Xiaomi 12 Lite – Best Mid-Range Smartphone In 2022
Summer is here, so Xiaomi 12 Lite needs to come to Android Headlines for a review. At first glance, it seems Xiaomi has made many changes to the Lite series this year. As with the Redmi 11 series, the new changes include flat edges, sharper corners, and an updated display and cameras. I like the Lite series a lot because it has many of the same features as the flagship series but costs less. So let’s start the review by taking the Xiaomi 12 Lite out of its box.
Xiaomi 12 Lite Unboxed
The Xiaomi 12 Lite is easy to take out of its box. A clear TPU case, a 67W required to charge brick, and a USB-A to USB-C charging cable comes in a plain white retail box. I like that there is no plastic in the retail box, so kudos to Xiaomi for green energy where it counts instead of just getting rid of the charging brick.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite’s design language is stunning.
First of all, I’m thrilled that Xiaomi sent me a device that isn’t black or gray. This is only the fourth device I’ve looked at from this company that isn’t black. In addition to the Lite Green color they sent us for review, the Xiaomi 12 Lite also comes in Lite Pink and Black.
I like that my review unit is green. This is probably my second favorite green device I have with me, after the Pixel 6. Besides the color, I like how it is put together and how the weight is distributed. There are no rattles or squeaks that you can hear. The buttons have a great feel, and the way they fit in your hand is great.
The AMOLED screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 on the front of the phone. The plastic frame and frosted glass on the back show that the price was kept low. Xiaomi also cut costs by getting rid of the physical proximity sensor. The phone also doesn’t have formal ingress protection or IP rating.
There is a fast and accurate fingerprint scanner under the screen, but it would be easier to use if it were about an inch higher. In the last few months, the feel of Xiaomi devices has improved greatly, and this one is no different.
The camera module is modeled after the more expensive Xiaomi 12.
The design of the triple camera module on the back comes from the more expensive Xiaomi 12, which looks great on this phone. And the frosted back glass makes it hard for fingerprints to stick to it.
There are two speakers and two microphones, one on the top rail and one on the bottom, for sound. On the top rail is an IR port, and on the right rail are the volume rocker and power button. The left side of the phone is blank. The bottom of the phone has a USB-C charging port and a slot for two SIM cards.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite has a 120Hz AMOLED screen that is of flagship quality.
The Xiaomi 12 Lite from this year has a 6.55-inch OLED screen with a 12-bit (68 billion) color depth. The display panel has an adjustable refresh rate of 120Hz and a touch sampling rate of 240Hz, which make it easier to play games. The 1080p screen has a pixel density of 402 PPI and an aspect ratio of 20:9, which is typical for most smartphones.
The screen is also HDR10+, and Dolby Vision certified, and my gut feeling is that this is a top-of-the-line AMOLED display. The average brightness is about 500 nits, and the maximum brightness is about 800 nits, which is bright enough to use outside. I’m glad Xiaomi didn’t cut corners on the screen for the Lite series.
MIUI 13 is a familiar operating system
This year, we’ve looked at many Xiaomi devices with MIUI, so this part of the review will be short. MIUI Global 13.0.3 with the May 2022 security update is running on the Xiaomi 12 Lite. The software is the same on the cheaper Xiaomi 12 and the more expensive Xiaomi 12 Pro.
Phone, Messages, Chrome, and Contacts apps come with your Google account. When you swipe left, Google Discover comes up, just like it does on a Pixel device. There isn’t much bloatware, and you can get rid of all the apps that came with the phone, which is nice. Even though I think most people would prefer to have Facebook, Netflix, Spotify, and a Workplace app on their phone.
The fact that there are no ads that pop up in the user interface (UI) during regular use is a big carryover from the premium device. I also noticed that Xiaomi had changed the Notifications and Control center. This is a small but important change. The old version looked like a complete copy of iOS, but the new one is more Android, which is good.
The camera performance of the Xiaomi 12 Lite
The Xiaomi 12 Lite’s back cameras make you feel like you’ve seen them before. The Xiaomi 12’s design language and screen are carried over, but the rear cameras are from the Redmi Note 11 series, which is a mid-range phone. The back camera arrangement is similar to the one on the Redmi Note 11 Pro, which we reviewed earlier this year, so there shouldn’t be any surprises regarding how well it works.
The main camera is a 108MP camera with a 1/1.52″ sensor size, 0.7m 9-in-1 pixel binning (12MP), and a /1.9 6P lens. The 8MP ultra-wide camera has an area of view of 118° and an aperture of /2.2. The last camera is a 2MP Macro camera with an aperture of f/2.4.
The main and ultrawide cameras take really good pictures during and at night. Look at the examples in our Flickr Gallery and make your own decision. Most of the time, the colors are bright, and the photos look like they have a lot of contrast. Even when there isn’t much light or dark, a smartphone can take good pictures.
The camera app has many features, like Night Mode, Short Video, Time-lapse, Dual Video, Exposure bracketing, Super Macro, and full manual Pro mode. And the same warning applies when choosing which camera to use to record video: once you start recording video, you can’t switch between the main and ultrawide cameras.
Xiaomi did fix the problems with the front camera and made it the same as the one on the 12 Pro. Selfies are good most of the time. But maintain in mind that the camera has a fixed autofocus length.
Should you purchase the Xiaomi 12 Lite?
In short, the Xiaomi 12 Lite is a smartphone that can do much. It looks great, is easy to use, has a great AMOLED screen, and feels great. The camera’s performance is on par with other devices in the same price range, and the performance and the 5G connection are great.
The main problem is that the battery life is only average (only 4,300 mAh), but Xiaomi includes a 67W fast charging brick in the box. And one big problem is that there is no official IP rating. This is strange since some Xiaomi phones with lower prices have an IP53 rating.
It’s a great smartphone for about €450, and there aren’t too many other options at this price point. Maybe you should think about the new Pixel 6a, even though it has a smaller, lower-quality screen and a plastic back like the 12 Lite.