Was 2018 the year of the notch? Most brands attempted to introduce devices that took as little space for frills on the head as possible. Honor, being one such brand, introduced quite some devices to further the very trend.
When I first sat with the Honor 8x, I thought I've found a great device that has me complaining about very few aspects. Now with the 10 lite device, I'm aiming to find out what new stuff, if any, the brand has brought to the table, and if the two devices have any similarities as pointed by reviewers around the world.
Here's a quick summary of how the phone fared for me:
Right under the lid of the box lies the strikingly tall-looking device, the Honor 10 lite. I soon realised that the tallness is due to the brand now fitting a 6.21-inch display within a 5.2-inch body.
I've got the bright Sapphire blue variant with me; there's also a gradient Sky Blue and Midnight Black on offer.
Here's a few observations I made at first glance:
The back of the phone, though entirely plastic, imitates Honor's signature glass design. Contrary to what I thought when I first noticed this, the plastic gives the device a fairly premium feel, and is great at prevent fingerprints from staining the back.
The screen appears to be unusually tall making the phone appear somewhat sleeker than other device that have come out recently. This tells me it might be great for one-hand operation because the width is comfortable enough to ensure complete control over the body of the device.
The notch is the top of the top features that the device flaunted when I first set my eyes on it; it is just the right size to mean business i.e. house the front camera minus fancy frills.
The charging panel at the bottom makes it looks like the brand is finding hard to let go of the idea of micro USB-charging in a world that has already moved to Type-C cables.
In more than few places I felt that the 10 lite mimics qualities of the 8x at a price point of around Rs39k here in Pakistan. Let's find out if I stick by that statement till I get to a verdict.
Now that that is sorted, let's move to real details:
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie)
UI: EMUI 9
Display screen size: 6.21 inch (over 90% screen to body ratio)
Cameras: 24MP AI selfie, 13+2MP rear
Chipset: Hisilicon Kirin 710 (12 nm)
Storage: 3GB RAM, 64GB internal storage/ROM
Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 3400 mAh, charging 5V/2A 10W
Built and design
The phone hosts Honor's signature design and body, and I feel that works for most phones that come out of the brand. Now Honor does confidently put to use quite a ton of striking colours, sometimes coupled with gradients and tints, but the colour tones on all phones I've come across lately feel anything but garish. Same is the case with the 10 lite device.
The plastic has got to be one of the most surprising features on the device's body, but it somehow contributes to how light the phone feels in the hand and that, for me, is a plus.
Apart from the dewdrop notch and the lack of matte strips running down at the back, there are very few physical features on the 10 lite and 8x that are at variance.
Here's how the controls lie on the body:
On the head: The SIM card tray and noise-canceling microphone
At the bottom: A 3.5mm audio jack, the loudspeaker grille and the micro-USB connector.
Slim, barely-there bezels and notches seem to have become Honor's strong suit, and the 10 lite device is proof of just that.
There are really no frills in here; the colours are crisp, brightness on point and the overall experience isn't disturbing to the eye at any point in the day under any lighting circumstances.
Featuring an IPS display with a resolution of 1080x2340 and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, this department doesn't have me worrying over anything in particular.
The screen allows to choose between normal and vivid modes that appear different just in terms of brightness and saturation, and that's just it. Both are comfortable to the eye.
The phone comes with three cameras placed on the body with the front one holding 24MPs and back cams capable of taking 13MP and 2MP shots.
I'm pretty hard to please when it comes to phone photography, and so the results from the back cams on this device look oversaturated to me; though I'm fairly convinced with the shots that the HDR mode takes. Those okay with how the new wave of phone cameras have been doing this for a while won't find this hard to digest.
Let's discuss imaging in detail.
Front cam results
I feel selfies are particularly neat under all lighting conditions. I prefer keeping the beauty filter off, and the camera hasn't disappointed me in a single shot out of the 15-20 I filled the gallery with.
Here's a look at some evidence:
Back cam results
Under natural light
Photos under natural light hold crisp detail and aren't grainy or overexposed. I'm wooed by the cam's ability here. Images shot under HDR mode, in particular, host fairly detailed results.
Have a look at some sample photos:
Under low light
I feel AI flushes out detail in its attempt of boosting colour and light when shooting in spaces that lack good lighting. HDR, on the other hand, picks relatively detailed images, and I like that.
Have a look at how this happens:
The 'night mode' on this device takes a few seconds to lock and identify the object and then works on sharpening the edges of whatever it picks.
I like how the resulting image is fairly detailed compared to AI-enabled shots, which come out fairly blurred and oversaturated under such situations.
Have a look at how this works:
Cam focus, UI and shooting effects
Focus of the camera locks in place pretty well and without lags, though I feel it isn't able to accurately identify different sizes and edges of objects; this makes it end up blurring out edges in a fairly noticeable way.
Scene recognition, on the other hand, works remarkably well.
The user interface on the camera app is pretty identical to Honor's recent league of phones.
I feel quite convinced with the Bokeh effect on this device. It picks the object (and outlines) fairly well and blurs out the background just enough to not have photos look over-processed.
Processors, battery and other notable stuff
The 10 lite device shares the same specs on chipset, CPU and GPU as on the Honor 8x with the exception of the OS; this one's got the latest Android 9 Pie.
I feel the chipset (which is Honor's mid-range Kirin) is pleasing as long as you put the device to everyday use; tasks that may include texting, running several social media apps, clicking photos and listening to music. But, for the power user this might not be the best option out there.
Since the device doesn't entertain fast charging, the battery does take time (approximately under 2 hours) to fill up. However, on the drainage end, it lasts fairly long and doesn't die too soon until you suck all the juice out with unending video playback or gaming.
Like I mentioned in older reviews, I'm a total no-notifications person. This is primarily why I adore notification LEDs on phones, and for me these make for important purchase factors. For starters, I'm glad the phone places it at the bottom-end instead of the usual head spot. However, the size is pretty small which makes it really easy to miss its point of existence.
Surprisingly I feel I've run into similar yays and nays as I did at the time I put the 8x to test.
Here's a quick look at what stuff worked for me, and what didn't:
The good stuff
- Bezels and notch on the device are probably unparalleled in the segment; thinnest ones I've seen so far.
- The size of the device is great for everyday use and one-hand operation.
- Processor, display and design make for pleasing additions to the brand's existing line-up of Lite devices.
- The selfie cam picks fine details under normal light conditions, and the beauty filter scale doesn't hamper performance.
- The back camera picks a little more colour and light than I like on my photos, irrespective of the mode you shoot on, and hence produces oversaturated shots.
- The back of the phone isn't all glass unlike most Honor phones.
- Lacks 4k recording options. At this price point, I can't digest jittery instagram stories.
- No fast charging, no type-C capability at this point in price and time is a let down.
This content has been independently produced by the writer. Honor has paid for association with this content.