MI 8 VS MI 8 LITE: Which to Buy?

In this article, I wanted to compare the Mi 8 to the Mi 8 Lite, so it’s easier to decide which Xiaomi device you should buy?

Mi 8Mi 8 Lite
BUY NOWBUY NOW
PROSPROS
Good value for money. Plenty of power. Great design.Dense, high-end feel. Powerful. Solid, responsive cameras.
CONSCONS
MIUI software needs refinement. Low-light shooting not the best. Battery life could be better.No app drawer option. No theme store access in the UK/EU.

SPECIFICATIONS

NETWORKMI 8MI 8 LITE
TechnologyGSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTEGSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE
2G bandsGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
3G NetworkHSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100 – Global
4G NetworkLTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 17(700), 20(800), 34(2000), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500)LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 20(800), 28(700), 38(2600), 40(2300) – Global
SpeedHSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (4CA) Cat16 1024/150 MbpsHSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (2CA) Cat6 300/50 Mbps
LAUNCHMI 8MI 8 LITE
Announced2018, May2018, September
StatusAvailable. Released 2018, JuneAvailable. Released 2018, September
BODYMI 8MI 8 LITE
Dimensions154.9 x 74.8 x 7.6 mm (6.10 x 2.94 x 0.30 in)156.4 x 75.8 x 7.5 mm (6.16 x 2.98 x 0.30 in)
Weight175 g (6.17 oz)169 g (5.96 oz)
SIMDual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAYMI 8MI 8 LITE
TypeSuper AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colorsIPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size6.21 inches, 97.1 cm2 (~83.8% screen-to-body ratio)6.26 inches, 97.8 cm2 (~82.5% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1080 x 2248 pixels (~402 ppi density)1080 x 2280 pixels, 19:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)
PLATFORMMI 8MI 8 LITE
OSAndroid 8.1 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 10.0; MIUI 11Android 8.1 (Oreo), upgradable to Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 10.2
ChipsetQualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 (10 nm)Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660 (14 nm)
CPUOcta-core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver)
GPUAdreno 630Adreno 512
MEMORYMI 8MI 8 LITE
Card slotNomicroSDXC (uses shared SIM slot)
Internal64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 6GB RAM64GB 4GB RAM, 64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM
MAIN CAMERAMI 8MI 8 LITE
Modules12 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, 4-axis OIS12 MP, f/1.9, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF
FeaturesDual-LED flash, HDR, panoramaLED flash, HDR, panorama
Video[email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/120/240fps, [email protected][email protected], [email protected]/120fps, [email protected] (gyro-EIS)
SELFIE CAMERAMI 8MI 8 LITE
Modules20 MP, f/2.0, (wide), 1/3″, 0.9µm24 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/2.8″, 0.9µm
FeaturesAuto HDR
Video[email protected][email protected]
SOUNDMI 8MI 8 LITE
LoudspeakerYesYes
3.5mm jackNoNo
COMMUNICATIONMI 8MI 8 LITE
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspotWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD5.0, A2DP, LE
GPSYes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSSYes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
NFCYes
Infrared portNoNo
USBType-C 1.0 reversible connectorType-C 1.0 reversible connector
FEATURESMI 8MI 8 LITE
SensorsInfrared face recognition, fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compassFingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
BATTERYMI 8MI 8 LITE
ChargingNon-removable Li-Po 3400 mAh batteryFast battery charging 18W (Quick Charge 3.0)
MISCMI 8MI 8 LITE
ColorsBlack, Blue, White, GoldMidnight Black, Aurora Blue, Twilight Gold
Price$224$142

DESIGN

Mi 8:

Xiaomi has amazingly transformed its design and style of flagship mobiles with Mi 8. The full-HD resolution display of the AMOLED panel is present in Mi 8. Chin is made much shorter than the previous models of Xiaomi, and bezels are made slimmer as well. Overall, it has a screen-to-body ratio of 86%.

At the backside of Xiaomi Mi 8, dual-camera is arranged vertically on the left of the mobile along with an LED flash. It does not stick out much, and thus the mobile does not wobble on the surface. The glass body of the mobile is curved slightly from all corners due to holding the mobile is uncomfortable. Overall, the look of the Xiaomi flagship mobile, Mi 8, is premium.

Mi 8 Lite:

One thing that stands out about the design of Mi 8 Lite is that the duel-camera is arranged horizontally instead of the traditional vertical arrangement in Xiaomi mobiles. Mi 8 Lite is bordered by the colored-aluminum, and back glass has been curved to give it a premium look. The front side of the mobile is entirely flat and firmly attached to the body.

Bezels of Mi 8 Lite are thin to make them attractive and give more space to screen. As a result, the screen-to-body ratio is 83%, which is quite surprising for mobile at this price.

SIM Card tray is placed on the left, and the power and volume control buttons are on the right. There is no separate slot for the microSD card, so SIM 2 slot can be used to expand the storage. USB Type-C is used at the middle bottom of the mobile, and a single speaker is present at its left.

DISPLAY

Mi 8:

Xiaomi had the best chance to introduce QHD screens in its mobiles with Mi 8 to give tough competition to other companies. Instead, they opted for the new ordinary screen of Full HD+ in Mi 8, which comes with 1080p resolution and a high pixel density. The brightness can go as high as 624 nits, and there are no issues in using the mobile comfortably in direct sunlight.

Colours, saturation, and contrast accuracy of the 6.2inch display exhibited by the Mi 8 is excellent, and there are many customized as well as manual options to adjust the colours according to one’s own taste.

Mi 8 Lite:

Mi 8 has made a mark in midrange smartphones due to its display quality and performance. It offers a high resolution, a fantastic aspect ratio of 19:9, and high brightness levels. It can work very smoothly in very high sunlight as well, as there are not major visibility issues in bright lights. Color accuracy and sharpness of the screen makes its display remarkable.

