The Honor 10 Lite is a sleek and affordable device that merges a fantastic price point along with ample storage space and a gorgeous display. Sure, it lacks the power of any high-end device, but to have an Android smartphone not run out of storage space and an 83% screen-to-body display all packed in one for under R5,000 is a great achievement.
The Honor 10 Lite is, at its core a smaller version of the Honor 8X. It acts as the “Galaxy A” portfolio for the Honor range similar to how Apple’s iPhone XR is to the XS range. The device costs R4,599 which is means you can buy five of these phones for the price of an entry-level iPhone XS Max. Internally, the device has some decent hardware and a great camera set to enhance all your photos;
Honor 10 Lite Tech Specs
- Body: 154×8 x 73.6 x 8mm – 162g
- Display: 6.21-inch 1080×2340 19:5:9 Ratio (415 ppi) 83.1% screen-to-body ratio
- Platform: Android 9.0
- CPU: Octa-Core 4×2.2GHz Cortex-A73 + 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53
- GPU: Mali-G51 MP4
- Storage: 64GB/128GB + MicroSD up to 512GB
- RAM: 6GB/3GB
- Main Camera: 13MP f/1.8, 26mm (wide) + 2MP Depth Sensor
- Front Camera: 24MP f/2.0, 26mm (wide)
- Battery: 3400mAh Fast-Charging
As you can see from the specs above, the Honor 10 Lite is not a low-grade phone. It features some great mid-range power in a sleek design with a great display. Most of all, its 64GB standard storage option is larger than other 32GB entry-level models so you can breathe easily knowing Android won’t give you issues when you are running low on space.
The Honor 10 Lite has a plastic back and sides and features a stunning shimmering back. It is quite close to Huawei’s “Aurora” range but is a bit more reflective. Although the back looks like glass, it is plastic. The sides, although plastic, look premium and feature a chrome-like shine.
The device comes in various colour variants. Sky Blue, Sapphire Blue, and Black. The model I received was the Sapphire Blue one. On the back, you will find the dual camera system that is quite flush into the back of the device compared to many smartphones on the market.
In the middle, there is the fingerprint scanner that is positioned quite well and easy to reach. The unlock button is on the right-hand side under the volume up and down toggle. The device only features one downward facing mono speaker set and a MicroUSB port for charging and data transferring purposes. When almost every device is using a USB Type-C connector, this was quite a step backwards.
The display of the Honor 10 Lite features a water drop notch and an 83% screen-to-body ratio. This 6.21-inch 1080×2340 display has a pixel density of 415ppi. This being higher than Apple’s iPhone XR that features a 326ppi. Honor claims that the device has a 90% screen-to-body ratio but that is not the case. The bottom bezel is quite large and the top bezel is thicker than it seems.
It is also an LCD display which means you won’t get pure blacks and the overall backlight will shine even when there is nothing on the screen in that spot. The display quality is not bad but nothing close to the OLED counterparts found in Apple’s iPhone X and XS and Samsung’s latest S10 range.
Viewing angles are decent and the max brightness of the display delivers enough kick to be visible in sunlight. The biggest sell for the device is the modern, full-display screen which many will find attractive compared to other phones on the market. I mean, even Sony still has giant bezels on their devices that cost triple the amount of this Honor 10 Lite.
The Honor 10 Lite makes use of what they call the EMUI 9 UI which is skinned off Android 9.0. This means that the device features some of Google’s latest benefits including better battery life and a cleaner UI experience. This is the same UI featured in the Mate 20 Pro and Huawei P30 series. It is fast and fluid and features a clean and simple UI. The EMUI and Samsung’s One UI are currently battling it out for who does it best and the competition is tough.
The device runs on a Kirin 710 processor and has 3-6GB of RAM depending on the model storage option you choose. The model I reviewed had 3GB.
Performance on the Honor 10 Lite was decent considering what you are paying for it. It was sluggish at times especially when multitasking and switching between heavy apps and I noticed a jitter here and there when trying to get through things as fast as I would on my iPhone XS.
- Single Core Score – 1526
- Multi Core Score – 5396
- Compute Benchmark: 3104
Gaming was also great until you pushed it to the limit. Games like Fortnite ran quite smoothly making this a great entry-level gaming device to get your battle royale addiction fix on.
The device has a decent battery and it lasts as much as you would expect, considering the display it has to power. It has around a full day use on average with the odd video playback here and there. From 7 AM to around 11 PM, it lasted a full day with around 10-5% battery left. There’s also a range of power options available to extend all this especially when you really need it. You are paying R4,499 for this device, and the battery delivered well past my expectations considering the asking price.
The Honor 10 Lite has a range of cameras across the device. The front-facing camera acts as the so-called “24 AI Camera” that is capable of facial detection for unlocking your device. Yes, it works but it is not near perfect. If I was to move to this device, I would stick to the fingerprint scanner.
In terms of photography, there are various shooting modes on the device. Automatic, AI and various scene modes that make it easier to snap photos. The back camera is decent. Photos are a little bright for my liking with a clear contrast enhancement taking place during processing, but it works. Anything taken in natural light looks fantastic but as soon as you get mid-range lighting, the processing overcompensates for the lack of sun and punches the image a bit too far in contrast.
It seems that the whole “AI” aspect of the camera is to blame for this. Turning it off, resulting in more natural-looking photos and I could not wrap my head around why the feature would damage your shots the way it does. Low light photos are average. They are a little too noisy but the camera system handles the lack of natural lighting quite well.
As for the front camera, it is quite outstanding. There is a super-enhanced beauty mode, which is overkill on the max setting but in general, the camera shoots some great images. Again, it suffers in low-light but it is a given considering it is just a simple front-camera with no real shutter.
The Honor 10 Lite is a fantastic device with a competitive price tag. It is actually hard to find something that offers such an all-around feature set for the asking price of R4,599. Sure, it is lacking a USB Type-C port, fast charging and even wireless charging, but everything else I threw at it, it performed excellently. The small hiccups in performance are excusable considering you are getting a high-end flagship phone for a fraction of the price.