The Honor 10 was a success for the esteemed Chinese phone manufacturer, but they weren’t done with the series just yet. Released in January 2019, Honor introduced a lighter iteration of the phone with some cuts done on the hardware. But rather than a downgrade, the Honor 10 Lite caters towards the affordable mid-range market.
Pretty but Plastic
High-end seekers may loath a plastic exterior, but the Honor 10 Lite’s rear panel is remarkably pretty with its glossy finish, clean straightforward camera and logo layout. Although we received the black colour variant, those interested in the phone should consider the Sky Blue version which has light to dark blue colour gradient as it looks absolutely gorgeous. There’s nothing wrong with the black variant which still looks slick but also plain in a way.
The phone’s 6.2” IPS screen is good to look at, thanks to its sharp and vivid display which supports 1080 x 2340 resolution. Of course, following a trend set in the previous year for smartphone displays, the Honor 10 Lite does have a notch - a very tiny one to be exact. Tiny enough to provide more than 90% screen-to-body ratio, which is pretty generous if you prefer to have an image or video filling up the entire screen. And yes, the notch can be hidden via the system settings.
Piece of Pie
What’s a pretty display without a user interface? Out of the box, the 10 Lite comes with the straightforward and simple EMUI 9.0 interface powered by Android 9.0 Pie, with all of its features available for use. Multitasking and splitscreen can be done on the Honor 10 Lite with rarely any lag or hiccups thanks to the Kirin 710 processor and 3GB RAM, but don’t expect a smooth experience as a flagship model. Graphic intensive games such as Honkai Impact and PUBG Mobile is playable with no problems, but it is advisable to have them running on medium to lower settings for the best experience.
The audio speakers for the Honor 10 Lite is very loud, which is good if that’s what you’re looking for in a phone. On max volume, audio can be extremely sharp for my liking but surprisingly, there’s not a hint of cracking or loss in quality. But if going loud is not your thing, be very glad to know that this phone has an audio jack. Who would’ve thought that something we’ve been taking for granted in a smartphone could become so precious nowadays.
Photo over video
The Honor 10 Lite’s dual camera setup, compared to its older sibling, is a small-time player with only a 13MP f/1.8 wide and 2MP depth sensor. However, it actually performs very well in terms of photography. In well lit environments, the AI enhanced camera manages to capture sharp and vibrant images which is actually an impressive feat for a mid-range setup.
It is not without its faults, of course. Lowlight and night photography left a lot to be desired where images do capture copious amount of noise and may require steady hands if you want to take sharper looking pictures. Videos are captured only up to 1080p in either 60 or 30fps, but lacks any stabilization during filming. Granted, it’s not meant to be used like an action camera but bumpy videos irk me.
The 24MP selfie camera is pretty good as well with several modes at your disposal for capturing the best of your very own mug. It’s amusing how Honor decided to emphasise more on the front camera rather than the rear, but that pretty much gives you an idea who they’re targeting with this phone.
The Honor 10 Lite is powered by a 3,400 mAh battery which is quite decent for what you’re getting. You can expect an entire day’s worth of use if you’re not a heavy user, but make sure that you already own a powerbank if you do plan to game on it or spend a lot of time on social media apps. Although being a 2019 model, it uses a dated microUSB system for file transfers and charging, and sadly, it lacks any support for fast charging as well.
Honor isn’t planning to break grounds with this phone, but it did set its sights on which consumer market that they’re hoping to attract. That said, the Honor 10 Lite is a phone that performs sufficiently as it is intended to be, and it comes with an above average camera, excellent screen, and ample battery life. Oh, and did I mention that it has a headphone jack?
The Honor 10 Lite will be officially launched in Malaysia on the 8th of January 2019.