The Mate 10 Lite is the cheapest model in the new Mate 10 range. With a price of 349 euros, half the price of the Pro variant, Huawei has made some concessions by foregoing certain features and lowering the data sheet. So, is it still worth buying it? Answer in our full test.
- Test of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro: it gets you hooked in a week
- Test of the Huawei Mate 9: a first-rate device
- ✓64 GB internal expandable memory
- ✓Double camera with Bokeh effect.
- ✕MicroUSB instead of Type-C
- ✕Android Nougat
The Mate 10 Lite was not announced on October 16th in Munich with the Mate 10 Pro and Mate 10 Porsche Design but in the form of a press release. Available in three different colours (Prestige Gold, Graphite Black and Aurora Blue), it offers 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal memory for a price of 349 euros.
The Mate 10 Lite is available in a single model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. © AndroidPIT
With dimensions of 156.2 x 75 x 7.5 mm and a weight of 164 grams, the Mate 10 Lite falls into the category of phantoms. The rounded corners that characterise the entire Mate range make the Mate 10 Lite comfortable to hold in your hand but can sometimes be slippery. You can solve this problem by using the clear plastic cover included in the box.
The smartphone immediately conveys the idea of being a solid and durable device. After more than a week of use, there are no signs on its aluminum body. The only scratches are centered around the camera’s sensors, where dust can easily penetrate.
The dual camera protrudes slightly from the camera at the rear. © AndroidPIT
Among the details I don’t like on the Mate 10 Lite, I would mention the dual camera that protrudes slightly from the camera at the back. Fortunately, the positioning of this does not interfere with or make the unit wobbly when placed on a flat surface. The physical buttons, all located on the right, are easily accessible. The circular fingerprint reader is located under the camera lenses and is also easily accessible. It proves to be fast and accurate, as is the tradition when it comes to terminals from the Chinese manufacturer. The metal on the back also has the good taste of not taking fingerprints.
MicroUSB port but a 3.5mm mini-jack plug is present. © AndroidPIT
Huawei’s paw is undeniable. The manufacturer’s style is obvious. The smartphone simply stands out from its Huawei / Honor brothers and cousins by the presence of its four cameras: two in the front and two in the back. At the front, there is also a small notification LED (you may not notice it immediately).
The power and volume knobs are located on the right edge. AndroidPIT
Finally, note that there is a mini-jack socket for the headphones along the bottom edge where the microUSB 2.0 and the speaker are also located. Yes, you read correctly, there is no Type-C USB socket. It’s a shame, because more and more mid-range smartphones are now adopting this technology. The slot for SIM and microSD cards are on the left. It is possible to use two SIM cards, but only one works with 4G, the other is limited to 2G.
Overall, the finishes and ergonomics of the Mate 10 are very good. It really feels like you have a higher-end device in your hands. Just instead of glass, you’ll get metal.
On the Mate 10 Lite, Huawei has decided not to give up its almost FullView screen. This provides a 5.9-inch display diagonal with an 18:9 ratio as on the Mate 10, not 16:9. This is good news since this feature is currently only available on the top of the range and on Wiko View. The screen resolution is 2160 x 1080 pixels as for the Mate 10 Pro, giving a pixel density of 409 dpi. It is also very pleasant to use on a daily basis. The screen is bright in sunlight and makes the contrasts just right. If you tilt your smartphone, however, these are not as good.
I frankly have no real criticism of this IPS LCD screen which covers 83% of the front panel. The touch screen responds without a care in the world.
The screen borders are thin for the 18:9 screen of the Mate Lite © AndroidPIT
On the software interface side, however, I had an unpleasant surprise. We don’t have Android 8.0 Oreo as on the rest of the Mate 10 range but Android 7.0 Nougat with the EMUI 5.1 version. The upgrade to Oreo and EMUI 8.0 will arrive, although at the moment we’re not sure when.
- Which smartphones and tablets will upgrade to Android Oreo?
Pre-installed applications, such as games, can be easily uninstalled. For the rest, you will find the same interface as the one present on other devices of the brand. The software works well and includes features such as Twin App, Phone Clone and Comfort Mode that fans of the brand are already familiar with. Good news, we found the FM radio.
Overall, the Mate 10 Lite is fast and offers the same experience we find on other brand name machines. I’m going to be picky in saying that I felt the software interface was less fluid than usual. This is not a limitation; it’s a detail you’ll notice when you’re used to using more high-end equipment. But for its price, the Mate 10 Lite gets away with the honours.
The positioning of the fingerprint reader on the back brought me back to the days of the Huawei P9 which can also be used to take a photo and film a video. An option that I personally find comfortable but which has been lost since P10.
- Fingerprint reader: how does the user experience change between the Huawei P9 and P10?
The fingerprint reader is quick and easy to reach. AndroidPIT
The Mate 10 Lite is a mid-range device and the technical specifications illustrate this well on paper. We find a homemade processor, the Kirin 659 with eight Cortex-A53 cores, supported by 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM and 64 GB internal memory. By inserting a microSD, you can expand the already large memory for a mid-range smartphone to 256 GB.
