The Xiaomi 12 Lite, the most recent phone in the 12 series, has a refreshed design that emits a chic and sophisticated vibe. This phone is a visual delight thanks to its 108-megapixel main camera and 120-Hz OLED display. Additionally, it has quick charging capabilities and a Snapdragon 778G CPU, which gives it lightning-fast performance.
The autofocus 32-megapixel selfie camera on this phone, which is unusual even among high-end flagship devices, is one of its most notable features. The Xiaomi 12 Lite is an excellent value for its amazing features at roughly 400 euros, especially given that the prices of its rivals are rising.
Design and Display
The Xiaomi 12 Lite’s updated design is one of the most obvious differences between it and the Xiaomi 12, 12X, and 12 Pro models, which it replaces. The camera module on the Lite version is oval-shaped and primarily made of plastic. It is also lighter and smaller than its predecessors. The phone’s back is protected by frosted glass, while the face is shielded by Gorilla Glass 5. Light green, light pink, and black are the three exquisite colour options for the Xiaomi 12 Lite. Smudges on the phone’s back are rarely noticeable until seen from a particular angle in direct sunlight.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite offers an improved visual experience thanks to its brilliant OLED panel with 12-bit colour depth. A speed improvement over last year’s model, the 6.55-inch, 1080 x 2400 px display has a 120-hertz adaptive refresh rate and a 240-hertz sampling rate for quick response times while gaming.
Additionally certified for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, the display gains flagship-level status. It is an amazing accomplishment at this price point that the display specifications are the same as those of the Xiaomi 12 and 12X screens, which is even more astonishing.
Even though the brightness of the Xiaomi 12 Lite is the same as that of the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE from the previous year, it is still impressive given the latter’s already high brightness level.
The phone’s auto-mode brightness level of 507 nits is more than sufficient for outdoor use on a sunny day. Additionally, it has a peak brightness of 824 nits, which is very good for a cheap smartphone. However, the Vivid mode by default produces less than ideal colour accuracy. The average dE2000 drops to just 1.5 when the original colour mode is used, and the whites and greys take on a somewhat bluish tint.
Both the Xiaomi 12 Lite and the model from the previous generation use 4300 mAh batteries, which are almost comparable in size. This is only a minor increase over the 4,250 mAh battery seen in the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE. The 12 Lite, however, trails several of its rivals in the rankings since its standby time is less than theirs.
With the addition of 67-watt charging functionality for the 12 Lite, Xiaomi has significantly improved upon the 33-watt charging found in earlier models. The phone charges remarkably quickly, reaching 84% in only 30 minutes and 100% in just 50 minutes.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite has two bottom-mounted speakers, with the left channel acting as the loudspeaker. A grille that serves as an echo chamber is also included at the top end of the frame. Unfortunately, 12 Lite’s level of volume is lower than that of earlier iterations.
There is some subjectivity involved with speaker quality. Clear highs and mids are produced by the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G, and vocals are also audibly distinct. The bass, though, is unimpressive. Music with a lot of basses sounds flat, which may not be appealing to listeners who prefer hip-hop or EDM. In the end, the user’s musical preferences determine how well the 12 Lite speakers perform.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite is the first device to include the newest MIUI 13 and Android 12 operating systems together. However, since the software’s essential notification history feature is still absent in Android 11, some users might be disappointed.
However, MIUI 13 boasts a number of internal upgrades that promise better storage, CPU, and RAM management. The latest MIUI version’s performance has been optimised by Xiaomi to give users a faster and more responsive experience.
If you’ve already used MIUI, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting used to the Xiaomi 12 Lite’s user interface. Although the appearance as a whole has not changed, there is one obvious modification: the DPI setting. Although the device is set to display a resolution of 1080p+, the DPI gives the appearance of a resolution of 1440p+. Despite being smaller in size, this produces sharper text and user interface elements. Through the settings menu, you can change the UI scale to your liking.
It’s not immediately obvious why this adjustment was made, but the Xiaomi 12 Lite ships with the notification shade and Control Centre divided by default. However, in our testing, we discovered that this division is practical and useful for introducing MIUI’s UI features to new users. With quick toggles present in the same location, you can quickly return to the standard notification shade if you don’t like the new design.
