The Mi 10T Lite is Xiaomi’s new entry-level smartphone. With this product, the Chinese brand seeks to bring to a phone at 300 euros what already exists on terminals three times more expensive, such as a 120 Hz screen, 5G or fast charging. Successful bet ?
Xiaomi continues to fuel the market with phones in all price segments. 2020 has been a busy year for the manufacturer, notably with the Mi 10 Pro and the Redmi Note 9. With the Mi 10T Lite, its new product, it is targeting the smallest purses. by offering a terminal for less than 300 euros, but who doesn’t want to be “cheap”. It logically succeeds the Mi 9 lite, which was a good surprise in 2019
At this price, it is necessary to make compromises. However, Xiaomi promises a lot of things at the technical level. The primary characteristic of the terminal is to be equipped with 5G, making it one of the cheapest compatible products on the market today. But it hides other interesting surprises, like a quality screen on paper, an engaging photo sensor, an XXL battery or a new processor that promises some power.
At this price, it is normal to think that there has to be a wolf somewhere. This is what we will try to determine in this test. Is the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite the best smartphone in its segment or is it hiding nasty flaws?
Our full opinion on the Mi 10T Lite in video
Price and availability
The Xiaomi Mi T Lite is already available for pre-order on the manufacturer’s official website. It will be sold from October 26, 2020.
The terminal is available in two versions. The cheapest has 64 GB of storage and is marketed at 299 euros. The second has 128 GB of storage and is sold 329 euros. Both of these models can be purchased in blue, gray, or rose gold, and feature 6GB of RAM.
A technical sheet almost worthy of a top of the range
The Mi 10 T Lite spec sheet is very engaging and could almost pass for a high-end phone with a few details. The screen, first of all, offers a definition in Full HD +, but with a 120 Hz refresh rate, something that is usually only seen on much more expensive smartphones, with a few exceptions. However, we notice that this is an IPS LCD and not an AMOLED, as was the case with the Mi 9 Lite, for example. Not sure that we gain in the exchange.
|Xiaomi Mi 10T lite|
|Dimensions||165.3 x 76.8 x 9 mm|
|Screen||6.67 ”2400×1080 FHD +
120Hz Display and Corning Gorilla 5
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 750 5G (8nm)|
|BONE||Android 10, MUI 12|
|Storage||64 GB / 128 GB|
|Main sensor||64 MP f / 1.9
8 MP f / 2.2 wide-angle
2 MP f / 2.4 macro
2 MP f / 2.4 depth
|Secondary sensor||16 MP|
Fast charge 33 watts
|Biometrics||Edge fingerprint scanner|
There is also a very interesting photo section, with no less than four sensors including one of 64 megapixels. The presence of a 33 Watt fast charge module is also an interesting surprise on paper.
Regarding the power, we notice the presence Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor. In theory, this is a mid-range SoC, but it has the merit of being compatible with the 5G network. This is the first time we have tested it at PhonAndroid and we expect decent performance, if not incredible.
A very correct technical sheet, therefore, especially for a smartphone at this price. On paper, Xiaomi therefore offers excellent value for money. Is this the case in practice?
A utilitarian design more than aesthetic
The Mi 10T Lite is a brick. Xiaomi was not really lace in its design, preferring practicality over aesthetics. So we have a very heavy terminal, since it still weighs 214 grams. It’s starting to do a lot, even for a phone that’s almost 7 inches. It adopts dimensions of 165.3 x 76.8 x 9 mm. We are therefore on a relatively thick and bulky object.
One of the visual peculiarities of the Mi 10T Lite is the presence of a huge photo module on the back cover. It comes out a few millimeters from the chassis, making it even thicker there. However, being placed in the center, it does not make the terminal wobbly when it is placed on its back. But its XXL size largely contributes to this “brick” aspect that the product reflects.
The hood is in hard plastic imitation glass. The photo module mentioned above finds its place in this design and does not shock too much despite its size. It is accompanied by a flash module discreetly placed next to it. The back cover is slightly domed, which gives the Mi 10T Lite a clumsy appearance and reinforces its somewhat rough aspect. It should be noted that the plastic material used here attracts fingerprints. Your smartphone will be marked with your fingerprints after each use. What annoy the most manic. It is sold in three colors, we said it: blue, rose gold and gray. It is this latest version that we are testing today.
The frame is plastic and the same color as the cover. On the right edge we find the volume button as well as the power button. This last also serves as a fingerprint sensor. Coupled with facial recognition, it works perfectly. At the writing, we have always found this placement on the edge very practical for a physical sensor, much more than on the back cover or under the screen. The Mi 10T Lite is no exception. Unlocking is done very naturally once the smartphone is in hand.
On the left edge, we find the SIM cover that can serve as a microSD slot, something increasingly rare today. On the lower tench throne the USB Type-C port as well as a jack port. We were unable to test the headphones that came with the phone as our test copy was without.
