This makes it one of the most exciting Xiaomi phones in recent history.
Xiaomi is launching the 11 Lite NE 5G in India today. Weird naming aside, it’s a basically a souped-up Mi 11 Lite 4G—which was launched in the country barely three months ago—with a faster system-on-chip and slightly more capable display credentials. But, there’s more to it than what meets the eye making it, perhaps, one of the most exciting Xiaomi phones in recent history.
The 11 Lite NE 5G is the first Xiaomi phone in India that is eligible to get three major Android OS updates and four years of security patches right out of the gate. All Xiaomi phones before it were limited to two major Android updates. This makes the 11 Lite NE 5G the third Xiaomi phone—globally—to be eligible for as many updates, the other two being the 11T and 11T Pro.
This is somewhat similar to what HMD Global is doing with its Nokia X-series phones and other select models. Vivo takes things a notch higher by roping all upcoming premium X-Series models—including the upcoming X70 Pro and X70 Pro Plus—launched after July 2021 in its extended support cycle. Samsung meanwhile rules the roost when it comes to supporting the widest range of Galaxy smartphones and tablets with three years of Android OS updates.
Unlike any of the above-mentioned brands, Xiaomi hasn’t given out a list of models that would fall under the purview of its new update cycle. All we know is that the company is “currently evaluating the possibility of bringing the extended Android system and security upgrades services to more Xiaomi devices.” Which makes the 11 Lite NE 5G a very interesting product, so to say. The next obvious thing to look at would be, how soon can it bring these updates to the phone in question.
For context, the phone runs Android 11-based MIUI 12.5.
Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G spec and features
Many would argue, the 11 Lite NE 5G is the phone that Xiaomi should have launched in India in the first place and not the Mi 11 Lite 4G, but it is what it is. The extended software support only makes things more confusing—and a little frustrating—for those who bought into the 4G model.
Coming to what’s on offer from a hardware perspective, the 11 Lite NE 5G is basically a Mi 11 Lite 4G with a Snapdragon 778G chipset. This means Xiaomi is expectedly touting its ‘slim and light design’ once again, much like it did with the 4G model, with the addition that it now packs global 5G bands and expectedly should offer faster performance.
Speaking of specs, the 11 Lite NE 5G has a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 1080p resolution and 90Hz refresh rate (240Hz touch sampling). The big highlight again is the support for 10-bit colour which means the 11 Lite NE 5G can theoretically show more colours (up to 1.07 billion to be precise) than any other smartphone around it price range. Xiaomi is adding support for Dolby Vision in the ‘new edition.’
The 11 Lite NE 5G comes with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. This is expandable. The phone has a 4250mAh battery with 33W fast charging.
For photography, the 11 Lite NE 5G has a triple camera setup on the rear with a 64MP main, 8MP ultra-wide angle and another 5MP macro camera with autofocus. On the front, it has an upgraded 20MP camera (this was 16MP in the 4G model).
Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G India price, availability
The Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G starts at Rs 26,999 for the base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. A version with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will set you back by Rs 28,999. The phone will be available from October 2 across Mi.com, Amazon, Mi Home and Mi Studio, and authorised Xiaomi retail partners.
For a limited period, Xiaomi will sell the 11 Lite NE 5G with a ‘special Diwali offer’ of Rs 1,500 which when paired with Rs 2,000 cashback on select band cards, brings the effective price down to Rs 23,499 and Rs 25,499 respectively.