Honor 10 Lite Review - The Best £200 Smart Phone?

Honor 10 Lite Review

In a world where £1000 for a new phone is becoming the norm, we take a look at the 10 Lite from Honor - Not to be confused with the Huawei P10 Lite, though. I’ve lost track of the times I’ve already made that mistake over the past week and a half I’ve been testing this phone…

First of all, let’s start with the basics. The 10 Lite costs just £200 and comfortably sits at the higher end of the low range market but I would arguably state it’s even creeping into the mid-range phone market with what you get for the price. For the screen, it has a 6.21” display and a very competitive 1080 x 2340 native screen resolution. Even the camera is incredible for a budget smartphone, boasting a 13MP main camera with secondary 2 MP, f/2.4, for that extra depth of field on pictures. What’s most impressive though is the front facing camera which is 24MP, meaning that the 10 Lite can take brilliant selfies and front facing video. That being said, don’t expect to be getting many high detail images you see being taken on phones such as the iPhone X, S10+ and Mate 20 Pro. The camera does have a HDR option but this only adds a little more detail to images, adding some clarity and richer dark colours.

On the topic of video, the rear-facing camera can capture footage in 1080p in both 30 and 60fps, whereas the front facing camera can capture in 1080p 30fps. Picture quality is good and even gives my Galaxy S6 Edge a run for its money in terms of detail and colour depth. The reason I bring this up is that back when it was first released, that was a huge selling point for the Galaxy S6 Edge and even today it still holds up against the flagship models such as the S9+ and iPhone X. So for the Honor 10 Lite to be close, if not better than the S6 Edge is a great achievement.

It’s not all without its flaws though. The camera often struggles to focus on objects in low-light without the help of “Night” mode and often likes to overexpose images to avoid picture-grain. This being said, I can not fault the selfie camera - it has produced brilliant and crisp images even in lower light situations.

The design is very slick and doesn’t feel like a budget phone. Its large screensize, metal bezel and gloss finish certainly make it feel premium, but does suffer from the classic grimy feel that unfortunately comes along with gloss finishes. I showed a couple of people the 10 Lite and asked them to guess its price range - the majority guessed on average between £350 - 500. Needless to say, they were very much surprised to hear that for a phone that looks high-end, it only cost £200.

The phone itself appears to handle everyday use well. I’ve been using this phone as my ‘daily driver’ for just over a week now, and it has coped with pretty much everything I’ve thrown at it. This includes browsing multiple social media platforms at once while having apps such as Discord, Youtube and Spotify running in the background. The only time I’ve noticed any significant dip in performance is when using CPU intensive programs such as a video editor or playing the odd mobile game. It also features 3GB of ram so can multitask perfectly with every day uses.

Battery life is also respectable from the 3,400mAh battery, lasting throughout the day with fair use. On average I used the 10 Lite at 100% from around 7am in the morning and found myself only at 60% at 5pm in the evening. The only downside is that the 10 Lite doesn’t seem to have fast charging - but with that being said, its charge time isn’t exactly a lengthy charge time. 25% is easily achievable in roughly 10 minutes.

For storage, the 10 Lite has 32 or 64GB internally but you can also add in a Micro SD card up to 512GB. For the Processor it has a 2.2GHz Kirin 710 and has 3GB of ram - It’s worth mentioning that the Kirin 710 is actually a mid-range processor that’s chucked into a budget smartphone which would explain it’s competitive performance.

The operating system is EMUI 9, which is an overlay for android - it looks and feels similar to Andriod Pie which is great if you want a genuine alternative. The facial recognition is fast so is a great option if you don’t want to use the fingerprint scanner. The only annoyance I have faced with this is sometimes when wanting to check the lock screen for time or notifications, the phone tries to unlock itself using facial recognition, but this is hardly a game changer.

The bad points: Now there are a few, but bearing in mind this is a £200 phone, there does have to be some level of compromise. The Micro USB port does feel aged now, and could benefit with an update to USB-C. The Camera, although very good, does seem to rely a little too heavily on its “AI” features to take a good picture and I would like to see a bit more control over white balance, colour temperature and exposure. It only has a Mono speaker, so you don’t really get that rich sound depth of a stereo speaker. The gloss finish gets oily quick but feels great when cleaned. It’s not that great for gaming, in particular, games using 3D models and rendering although hardly the worst phone for playing games in the world.

All in all, the Honor 10 Lite is a brilliant phone for the price of £200 - boasting a good camera front and back, snappy little processor and appreciated screen size for the budget. When comparing it to my own S6 Edge, I found it hard to warrant going back to the Samsung as the 10 Lite seamlessly replaced it in almost every aspect aside from the camera.

If you are indeed looking for a phone that is not going to break the bank, but want something that can easily keep up with the modern day’s world - the Honor 10 Lite may well be for you.

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