We check out HONOR's first 2019 budget offering
HONOR made quite a splash when it returned to the Philippines last April 2018, offering quite a number of competitive offerings including the HONOR 9 Lite. The phone proved to be a solid device to build momentum for their comeback in the Philippines, sporting mid-range features for not much money.
Today we'll be taking a look at its successor, the HONOR 10 Lite. The device looks to build on the success of last year's model, emphasizing improved camera performance as well as better selfies. While HONOR launched the HONOR 10 Lite in China last November 2018, it is only this month that the phone is gearing for a global release.
Packaging and contents:
Just like most HONOR phones, the HONOR 10 Lite comes in a light blue box with the model's name on the front. Inside, you have the phone itself, jelly case, documentation, MicroUSB cable, and a 10W charger.
The design looks familiar.
In all honesty, we think that the HONOR 10 Lite looks more like a lightweight version of the HONOR 8X because of its design. You get a vertically-arranged dual rear camera setup with individual camera bumps and an LED flash right below it.
The fingerprint scanner is found at the back, and the back panel is curvier than the HONOR 8X because it uses polycarbonate instead of glass. Because of this it feels lighter than usual but is nonetheless solid. The phone comes in a variety of colors including two gradient ones. Our review unit, which is in black, looks sleek and shimmers a little bit when the light hits the rear at a certain angle.
Here's our review unit beside the gradient blue variant of the HONOR 10 Lite.
HONOR played around a bit with the port layout, as it places the hybrid SIM card tray on top. The volume and power buttons are on the right side, and you have your loudspeaker, headphone jack, and a MicroUSB port at the bottom. It is disappointing to see the aging port on the HONOR 10 Lite, and we do wish that it came with USB-C, especially since its more affordable sibling—the HONOR Play 8A—reportedly uses the modern port.
That notch is tiny.
Yup, and it is less annoying compared to your usual notch. It is small enough to house the 24-megapixel f/2.0 front camera, which is the HONOR 10 Lite's main selling feature. On top of the selfie-centric camera is a slit housing the earpiece. The HONOR 10 Lite has a relatively slim bottom bezel as well. In this part of the phone, you will find the notification light, hidden conspicuously at the left side of the bottom bezel.
The display itself is a 6.34-inch IPS display with Full HD+ resolution. HONOR did not specify the glass used, but you shouldn't worry since it comes with a pre-installed screen protector. As for the panel itself, it produces vibrant and accurate colors and is bright enough for general use even at 50% brightness. Like other HONOR phones with a notch, you have the option to black out the area is you simply dislike the sight of a tiny cutout.
Wait, it has great cameras?
On paper, the HONOR 10 Lite's cameras are promising. You get a 13-megapixel f/1.8 and 2-megapixel f/2.4 snappers for the rear, along with a selfie-centric front camera. The front camera should ring a bell, as it is the same module used by other brand's higher-end phones.The HONOR 10 Lite aims to be a selfie-centric smartphone, and the 24-megapixel aims to capture the best-looking selfies. Here are a few samples:
The rear cameras are no slouch either: the 13-megapixel main snapper has a bright f/1.8 aperture that helps in better low light performance. The HONOR 10 Lite comes with AIS Night Mode to give you better low-light shots, along with support for Full HD video recording at 60FPS. Check out some of the shots we took using Full Auto:
And here are photos shot using AIS Night Mode:
What is under the hood?
Powering the HONOR 10 Lite is the Kirin 710 processor, which is HONOR's processor of choice for the majority of its mid-range phones. Our review unit has an unusual RAM/storage configuration, where it comes with 3GB RAM and 64GB internal storage (it's usually 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB).
The Kirin 710 is used on several phones including the HONOR 8X, and it is a capable mid-range processor as long as you know its limitations. The HONOR 10 Lite comes with Android Pie and EMUI 9 out of the box and has GPU Turbo 2.0 built in, so its overall performance should be better than a non-GPU Turbo equipped phone—at least on paper.Keeping the lights on is a 3400mAh battery with 10W charging via its MicroUSB.
How much will it cost?
We have no word yet about the HONOR 10 Lite's price, but since the 4GB/64GB variant is priced at Php 10.1k when converted, our guess is that the 3GB/64GB variant will be priced somewhere around the Php 9k mark. Should HONOR Philippines be able to keep the price under Php 10K, the HONOR 10 Lite will be one of the most affordable phones to have a Kirin 710 processor, GPU Turbo, and AIS Night Mode.
HONOR 10 Lite specs
• Kirin 710 octa-core processor
• Mali-G51 MP4 GPU
• 3GB RAM
• 6.34-inch Full HD+ IPS display
• 64GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB
• 13-megapixel f/1.8 + 2-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and LED flash
• 24-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
• Dual SIM
• 3G, LTE
• WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint scanner, GPU Turbo 2.0
• 3400mAh battery
• Android 9.0, EMUI 9.0