Since the 2020 iPhone 12, Apple has moved away from designing its smartphones with curved edges and has gone back to the classic iPhone 5 like style with flat edge. And opinions will differ, but I think it’s a nice one, very clean and industrial looking.
And honestly, that gorgeous flat-edged design was the main reason I got my . bought iPhone 13 mini. I just loved how the iPhone 5 looked, as well as its spiritual successor – the first iPhone SE, but they were pretty outdated by the time I started paying attention to design. But here came that tiny, modern flat-edge iPhone mini, and of course — I picked it up.
I’m more of an Android fan though, as I really enjoy tinkering with my smartphone, customizing it and having the freedom to run whatever apps I want to use on it (e.g. emulators), so I Been craving a flat-edge Android phone for a long time.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, most of my favorite Android phone makers (namely Xiaomi and Samsung) continue to bank on curved phone designs. I’m willing to assume that’s what those companies consider to be a more visually appealing style for the majority of consumers.
But recently I reviewed the Xiaomi 12 Lite and I loved it. Not just because it has some impressive flagship specs at a mid-range price, but because it’s an Android phone with iPhone-like flat edges after all. A good one!
The Xiaomi 12 Lite looks like a cross between iPhone 13 and Motorola Edge 30, and it’s beautiful
Xiaomi is not subtle about ‘borrowing’ ideas from Apple, and if you’ve ever used a Mi phone (now just “Xiaomi”), you’ve probably noticed the obvious: Xiaomi’s MIUI Android interface is very much iOS-esque.
But that was about all, because on the outside, Xiaomi phones were just slightly generic looking Android boards with curved edges, with the occasional huge camera to grab attention. Until the Xiaomi 12 Lite came out.
Interestingly, even the great father Xiaomi 12 Pro itself has rather generic and subjectively outdated curved edges. The unnecessarily curved screen in particular reminds me of an old Galaxy phone, and yes, I don’t like that.
So I was quite surprised that the Xiaomi 12 Lite is the one that Xiaomi finally decided to change the design of the iPhone, giving it a flat screen, a flat back and some nice, flat bezels.
And while it’s very iPhone-like from the front and sides, flip it over and you’ll be strong Motorola Edge 30 vibes, as the back panel has a similar, eye-catching, refracting effect, plus a vertically placed camera arrangement. The Moto has a vertical camera, the iPhone a square one, so Xiaomi was clearly not trying to copy an iPhone completely.
Is the Xiaomi 12 Lite the illegitimate child of the iPhone 13 and the Moto Edge 30? Did iPhone and Android have a night out to settle their differences, things went way too well, and nine months later this happened?
Well, anyway, I love it. And I think you will too, especially if you’re an iPhone user, because…
It doesn’t just look like an iPhone on the outside – the software on the inside is pretty iOS-esque too
As I said above, Xiaomi is pretty shameless, for better or for worse, when it comes to copying the iOS operating system. Xiaomi’s MIUI Android overlay is very iOS-esque, from the squiggly shape of the icons to the soft background blur you get when you slide down the notification shade over your home screen… What other elements like sliders and quick switches look like.. It’s all heavily iOS inspired.
But aside from the morally questionable aspect of all that, I believe the look of MIUI can be a huge plus for the right kind of user.
Personally, I love the way iOS looks, but again – I prefer Android – so this is like getting the best of both worlds. The complete freedom of Android, plus the beautiful design of iOS! Having your cake and eating it too, or… whatever that expression was.
But there is another type of smartphone users that I think can greatly benefit from Xiaomi perfecting the art of copying iOS on the Android platform…
This is the perfect phone to buy if you want to easily switch from iPhone to Android
The Xiaomi 12 Lite has a flat-edge design like the iPhone, plus an iPhone-like software experience, thanks to MIUI 13 that is so much like iOS 15. It’s also functionally pretty iOS-esque — it has a handy screen recorder, a “Read Mode,” which is a bit like Apple’s “True Tone,” which makes the screen warmer and easier on the eyes, and so on. I’ll be the first to admit that switching from Android to iOS, and especially the other way around, isn’t exactly a smooth process.
Let’s say you’ve used an iPhone all your life, but decided it’s time to broaden your horizons a little, try a different cocktail at the smartphone bar, instead of just ordering Apple Martinis.
Well, your first obstacle is choosing an Android smartphone brand. Choosing an iPhone is easy – there are the newest and the cheap ones. You can also buy an older model if there is a good deal, and save money while staying in the flagship lane.
But choosing an Android phone for the first time – oh baby – is like choosing the ripest grape in a barrel full of grapes.
If you manage not to drown in the seemingly endless amount of budget Android phones, from both brands that no one has ever heard of, and from Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, Alcatel (it still exists), ZTE, Nokia, Huawei (depending on your region of course), and big daddy Samsung… And swim to the surface, where the slightly less confusing amount of mid-rangers and flagships live – well congratulations, you still have way too many options to choose from . So clean up your weekend, because this project isn’t going to take care of itself!
Now you need to research Android smartphone brands. Of course, the biggest name, sort of Apple from Android, would be Samsung, right?
The Galaxy S22 actually has flat bezels (-ish), but maybe the $800 price (equivalent to an iPhone 13) might seem a bit much to you at first, because you don’t know it’s packed with features yet. But what you do know is that an ultra-powerful iPhone 13 mini costs $100 less, but you won’t find a Galaxy S22 mini option if you want a smaller and cheaper flagship.
So you start reading and watching reviews, and that’s when you discover that different Android phones have different looking interfaces. Samsung has OneUI, OnePlus has OxygenOS, and so on and so forth, so which one would be right for you? More choices!
Bottom Line: Which phone brand and Android overlay seem the easiest to transition from iOS, but still have all the iOS features you’re used to?
Well – Xiaomi’s MIUI does. If “iOS separation anxiety” was a thing, MIUI would have been the cure. And again, the Xiaomi 12 Lite in particular not only has a familiar software experience, but also feels familiar in the hand.
So for anyone who wants to give Android a shot, I suggest you check out our Xiaomi 12 Lite review, and give that phone a shot if you like what you see. Inside its comfortable iOS-like interface is still the ultra-powerful and open Android, ready to tinker with, customize and install various launchers when you’re ready.
And who knows, you’ll love all those customization and powerful user features, like running multiple apps at once, so much that you’ll eventually move on to the Galaxy S22 Ultra and its S Pen stylus. Or even the powerful Android beast that uses the . is Galaxy Z Fold 3?
Before you know it, you’ll be familiar with Android and see all those crazy smartphone options at your disposal as an exciting plus, not a complex high school project. Take it slow, step by step.