Hello! Today, I’ll talk about the new Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite model and compare it with the flagship Xiaomi Mi 9.
The Mi 9 Lite is the global version of the Chinese Xiaomi Mi CC9. Many are wary of smartphones in which the word “Lite” is used in the name. And often, such models are really disappointing. Will it be the same in this case, or can the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite be accepted? Find out right now!
Both smartphones are very similar in appearance. They have the same large screen with a neat teardrop-shaped cutout and narrow bezels all around. The case is made of glass with an aluminum frame. Both smartphones look modern and bright. It’s immediately clear that these are not budget models.
Contrary to the name, the Lite version is thicker and slightly heavier. Obviously, this is due to the fact that a more capacious battery is installed in this one. Despite the impressive size, both models are quite comfortable to hold in your hand.
The arrangement of buttons and connectors is traditional. On the left is a tray for two SIM cards. In the case of the Mi 9 Lite, you can install an SD card instead of one SIM card. In the older model, the lack of such an opportunity is compensated by the presence of an additional button to call Google assistant. In my opinion, this is a dubious replacement. On the right is the volume rocker and the power button.
On the bottom are the USB Type-C connector, speaker and microphone. An additional microphone is located on top, as well as an infrared port, which is good news. But only the Mi 9 Lite model has a headphone jack, which is a plus for it.
In the upper left corner, a protruding block of three cameras is vertically located. In the older model, the cameras stick out a little stronger. There is no fingerprint scanner at the back, because it is located right on the screen. The scanner works clearly and quickly. The back cover of both models is decorated with intricate gradient overflows, which vary slightly in style.
The Mi 9 Lite is available in blue, white, and black. The Mi 9 is available in blue, lilac, and black. But the Mi 9’s black is just black, whereas the Mi 9 Lite’s black interestingly shimmers with gradient shades of gray.
The screens in both models are the same. The only difference is in the protective glass. The Mi 9 uses Gorilla Glass 6, and the Mi 9 Lite uses Gorilla Glass 5. Though, it seems to me, only the manufacturers of the glass itself see the differences.
As usual, Xiaomi’s flagships have Samsung’s Super AMOLED matrix. The screen size is 6.39 inches and the resolution is 2340 by 1080 pixels. The display is excellent – with large viewing angles and bright and rich colors. It may even be too bright, as is often the case with AMOLED screens. It’s a matter of taste. I know many people like IPS matrices more. But the ideal black color cannot be taken away from the matrix, and flickering at low brightness successfully removes the special DC Dimming function. In addition, the convenient Always On Display function works, which can be customized to your liking.
The software for both the Mi 9 Lite and the Mi 9 is also the same. Both phones use Android 9 and the MIUI 10 proprietary shell. I will not dwell on Android, but I will talk about the Xiaomi chip; about MIUI. After all, the manufacturer actually started with the sale of this launcher. Back then, Xiaomi had not yet released any devices, but has become known to the world precisely for this shell.
In recent years, several good and popular operating systems have appeared that extend the functionality of standard Android. Xiaomi’s shell is one of the best. There are many additional functions, including a second space, gesture control, face unlock, one-handed operation, and voice recorder. Everything is flexibly configured to suit the tastes of a particular user. A huge number of free themes are available.
The animations are smooth; there are no freezes. The Mi 9 has the powerful Snapdragon 855. It would be strange if it were any other way. But the power of a much more modest processor in the light model is enough for the shell to work quickly. A full performance comparison is waiting for you a little later.
The big drawback of MIUI is built-in advertising. If you are particularly annoyed by advertising, then not very complex manipulations can remove it from the shell.
At the presentation of the Mi CC9, the Chinese version of the Mi 9 Lite, special emphasis was placed on the quality of the cameras. The main module of the younger model is the same as the flagship, with a 48 megapixel IMX586 matrix manufactured by Sony. And these cameras truly are 48 megapixels. Even in last year’s flagship Xiaomi Mi 8, the main camera was very successful, and the new one exceeds expectations.
Beautiful shots are obtained during the day – with a wide dynamic range and excellent focusing. Detail and color reproduction are also superb. At night, the quality naturally falls, but still remains at a very good level.
The wide-angle cameras of these models are different. In the Mi 9 Lite by 8 megapixels, and in theMi 9 by 16. But there is not much difference in quality. Along with good shots, not very geometric distortions can be noticed – especially lame quality in low light. In general, the width of both smartphones is average.
