Huawei shipped more than 200 million phones last year, thus scoring a position among the top 3 smartphone vendors globally. In 2019, the company aims to rise to the number one spot and its affordable Honor line should particularly be significant in cracking markets like India. (Honor 10 Lite review हिंदी में पढ़िए)

The first of many phones from Huawei this year shall be the Honor 10 Lite. Here, Huawei focuses on a neat and trendy design, relies on its Kirin 710 mid-range chipset, adds a lucrative 24MP selfie camera, and also throws in the latest Android 9 Pie-based software. Do all these features add up to make Honor 10 Lite a competent phone? Let’s try and elaborate on that in our Honor 10 Lite Review.

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Honor 10 Lite Price and Specifications

Model Honor 10 Lite
Display 6.2-inch FHD+ display; 2340*1080 resolution
Processor 2.2GHz Kirin 710 Octa-core (4xCortex-A73 + 4x Cortex-A55)
RAM 4GB/6GB LPDDR4X
Internal Storage 64GB, Hybrid MicroSD card slot (512GB)
Software Android 9.0 Pie – based EMUI 9.0
Primary Camera 13MP, f/1.8 + 2MP, f/2.0
Secondary Camera 24MP, f/2.0
Others  4G Dual VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS; Regular Micro USB port, 3.5 mm audio jack, proximity sensor, light sensor, and accelerometer
Battery 3400mAh, no fast charging
Honor 10 Lite Price in India 4GB RAM variant – Rs. 13,999

6GB RAM variant – Rs. 17,999

Honor 10 Lite Review: Design and Build

Huawei takes the design on the Honor Lite phones pretty religiously. In fact, the company went as far as saying that their best-looking Honor phones of the year are those belonging to the affordable ‘Lite’ series. And we tend to agree.

The Honor 10 Lite brandishes a slick glass-finish (the material used is polycarbonate) and is quite attractive. More importantly, it feels just the right size and is extremely comfortable to operate.

The glass-like back panel curves towards the side edges and is differentiated by the gradient patterns underneath. Sky Blue is the new color, but you can also choose from the relatively sober and familiar midnight black and sapphire blue.

On the front, you’ll find a ‘dew-drop’ notch, which is less intrusive than other sorts of notches, and a staggering 91% screen-to-body ratio (which is still uncommon for affordable phones). The bezel at the bottom is also slimmer than what we usually see in this segment. That’s also where you’ll find the LED notification light.

The SIM tray is hybrid, so you will have to choose between expandable storage and second SIM. At the bottom, you will find a micro USB port, speaker grill, and the 3.5mm audio jack. all buttons, fingerprint reader and ports are accessible.

For those who are asking, yes, Huawei bundles a case cover and a pre-installed screen protector with Honor 10 Lite.

  • The design is one of the major strengths of Honor 10 Lite. The phone looks good and is comfortable to operate.
  • The front is mostly screen with a trendy water drop notch at the top. The chin at the bottom is also slimmer than what we usually see on affordable phones.
  • The fingerprint sensor on the rear is accessible (and fast). Huawei is still sticking to the regular micro USB port.
  • The Honor 10 Lite has a dedicated card slot. LED notification light is present below the display.
  • The glass-like back is prone to scratches, so use the case bundled in the box.

Also Read: Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 Review

Honor 10 Lite Review: Display

The Honor 10 Lite has 6.21-inch IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution. Smart resolution, a feature that lowers resolution to conserve battery, is turned on by default. We preferred disabling the feature from the display settings.

The tiny notch doesn’t take much space, but you’d still only see system notifications on what remains of the status bar. You may hide the notch or force full-screen view in specific apps.

By default, whites are a tad bluish but you can fix that, to an extent, using the color temperature wheel under display settings. Just as Honor 8X, the eye-protect mode on Honor 10 Lite is also TUV Rheinland Certified. Overall, we are quite satisfied with the display quality and customizability of the LCD panel on Honor 10 Lite.

  • Honor 10 Lite has a reasonable quality IPS LCD panel.
  • The display has a plastic screen protector pre-installed. Huawei hasn’t mentioned Gorilla Glass in the spec list.
  • There is an option to change color temperature and color calibration under display settings. We prefer the ‘normal’ mode to ‘Vivid’ mode.
  • The notch takes very little space on status bar, but the rest is mostly occupied by system icons. There is an option to hide the notch by camouflaging it within the black status bar.
  • The eye-protect mode on the phone is TUV Rheinland certified.

Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro Review

Honor 10 Lite Review: Performance and Software

The handset is powered by Kirin 710 octa-core chipset paired with 4GB/6GB LPDDR4X RAM and 64GB storage.  The Kirin 710 is a 12nm SoC with 4x Cortex-A73 power cores and 4x Cortex-A55 performance cores. You can further add up to 512GB microSD storage, but the slot is hybrid.

