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Honor 10 Lite First Impressions: Premium all-screen design and latest Android Pie
Honor 10 Lite offers an all-screen design, runs Android Pie and sports a 24MP AI supported selfie-camera
Huawei's sub-brand Honor is kicking off the year 2019 in India with the launch of a new feature-packed budget smartphone. The company is set to launch the successor to Honor 9 Lite on January 15, 2019, in India. To recall, Honor 9 Lite introduced four cameras to budget smartphone segment in the year 2018 and was quite well received by consumers in the Indian market.
Honor 10 Lite will fight the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro, Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, Nokia 6.1 and Realme handsets. These smartphones are priced under Rs. 18,000 price-point, which has gradually become one-of-the most competitive and interesting price segment in India.
Honor seems very well prepared for the battle. Honor 10 Lite features a big 6.21-inch screen with a very good screen-to-body ratio. The smartphone also offers a massive 24MP selfie camera, premium design and runs on the latest Android Pie. We have just started using the new Honor 10 Lite and it feels quite promising. Here's our first-hand experience with Honor 10 Lite. Please note that this is just our first impressions with the handset and a detailed review will follow later.
Premium look and feel
Honor 10 Lite is a strikingly good-looking handset for its price-point. If I don't reveal the pricing, I doubt anyone will categorize it as a budget device. The dewdrop notch, the gradient color, and the 3D curved edge design gives Honor 10 Lite a very seamless and premium look and feel. Even though the handset flaunts a big 6.2-inch screen, it can be used with one hand as the overall width of the device and the curved edges make it very comfortable to hold. The rear panel is made up of plastic but has been given a glass finish. The plastic doesn't make the phone look cheap, something which we noticed in the case of Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2.
The power button and volume rockers placed on the right side offers a very good clicky feel. The fingerprint scanner is also placed at the sweet spot for a struggle-free unlocking experience. Overall, I really liked the design of Honor 10 Lite. It might be the best-looking handset in its price-point and will certainly please smartphone enthusiasts for whom design is one-of-the biggest deciding factor while buying a mobile device.
Crisp 6.21-inch edge-to-edge display
Coming onto the front, Honor 10 Lite sports a big 6.21-inch Full HD+ display with a dewdrop notch. The all-screen design and sleek form-factor make this handset look really eye-catchy. The display is fairly bright and vibrant making Honor 10 Lite a good budget smartphone for multimedia lovers. I streamed 1080p videos on this handset and even played some graphically rich game titles. The gameplay and video playback experience were good as the 91% screen-to-body ratio completely fills up the display for an impressive viewing experience.
As far as screen durability is concerned, Honor has added a protective glass layer but the company hasn't specified the exact brand information. Having said that, we cannot put into words the amount of stress the display on Honor 10 Lite can bear but we expect it to be at par with at least Corning Gorilla Glass 4 or 5.
AI-enabled front and rear cameras
Honor10 Lite is the company's first smartphone to boast AI in both front and rear cameras. The smartphone sports a massive 24MP selfie camera with Sony IMX 576 sensor. The camera can recognize recognizes more than 200 scenarios across 8 categories. What this means is that the camera can quickly customize the basic settings to better capture different elements in the frame such as Blue Sky, Greenery, Flowers, Beach, Stage performance, Night, Indoor and Snowscapes. As far as the rear camera is concerned, Honor 10 Lite sports a dual-lens camera- 13MP + 2MP system working on f/1.8 and f/2.4 aperture lenses respectively. As per Honor, the rear camera can recognize over 500 scenes in 22 categories and can automatically apply the best settings for a perfect shot.
Portrait mode and indoor camera performance isn’t best-in-class
The AI works quite well on the camera systems and you can capture some crisp and detailed shots in daylight. I am not entirely blown away with the results in indoor and low-light conditions though. Pictures captured in standard ‘Photo' mode by front and rear cameras show noise and softer details. Portrait shots show some inconsistent blurring on non-human subjects.
On the other hand, the newly added ‘Night mode' is quite impressive and tends to bring up a lot of details in the images shot in low-light. It also keeps a check on noise levels to a good extent.
Stay tuned for a comprehensive review of Honor 10 Lite's camera hardware.
Android Pie and snappy Kirin 710 CPU
Honor 10 Lite offers some solid on-paper specs. The smartphone runs on EMUI 9 based on the latest Android Pie. It is backed by Huawei's in-house Kirin 710 octa-core CPU. The company will unveil 4GB and 6GB RAM variants with 64GB in-built storage that can be expanded to up to 512GB via microSD card. I am currently testing the 4GB RAM variant and it feels really snappy. Even the heavy games ran smoothly as the handset ships with GPU Turbo 2.0 that improves the graphical performance. Android 9 combined with EMUI 9 offers some useful features such as Digital balance, Password Vault, Ride mode, Smart assistance, etc.
3,400 mAh battery unit
While everything else seems just top-notch, Honor 10 Lite is backed by a humble 3,400 mAh battery unit which seems less beefy when compared with rival devices like Redmi Note 6 Pro (4,000 mAh) and Asus Zenfone Max pro M2 (5,000 mAh). However, Honor says that the battery on Honor 10 Lite can actually offer the same level of battery backup due to handset's efficient antenna design and hardware-software customization. We will compare the battery life of Honor 10 Lite with that of Redmi and Asus handsets to test such claims.
Honor 10 Lite has managed to impress us in a short period of time. It seems like a well-rounded budget smartphone for consumers who don't want to compromise on design, display and software part. We are yet to fully evaluate the handset's camera, battery and multitasking performance. Stay tuned on Gizbot for our comprehensive review of the smartphone.