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Huawei Honor 10 Lite Unboxing and Full Review

honor 10 lite full front on grass

With the likes of the Huawei Honor 10 Lite, this Asian OEM has now proved that we can surely get a premium device, running on latest Android OS and not having to break the bank for it.

Looking at the form factor of the device as well as the kind of naming system it got, one cannot miss the fact that it was modeled after the beautiful Huawei Honor 10 device.

In terms of specifications and features, the Honor 10 Lite might not measure up the standard of it’s predecessor, but it sure boasts some eye-catching features coupled with an elegant body design.

The Honor 10 Lite is still an embodiment of the great value phones we’ve come to know the brand for. For about 30% lower price tag than the original Honor 10, the 10 Lite has the same size battery, a larger screen with a smaller notch, the memory is now expandable via a microSD slot and right from the get-go it comes out with the latest Android 9 Pie. In comparison, the Honor 10 still hasn’t got an update to Pie yet.

Honor 10 Lite Key Specs

  • Body Dimension: 154.8 x 73.6 x 8mm, 162 grams, plastic back panel and side frame.
  • Screen and Display: 6.2″ IPS LCD, 1080 x 2340px resolution (19.5:9); ~415 ppi.
  • Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 710 (12nm) chipset: octa-core CPU (4x Cortex-A73 Gold @2.2GHz + 4x Cortex-A53 @1.7GHz); Mali-G51 MP4.
  • Memory: 3GB LPDDR4X RAM, 64GB or 128GB built-in storage, microSD slot support (takes the second SIM slot).
  • OS: Android 9.0 Pie; EMUI 9.0.
  • Rear camera: 13MP f/1.8, 26mm (wide) PDAF, 2MP depth sensor, LED flash; 1080p@30/60fps.
  • Front camera: 24MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm, 1080p@30fps video recording.
  • Battery: 3,400mAh, 5V/2A 10W charging.
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A, Cat.12/13 (600Mbps/150Mbps); microUSB 2.0; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS; Bluetooth 4.2.
  • Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint reader, FM radio.

Honor 10 Lite Unboxing

The Honor 10 Lite comes in a quite compact box containing the usual user manuals, the SIM ejection tool, the microUSB charging cable and, of course, the charging adapter.

We didn’t expect much else but Honor also provided a transparent silicone case that fits the 10 Lite perfectly and doesn’t hide the rather fresh color gradient paint job on the back.

The device came with a pre-installed screen protective film, no earphones were found in the box but that was as expected.

Design and First Impressions

At the first touch, the Honor 10 Lite is way lighter than it looks. Of course, the glossy finish on the back makes it a very beautiful to behold. You will want to be careful with smears though as the back panel looks like a fingerprint magnet. The Honor 10 Lite misses on the premium materials and instead relies only on plastic for the body. That doesn’t take away anything from the looks, though.

On the front, the smartphone surprises with great screen-to-body ratio with considerably more screen real estate thanks to the move of the fingerprint reader at the back and the narrower notch at the front. While the Honor 10 has a wide, standard-looking notch, the Lite has a matching “Lite” notch. Some may call it a waterdrop and it does look like one to some extent. The side and upper bezels are thin and symmetrical but the bottom one surprised us the most. It’s one of the smallest ones we’ve seen, especially at this price point and also houses a subtle LED notification light. It looks awesome when it lights up.

At the very top of the phone is the SIM and microSD card tray. Making use of a hybrid SIM slot, you will have to make a decision between using a second SIM or sacrificing that slot for a microSD card.

We love how the headphone jack was situated at the bottom of the phone. At least, that will reduce cases of headphone/ earphone wire fatigue and internal breakages. With the headphone jack is a speaker grill and microphone section, rounded off by the USB slot.

At the right border, we have the volume rocker keys and power button, leaving the left border of the phone totally empty.

As we mentioned earlier, the device has a glossy plastic back. Handling the device felt really comfortable, thanks to the diminished left and right borders and curved edges.

At the upper left part of the back is a dual camera setup (13MP + 2MP) with a single LED flash right underneath. The fingerprint sensor is centrally positioned at the back just below the LED flash.

Honor 10 Lite Display Review

The Honor 10 Lite features a rather generic IPS LCD panel with a small minimalist notch on the top, which isn’t obtrusive at all and you can still hide it if you want to. We’ve noticed a slight “light bleed” around the edges of the notch and you can notice it when only when the background is bright, like white, for example.

