With the Mi 8 Lite, Xiaomi marked the completion of the Mi 8 lineup, or so it seems. The company now has two premium flagship models in the Mi 8 family – the Mi 8 and the Mi 8 Explorer Edition along with two mid-rangers – the Mi 8 SE and the Mi 8 Lite, with the last one being the subject of this review. But releasing yet another Mi 8 smartphone, one could not help but think that Xiaomi is just confusing its customers and luring them into buying a Mi 8-branded handset with lackluster specs. After all, we’ve come across quite a few underwhelming Lite models in recent years. Luckily, this is not the case. Unlike most direct Lite rivals out there, the Mi 8 Lite comes at a reasonable price, while packing capable hardware and it doesn’t try to imitate its more expensive siblings, spec-wise, that is. In fact, Xiaomi could have easily released the phone under a different name or as part of a different lineup and still score good sales numbers.
Of course, in order to bring the price that low, Xiaomi had to cut some corners while giving you a few reasons to opt for the Mi 8 Lite instead of Mi 8 SE. For one, the display is bigger and taller. And when you consider the smaller notch, the screen real estate should be taken into account as well. And besides, if you are aiming for a powerful mid-range SoC and you are a fan of Xiaomi’s MIUI, it’s your only option with Snapdragon 660 chipset aside from the Android One-powered Mi A2.