Making affordable phones with good battery life, slick design and great screen quality has been Honor’s niche for a while, and the Honor 10 Lite doesn’t disappoint.
The look and feel
Appropriately for a phone of the 10 Lite's price, Honor has decided against a QHD screen, instead opting for a Full HD display. It's a long phone, with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and it’s also very light on bezels, with what Honor claims to be an almost 90% screen-to-bezel ratio. The resolution of 2230 x 1080 pixels means that the phone has a resolution of 415 pixels-per-inch with off-angle and outdoor view-ability being better than what we’d expect from a phone of this price too, and it’s easy to see the screen in all but the brightest conditions.
The fact that the screen extends closer to the edges of the display is going to attract a few users, and to that end there’s no traditional notch at the top, just a small protrusion, also known as a water drop or teardrop notch, which houses the 24MP selfie camera. Another bonus is that within the settings are plenty of screen calibration tools. Eye Comfort mode, colour calibration and more give you control over everything from the screen tone to its emission of blue light, which can interfere with sleep.
The fact that the Honor 10 Lite runs Android 9 is a good thing. It’s the latest version of Android and brings with it the benefits of a customised digital wellbeing centre, as well as battery and app management tools. Huawei customises Android with EMUI, and the 10 Lite features version 9, as introduced on the Mate 20 Pro. It’s the cleanest version of the UI to date, is easy to get to grips with and features plenty of tools for tinkerers to get stuck into. With home screens and a notification bar that can be pulled down, key elements will be familiar to Android and iOS users.
In real-world use, the phone easily made it through a full day – around 7am to 10pm – with about 15% left in the tank. Meanwhile, 90 minutes of full-brightness Full HD video playback drained it by 19% – not an amazing result, but respectable enough. Honor also gives you a huge amount of control over how your battery gets used, with Power Saving and Ultra Power Saving modes, easy-to-access toggles for connectivity, and control over which apps launch automatically
- 13MP + 2MP dual camera
- Excellent, though stylized night mode
- 24MP selfie camera
The range of shooting modes is also staggering – from Automatic to AI mode for advanced scene detection, right through to semi-automatic and a 100% manual mode, called Pro Mode. Shots taken in auto mode are fair. With no image stabilisation, hand-shaking is compensated for relatively well, and detail isn’t bad for a phone in the 10 Lite’s price range. Pictures are, however, high in contrast, losing a lot of nuance in the darks and lights that higher-end phones can capture.
If its looks float your boat and you can deal with the fact that its camera isn’t flagship quality, the Honor 10 Lite is very easy to recommend. It packs a lot of features and some really nice hardware for less than we’d usually expect to pay.