Since the beginning of this year, Honor has flooded the smartphone market in India with devices ranging from budget segment to the flagship. No doubt, the smartphone maker has stepped up its game since its inception. Earlier this year, the Chinese brand launched its successor to the Honor 9 Lite, which performed reasonably well in the market. Yes! We’re talking about the Honor 10 Lite. Although the name suggests a cut-down variant of Honor 10, the device is more like a successor of the previous 9 Lite.
Honor 10 Lite comes with specifications such as Kirin 710 SoC, big display with waterdrop notch, and trending gradient design. The smartphone comes with a sub-10k price tag attracting a lot of attention from other manufacturers. It would be interesting to see how well the device performs and does it manages to throw the competition out of the water? Well, let’s find more in this comprehensive review.
Price in India, Variants, Availability
Honor 10 Lite, just like any other Honor smartphone, is available exclusively via Flipkart e-commerce website. The smartphone comes in three different storage variant – 3GB+32GB, 4GB+32GB and 6GB+64GB options. As for colors, the device is available in Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue, and Sky Blue.
At the time of writing this review, there are plenty of offers that you can avail of. If interested, you can use the No Cost EMI option on all major credit and supported debit cards.
Honor 10 Lite comes packed in a box having the device’s photo on the front with the company branding. Opening the lid, the first thing which you’ll see is the device itself covered in a protective film. We’ll keep that aside for a while. Right underneath the device, there is a rectangular section that consists of a SIM ejector tool, a soft transparent case, and some paper works.
Apart from these, there is a 10W standard wall charger along with a Micro USB cable. It’s sad to see the smartphone maker still went with the older version instead of the latest Type-C, even in 2019.
Here is a quick roundup of things which you’ll find inside the box:
- Honor 10 Lite
- 10W standard wall charger
- Micro USB cable
- Transparent back case
- SIM ejector tool
- Manuals and documentation
Specs at a glance
Before we jump right to the detailed review, let’s first have a glance at the specifications.
- Display: 6.21-inch IPS LCD display, 1080×2340 pixels, 415ppi
- Processor: Kirin 710 chipset, 12nm
- GPU: Mali-G51 MP4
- Software: Android 9.0 Pie, EMUI 9.1
- Rear cameras: 13MP+2MP
- Selfie camera: 24MP, f/2.0
- Battery: 3400mAh capacity, 10W standard charging
- Weight: 162g
- Dimensions: 154.8×73.6x8mm
With key specifications cleared out of the way, let’s jump right into the very first aspect of our review.
Design and Build Quality
Honor is known for offering a premium visual appearance at the price of the budget smartphone for a long time now. The Honor 10 Lite follows the legacy of the previous budget Honor devices. At the back, the device features a gradient design which looks visually striking. We have the Sky Blue variant with us, which seems pretty impressive, to be honest. If you don’t like flashy color, then you can go for the Black option.
Even though the device looks pretty premium, the same is not the case with the in-hand feel. The smartphone is made up of plastic resulting in not such a premium feel. Furthermore, the back of the device is prone to scratches and smudges. There is a dual-camera module at the rear along with an LED flash. The fingerprint sensor is right in the middle, and you will also see the Honor branding on the right side in a vertical position. The device has a curved back, which results in a comfortable grip.
On the other side, the front has a big IPS LCD with thin bezels on the sides and dewdrop notch. There is no kind of protection on display, making it prone to scratches. There are a power key and volume rockers located on the right side while the left is clear — the SIM card tray located in the top position. The bottom, on the other hand, consists of a speaker grille, Micro USB port for charging, and a 3.5-mm headphone jack.
Overall, Honor 10 Lite is one of the good looking devices at this price tag and continues to follow the legacy of budget Honor devices. It does feel sturdy but lacks the premium in-hand feel, which is the case with almost every other device at this price range. If you’re looking for some serious visually appealing design, the Honor 10 Lite should be on your list.
Honor 10 Lite comes equipped with a 6.21-inch IPS LCD with a waterdrop notch and thin bezels. It results in a screen-to-body-ratio of 91 percent. Most of the devices at this price range come with HD+ display, but that’s not the case with the Honor 10 Lite. The display of the device features 1080 x 2340 pixels resolution and 415ppi density. It results in high-res picture quality with enough details on sharpness.
With so much real-estate in your hand, you will love consuming media on this smartphone. Furthermore, the overall touch experience is pretty smooth as expected. The display settings offer two color modes, namely Normal and Vivid. If you’re looking for a more relaxed tone with brighter and punchier colors, you should switch to the Vivid mode. Additionally, you can also use the custom tone by using the color wheel.
The viewing angles are also pretty decent, and so is the sunlight legibility. The display gets bright enough, making it easier to see content under direct sunlight. The notch doesn’t interfere with the user experience, and if you don’t like it, you can always disable it using the option in the Settings menu. Overall, Honor 10 Lite manages to offer an impressive display experience for the asking price.