The screen of the smartphone is almost 7 inches and offers relatively thick edges. If the slab takes up almost the entire facade, we will just note the presence of a small black band on the lower part, but nothing very noticeable. The punch is located in the center, at the top of the display. Just above the panel, we find a small, very discreet speaker, practically invisible if we are not careful. Note that the screen is not protected by a plastic film, as is the case with some manufacturers.
For protection, a soft plastic shell is nevertheless provided in the box. While it doesn’t look really good, it will offer some nice security for the most clumsy users. It’s already that.
Overall, the Mi 10T Lite stands out only thanks to to its round photo sensor which makes it recognizable, but remains very wise in the rest of its design, even sad with our color. In everyday life, its XXL dimensions and heavy weight are detrimental to it, making its handling less pleasant. You will need to have large pockets or put it in a bag. Not very practical in the long run.
A somewhat weak screen
The Mi 10T Lite is equipped with a 6.67-inch IPS LCD panel with a definition of 2400 x 1080 pixels (20: 9 ratio). We could regret the choice of IPS instead of AMOLED. After all, the Mi 9 Lite offered this technology. Xiaomi seems to have made this sacrifice to offer a low-cost panel with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, which is interesting for a smartphone of this price, but not a first. This refresh rate makes it possible to display more images per second and therefore have smoother movements, which is much more pleasing to the eye. However, this option is more battery intensive. For those who wish, it is possible to set the refresh rate to 60Hz.
The screen / front ratio is 84%. If this remains correct, we are still far from 90% of market records. Here, the bottom bar is to blame, it intruding somewhat on the display. But nothing really disabling, this ratio remains high for a smartphone.
To the naked eye, the screen looks a bit bland. We analyzed it with a probe to find out what it’s really worth. It has contrast measured at 1660: 1. If this is correct for an IPS screen, the panel suffers from the comparison with smartphones with OLED screens on the market (infinite contrast), which are not necessarily only high-end (the Mi 9 Lite, the OnePlus Nord and the Mi Note 10 have one, for example). Readability in dark scenes in a video cannot therefore be guaranteed in daylight, but not surprisingly.
There is also some weakness with respect to colors, since the average Delta E is 3.8. This average remains very acceptable (less than 3 being perfect), but we will note reds and greens displayed little respectful of the original colors. To the naked eye, they do indeed give the impression of being “washed out”, the bright reds tending to orange. Nothing very serious, but still a bit of a shame. The brightness of 450 cd / m² also leaves something to be desired. If we’re not in the bad business, we would have liked a better screen at this point, if only for use in direct sunlight which can be tricky. We will note an automatic brightness that is a bit hazardous at times, which does not really know at what level to settle when the ambient light is weak. A special sunlight option is offered, but has little effect.
Finally, the real Achilles heel of the screen is its global temperature. Measured at 7600K, it is very high compared to the video standard of 6500K. This means that on a blank page, the screen is very bluish, which contributes to that bland screen impression to the naked eye. However, it is possible to lower this temperature in the parameters. It is already that, although these options remain limited.
Ultimately, the Mi 10T Lite has a very average screen, but not catastrophic either. If the presence of 120 Hz is appreciable, it comes at the expense of many things, such as OLED technology which is really lacking. If its absence on a smartphone at 300 euros still passes, we would still have liked more care taken in the calibration of the screen in compensation. Pity.
Regarding audio, the table is not very bright either. The phone has two speakers: one on the right edge and one above the screen. This second is less powerful, which unbalances the sound. This sound is muffled when the bottom speaker is covered by the palm of your hand, which often happens in video viewing. The second, too weak, cannot really compensate. For the rest, we will note a nasal and slightly unpleasant sound and above all a significant box effect: your terminal will vibrate as soon as the volume is a little too loud. Far from being an example to follow.
Correct performance, sluggish use
The Mi 10T Lite is powered by a Snapdragon 750G processor. This mid-range SoC wants to be the new benchmark from the manufacturer Qualcomm in this segment and has the advantage of being 5G compatible. If the network has not yet been deployed in France for the general public, offering an equipped telephone can be a strong argument for the future. The terminal is supported by 6 GB of RAM and our model has 128 GB of storage. The other model has 64 GB of memory and the same amount of RAM.
After our benchmark test phase (at least on those who wanted to launch on the terminal, the others crashing at startup), we observed decent performance. We are thus above the Pixel 4a (Snapdragon 730G) in the same price range, as well as the Poco X3, which is equipped with a Snapdragon 732G. Convincing results in terms of pure power in the benchmarks, but served by a poorly optimized overlay.
Read also – Google Pixel 4a test: a very convincing mid-range
Indeed, we have found systematic and painful jerks during navigation. This is the case with the unlock animation. If that doesn’t make it slower, it’s still a task and annoys in the long run. The same goes for animations concerning running applications or opening the dedicated drawer. Oddly, this sort of thing does not happen in software that requires power, like games. The most greedy title of the PlayStore, Asphalt 9, offers here graphics at minimum and a framerate of 30 FPS, but no slowdown. Ditto for the other games, quite usable with the adapted graphics, like PUBG which runs at 40 FPS on average. We can therefore point to the optimization of the overlay of Xiaomi. Pity. We can still hope for fixes deployed on MIUI 12.
