Honor 10 Lite is the last smartphone from Huawei’s sub-brand for 2018. It is a totally different version compared to Honor 10 with a larger screen, latest Android 9 Pie and a smaller notch despite having the same battery size.
The 6.21-inch with 2340x1080p FHD display (415 pixels per inch density) is powered by 2.2GHz HiSilicon Kirin 710 octa-core chipset with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storage capacity. The hybrid SIM tray supports two SIM cards or one SIM and a microSD card that supports up to 512GB. It runs on latest OS with EMUI 9.0 skin.
It has the water-drop notch compared to the usual notch to give more screen real estate with 19.5:9 screen ratio and over 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio.
The Honor 10 had a 5.84-inch screen and a shorter 19:9 aspect ratio.
What makes it feel cheap is the back of the phone which is made of polycarbonate, which is bit flimsy, and the outdated micro-USB port instead of the USB Type-C port.
It has borrowed some design cues from Honor 10 and the bottom bezel houses the LED notification light. The sides of the back are curved for a comfortable grip. The bottom side has a single loudspeaker grille and the 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone is light and weighs 162 grams.
The rear side sports the fingerprint sensor at the top half and it is pretty fast to open the device. It also has facial recognition which is super-fast and opens the device in less than one second, much faster than iPhone and Galaxy devices and even in very low light conditions. It is faster than opening with the fingerprint. It also got motion gesture controls.
Coming to cameras, it sports dual set up — 13MP colour sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and a 2MP sensor with an f/2.4 aperture for depth sensing. The cameras are AI-powered for scene detections to boost the photos.
The camera app is simple and on the top, you will find the “HiTouch” that lets you scan codes, recognise objects, shop service and translation features, AI and moving picture toggles. The building identification function is provided by TripAdvisor and Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, while the food recognition function is provided by Azumio. It is a hit and miss.
Swiping to the right or left can switch the camera modes to video, night, aperture, portrait and more. In the More section, you will find panorama, HDR, AR lens, time-lapse, pro, light painting, stickers and filters. In the filters mode, you will get nine modes.
There is no option for Auto HDR and it is a manual option to turn it on.
To get the best bokeh/portrait effect, it is better to use it in the “Aperture mode” rather than the “Portrait mode”.
The camera takes decent snaps in proper daylight, but suffers in low light. The colours are not that vibrant as taken by other smartphones in this price range. The high dynamic range (HDR) did a fair job of balancing out shadows and highlights.
In low-light conditions, the camera takes few extra seconds to focus and the snaps are grainy too and it does not have optical image stabilisation.
The AI, which can recognise 22 scenes, can capture more light compared to the normal shot, but the shots turned out oversaturated. I recommend cancelling the auto mode in a bid to get the natural colours. You can also see the non-AI version of the image by clicking the AI symbol off from the app and see the difference before you click.
There is also Pro mode for those who want to tweak things further. If you are a photography fan, you’ll likely find the Pro mode useful and enjoyable.
The night mode option produces clearer photos with better dynamic range and colours, but it is not as good as a shot in Mate 20 Pro.
The device does not support 4K video recording and slow-motion recording, but only 1080p at 30 and 60 frames per second.
Since there is no video stabilisation feature, you need to hold the phone steady while recording and at times it has failed to maintain focus on a subject and the issue becomes worse in lowlight conditions. You have the option to save it in either H. 264 or H. 265 encoding.
The 24MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture takes decent photos in proper light, but in low-light, it struggles as there is no autofocus and colours look washed out. The AI mode, which can recognise eight selfie scenarios, did quite a good job of producing good photos.
Video recording is available only 1080p at 30 and 60 frames per second and 720p but no slow-motion recording facility.
The GPU is Mali-G51 and is based on a newer 12nm manufacturing process. It provides fluid performance in non-graphically intense games and copes well with PUBG and Asphalt 8 games.
Regarding connectivity, it has 4G LTE, voice over LTE (VoLTE), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, BLE and FM radio.
The 3,400mAh battery offers more than 11 hours of video playback and more than 10 hours of internet browsing. It gives one full day for moderate users. It does not support fast charging or wireless charging, but has power-saving features such as normal power saving mode and ultra-power saving mode. It is priced at Dh799.
The Honor 10 Lite will find it tough in the overcrowded midrange segment as there is no real standout feature. It is a decent all-rounder at a mid-range price.
• Large screen
• Decent processor
• Small notch
• Decent battery life
• VoLTE support
• Latest OS out of the box
• Value for money
• AI features
• No video stabilisation and no 4K video recording
• No USB Type-C port
• Plasticy build
• No fast-charging
• Fingerprint magnet
• Cameras need improvement
• No slow-motion recording
• No option for Auto HDR