the box to conserve power.

Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G being held in hand
The Mi 10T Lite 5G features a 120Hz refresh-rate display.

This is my first experience with a high-refresh display, so, unfortunately, I don’t have any other high refresh rate displays to compare it against – all of my displays and devices are 60Hz. If you’re a big mobile gamer, I can see the high refresh rate being beneficial as it will provide you with a smoother gaming experience but even if you don’t game, the high refresh rate makes the overall experience of using the device and browsing feel much smoother and faster. However, I did notice that some apps, such as Twitter did not run at a high refresh rate.

The display panel itself is an IPS LCD, so it doesn’t offer as much contrast as an OLED display, but it does still offer playback of HDR10 content. Viewing content on the display is pleasant, text is sharp and colour saturation, as well as contrast, is good for a device in this category. The display also manages to hold up well when being looked at from an angle as it remains clear without any prominent colour shift.

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Software

The Mi 10T Lite 5G ships with Android 10 and their MIUI 12 interface running on top. Xiaomi has recently started rolling out Android 11 with MIUI 12.5 recently, although I am yet to receive the update, but it is good to see that the phone is seeing software updates for major Android versions.

The MIUI interface is a substantial design change from stock Android, but it is still pleasant to use and navigate and offers a good amount of customisation such as changing your home screen style, navigation method (between buttons and gestures) and the option to hide the hole-punch camera cut out.

I did find that the device did include quite a few apps from third parties that were installed out of the box and there were also a few apps that offered duplicate functionality such as Xiaomi’s web browser as well as Google Chrome.

Overall, the software experience is good and the MIUI interface is easy to navigate, but I do wish that those pre-bundled apps were optional, rather than mandatory.

Performance

The Mi 10T Lite 5G is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 750G 5G processor, the processor features 8 processing cores and works well for day-to-day phone usage, including browsing social media, watching videos and a bit of gaming.

I don’t game that much on mobile devices that much anymore, but I had to take the 120Hz refresh rate for a display. The phone held up well to the task and provided good quality graphics and performance on 3D titles such as Real Racing 3 and Asphalt 9.

Playing Real Racing 3 on the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G
The Mi 10T Lite 5G handles gaming well.

Regarding benchmarks, the device scored a single-core score of 658, a multi-core score of 1,979 and a compute score of 1,292 on Geekbench and score of 1,096 on 3DMark.

For wireless connectivity, the device supports Wi-Fi 5 (AC) connectivity, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC which can be used for making contactless payments with Google Pau as well as an infrared port, which you could use for controlling your TV.

The device supports two biometric unlocking methods through fingerprint and face recognition. Out of these two, the fingerprint recognition is the most secure as face recognition only uses the selfie camera unlike infrared face unlocking systems such as FaceID on the iPhone. The fingerprint reader works well for unlocking the device and seamlessly unlocks the device as it is woken up from sleep and the placement of the sensor is good as my finger or thumb was able to naturally rest on the button to unlock the device when needed.

The speakers are okay, they’re clear but do not offer much low-end. As the speakers work together, the speaker on the bottom handles the low-end and the earpiece speaker handles the high-end, there is a good amount of stereo sound. You’d probably still want to use earbuds or a Bluetooth speaker for listening to music, but for spoken word content such as radio or podcasts, these speakers should do the job.

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Camera

The Mi 10T Lite 5G features a quad-camera system as well as a selfie camera for capturing photos and video on the device. The cameras work well at capturing well-exposed photos with good dynamic range. On the back, there is a 64 MP wide, 8 MP ultrawide, 2 MP macro and 2 MP depth camera.

The cameras generally take good photographs, working well at capturing landscapes and portraits. Particularly with landscapes, the camera has worked well at ensuring that both the sky and land are well exposed and are not clipped thanks to auto HDR, this is quite an issue at the moment as the weather is so dreary and overcast so the cameras being able to capture detail within the cloudy landscapes is a big benefit.

When you’re in a tight spot, the ultrawide camera works well at fitting more into the frame such as large trees to get a more artistic angle. The saturation of images is good, but I do think that some images could do with a little more punch but overall, they look good. I did find that some subjects such as hedges did throw the colour balance a little and look far cooler and desaturated than they were in real life, of course, this can be fixed in the edit, but it would be even better if the camera were able to capture the warmth and colour of these more accurately.