Anyway, you’ve got a standard 1080 x 2340 pixels resolution at your disposal at a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio and around 415 ppi since the diagonal is 6.21″. Just for the record, the standard Honor 10 has a significantly smaller 5.84-inch display and a shorter 19:9 aspect ratio so here’s one reason to opt for the Lite if you are after a larger display.

There is a notification indicator light at the bottom left of the screen which is quite innovative. For everyday use, the max brightness of the device is perfectly fine. Obviously, it’s not the brightest panel out there but it does the job perfectly well considering the price point. Overall color output on of the display is impressive.

OS and Hardware Review

As one would expect, the Honor 10 Lite comes with Huawei’s user interface EMUI and on contrary to a lot of midrangers out there, the device comes with the latest and greatest from Google – Android 9.0 Pie. The UI is also updated to its latest version although, there aren’t any major differences compared to the older EMUI 8 with which we’ve tested the vanilla Honor 10.

Like all EMUI-driven devices, you can set up a magazine lockscreen style that changes the picture every time you wake up the screen. Sliding from the bottom will bring out quick shortcuts to some commonly used utilities and you can re-arrange, add or exclude to your liking. We found it to be useful and a bit annoying at the same time because there were times when we just wanted to unlock the phone but bring out the menu instead.

Unlocking the phone will bring you to the Home screen where you will find all of the installed and system apps. There’s a toggle in the settings menu that lets you choose between the standard layout or a Home screen with an app drawer. This is a really neat option to have as some people prefer the app drawer.

Swiping to the right from the home screen will bring you to Google Feed and by swiping downwards will let you search in your app library.

As for the notification shade, there’s an option in the settings menu that enables a swipe gesture on the fingerprint reader and really helps a lot with the one-handed operation. Also, it works really well. No more reaching for the top bezel when using this tall 19.5:9 screen.

And as for the notification shade – it’s nothing out of the ordinary. It can fit three rows with five quick launch icons for each row and right under the icons, you will find the screen brightness slider.

Opening up the settings menu will greet you with the usual sub-menus and features that you would find on most EMUI-based phones. There are a couple of useful options in the “Home screen settings” such as themes, the option to choose between an app drawer or the standard app arrangement on the Home screen as well as the option to toggle off the Google Feed.

The “Display” sub-menu is rather basic with little to no options in there. You’ve got the Eye comfort option that limits the blue light emissions during the night, choose between Normal or Vivid color modes and adjust the screen resolution – you can lower it to HD+ (720 x 1560) but our numerous tests from the past show little to no difference in the battery savings if you opt for the lower resolution setting.

More importantly, the option for disabling the notch is buried deep in the Display menu and we didn’t find the option swapping the navigation software buttons for gestures.

More importantly, the option for disabling the notch is buried deep in the Display menu and we didn’t find the option swapping the navigation software buttons for gestures.

Moving on to the “Battery” section, you will find plenty of stats and a moderate amount of options to play with. There’s a normal power saving mode and “Ultra power saving mode”. The latter strongly limits the device’s capabilities and lets you use only a handful of essential apps, disables background processes, animations and turns of radios. The battery usage menu will give you all the information you’d need – you can see which apps and hardware components drained the battery since your last charge.

We found the “Digital balance” in the Settings menu quite nifty. You can track how much time you spend on your phone and which apps you used the most.

The “Security and privacy” menu lets you set up a fingerprint, enable face detection, set up “Find My Device” option, etc. The fingerprint setup process is pretty straightforward but it also brings some additional features like the option of taking a photo with the fingerprint reader in the camera app, stop the alarm, answer a call, browse photos in the gallery and as we already mentioned, bring down the notification panel. The latter is quite useful and works 9 times out of 10.

The fingerprint itself performs excellently as well – it doesn’t take a lot of time to recognize your finger but it lags a little when unlocking.

The face detection works just as good and there’s an option in there that enables instant unlock when it detects your face or requires a slide before unlocking. Of course, both lock methods can be used not only for unlocking the device but also a set of apps to your liking.

One interesting feature we can’t fail to mention is the system navigation setting where you can choose either the basic Three-key navigation, navigation dock or the Gesture navigation like that of the iPhone X variants. The gesture navigation was quite interesting to try out but not as smooth as those of the iPhone X devices.

And last, but not least, comes the “Smart assistance” menu that takes you to the so-called “Motion control”. The latter enables motion gestures like flip-to-mute or raise-to-wake.

With every heavily-customized software come a few pre-installed system apps. In this case, they are generic tools like FM Radio app, Calculator, Calendar, Music, Videos, Clock, Notepad, Email, Files (file browser) and a Phone Manager that gathers some important functions in one place.

