Huawei's subsidiary Honor launched kicked off the New Year with the launch of the budget Honor 10 Lite phone with prices starting at in India in mid-January 2019.
I had the opportunity to test the budget Honor phone and used it for a little over a week. The Honor 10 Lite moniker may suggest as it is a watered down version of the Honor 10, but it should not be compared with the latter, as it has zero resemblance in any aspects at all. But, it is a successor of the Honor 9 Lite.
Now that I have cleared the doubts about the ancestry of the Honor 10 Lite, let me tell how the user-experience of the device has been.
Design, display and build quality:
Honor 10 Lite comes with glossy glass finish on the back. My review unit looks stunning in the raven-hued shell. The company has taken inspiration from parent firm Huawei's phone design, as we can the horizontal engraving of the brand name at the base and the AI camera printed beside the camera on the top.
When held in hand, it smooth and also very compact, I with the small palm can easily grip the phone without worrying about slipping through the hands. But, the only qualm is that the shell is a fingerprint magnet, but this issue, not a deal breaker, as the device's retail box comes with a translucent case to the protect the rear side from scratches and sweaty smudges.
I also appreciate Honor offering the phone with screen-guard out-of-the-box, thus increasing the durability of the phone.
As far as display concerned, Honor 10 Lite flaunts a 6.21-inch full HD+ (2280x1080p) screen with dewdrop notch. Except for the some space occupied by the chin at the base and the small camera on the top, the rest is a fully working display offering more than 91% screen-to-body, which very few in the mid-range phone can boast off. I had great time watching trailers on YouTube and also the screen clarity under the direct sunlight was decent, as I had less trouble to view the contents on the display while browsing web outside during the afternoon.
Honor 10 Lite comes with proprietary HiSilicon Kirin 710 octa-core processor with 3GB/4GB/6GB RAM (LPDDRX) and 32GB/64GB storage. It works flawlessly while performing any day-to-day functions such as quick loading apps, switching between multiple apps, recording videos, and even gaming. I played some games on the phone, it showed no hint of lag-ness and with widescreen, it was a delightful experience.
As far as the user-interface is concerned, this is very subjective matter. Personally, I hate skinned OS on Android phones, as I review multiple devices in month. After opening every new phone, I have to relearn from start. This is cumbersome for me, but others who are first time users and will be keeping the longer like a year or more, will be able to master the Android Pie-based EMUI 9.0 interface in a few days and over time understand all the intercacies of the phone.
I like the small value-added features of the EMUI such as Paytm Pay, which offers one-click pay option for Paytm users, App Assistant that will allow users enjoy uninterrupted gaming experience, Ride Mode, which is particularly helpful to bike riders, as it will offer safety and keep them away from the unwanted distraction of call and Party Mode that allows users connect up to 6 Honor devices and play their favourite song in all the devices at the same time.
The Honor 10 Lite houses an impressive 24MP snapper with Sony IMX 576 sensor 1.8µm pixel size, 4-in-1 Light Fusion technology in addition to Artificial Intelligence algorithm to optimise the camera setting to get the best selfie in any type of light condition. It also boasts a feature-rich Beautification app to adjust skin tone, as well.
The front camera works like charm in almost all lighting conditions, but have to say the AI feature takes skin smoothing to a new level. I am not complaining, as I have terrible after-effects of acne in my teenage years, the scars are still there, but this makes me look smart and shareable on social media channels. So, the front camera gets thumbs up from my side.
On the back, it comes with the dual 13MP +2MP camera module. It is also powered by AI and takes pretty good shots under the natural bright light conditions and also when AI is enabled, the picture quality gets optimised in terms of making the subjects such as flowers more colourful, particularly the red in roses come out brighter than normal, but again this kind of effects are pardonable, as they are really good for sharing it social media platforms.
However, the same cannot be said about the picture quality taken in the night. It was a hard task for me to get a stable image, as the autofocus goes haywire in the low light conditions and resulting photos shows a shaky subject and too much grain. You really have to be patient to get a good quality image and it took me a while before I get the hang of it. Hopefully, the company release a software update to make the phone's autofocus stable and also image quality.
Honor 10 Lite houses 3,400mAh cell and was able to consistently deliver a full day's battery life with day-to-day functions such as web browsing, taking photos, watch movie trailers, catching up a TV series, mostly an episode or two while commuting between home and office. Though I don't play mobile games, I tried Temple Run and Angry Birds just for testing the device. The Honor 10 Lite did not disappoint me in this aspect and have to say, this is one of the key features I loved in this phone.
Unlike other budget phones, Honor 10 Lite comes with interesting features such as AI Shopping, which lets users shop what they see in the real world via camera and it direct you the similar product listing on shopping e-commerce platforms in India.
It also boasts Calorie Detection, which you can find by just point the device's camera to the food on the place it will tell the calories count and this will help watch what you eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It also comes with smart Triple Bluetooth Connection feature, which allows the user to connect devices such as Bluetooth headset and Smart Watch simultaneously.
Also, the fingerprint sensor and face unlock features, though a bit slow, work decently. Rest assured, your photos and other details in the Honor 10 Lite will be well protected.
Honor 10 Lite ticks most of the features, a mid-range phone should posses. I loved the design, display, front-camera capabilities, battery life and lag-free performance of the device.
However, I am bit disappointed with the primary shooter's low light photography experience. The camera's auto focus feature seems to lose speed in the night and the resulting images are not at all sharp. You should have a steady hand to keep the focus and snap. However, this is not a deal breaker, as this issue can be sorted with the software updates. I have witnessed similar issues in phones in the sub-Rs 15,000 price range and this can be fixed with a firmware patch.
It is available in three configurations—3GB RAM+ 32GB storage, 4GB RAM+64GB storage and 6GB RAM + 64GB storage— Rs 11,999, Rs 13,999 and Rs 17,999, respectively.
- Visually appealing design language
- Good build quality
- Amazing front camera
- A full day battery life
- Highly customised Android experience, but this is very subjective, because if the buyer had previously owned Honor phone, he or she will have an easy transition. But, if the consumer is newa to smartphone or migrating fra om different brand they will take a few days to learn the nuances of the phone's settings and features