Macro camera sample

I’m not too sure about the 2 MP macro camera, during my testing I didn’t find myself in a single situation where I thought about using it or needed it. I think it would’ve been far more useful to have a telephoto camera. Interestingly, the camera app does have a 2X zoom option alongside the ultrawide camera selection, but it just takes the image from the main camera and zooms in digitally.

When I got up close to a subject, I found myself using the main wide camera, which works well and has a good amount of depth of field thanks to its f/1.9 aperture. Of course, if you do want more depth of field separation, you can turn on the portrait mode.

The portrait mode generally does a good job at separating the subject from the background and adds a good quality background blur behind the subject. The cut-out is generally sharp and manages to cut out around hair to a good quality, but it can sometimes be thrown off by glasses and result in a visible blur around where the glasses should’ve been excluded from the blur.

The depth sensor camera looks to help a little bit, but between the selfie camera and rear camera, I could not tell a substantial difference in cut-out quality. As far as depth sensors go, I think the Samsung Galaxy A90 5G makes the best use of its sensor, but that device does cost much more than the Mi 10T Lite 5G.

The front-facing selfie camera works well for taking selfies, but it does not handle dynamic range as well as the rear-facing cameras, this could be seen in some of my testing shots where the sky was completely blown out as the camera worked to ensure that I was correctly exposed. The camera still does a good job, however, when the price-point of the device is taken into consideration.

When it comes to shooting video, the Mi 10T Lite 5G can shoot 4K 30fps or 1080p in 30/60/120/240fps and even 720p at 960fps, offering plenty of flexibility if you want to shoot some slow motion or high-resolution video. I mainly chose to film at 1080p 30fps as this allowed me to shoot video with electronic image stabilisation, which is not possible at 60fps or in 4K resolution. The stabilisation works well at removing large shakes from filming and can effectively smoothen a video that has been recorded when walking.

Manual camera settings in the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G's camera app
The camera app provides plenty of options for camera control.

The camera app provides a range of different modes and settings for shooting, including a full manual mode if you wish to have full control of the camera settings. There are a couple of things that I noticed when taking photos on the device, the first was the implementation of skin smoothing, which is on by default. I would’ve preferred to have this off by default and an option to turn on as I do not want skin smoothening on in my photos, additionally a watermark was being applied to photos I took, and this had to be turned off in the settings of the camera app to make it disappear.

I also noticed that the shutter of the camera could occasionally lag, this isn’t a huge issue as it only occurred a few times, but it was quite annoying as I was unsure whether I had captured the moment I wanted to. Overall, the camera app is okay and works well, but it could do with a little bit of tweaking to ensure that it is able to do the main thing it needs to do effectively – take photos.

Battery Life

The Mi 10T Lite 5G has a huge 4820 mAh battery, which supports 33W fast charging with a 33W fast charger included in the box. I’ve mainly been using social media apps and occasional video streaming during my testing of the device and it has held up incredibly well, giving me over a day of usage out of the device.

Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G on desk
The battery life of the Mi 10T Lite 5G is very good.

I also conducted a PCMark battery benchmark which emulates a range of device usage scenarios such as video editing, photo editing and web browsing, to name a few, and the device held up very well during this test. The test was performed with the display locked to full brightness at 120Hz mode and the device connected to Wi-Fi and the Vodafone 4G cellular network.

The phone lasted 8 hours and 20 minutes of being turned on performing this benchmark before hitting 20% charge, this shows that the device can offer an incredibly long screen on time thanks to its large battery.

Conclusion

The Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G is an incredibly appealing device that offers a lot for the money and is a fantastic budget offering. The device performs well for general usage as well as impressive battery life to match. The camera system is also good for capturing moments, although the app could do with a bit more work to ensure it doesn’t occasionally lag and the build and feel of the device is fantastic – for the £230 asking price, this is a very appealing option worth considering.

This review has been possible thanks to Vodafone UK. You can buy the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G from Vodafone or on Amazon.

Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G

Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G
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Xiaomi’s Mi 10T Lite 5G brings a device that offers 5G connectivity, and a whole lot more, with a budget-friendly price tag.
Xiaomi’s Mi 10T Lite 5G brings a device that offers 5G connectivity, and a whole lot more, with a budget-friendly price tag.
8/10
Total Score

The Good

  • Premium build materials.
  • 120Hz high-refresh rate display.
  • Impressive performance and battery life.

The Bad

  • Apps from third-parties installed by default.
  • Camera app can occasionally lag.
  • Macro camera is low quality.
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