As you can see, even for this price, the Honor 10 Lite offers plenty of features and bonus points for the up-to-date software. But we did notice some small annoyances over the course of our testing. For instance, the radio icons appear in the upper left corner of the screen due to the insufficient space around the notch.

Also, the UI doesn’t feel as responsive or fluid as it should be. The Kirin 710’s CPU is more than capable chipset so we guess it’s all down to pending software optimizations.

Aside from that, the UI is highly customizable and you can adjust a lot of settings to better suit your needs though we have to admit, the Honor 10 has a few extra software features on top of what’s available in the 10 Lite.

Sensor and Benchmark Test

The Honor 10 Lite comes with the new in-house mid-range SoC, the HiSilicon Kirin 710. It incorporates an octa-core CPU in a 4/4 arrangement – 4x big 2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 cores and 4x smaller and more efficient 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 cores. The GPU is Mali-G51 MP4 and the whole SoC is based on a newer 12nm manufacturing process.

When it comes to memory, our unit runs with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. However, there are versions with 128GB of storage and 4 or 6GB of RAM.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t benchmark the performance of our review unit due to system limitations imposed by the software it shipped with. We are guessing it might be one of the earlier builds and Honor just doesn’t want it benchmarked at this stage. Still, we recently reviewed the Honor 8X and since they share the same Kirin 710 chipset and the screen resolution, we suggest you check out its performance figures as they should be identical to those by the Honor 8X.

Camera

The Honor 10 Lite carries a dual-camera setup on its back – the main camera is 13MP and has a wide f/1.8 aperture and phase detection autofocus. The secondary 2MP sensor is only used for depth sensing when scene depth information is required such as when shooting portraits with artificially defocused backgrounds.

The front camera that sits on the notch is 24MP with a narrower f/2.0 opening.

Of course, no one expects the Honor 10 Lite to be the best photography performer considering the price range but some basic camera capabilities should be in order. We hope to see it do just as well as the recently reviewed Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite as both phones fall into the same category. Let’s dig into the daylight, indoor and night samples right after a brief review of the camera software.

Camera software

Below are some outdoor pictures that were taken with the phone’s back camera, click on each one to enlarge.

Below are some outdoor portrait pictures captured with phone’s back camera. Click on each one to enlarge.

Below are low light images, not all that impressive..

Below are pictures that were taken with front camera, the picture quality was very impressive, the front camera also offers portrait mode feature. See for yourself below;

Battery and Connectivity

The phone sports a decent 3,400 mAh battery – just like its more expensive sibling – so we expected similar results in our tests from the start.

We were surprised to see that the 3G talk time was considerably longer than what we got on the Honor 10. Other than that, the web browsing and video playback runtimes were pretty close. Judging by the overall score, we can say that battery life is good and a bit over the average for its class.

Unfortunately, the handset doesn’t support any type of fast charging and the charging brick included in the box says the supported output is just 5V/2A or in other words – 10W. A 30-minute charging session from a flat battery would net you 33% of the battery capacity.

The Huawei Honor 10 Lite is a dual micro SIM phone with a hybrid slot. The good news is that it supports 4G networks in addition to the conventional 2G and 3G connectivity options.

Some other features and connectivity options available are; Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, Tethering and portable hotspot, Radio, OTG and power saving mode.

Wired options include a microUSB port and a 3.5mm jack earpiece. The microUSB port supports USB On-The-Go so it can be used to attach an external accessory, flash drive for example.

Final Verdict

In an overcrowded midrange segment the Honor 10 Lite doesn’t really stand out with anything exceptional. It’s a decent all-rounder but it’s a tough one to recommend when taking into account what the competition offers.

The areas where the Honor 10 Lite is a match for its more expensive siblings is screen quality, loudness, and battery life. If these aspects are all that’s important for you in a smartphone, you might as well save yourself some money and get the Honor 10 Lite.

Some notably impressive areas of the device include;

  • Trendy back design
  • Very good speaker quality
  • Sleek user interface (thanks to the Android 9.0 OS)
  • Above average battery life.
  • Decent large screen.
  • Very Sleek design

Some of the downside includes;

  • Plastic build.
  • No fast charging.
  • camera performance.
  • No video stabilization and no 4K video recording.
  • Dated microUSB connector instead of USB-C.

Where to Buy Honor 10 Lite

You can get it at the best price from Gearbest, Click Here

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About the author

Henry Chukwu

Android is my specialty, what I don't know about Android devices isn't worth knowing 😊

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