The Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite has a notch. If you hate notches with a passion, this probably isn’t the phone for you. If you just find them only mildly annoying, a “hide notch” option can darken the display around the notch and make it look like a more traditional status bar. If like me, you don’t care one way or the other, the notch is fine. The display is almost edge-to-edge and the bezels are small, but there is a bit of a chin.
The Mi 8 Lite has a 6.26-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display. It is a decent enough panel, but nothing extraordinary. The brightness is especially good for indoor use, but you might struggle to read it in direct sunlight. This is an LCD panel, so the blacks aren’t as deep as an AMOLED panel, which you can see when you turn on the “hide notch” feature. There is a difference between the black on the notch compared to the black on the panel.
The Mi 8 Lite comes with Android 8.1 Oreo via MIUI 10. MIUI is Xiaomi’s custom Android firmware which includes lots of features not available in vanilla Android. These include full-screen gestures, for UI navigation; Mi Drop, for wireless file transfers; Dual Apps, so you can use an app with two accounts; Second Space, which allows you to use different passcodes or fingerprints to access different profiles; a better recent apps menu; and lots of UI tweaks and redesigns. Besides the different icons and themes, the most noticeable difference is the lack of an app drawer.
Remember way back in the days of the rear camera megapixel war? Each new generation of device tried to better the previous: 8MP, then 12MP, then 16MP, and so on. Things have certainly changed since then and the Mi 8 Lite is a perfect example of how. It has a 24MP front-facing camera for selfies. On the back it has two lenses, a 12MP sensor with dual pixel autofocus and 1.4μm wide pixels and a second 5MP camera, just for depth information.
There is a 3,350mAh battery in the Mi 8 Lite, which is a good size especially for a device with a 6.26-inch display. It is certainly big enough to give you all-day battery life.