The toasting is well controlled. It diffuses correctly over the entire chassis working and does not disturb the user in any way. A great job from Xiaomi on this point.
A slightly outdated overlay
The Mi 10T Lite comes with Android 10 with the overlay of Xiaomi MIUI 12. This does not drastically change the experience, but brings classic proprietary applications (Mi Music, Mi Calculator or Mi Note) and above all some changes to the interface. It is also possible to customize it to your liking via the Themes application, which allows you to change both the icons and the skin. It should be noted, however, that it is shielded with ads, which is not very serious for a proprietary application that comes with the phone.
We have already mentioned the concerns of optimizing the overlay, but we can also point the finger at its somewhat dated appearance which is difficult to convince in 2020. Visually, Xiaomi is indeed several years behind and does not seem to have changed. for a while. In use, there are always useful applications, like the memory cleaning tool, a well-thought-out photo gallery, but big gaps exist. For example, the overlay still doesn’t offer Always On Display mode or easy switching to silent mode. For this last manipulation, you must first touch the sound wheel to bring up the volume bar, then press my three small dots to finally access it. A little heavy, by force.
However, everything is not to be thrown into this overlay. This version 12 of MIUI released six months ago now brings all the same its share of interesting novelties. For example, we can welcome the (finally) arrival of the application drawer, which may or may not activate according to your habits. As with stock Android, you no longer need to have all your apps on the desktop and put them in cumbersome folders if you’re not using them. This drawer also has the merit of automatically classifying the installed software. For example, it will be possible to select only the games to find the one you are looking for.
There has also been an emphasis on privacy, as it is now possible to control which application has access to your data and when. For example, when software uses localization, a small icon will appear in the status bar. Something else, dark mode has been revised, allowing you to plan time slots when it is activated or not. For games, a dedicated HUB launches automatically and allows you to manage notifications and see GPU usage. A good idea, for once.
Finally, multitasking is present, for example making it possible to divide the screen in two to have an application at the top and one at the bottom. It’s convenient, but again, handling is unnecessarily complicated to do this, since you have to launch the application manager, then find the little screen share button hidden at the top left to launch it.
Also read – Redmi Note 9 test: Xiaomi is losing speed?
In fact, MIUI 12 therefore adds some interesting things to Android, but nothing that we haven’t seen elsewhere. We will point out the lack intuitiveness of the overlay which is always lacking, despite its many additions. The Mi 10T Lite isn’t the nicest smartphone in this segment, although it’s still quite usable. Xiaomi followers will find their feet easily, but not everyone will.
The Mi 10T Lite relies heavily on its camera. On the back, we have as well a module containing four sensors. The main one is a 64-megapixel (f / 1.9) sensor. There is also an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor (f / 2.2 with an angle of 120 degrees), a 2-megapixel macro sensor (f / 2.4) and a 2-megapixel depth sensor (f / 2.4). On paper, Xiaomi therefore offers an interesting photo section for a smartphone of this price.
In fact, this part is uneven. When taking photos with the 64-megapixel sensor, the results are very satisfactory, as well in the management of the lights as in the precision of the shots. We are not at the level of a Galaxy S20 or a Huawei P40, of course, but rather in front of a terminal that takes great photos. We will just regret a little drowned blacks. On the other hand, the night mode is not really convincing, so you will have to forget to use your camera when the light is lacking, too bad.
The wide angle of 120 degrees is interesting and offers very wide shots, despite the inevitable distortion of the image. On the contrary, the digital zoom x10 does not work miracles, the shots taken under these conditions being noisy and unusable despite software smoothing. Useless, therefore.
Finally, we will note very successful close-up photos as well as efficient focusing. Here are some examples of photos taken with the Mi 10T Lite:
On the software side, Xiaomi is classic with modes that can be found everywhere (panoramic, portrait, professional) as well as gadget modes (such as the clone which allows to display a person in several places) which will be very useful. little. Xiaomi obliges, all the pictures taken by your smartphone are watermarked, you may have noticed it in our photos. It is however possible to deactivate the thing in the options.
A surprising autonomy
If there is one segment in which the Mi 10T Lite surprises us, it is that of autonomy. The smartphone is equipped with a 4820 mAh battery, which suggests the best, even on a screen with a refresh rate stuck at 120 Hz. On this point, it does not disappoint. After a rather busy day of use (a bit of gaming, a bit of browsing, watching videos or even calling) the smartphone displays a percentage between 50% and 60% at bedtime. A very good performance achieved when the refresh rate was 120 Hz. By reducing this to 60 Hz, we gained another 10% more in the evening. This means that it is possible to last two full days with your Mi 10T Lite, or even 3 if you use it very little. Something rare on the market today.
The Mi 10T Lite offers fast charging with a charger with a power of 33 watts. During our tests, we re-supplied the battery from 1 to 100% in one hour and three minutes. This is good, especially since the battery has a relatively large capacity, reaching almost 5000 mAh. With that, Xiaomi is successful and its terminal will convince users for whom the battery is the first purchase criterion.