The new Honor 10 Lite retails at S$288, but don’t be deceived by the economical price point. Launched in late January in Singapore, the Honor 10 Lite offers everything a smartphone user needs. Let’s list them down.
Kirin 710 chipset. It is a mid-range CPU from Huawei. The immensely-popular Huawei Nova 3i also uses this chipset.
EMUI 9. Used on the flagship Huawei phones, the OS is based on the latest Android 9, so you get all the newest Android features.
Gradient Colour back. The model only comes with a single colour, but I think it will appeal to everyone. The top is silver while the bottom transitions to blue. And the whole phone feels premium, though the sides and back are plastic, which sadly, are not resistant to scratches.
24MP front camera f/2.0. Enough pixels to capture good quality selfies.
13MP + 2MP Dual AI Rear Cameras f/1.8. At your command via the “A.I.” button, your shots will be analysed and adjusted to optimise the scene. Portraits will get blur background and the face edited, food will appear more saturated, text will appear crispier. It also supports Portrait Lighting mode where you can create studio-quality lighting effects. Handheld night shot mode is also available.
LED notification indicator. The Honor 10 Lite has the indicator at the bottom of the phone, so you know if you missed a notification.
If it sounds too good to be true, it is. There are some limitations and missing features that may drive you to opt for a more expensive smartphone.
UI is not as smooth. The Kirin 710 does not run as smooth as Kirin 970 or 980. I experience random lag and pauses when navigating the phone. If you are not in a forever-rush mode, it shouldn’t matter much.
Image Processing. While the image sensor spec may appear solid, the ultimate test of quality comes from how the smartphone processes the raw pixels. On the Honor 10 Lite, the images appear too warm and narrow dynamic range, often blowing out highlights.
Images are processed differently from Honor View20, as can be seen below. Interesting to note that under ambient lighting, the white balance seems to be fine.
AI Toggle After Shot. The Honor 10 Lite cannot disable AI mode from the photo gallery when browsing photos taken with AI mode. The Honor View20 can do that.
Lower Resolution With AI Mode. As if the above is not bad enough, when shooting with AI mode, the image resolution reduces from 13MP to 8MP. The Honor View20 does not have this limitation.
No Super Slow-Motion Mode. If you want to impress your peers with bullet-time footage, the Honor 10 Lite does not have this mode.
Micro USB charging port. To keep costs low, the charging port remains as micro USB. Not a big issue, since most people should have a lot of the old cables at home, but it is rather inconvenient to have to plug the cable with the right orientation. Fortunately, the 3.5mm audio port remains.
The Honor 10 Lite retails for S$288, and works pretty well as a smartphone of this age. It looks premium, has all the latest styling including thin bezels and tiny water drop notch. Most of the drawbacks I shared are related to the camera features, which may not be important to some.
Official product website: https://www.hihonor.com/sg/products/smartphone/honor10lite/