CAMERA

Mi 8:

There are two rear cameras of 12MP each in Mi 8. One lens is based on the Sony IMX363, and the other one is Samsung S5K3M3. 12MP secondary camera is used for portrait mode and focusing purposes. 4K video recording is also supported by the camera of Mi 8.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is present to enhance the photos. AI is highly unreliable as sometimes it works perfectly, while in other conditions, it may even distort the photos. It highly depends upon the conditions in which photos are taken.

At the front, a 20MP selfie camera is present. Different modes, filters, and AI-features are supported by the selfie camera. Overall, image quality is great. Even in night shots, the quality of the photos was detailed, color-accurate, and sharp.

Mi 8 Lite:

Mi 8 Lite has a highly unimpressive camera features and specifications. With only a 12MP primary camera, it fails to produce high-quality pictures. Lack of stabilization and the mere 5MP camera to be used as a depth sensor does not help to take good shots.

The only good thing about the camera of Mi 8 Lite comes in the fact that the camera application offers a lot of modes and features through which you can optimize your photos and videos. AI technology helps to take better shots in some conditions, while the HDR mode is present to capture more natural photos. The quality of the pictures in daylight is way greater than the ones taken in low-light situations.

SPEAKERS

Mi 8:

Mi 8 is really notable in terms of its speakers and the sound quality it provides. With the help of an active external amplifier, Mi 8 manages to deliver terrifically loud audio, and more importantly, even at high volume, the clarity and richness of the sound were maintained.

Listening to music through headphones did not decrease the quality, clarity, richness, or the loudness of the audio at all.

Mi 8 Lite:

The audio output of the Mi 8 Lite is loud; however, the quality of the sound decreases at very high volumes. The audio is not as clean as expected. The speaker is good enough for occasional media consumption.

Nonetheless, Mi 8 Lite provides a good output through the headphones which are connected to it through the USB Type-C port to headphone jack adapter.

PERFORMANCE

Mi 8:

Xiaomi Mi 8 boasts a massive chipset of Snapdragon 845 and a RAM of 6GB. It comes in two different internal storage options: 128GB and 256GB. With such good specifications, Mi 8 obviously performs exceptionally well.

There are no lags in heavy usage of the smartphone, which includes opening multiple apps at the same time, heaving gaming like PUBG, Call of Duty, and using RAM-consuming applications like the programming IDEs. In brief, Mi 8 performs flawlessly.

Mi 8 Lite:

With an octa-core CPU and Snapdragon 660, Mi 8 Lite has an excellent performance, but it severely lacks in terms of battery as Snapdragon 660 is an energy-inefficient chip.

Generally, Mi 8 performs smoothly with any major errors that could be noticed during its usage. Streaming, gaming, using social media applications, and consuming content on Mi 8 are quite comfortable.

SOFTWARE

Mi 8:

Mi 8 supports MIUI 9.5, which is based on Android Oreo. It has all the functions of the original android, and some customizations offered by Xiaomi. In-built Dual App feature is beneficial for users to run two instances of the same app on the same mobile. One-handed mode is added to make usage of Mi 8 comfortable.

On swiping left from the home screen, Xiaomi apps can be seen, which includes quick notes, widgets, shortcuts, weather, calendar, clock, and many others. Xiao AI takes the place of Google Assistant; however, users have the option to install Google Assistant as well.

Mi 8 Lite:

MIUI 9.6 – based on Android 8 – powers the Mi 8 Lite. The app drawer has not been added to this version of the firmware as well. In-built Mi applications are set as the default applications like the calendar, clock, and notes. Quick toggles are present in the notification bar. These toggles make mobile accessible and user-friendly.

Users can manage their mobile easily through the security application, which has the option of uninstalling an application, managing battery, scanning, and other important tools.

BATTERY

Mi 8:

The battery capacity – 3,400 mAh – of the Mi 8 is not much compared to the other Xiaomi smartphones. However, in terms of its competitors, this battery is satisfactory. Battery tests of the Xiaomi Mi 8 give a remarkable result. On playing 15 hours of video continuously while being connected to the Wi-Fi, the battery decreased to 5%. Overall, battery performance is good.

Quick Charge 4.0+ is supported by Mi 8, which helps to charge the battery quickly and provides maximum battery efficiency.

Mi 8 Lite:

A small battery of 3,350mAh, along with an energy-inefficient processor like Snapdragon 660, is the cons of Mi 8 Lite. The battery falls rapidly on high usage, and especially when the mobile is using mobile data or consuming content via the Wi-Fi.

For regular usage, Mi 8 can run up to 12 hours. But, heavy games and streamers should not expect much from this mobile as charging it, again and again, may become a hassle and disturb the overall experience.

Disappointingly, Xiaomi has not included a fast charger with Mi 8. However, it is stated that it supports Quick Charge 3.0. On testing quick charging, it can be inferred that there is not much difference between normal charging and quick charging of Mi 8 Lite. Overall, the battery is a major drawback of the Mi 8 Lite.

WHICH ONE YOU SHOULD BUY?

Between Xiaomi Mi 8 and Mi 8 Lite, there is no doubt that Mi 8 takes the prize. A stylish design, a large display, excellent camera results, 4K video recording, loud and crisp audio output, exceptional performance, and a decent battery with the ability of quick charging are the factors that make Mi 8 stand out from the crowd. Not just the Mi 8 Lite, but Mi 8 gives a tough competition to the flagship mobiles of other smartphone companies.

Mi 8 is dragged by its average camera result and ordinary design, while Mi 8 shines in both of these factors.