Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Unboxing and First Impressions

Xiaomi's latest mid-ranger in town is the Mi 8 Lite. It is designed for those in need of a smartphone with great looks, capable performance, and good cameras.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Unboxing and First Impressions
Meet Mi 8 Lite

Based on its design and specs, it is one of the most attractive phones for the price. But is it worth the PHP 13,990 starting price?

Let's find out!



Xiaomi's packaging looks sweet. I like the clean looking gradient box with minimalist Mi 8 Lite print in front.

Inside, you will immediately see the phone itself, 5V/2A USB wall charger, USB-A to USB-C cable, USB-C to 3.5mm female port dongle, translucent flexible TPU case, and the paper documents.

The 5V/2A charger included is obviously faster than the iPhone's 1A stock charger. But, I wished that Xiaomi included a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 charger instead.

It has no earphones included in the package as well. But maybe, I'm just asking for too much.

Build Quality/Design

Glass back
Glass back

Right off the bat, it is evident that the Mi 8 Lite feels and looks like a high-end device with a mid-range price tag. It goes with a 2.5D glass material in front and at the back and a metal frame with curved glossy finish in the middle.
Big screen, small notch
Big screen, small notch

It comes with an unspecified version of Corning's Gorilla Glass technology as well. We can expect it to withstand accidental light drops and hairline scratches.

For the price, construction is above-average in my opinion. Like most other mid-rangers, do not expect it to come with water and dust resistance.

The design is also above-average for me. The glossy glass back design is definitely stylish. It even has a variant with gradient colors, the twilight gold edition if you want a flashier looking back cover.

Sweet looking design!

You will also find the slightly protruding dual cameras, LED flash, and fingerprint scanner at the back.

In front, you will see a big 6.26-inch 2.5D display with tall 19:9 screen aspect ratio and 82.6 percent screen-to-body ratio. The bezels are slim. Though it is not as slim as the bezels found on the similarly priced Honor 8X. It still has some space on the bottom chin.

As expected, it has a notch on the top of the display. But, the notch is much smaller than the notch of the iPhone X. You can even switch it on and off in the settings of your phone.

The notch houses the 24MP selfie camera, earpiece, and other sensors.

The result, the body of the handset is far from big at 156.4 x 75.8 mm. It is handy despite the large 6.26-inch screen. It is also very slim at 7.5 mm. The

On the top, you will see the hardly noticeable antenna lines and a microphone. Below, the microphone, USB-C port, and single firing speaker are there.

On the left, there's a hole to access the hybrid dual SIM/microSD card tray. At right, the usual power button and volume rocker buttons are there.

The handset has good curves all over which makes it comfortable to hold. However, you still need to be careful with it. Glass is glass and glass is slippery.

Use the case included in the package for a better grip.

The phone weighs at 169 grams.

Initial findings

AnTuTu benchmark score
AnTuTu benchmark score

1. It goes with close to excellent build quality and design for its price. The 10-point screen is also big, crisp, and bright.

2. The specs are also great and balanced for the price. I like that it has the max clocked version of the Snapdragon 660 AIE octa-core processor at 2.2GHz. It also has the gaming capable Adreno 512 GPU, up to 6GB RAM, up to 128GB storage, and 3,350mAh Quick Charge 3.0 battery.

The POCO F1 is still more powerful, but if you want a more affordable handset with better looking design, the Mi A2 Lite is a great option as well.

3. The handset boots with Android 8.1 Oreo OS and MIUI 9.5 skin out of the box. But, it will be updated to MIUI 10 once you connect to the internet already. MIUI 10 is designed to support full screen gestures. It also has AI and other improvements and optimizations.

4. The cameras reminds me of the Redmi Note 5 based on its specs. But since it is using a newer software, initial output looks better than the Redmi Note 5 on my opinion. It has a 12MP f/1.9 + 5MP f/2.0 S5K5E8 with Dual Pixel PDAF and dual-tone LED flash.

For selfies, it goes with the largest selfie shooter on a Xiaomi yet. It has a 24MP f/2.2 Sony IMX576 sensor with AI portrait.

5. Unlike some older Redmi devices, it has no IR Blaster. But, unlike other smartphones with a notch, it has an LED notification on the top of the screen. It also comes with USB-C charging, fingerprint scanner, and gyroscope sensor.

It is just a bit weird that the face recognition is not available in the lock screen and password settings.

Related: Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite: First Camera Samples

Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite Specs

Display: 6.26-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass IPS screen w/ FHD+ 2280 x 1080 resolution at 403 ppi
CPU: 2.2GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 660 AIE octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 512
ROM: 64GB/128GB
Back Camera: 12MP f/1.9 + 5MP f/2.0 S5K5E8 w/ Dual Pixel PDAF and dual-tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 24MP f/2.2 Sony IMX576 sensor w/ AI portrait
Battery: 3,350mAh w/ Quick Charge 3.0
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo w/ MIUI 9.5
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, dual 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, FM Radio, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, face unlock, Colors: dream blue, twilight gold, black
Dimensions: 156.4 x 75.8 x 7.5 mm
Weight: 169 g
Price: PHP 13,990 (4GB RAM/64GB ROM), 16,990 (6GB RAM/128GB ROM)

As of the moment

Craftsmanship is great, specs are above-average, cameras are good, and it is feature-rich for the price. It goes with more pros than cons so far. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite is shaping up to be a winner.

But, we will still fully test it out. See you with our verdict in our full review soon.

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