(Pocket-lint) - Xiaomi has announced an updated entry-level model as part of its mainstream series: the 11 Lite 5G NE.
When Xiaomi launched the earlier Mi 11 Lite 5G, we were rather enamoured by its slim design and colourful finish - indeed, as we alluded to in our review of that handset, it might well be our pick of the Mi 11 series.
But we're in two minds about the 11 Lite 5G NE. Aside from its new name - note it ditches the 'Mi' branding, as is Xiaomi's standard for the second half of 2021 - and an uprated processor (the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 replaces the SD770), that's your lot. It feels like an unnecessary rebadge, really.
That said, the colour options do continue to impress, as you can see from the gallery up top of this page. The four finishes are officially called Truffle Black, Bubblegum Blue, Peach Pink, and the new (and altogether less colourful) Snowflake White. Lovely stuff.
Elsewhere it's the same familiar story: the 11 Lite 5G NE features a 6.55-inch display, a slim design that's just 6.81mm thick, and 33W fast-charging. Much lighter and more pocketable than your typical handset release at this moment in time. But with the Xiaomi 11T and 11T Pro also announced in tandem, those larger and more powerful handsets are hard to ignore.
If the colourful Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE looks appealing and you've never owned the earlier Mi 11 Lite, then its October release date might well be worth marking in your calendar. But if you can find the earlier model for less cash then, well, it's a no-brainer to go for that model instead.