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Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite phone review

Welcome to my first phone review on Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite aka Mi CC9. I bought the phone for MYR1189 which is around USD291.


Main specs:


Snapdragon 710


6.39 inch FHD AMOLED with HDR

48MP Sony IMX586 main+ultrawide+depth sensor, 32MP Samsung S5KGD1 front

4030mAh battery, 18W fast charge

Dual SIM, microSD support, 3.5mm

MiUI 10, Android 9



Full specs can be found here: https://www.gsmarena.com/xiaomi_mi_9_lite-9862.php

Notes before reading:

  • This review will include many of my own opinions
  • I cannot guarantee that every information will be covered in this review – this is a user review anyway. I suggest you reading reviews from other websites like GSMArena / NBC if you want full, detailed review
  • Prices of phones are more expensive in general in Malaysia. Also, this phone has original MY warranty and certification which makes it more expensive compared to imported global set


Why I decided to get a new phone

As you might not know, I've been using Redmi Note 4 (SDM) for more than 2.5 years. The volume and lock buttons are half broken after 2.5 years of abuse - very difficult to register. Also, there is noticeable battery wear after hotspot abuse (although still usable, the capacity is like 50-60% of the first day).


How I choose the phone

At first, I just wanted a phone with decent camera and long battery life under MYR1000. However, since I don’t need it for photography every day, I'll focus on things like weight and display which involves everyday use. I wanted a phone that is similar with my Note 4 but with better camera. And since I don’t always take night photos, stellar night photos are just a plus and not necessary. BTW I don't do any gaming with phone.


My requirements

  • Decent camera
  • At least 4000mah battery
  • Strictly no downgrade from my previous phone: eg no lower than 1080p display, no plastic frame
  • Only SDM or Kirin – I don’t need performance, but a decent ISP is still needed for photography: SDM670 above / Kirin 710 above. No Mediatek / Exynos due to bad experience
  • No Vivo/Oppo/Realme/others not mentioned – no trust. Only Samsung (SDM only), Xiaomi or Huawei/Honor. Don't ask me why but this is personal preference
  • Should handle as similar as my old phone, therefore as light as possible and shouldn't be too big


Other options I have considered

  • Mi 9T: heavy IMO, not a fan of motorized selfie cam, design language isn’t that great IMO; better set of rear cameras (can get away with it since I prioritize main cam), better soc but IDC much about performance, better ISP but has similar/slightly worse image quality somehow compared to Mi 9 Lite, 6+128 more expensive (64 is enough but 128 is a plus)
  • Redmi Note 8: SoC limits camera quality (despite a fairly decent Samsung GM1), heavy, plastic frame
  • Redmi Note 8 Pro: Mediatek, heavy, plastic frame
  • Honor View 20: Software concerns since not much people use them / no experience and a bit old, camera not versatile (only 1 cam) despite better main cam, IPS vs AMOLED (AMOLED isn’t necessary but a plus)

These have deals on 12.12 – might get them instead if I knew: View 20: RM899, Mi 9T 64GB: RM999


Why Xiaomi again

I had good experience using their phone from my Note 4. Since their first product is Mi UI, I trust their software support. I didn't notice any significant lag after using my Note 4 for 2.5yrs (no heavy multitasking / gaming), and the UI support for it has just ended recently.


What I liked so far

  • Fast charge: This is the feature I appreciate the most. Very handy when I have less/no time to charge the phone
  • Cameras: Samples coming soon
  • AMOLED: vibrant colours with deep blacks, though the improvement in display quality isn’t that obvious to me TBH
  • Kept features from my older phone: 3.5mm, microSD etc
  • Mi UI: Say anything bad about it like ads, but I already get used to it. Not an issue to me and I don’t have to learn how to navigate the UI again if using other UIs
  • No heat under normal use: Incredible efficiency, even enabling hotspot it doesn’t produce much heat unlike my Note 4. Might be due to the glass back though
  • Less important stuffs: Design (glass back), faster WIFI, storage, NFC, face recognition, LED notification at back, IR, radio


What I missed on note 4 / don’t like on Mi 9 Lite

  • Great feel when holding Note 4: Aluminum (although not full) body feels nice to hold, smaller and lighter body with curved front glass, good grip and doesn’t use much effort
  • No PWM from IPS: I can notice some eye strain after watching YT for a while with Mi 9 Lite
  • OLED eats battery when displaying white: I kept searching for Night mode for every apps, lol
  • Still better battery life in Note 4, even though battery life is decent in Mi 9 Lite
  • Slightly louder volume and slightly higher display brightness at the same adjusted level in Note 4
  • Fingerprint sensor: Under display sensor is slower and not that accurate, most of the time I had to scan many times in order to unlock it. Set 2 profiles would help but sometimes it would still not unlock during the first attempt. Would still prefer conventional fingerprint reader at the back since I don’t need to look where should I put my finger at – just need to feel it.
  • Case is a must in Mi 9 Lite: Sides are slippery when hold if there's no case, however after adding case the weight of the phone will be added too
  • Charging cable is short: Shorter than Note 4 by quite a bit. USB C cable is more expensive I guess?


Issues so far

  • 4G disconnects and locks phone randomly. Happened during a trip when I stayed in relative's house which was located at 17th floor of a condominium. Found out that it's related to the service provider not the phone itself.
  • Heard some users getting bad battery life on MiUI 11. I'm still on MiUI 10 though



Overall I'm quite happy with the purchase, despite spending above my original budget. Will update here in future if there's any issues I found when using it. Enjoying it so far.



Will update soon


Thanks for reading!

Check out my laptop reviews here


My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]


Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050Ti 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) Samsung PM981 256GB+Seagate 1TB 5400RPM

Check out my blog here

Laptop ODMsClevo, Tongfang, Quanta


My Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9 Lite [REVIEW] (Blue, with XUNDD hard case)


SDM710 6GB RAM 128GB ROM 6.39" AMOLED 48MP Sony IMX586 rear (AI triple camera)

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