Under the hood, Honor 10 Lite is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 710 chipset paired with up to 6GB of RAM and up to 64GB of internal memory. The Kirin 710 SoC is based on the 12nm manufacturing process and consists of eight cores. It includes 2x Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.2Ghz, and 4x Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.7GHz. For graphics, the device makes use of Mali-G53 MP4 GPU.
The Kirin 710 SoC is a competent processor that can handle most of the tasks without breaking a single sweet. In our regular usage, the device never showed any lag or stutter and handled everything swiftly. Switching between apps is a pretty smooth experience, and the UI animations are lag-less too. Moreover, the smartphone can also handle heavy multitasking.
Coming to gaming, we tried playing Pubg Mobile on the smartphone, which runs on medium settings by default. Although the gaming experience should be better, we received a few occasional frame drops and rendering issues. If you’re a casual gamer, then you should not face any significant problem. But for those who’re seriously into gaming, they might want to look elsewhere.
The 4GB of RAM variant should be enough for most users out there, and the overall heavy multitasking was good. If you want, you can also go for the 6GB RAM variant just in case. Coming to the storage, you can expand it using the MicroSD card to up to 1TB. It is worth mentioning that to expand the storage; you will have to let go of SIM 2.
Honor 10 Lite runs on the latest version of Android i.e., Android 9.0 Pie based on the EMUI 9.1. Right from the beginning, Honor has improved its software experience to a great extreme. Like any other custom skin, the UI consists of a drop-down notification center, home screen setups, and swipe-left action center. You also get the support of the app drawer button, which you can use whenever you want.
There are few bloatware apps on the device, which might annoy a lot. Some of them can easily be removed to free up some space if you want. The device comes with a Digital Balance feature, which shows you user stats of the device. If you’re bored with the traditional navigation button, then you can also switch to gesture navigation. There are various gesture-based features hidden inside the software.
One thing Honor is not famous for is the regular software updates, which should be the case for this device too. Overall, Honor 10 Lite offers a decent software experience, if not the best. If you are already familiar with custom skin, then you will love this one too.
Honor 10 Lite is equipped with a dual-camera module at the back featuring a primary 13MP sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. For selfie, the device makes use of 24MP front snapper housed inside the notch. Both the rear and front camera sensors are capable of delivering an overall excellent performance. The camera app is pretty straightforward, and you should not face any issues with it.
In daylight scenarios, the primary sensor clicks decent pictures with the right level of details, suitable dynamic range, and correct saturation. Enabling AI mode results in over-saturation, which should not be the case. You might want to disable AI mode before clicking your favorite shot. The device lacks an ultra-wide-angle lens meaning the module is not that versatile, but at this price, it’s not a deal-breaker. In lowlight scenarios, the device seems to struggle a lot, and the clicked photos turn out to be full of noise and fewer details. Well, that’s the case with all the other similarly priced smartphones.
For selfies, the 24MP front snapper is an impressive one-clicking shot with decent details, high exposure, and excellent dynamic range. The portrait shot also turns out to be perfect with proper edge detection. In low light conditions, the selfie camera is okayish as expected. The device supports 1080p video recording at 60fps. There is no kind of stabilization, so get ready for the shaky videos ever.
Honor 10 Lite is backed by a 3,400mAh battery packed inside along with 10W standard charging support. The device can last for an entire day on a single charge, surprisingly. Our daily usage looks something like this – WiFi and Bluetooth always-on, constant text messaging, music playback, few pictures, and media streaming. With a 10W standard charger, the device takes around 2 hours to charge from zero to 100 percent completely.
Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
For audio, the smartphone comes with a bottom-firing single loudspeaker that can go decently loud. Even at the max volume, the audio quality does not distort, which is a good thing. There is a 3.5-mm headphone jack, which also has a decent output. We found no issue with the earpiece, microphone, and overall cellular connectivity.
The smartphone comes with almost all the standard connectivity options such as dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, FM Radio, and Micro USB for charging. For biometrics, there is a physical rear fingerprint sensor that is quick enough and is very much reliable & accurate. You can also make use of the Face Unlock, which uses a selfie camera to detect your face using a 2D map representation technique. It makes it quick but not that reliable or accurate.
Pros & Cons
- Stunning design
- Impressive display
- Long-lasting battery life
- Value for money
- Poor lowlight cameras
- Not designed for serious gaming
Honor 10 Lite, as expected, manages to impress in more than one department. The device offers the premium visual appearance and sturdy build at the same time. Even in terms of display, the overall experience was pretty excellent. The only thing which this device lags are gaming performance. Although, a casual gamer should not face any significant issue with the performance.
Another thing to consider is the fact that the device uses a Micro USB port and does not feature fast charging support. If you’re someone who doesn’t care about the raw performance in gaming, then you can go for this device since it strikes a perfect balance between premium design and overall decent hardware. At this price tag, you’re also getting an impressive camera performance in daylight conditions. Sadly, the same is not the case with the lowlight conditions. Overall, Honor 10 Lite is a worth considering smartphone if you’re looking for a premium design and decent specifications.