For the graphics part, we have a Mali T830 MP2 GPU chip. The differences with the Mate 10 Pro, needless to say, are obvious. But that’s normal. The artificial intelligence unit, present in the Krin 970, is therefore not part of the game here.
The Mate 10 Lite responds quickly when switching from one application to another, but when you run demanding games, you’ll have to wait for loading times. You can still play titles like Asphalt 8 without any problems, so the Mate 10 Lite will not disappoint you in your daily life.
Here are the results of our benchmark test:
3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.1
3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0
3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0
Geekbench CPU – Single-Core
Geekbench CPU – Multi-Core
PC Mark Work Performance
PC Mark Storage
Huawei Mate 10 Lite
With the Mate 10 Lite, I have not encountered any reception problems. During calls, the voice is clear. The reproduction of music and games is entrusted to a single loudspeaker that made me feel a little weak. The audio experience, however, is what is expected from a mid-range device, nothing more, nothing less.
By connecting the supplied headphones or my Bluetooth headset, I found no problems and the sound was clear.
Despite the absence of an optical image stabilizer, the Mate 10 Lite differs from the mass because it has a total of four cameras :
- two in the rear:16 (f/2.2 aperture) + 2 megapixels
- two in the front, 13M (f/2.0 aperture) + 2 megapixels with flash.
The 2 megapixel sensors focus on depth of field at the rear and selfies optimization at the front. The front flash adjusts the light to highlight natural skin features that you can still work on by adjusting the beauty effect manually. If you like selfies, you’ll appreciate the Mate 10 Lite.
The most interesting aspect of this camera is, in my opinion, the use of the bokeh effect at the front and back. The results are indeed pleasant. Normal shots are within the norm, but if you don’t hold your smartphone, or if the lighting conditions are not good, you’ll end up with shots with more or less blurred details.
- Huawei leMate 10 Lite Photo Gallery
The camera application is easy to use and provides access to settings and modes via a side slide. There is the Pro, both for photo and video, as well as filters, effects (in the Samsung style, you can see them in the screenshots below), HDR mode, panorama mode, night mode, time-lapse, etc.. We find, as in P10, the function dedicated to animated images. You can record videos in Full-HD format.
Luca appreciated the effects added by Huawei on the camera of the Mate 10 Lite. © AndroidPIT
As always, we asked our expert Stefan to take a closer look at the camera and here is his opinion on the subject:
In bright environments, the Mate 10 Lite offers beautiful images with good colour, good detail and reasonable white balance. Auto HDR mode does not exist and when the contrasts are high, pictures show blurred or overexposed areas.
Low-light environments are difficult for the Mate 10 Lite. The 16 megapixel Sony modules on the market have relatively small pixels. Small pixels mean less light captured and therefore more sensitivity and noise. An opening f/2.2 for the main sensor is not of much help in this respect.
When forced to use an ISO higher than 800, the camera implements a strong noise reduction. On the one hand, this implies fairly clear images, with clear details and acceptable colours. On the other hand, however, the edges or certain areas have imperfections. Colour reproduction is very good even at high ISO speeds.
In portrait mode, the quality of images in low-light environments decreases (more noise and less detail). In general, the Mate 10 Lite uses an optimal fill rate since it does not offer an optical image stabilizer. The lowest speed we found is 1/13, which requires steady hands and a motionless subject.
The 13-megapixel front sensor does a good job even though the pictures are softer than those taken in the same condition with the main lens at the back. In high-contrast areas, the dynamic range is not great.
Dual front and rear camera. © AndroidPIT
The 3340 mAh battery that comes with the Mate 10 Lite does not disappoint. It can offer a full day of autonomy in case of intensive use of the camera (photos, videos, social networks, calls, WhatsApp, email, video and music playback). Energy saving modes (normal and ultra) can be activated if required. From the settings, you can see which applications are consuming in the background and decide to close them. In summary, from a software point of view, there are tools needed to better understand and manage consumption.
In our PC Benchmark test, the Mate 10 Lite withstood 7 hours and 20 minutes (50% brightness, no WIFI connection or active data).
156.2 x 75.2 x 7.5 mm
Battery Capacity :
Screen size :
Display technology :
2160 x 1080 pixels (409 dpi)
Rear view camera :
Android version :
7.0 – Nougat
User interface :
Internal memory :
Removable Memory :
HiSilicon Kirin 659
Number of hearts :
Maximum clock frequency :
HSPA, LTE, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2
For 349 euros, the Mate 10 Lite is a very interesting phablette with a premium look. Its value for money is excellent, as is its performance. However, its daily use will remind you that it is a mid-range device since there are some limitations…
Unlike the competition, and considering other members of the family such as the P10 Lite, for example, the Mate 10 Lite has the advantage of having four cameras instead of two, and a front that leaves the screen in the spotlight. For these reasons, it’s worth considering the Mate 10 Lite compared to other mid-range smartphones, especially since its price is likely to drop to around €300 for Christmas or Black Friday.