The third photo modules of the two models are radically different. The Mi 9 Lite has a two-megapixel depth sensor designed to blur the background in portrait mode. The Mi 9, with blurring the background, does just fine without a special camera. But the flagship’s third module is a full-fledged telephoto camera with 12 megapixels, and is of decent quality. It provides double optical zoom with excellent detail throughout the frame.
According to the well-known DxOMark rating, the Mi 9 camera was highly rated for photo capabilities, but even higher for the video. The Mi 9 and the Mi 9 Lite, without any additional software, shoot in 4K resolution with very good quality. The sound when recording video in the Mi 9 Lite is even a little better. Auto-focus works well and with excellent clarity, but it is noticeable that there is not enough optical stabilization – especially in 4K mode.
The front camera of the Mi 9 Lite is different from the Mi 9. The megapixels in the younger model are larger – 32 versus 20. In fact, the difference is not very noticeable. It’s hard to improve what works so well. Both models make very good selfies with natural colors, the photos are clear and contrasty even in poor light.
In general, both the Mi 9 Lite and the Mi 9 have excellent cameras. The Mi 9 beats the younger model only due to the implementation of the optical zoom function.
The most important difference between the Mi 9 Lite and the Mi 9 models is the processor and, accordingly, performance. In the Mi 9 Lite, the fast enough Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 with the Adreno 616 video accelerator is installed. This is a good mid-range processor made using 10 nanometer technology. And this is a significant step forward compared to the Snapdragon 660, which was installed on the Mi 8 Lite. In the new light version, there will be no problems in everyday use of the phone. All applications launch quickly. Screens smoothly turn over and switch. Freezes appear only in heavy games with maximum settings.
The Mi 9 is equipped with the most powerful flagship Snapdragon 855 in conjunction with the Adreno 640. This is really a gaming processor. In the Antutu test, it shows a result of more than 370 thousand points! All games just fly on this phone! The phone doesn’t get very hot and there is no throttling. Such a processor with is good enough to last a couple of years. And if you do not dive too much into games, then much more.
The permanent memory in both models can be 64 or 128 gigabytes. It can only be expanded in the Lite version by installing an SD card instead of one of the SIM cards. And that’s the plus of the Mi 9 Lite. The RAM is 6 gigabytes, in Mi 9 an option with 8 gigabytes is also possible.
Overall, the performance of the Mi 9 is significantly higher than that of the Mi 9 Lite. In this round, the flagship wins for a clear advantage. But, if you are not a gamer, you are unlikely to feel a significant difference, since the processor of the Mi 9 Lite is also very worthy.
The communication capabilities of the two models are close. Both support 4G on both SIM cards, and both support dual-band Wi-Fi and fifth Bluetooth. There is an NFC module, which is especially valuable for the mid-budget model Mi 9 Lite. There are even infrared ports, which are not often found in new models.
In terms of battery capacity, the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is ahead of the Mi 9 – 4030 mAh versus 3300. The autonomy of the younger model is really up to par. With normal use, the battery charge is enough for a couple of days. But the flagship of the light model is not so far behind. It uses the energy-efficient 7-nanometer processor. Together with the AMOLED matrix, the Mi 9 to demonstrates good autonomy. In any case, it will definitely be enough for a day.
Both models support fast charging technology. The device has an 18 watts fast charging capability. Only the flagship Mi 9 supports wireless charging. But the charger will need to be purchased separately.
As always, we turn to the internet for reviews on the Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite and Xiaomi Mi 9 smartphones. First, let’s look at what I didn’t like about these models.
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
- The on-screen fingerprint scanner does not work with wet fingers
- The videos are shot with stabilization in 4k, but I didn’t really see that
- The external speaker is loud, but the sound is flat; there are no low frequencies
Xiaomi Mi 9
- The back of the smartphone is a fingerprint magnet.
- The camera juts out
- No headphone jack
- Far from a flagship battery
Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite
- Excellent design. Despite the large size, it is convenient to hold in your hand
- Very bright screen. Everything is clearly visible even in the sun
- Has an IR sensor and an NFC module
- Good battery life; fast battery charging
Xiaomi Mi 9
- Beautiful, stylish, and comfortable
- Powerful processor, top features
- Very good cameras; both main and front
- Fast and wireless charging
To summarize the battle: the new Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite is a very interesting and attractive phone. It has a good design, excellent screen, great cameras, and a capacious battery. It’s almost like a flagship. The battery capacity is even better. Xiaomi Mi 9 has an additional telescopic camera and a much more powerful processor. Given the relatively low cost of the Mi 9 Lite, we can say that the smartphone will be very popular. If you are not a fan of games, then buying the younger model is a great way to save money while leaving yourself with the main advantages of the flagship Xiaomi phone.