The Kirin 710 is a welcome upgrade to Kirin 659 that it replaces (the SoC that powered almost all affordable Honor phones last year). It doesn’t have a dedicated NPU like high-end series-9 Kirin chips, but is still a well-balanced mobile platform. And Honor 10 Lite is also the first Huawei phone in India to include the second gen GPU Turbo 2.0 for enhanced gaming.

We are not yet sure if Huawei has added any new GPU Turbo compatible titles, but PUBG is supported and it runs well on medium settings. Other titles like Asphalt 9 and Mortal Combat X ran perfectly well too.

The gaming experience was pretty smooth but there were some minor inconsistencies with the day-to-day usage, and we suspect this has more to do with the EMUI software. Having said that, these hiccups weren’t particularly bothersome and should be fixed with consequent updates.

So, in our experience, the Kirin 710 is a perfectly fine chipset for gaming but it isn’t as snappy as, say, Snapdragon 660, for day-to-day usage.

The EMUI 9.0 software on the Honor 10 Lite is based on Android 9 Pie. It’s mature and feature-rich skin and can be quite aggressive with resource management at times. Highlighted features include digital balance (which is Huawei’s version of digital well-being), HiVision AI product search, navigation gestures, and loads of other AI smarts. The ample customization options can be quite handy at times.

The fingerprint sensor on the rear is extremely fast. The face unlock is not as fast as what you get on Oppo or Vivo phones, but it’s hopefully more secure.

  • The gaming experience on Honor 10 Lite is smooth. All heavy games we tried ran well.
  • We expected some minor unexpected hiccups with day-to-day usage which can perhaps be attributed to EMUI software.
  • The EMUI 9.0 software on Honor 10 Lite is based on latest Android 9.0 Pie
  • The Kirin 710 is a well balanced SoC, but it isn’t as snappy as, say, Snapdragon 660.
  • The Honor 10 Lite has dual SIM dual VoLTE support. Call quality was excellent in our area.
  • Fingerprint sensor and face unlock are fast and convenient.
  • The Honor 10 Lite doesn’t have DRM L1 certificate for HD streaming on Amazon Prime or Netflix.

Honor 10 Lite Camera Review

The Honor 10 Lite has a 24MP Sony IMX 576 sensor on the front that captures sharp and detailed selfies. On the rear, you will find a 13MP primary snapper with f/1.8 aperture lens accompanied by a basic 2MP depth sensor.

The camera software fuels AI smarts for both front and rear cameras. The rear camera can lock focus quickly and shoot detailed images in proper outdoor lighting.

The Honor 10 Lite can get the metering right better than other competitors in its class but tends to go overboard with colors (particularly reds). So, you get well-balanced shots with tad oversaturated colors at times.

There are numerous software features for both front and rear cameras and some of these like ‘Pro mode’ are very useful. The Night Mode that requires you to hold your phone steady while it captures multiple shots works surprisingly good too.

The camera performance in low light and indoors is about average. The portrait mode still heavily relies on the software and struggles with proper edge detection.

The good thing is that you have the option to turn AI enhancements off even after you have clicked an image. If you prefer more natural color tones, you may discard AI enhancements (that often tend to oversaturate colors) and keep the original image.

Overall, the Honor 10 Lite camera is not outright impressive, but it’s still among the better ones in its class.

Also Read: Realme U1 Review

Honor 10 Lite Review: Battery and Audio

The phone packs a 3400mAh battery and comes bundled with a 10W charger that takes more than 2.5 hours to charge it (so no fast charging).  The EMUI software and Kirin 710 are very well optimized to save power and thus the Honor 10 Lite battery can comfortably last for a day of moderate to heavy usage.

Audio output via loudspeaker is sufficiently loud. Audio quality is pretty decent too.

  • The battery can easily last for a day of heavy usage. Fast charging is not supported.
  • Audio output quality on Honor 10 Lite is above average.

Honor 10 Lite Review Verdict: Should you buy it?

In India, the Honor 10 Lite has been priced at Rs. 13,999 for the 4GB RAM model, and at Rs. 17,999 for the 6GB RAM variant. We are glad that Huawei adds ample 64GB storage on both models.

The Honor 10 Lite is trendy and good looking, employs a powerful chipset, has an amiable display, runs the latest software, houses a long-lasting battery, and has reasonably good cameras. On the downside, the software still needs some polishing.

So, yes, this qualifies as a formidable alternative to the likes of Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, Realme U1, and Redmi Note 6 Pro. Having said that, the 6GB RAM variant feels a bit overpriced.

Pros

  • Excellent design
  • Dual VoLTE support
  • Gaming performance
  • Battery backup
  • Camera performance

Cons

  • Hybrid SIM slot
  • No fast charging
  • No HD streaming

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