Even when you’re under a tight budget, as much as possible you still strive to get the best value for your money. And today, it might just be the gleaming HONOR 10 Lite. Just a few days more and we’ll officially know how much it will really cost, but basing from it’s China price tag, it might come in the Philippines with a 9-12k price—which is not bad at all.
It’s a more affordable sibling of the HONOR 10 with some expected scaled-down specs and ergonomics, but we didn’t expect the results we got. Let’s find out how “lite” this smartphone is.
One thing you wouldn’t miss with the HONOR 10 Lite is its minimal design. The notch is noticeably small as the ones we’ve seen in, and it houses its 24MP F2.0 front camera. Compare to the higher HONOR 10, it has a smaller chin that keeps a notification indicator, which is something new for HONOR and we like how they still managed to squeeze one in.
Its got an all-plastic body in an incredibly light load of 162g. Surely, it is light but doesn’t look that cheap at all. Looking at the back, it has the same glaring color gradient effect as the HONOR 10 but in different color variants. Of course, you won’t get the cool aurora glass design yet what we have is the stunning sky blue one. Nonetheless, if you want something more classic then you can check the midnight black version. You’ll also find the dual rear cameras at the back plus the flash and fingerprint scanner.
Sadly, the 10 Lite can be very vulnerable to smudges so its good to invest in a good casing or you can simply use the jelly case included in the box. At the bottom is a downward firing speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack, primary mic, and a microUSB port that isn’t surprising at all.
On the right is the power button alongside the volume rockers, while the dual SIM tray is located on top. And just like usual, you’ll get a SIM ejector tool, instruction manuals, jelly case, charger, and a microUSB cable inside the box.
With a 6.21-inch IPS display the 10 Lite doesn’t have a big of a screen but you do get a somehow full-screen experience thanks to its small notch and trimmed chin. If you ask me, viewing angles are good and the phone casts a 1080 x 2340 FHD+ resolution with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio.
Colors come crisp and bright and you can tweak the display in the settings from normal to vivid mode, but if you really prefer a certain display color, then feel free to play around the color wheel. Tip: For serious gamers, we recommend turning the vivid mode display on for a more intuitive gaming experience.
If for some reason the notch bothers you, well fret not because you can still remove it in the settings. But if you really want a full-screen experience, then hide the navigation buttons below and try using the navigation dock instead which is a small ball we resembles an assistive touch but only works for navigating the phone.
It’s also good to know that when using various apps and games, the display doesn’t cut out whatever’s in the notch area. The speaker grille at the bottom produces good sound quality that’s loud and crisp enough, however, don’t expect it to produce much bass and be aware that you can accidentally cover it when holding the phone horizontally while playing games or watching movies.
Cameras of the 10 Lite produces respectable shots for its price point and it packs some nifty features as well. You get an AI-powered 24MP front camera for selfies which produces vivid and sharp photos. Just make sure to take multiple shots at once because sometimes the shutter isn’t fast enough, leaving blurry results.
Moreover, you can also spice your self-portraits with built-in features such as AR lens, pro or manual mode, portrait mode, panorama, filters, beauty level, and stickers that automatically play some music when you use them. Hey, selfies have never been this interesting.
Heading to its main cameras, you get a dual camera setup keeping a 13MP shooter plus a 2MP secondary lens. Photos are quite competitive but it slightly struggles with detail. Turning the AI on allows the camera to identify your environment and adjust the settings to make it look better. However, in our experience, it ends up over-saturating the results that left us wanting to just turn the AI off. Here are some sample shots.
And just like the front camera, there’s are a lot of camera features to explore. It has a dedicated Night Mode that truly enhances low light photos and there are also light painting, HDR, panorama, documents, and aperture mode that you can use.
As for videos, the highest resolution you can get is at 1080p FHD at 60fps. It’s reasonable in its price range but of course not as good as high-end phones. You can also shoot at 1080p in 18.7:9 and take advantage of the timelapse feature that works for both front and rear cameras.
You must’ve heard already that the HONOR 10 Lite will come with EMUI 9 based on Android 9.0 Pie so you’ll get the newest HONOR OS experience. Besides the display, there are a lot of things you can personalize such as notifications, screen time management, and smart assistance. Split screen and picture-in-picture mode is also on board as well as app twin.
For security, you can unlock the phone via facial recognition that takes some time under low light surroundings and the fingerprint sensor at the back that works quickly and is easy to access. You can register up to 5 fingerprints and the sensor can do more like tap it to answer calls, trigger the shutter button for cameras, or turn off alarms.
Powering the 10 Lite is a lighter 2.2GHz octa-core Kirin 710 chipset just like the HONOR 8X. You have the option of dropping down to 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage or go for the 4GB or 6GB RAM with a maximum storage of 64GB.
Multitasking and juggling through different apps are not a problem, in fact, it can handle heavy games like PUBG, Asphalt 9, and Ragnarok M. There are slight lags but it can be avoided by making sure that the game is the only app running. Sometimes, the phone gets a little warm but in a sense that it doesn’t heat up too much.
The unit lent to us is still an engineering sample so we can’t run all benchmarks yet, but watch out soon as we will update this for once we get our hands on the retail unit.
The HONOR 10 Lite is equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), NFC, and GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou support. Its dual nano-SIM supports 4G LTE, but you’ll have to sacrifice your secondary SIM card slot for a microSD card if you need more storage.
Another thing that the 10 Lite has in common with the HONOR 10 is the battery. They both have a decent non-removable 3,400mAh battery capacity. In our standard video loop test, the phone got to run a movie in loop for straight 13 hours at 50% brightness, 50% volume, and in airplane mode. That’s great for a mid-ranger, but of course, don’t expect any fast charging and wireless charging options with this one. Other battery features include power saving mode and ultra power saving mode for when you desperately need your phone alive.
Besides the fact that it’s literally light, the HONOR 10 Lite didn’t feel like a major downgrade from the HONOR 10. It may not have a USB Type-C or a dedicated game mode, but its got a decent chipset, rich display, tiny notch, and quirky camera features.
It performs well for everyday use and can actually manage some heavy gaming. Now we don’t know the exact price yet but if it falls under PHP 11-12,000, it might just win over some midrange phones available today.
The HONOR 10 Lite 3GB + 64GB model is priced at PHP 10,990 and will be available on January 26, 2019, exclusively at the SM North EDSA, Annex Cyberzone. It comes with PHP 3K worth of freebies which includes an HONOR Band, HONOR Gift Box, and a sports arm band.
The 3GB + 32GB mode, on the other hand, is priced at PHP 9,990 and will be a Shopee exclusive on January 25, 2019. It comes with PHP 3K worth of freebies which includes an HONOR Band 4 Running, HONOR foldable luggage set, and HONOR gift box.
HONOR 10 Lite specs:
6.21-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) 19.5:9 display, 415ppi
HiSilicon Kirin 710 2.2GHz octa-core CPU
microSD up to 512GB
13MP F1.8 + 2MP rear cameras
24MP F2.0 front camera
Dual-SIM (nano, hybrid)
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.2, BLE
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
3.5mm audio jack
EMUI 9.0.1 (Android 9.0 Pie)
154.8 x 73.64 x 7.95 mm
What we like:
• Smooth performance
• Vivid display
• Above average battery life
• Stunning design
• Small notch
• Notification indicator on the chin
What we don’t like:
• No fast charging
• Smudge magnet
• Decent camera performance
• Plastic build