Honor has finally introduced a new mid-budget smartphone for the Indian the market. Dubbed as Honor 10 Lite, the smartphone comes with a price tag of Rs 13,999 for the 4GB RAM variant and Rs 17,999 for the 6GB RAM variant. The phone will go on sale on January 20, 2019 and it will be exclusively available on Flipkart and company’s official store.
With this, Honor has played safe when it comes to providing the new hardware and design language. The phone is loaded with the company’s latest Kirin 710 chipset coupled with a water drop notch and some other interesting hardware. However, the competition is tough this time as we have Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2, Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro and more. So, the question here is, whether the smartphone is able to beat the competition to become the number one selling smartphone in this segment? Let’s dive into details.
Design and Display
The first thing you will notice about the Honor 10 Lite is its design (check out the pictures here!). The phone is made of plastic but doesn’t feel that way. You get the ergonomics curve present in the glass and the glossy finish adds some brownie points to it. The phone is quite comfortable to hold in your hand and you reach the corners of the screen, though you need to stretch your fingers a bit.
However, it is important to note that body which is made of plastic is prone to scratches as compared to the glass, so a cover is a must. Thankfully, the company is providing a silicon cover with this smartphone and there is a screen protector pre-installed, so you don’t need to spend some extra bugs for the said things.
Coming to the display, the Honor 10 Lite offers a 6.21-inch Full HD+ screen with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels along with an aspect ratio of 91.5:9. The company has reduced the bezels, and you thank the waterdrop notch for this. On one side, where the other manufacturers have removed the notification light on their smartphone to provide a much better screen-to-body ratio, Honor has still managed to keep it.
You can find the notification light at the bottom of the display, which is a welcome move. You also have an option to hide the notch. That said, the screen offers good colours and viewing angles are decent as well. You have an option to choose between different colour modes in the Display setting, though we preferred using Vivid mode in our day-to-day usage.
Performance and User interface
The Honor 10 Lite is equipped with the latest Android 9.0 Pie with company’s latest EMUI 9.0 running on top of it. It is a good thing that Honor is providing the latest Android version with Honor 10 Lite as most of the manufacturers like Xiaomi, Asus and Realme are still stuck with Android 8.1 Oreo. The user interface has its fair share of hits and misses. Talking of hits first, you get an option to choose between home screen style navigation or an option of the app drawer. The user interface also offers Digital balance, through which you can track how much time you have spent on your phone and which all apps you have used the most. Then there is an option to choose between on-screen and gesture-based navigation controls.
That said, the user interface does come with a host of pre-loaded applications. This includes some company’s apps like GM Radio, Recorder, Compass, Torch, Weather, Ride mode, AppGalllery, Calendar, Notepad, Health and more. Then there are few third-party apps like Facebook, Vigo Video, Messenger, Camera360 and more. The amount of bloatware is too much and the company could have reduced it by eliminating some unwanted applications from the UI. Another downside of the UI is that it doesn’t feel that fluid when the phone’s memory starts to fill up. You might instance of some minor lagging, which is not a good thing.
Coming to the performance, the Honor 10 Lite is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor along with Mali-G51 MP4 GPU. Our review unit came with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The Kirin 710 performed better as compared to its predecessor, the Kirin 659. The phone was able to handle most of the day-to-day tasks like messaging, streaming, browsing and more without breaking a sweat. The multi-tasking was decent and it was able to handle most of the casual games quite effectively. However, when it comes to high-end games like PUBG Mobile, you can still play it but at lower settings and low frame rate.
Talking about the camera, Honor 10 Lite is equipped with a dual-camera setup at the back. The primary lens is of 13-megapixel with f/1.8 aperture, while the secondary lens boasts a 2-megapixel sensor. The front is equipped with a 24-megapixel selfie camera.
The camera interface is quite simple to use and easy to understand. You get Night, Portrait, Photo, Video and More option at the base, while at the top there is HiVision, Flash, Live Photo, AI on/off switch and Settings. The phone comes loaded with different modes like Pro, Panorama, AR Lens, Light painting, HDR, TIme-lapse, Filter and Stickers. That said, the daylight performance of the phone is quite decent as photos came out to be well-detailed and colours were close to the source.
However, one downside we felt was the AI integration. In most of the cases, the AI over saturate or over sharpen the images, which spoils the whole experience. Further, the Portrait mode needs some upgrade. The phone was not able to properly highlight the subject and the edges were not properly highlighted. The low light performance was quite average in our opinion, though the Night mode did a good job of providing well-detailed shots. The Pro mode does a good job and you get a host of interesting settings. Further, playing with the aperture gave much better results as compared to normal Portrait mode.
Battery, Fingerprint, Sound and more
Coming to the battery performance, the Honor 10 Lite is backed by a 3400mAh battery, which easily lasted almost a day under normal usage. When you stretch the performance of the device, you still get more than half a day of usage. However, the downside here is the lack of fast charging.
The phone takes almost 2 hours to be charged fully and a half an hour of charge gave approx. 30 to 33 per cent of the battery. The fingerprint sensor is quite fast in our testing and so was the facial recognition. The speakers are loud and produce good sound quality and the earpiece volume is decent.