Users won’t have any trouble navigating because the home screen, recently used apps, and settings menu are all familiar from earlier Xiaomi devices. We like how the app drawer is now always on by default, and we think the search bar at the bottom of the screen makes it easier to use. The app categories can be predefined and customised by users, making it simpler to browse the app drawer.
The vertical layout and numerous useful shortcuts make MIUI’s Recent Applications menu stand out from the default one. Users can open apps using the floating windows feature, but only one programme can be opened at a time. Users can enable the sidebar and create shortcuts to make it easier for them to quickly access apps that support free-form windows.
It’s crucial to remember that depending on the situation, the sidebar looks different. It gives users access to gaming-related features while acting as a toolbox with video-related options in video apps. Users can also snap screenshots, record videos, cast material, and even play YouTube videos without a Premium subscription with the screen off. Pop-up windows can also be used to open video apps. Users must add the apps where this functionality will be enabled to their whitelist in order to use it.
Xiaomi 12 Lite continues MIUI’s tradition of highlighting the value of personalization. Users have the option to customise the user interface’s theme or show Always-On as per their preferences. Users can choose their favourite theme from a vast selection that is both preinstalled on the device and offered in the theme shop. Themes alter the system’s ringtones and icons in addition to the overall aesthetic, giving it a more unique look.
The MIUI comes with pre-installed security software that offers a wide range of capabilities to ensure that your device is secured when it comes to privacy and security. The app consolidates numerous settings and privacy features into one practical area, in addition to malware protection. You may control a blacklist, limit data consumption, set battery settings, and release RAM with the Security app. Additionally, you can define battery usage for selected apps, restrict access to particular apps, and manage the permissions of installed apps. The Security app gives MIUI users an additional measure of security and peace of mind.
The fingerprint scanner on the Xiaomi 12 Lite is quick and trustworthy when it comes to security. The device’s fingerprint scanner also offers a number of useful capabilities, such as the capacity to instantly launch a certain app or prompt after unlocking the device. Keep your finger on the scanner after the smartphone is unlocked to accomplish this.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite offers great performance for its price range and keeps the same Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset as its predecessor, the 11 Lite 5G NE. The device has UFS 2.2 storage and LPDDR4X RAM, and it is available in three memory configurations: 6GB/128GB, 8GB/128GB, and 8GB/256 GB. The Snapdragon 778G performs better than the majority of MediaTek’s mid-range models and is competitive with Snapdragon 600 series chipsets used in some rivals. Because of this, people looking for a device with potent performance without going over budget should seriously consider the Xiaomi 12 Lite.
The primary camera system of the Xiaomi 12 Lite has seen a considerable overhaul this year, and it goes beyond simply adding more pixels. Samsung’s 108 MP sensor, which is also noticeably larger, has taken the place of the 64 MP sensor from last year.
It’s important to note that the ultrawide camera still uses an f/2.2 lens with an 8 MP sensor and a 120-degree field of view. There are some drawbacks, including the macro camera’s decrease from 5 MP to merely 2 MP and the absence of autofocus.
This device’s 32 MP front-facing camera has a significantly bigger sensor, which is a noticeable upgrade. The focusing feature, which is uncommon even on high-end smartphones, makes it much better. Because binning is not enabled on this device, selfies are rendered at the full 32 MP resolution, offering exceptional clarity and detail.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite’s camera app contains a few oddities, but overall it is a simple execution. You can either use side swipes to shift modes or tap on the modes that are displayed to go straight there. However, you can only do this by using the toggle that is situated close to the shutter release; there is no option to switch between the front and rear cameras with an up or down swipe.
Go to the More tab and select the Edit button to change the camera modes. The primary Rolodex’s modes can be added, removed, or rearranged from here. The settings menu offers the same choices as well. A mode can still be accessed through the More tab even after it has been removed. These are the inactive modes; however, you can access them by removing a window next to the shutter button. Notably, you must use the toggle button close to the shutter release to swap between the front and back cameras instead of using the swiping gesture.
The hamburger menu located at the bottom of the screen can also be used to enter Super Macro mode. Clicking on the app’s icon will take you to the settings page. Other helpful options are conveniently placed next to the hamburger menu for easy access, including Google Lens, flash mode, an AI toggle, and a magic wand with beauty effects switch.
