Last year, Huawei sub-brand Honor came up with many offerings for Indian buyers. We got to see phones like Honor Play, which came with a good emphasis on gaming and performance and still landed in the mid-range price segment. Now in 2019, Honor started its streak of launch with the Honor 10 Lite. This new phone by Honor is not only the first device of the year but it also the first in other parameters as well, its dewdrop notch being one of them. The phone also packs the Kirin 710 SoC and has a display which contends a lot of other mid-range phones in the Indian market. Previously, we did a quick hands-on of the device, but now here we are with the detailed review of the Honor 10 Lite.
Honor 10 Lite Review: Design
This is not the first time that Honor has innovated with the design of its phone. The back panel is a glaringly attractive finish on the device, which looks especially beautiful on the Sapphire Blue variant although the phone is available in Sky Blue and Midnight Black as well. The back panel shines when kept under light and is easily the most attractive part about the device. Although there is the issue of smudges on the back panel, however, Honor ships a silicone case with the device which helps with this issue. There is the AI camera branding on the rear side and the vertical Honor branding as well. On the front, we get to see the dewdrop notch which finds its place at the centre of the top edge, and it houses the selfie camera. The earpiece sits right on top of the notch towards the upper corner of the phone.
Another thing we noted is that Honor has placed the secondary microphone on the top edge of the phone right beside the SIM tray. As you would expect, we made the mistake of poking the microphone with the SIM ejector tool and given its position, it is entirely possible that other users might make the same mistake. On the bottom edge, we find that the Honor 10 Lite comes with the micro-USB port, speaker grille and the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Honor 10 Lite Review: Hardware Specifications
Before we move on to describe the performance and prowess of the Honor 10 Lite, let’s take a quick review of what the phone packs inside. The phone sports a 6.21-inch panel which has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a Full-HD+ resolution which makes up for a 91% screen-to-body ratio. Also, the phone does not come with any kind of Gorilla Glass protection except for a pre-applied screen protector. Under the hood, the phone packs the Huawei Kirin 710 SoC which is an octa-core processor clocking 2.2GHz and is built on the 12nm architecture process. The variants of the phone include one 4GB RAM and the other in 6GB RAM, and both come with the same storage option. There is also a hybrid SIM slot so you can expand the memory to 512GB. As for software, the phone boots Android 9 Pie with Honor’s EMUI 9.0.1 on top of it.
Being an Android 9 Pie phone, the Honor 10 Lite packs all the quirks which come with the original firmware. There is the Digital Balance app which is similar to Digital Wellbeing and can be used to limit screen time and more such activities. Further, there is also the option to turn on the gesture-based navigation which is the highlight of the latest Android edition.
Honor 10 Lite Review: Performance
We had the 4GB version with us and firstly we delved into how the phone performed with day to day apps, and we found that there was no lagging when multiple applications were switched, and the camera was opened repetitively. Next up, we tried gaming on the Honor 10 Lite which was also a breeze with simple titles, however, when we stepped up the bar to games like Asphalt 9 Legends, although the phone was able to take the game on medium settings, we found little jittering and frame lag when the settings were increased to maximum.
As for the battery, the 3400mAh unit on the phone lasted well for a day’s worth of usage. When we ran WhatsApp, along with one and a half hour of YouTube streaming on 4G network along with a little Tweeting and music streaming, we were left with exactly 50% of battery by the end of the day. We were a little bit disappointed, however, to find that Honor does not ship a fast charger with the device and it takes around two hours for the device to go from 0 to 100%.
Honor 10 Lite Review: Camera
On the imaging front, the Honor 10 Lite features a 13MP primary sensor on the rear side with a 2MP depth sensor. Honor also packs an AI mode in the camera app which can detect scenes very quickly. However, when we snapped a picture using the AI mode, we found that the images were oversaturated. The effect was even more pronounced when the setting was brightly lit; The same issue we faced on the Honor 8X as well. Also, the pictures rendered sharpened to the point that it was easily noticeable, but when it came to focus, the device was quick to pop the object on the screen.
The selfie camera also performed well, but in low light settings, the camera struggled to click images without grain and noise. There is also a beauty mode which Honor ships with the device which you can decide to turn off entirely or adjust the level of editing which it does to your pictures. As for the video, the Honor 10 Lite allows a max quality of 1080p with a max frame rate of 60fps, but for video enthusiasts, the lack of EIS might mean shaky footage.
Honor 10 Lite Review: Verdict
The Honor 10 Lite is one device which is a very competitive offering near the Rs 15,000 price tag. The phone’s strong points are its chipset, which matches the level of Snapdragon 660 and its unique design. The only drawback with the Honor 10 Lite is its camera, given this situation we believe that the lower variant of the device with 4GB of RAM and a price tag of Rs 13,999 might a good buy. However, if you raise your budget, there might be other devices under the Rs 20,000 price range which might prove to be a better buy. Currently, one of the biggest competitors of the Honor 10 Lite in the market is Xiaomi Mi A2 which has also received a recent price cut.