On the near end of the device, there is a camera zoom switch that can be used in two different ways. By tapping on the dots that stand for ultra-wide, primary, or 2x digital zoom, you can select one of three possibilities. Along with the 2x and 10x zoom levels, the slider also offers intermediate magnifications. There are additional zoom levels that can be revealed by swiping your finger from side to side on the active magnification level. Simply tap on the level you want to use to access these levels.
This device’s camera features a valuable function called Pro Mode, which enables you to customise the shooting settings. The primary camera, the ultrawide camera, and the macro camera are just a few of the different kinds of cameras you can use. Depending on the camera you’re using, the sliders let you adjust the white balance, light temperature, shutter speed, and ISO. There are four presets from which to select. Additionally, a small live histogram can be found in the hamburger menu, and you can access a toggle for zebras from the menu.
The camera app provides a number of extra functions in addition to the typical manual options. One of these is the long exposure option, which offers presets for star trails, neon trails, starry skies, oil paintings, and moving crowds. You can increase the size of the thumbnails in the “More” option to make it simpler to go through all of these other modes.
Both the primary and ultrawide cameras have a night mode for low-light photography. The Auto Night Mode option is located in the advanced settings section.
The latest model’s macro camera has a definite quality and resolution drop compared to its predecessor. Because of its 2 MP resolution and fixed focus of 4 cm, the viewfinder has little detail. Low contrast and washed-out colours are both present. In addition, it might be frustrating for users to try to find the right focusing distance without any visual signals.
Even though the standard 8MP sensor found in ultrawide cameras rarely yields high-quality images, it is possible to take passable pictures in good lighting. Ultrawide pictures typically have excellent dynamic range, contrast, and noise control. Sharpness and detail can be fairly good when shooting closely.
But without turning on night mode, the ultrawide camera might take soft pictures with crushed shadows, clipped highlights, and a lot of background noise. While Night Mode creates images that are sharp enough for social media posting, it might fall short of the standards needed for photos of a professional calibre.
This device’s main camera performs similarly to the previous version, producing decent daylight photos. The photos have a good dynamic range, outstanding detail resolution, and little noise. As is customary for Xiaomi phones, the software boosts colours, contrast, and brightness by default. While some people might find the contrast and enhanced colours appealing, others might find them oversaturated.
When the contrast is increased, the image could show little highlights that have been clipped and crushed shadows. This lack of detail is a frequent problem. However, a quick software update will take care of the issue. Dynamic range and general sharpness may be compromised while shooting at the full 108 MP resolution.
Even without employing the specific night mode, the camera performs admirably in low-light situations, delivering images with good colour saturation and contrast, clearly defined shadows and highlights, and little noise. However, the noise suppression algorithm might result in the loss of some minute details. The image’s dynamic range has to be improved because the highlights frequently clip and the shadows are sometimes excessively dark.
This device has a decent selfie camera. Even if you are not at the ideal distance, you can still acquire good detail thanks to the focusing capability. Compared to the back camera, which often generates more saturated colours, the front camera provides colours that look more natural. However, the front camera may produce slightly drab images in dim indoor lighting conditions. The camera performs well in terms of exposure and has an outstanding dynamic range.
The primary camera on the phone can only capture video at 2160p@30 fps, while the ultrawide camera can only capture images at 1080p@30 fps. Although there is an electronic stabilisation system, it only works with 1080p resolution and is akin to those found in action cameras. The Snapdragon 778G chipset is not offered because it lacks the processing capacity required for sophisticated stabilisation at higher resolutions.
When shooting with the primary camera at a resolution of 2160p, the video quality is excellent. The video has excellent sharpness, is very detailed, has a high contrast level, and has a wide dynamic range. Despite possible colour exaggeration, some individuals could find it visually appealing.
Similarly, the colour, dynamic range, and contrast of the video produced by the ultrawide camera are almost identical.
It is important to note that the device has 4K video stabilisation, which enables trustworthy electronic image stabilisation even at the highest video resolution that the phone is capable of. Therefore, it is not always necessary to use the steady video mode, which offers more sophisticated stabilisation comparable to that of action cameras. It’s crucial to remember that this mode is constrained to 1080p resolution.
Like its predecessors, the Xiaomi 12 Lite is a fantastic all-around smartphone. It stands out from other smartphones with its sleek and appealing design, 12-bit, 120Hz OLED display, and a number of additional features. Anyone looking for a small, lightweight, and affordable smartphone should get this one.