Test of the Huawei P20 Lite: is It Really Overcotted?


The Huawei P20 Lite is the new flagship mid-range smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer As in previous years, this is a less powerful but more affordable version than its flagship. Marketed at a price of 369 euros, the question arises: does it deserve its price? Is it justified by the latest design changes? What is it worth against the competition? The answer in our comprehensive test!

  • We tested the P20 Pro and its 3 cameras
  • What is the new Huawei P20 worth?

Plus

  • ✓Design and finishes
  • ✓Autonomie
  • ✓Ecran

Minus

  • ✕Interface software
  • ✕Appareil disappointing photo
  • ✕Prix

A not so affordable Lite version

With the P20 Lite, Huawei makes it possible to enjoy some of the new features of its new flagship, the P20 Pro, for a more reasonable price. The smartphone is thus marketed at a price of 369 euros. This allows many operators, for example, to offer the P20 Lite with a contract for a very low price. It is available in three colours: black, blue and pink.

However, although this price is more attractive than the P20 Pro, it is still quite high according to the technical data sheet of the device. By way of comparison, the Honor 9 Lite, which offers the same Kirin 659 processor, is offered at around EUR 200. Although Honor’s phone offers 1 GB less RAM, this does not justify the price difference.

© <a href=AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova’ class=’wp-image-5753′ data-lazy-sizes='(max-width: 596px) 100vw, 596px’ data-lazy-src=’https://verifiedtasks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/c-androidpit-by-irina-efremova-10.jpeg’ data-lazy-srcset=’https://verifiedtasks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/c-androidpit-by-irina-efremova-10.jpeg 596w, https://verifiedtasks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/c-androidpit-by-irina-efremova-10-300×169.jpeg 300w’ height=’335′ src=’data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns=’http://www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%20596%20335’%3E%3C/svg%3E’ width=’596’>

A slightly salty price for a Lite version. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Attractive design

If you look at the P20 Lite, you’ll immediately think of the iPhone X. This is not necessarily a flaw since the P20 Lite is a mid-range device that doesn’t hesitate to adopt a high-end look with glass and metal. We have a 5.84-inch screen (in 19:9 format, of course) with the famous notch at the top. I’m not going to get into the pros and cons of that notch. Everyone has their own opinion on the subject. Personally, I don’t appreciate this design element and I prefer the look of an Honor 9 Lite for example. 

  • Poll: What do you think of the notch?

© AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Metal and glass are on the menu of this mid-range smartphone. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

On this P20 Lite, we therefore find a slim body (71.2 x 148.6 x 7.4 mm) and rounded corners reminiscent of the Cupertino product, but we also find lines from the other components of the large Huawei / Honor family.

The P20 Lite measures 71.2 x 148.6 x 7.4 mm. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

The P20 Lite measures 71.2 x 148.6 x 7.4mm. AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

At the back, in addition to the fingerprint reader we find another novelty of the Lite range: a double camera (which protrudes slightly from the body). To charge the unit, there is a Type-C USB on the bottom edge. The physical keys remain on the right side and are easy to reach.

© AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

As with the P20 Pro, the markings on the back of the smartphone are written vertically, not horizontally. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Overall, the Huawei P20 Lite performs very well in terms of finish. It’s true that the black version easily attracts fingerprints on the back, but on this point the smartphone is in the same boat as the other manufacturers. Although the smartphone is not particularly original aesthetically speaking, it is nonetheless pretty and its compact size makes it very easy to handle. 

Apart from the notch, I regret that the smartphone does not offer a certification that protects the device from water, as is the case for many devices now.

  • Find out if your smartphone is waterproof

Screen: a very good student

For its Lite smartphone, Huawei opts for a 5.84-inch IPS display and uses a Full-HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels. As mentioned above, we have a 19:9 format but no curved borders. The maximum brightness of the display is 500 nits, which is sufficient. For your information, the screen (IPS) of the new LG G7 reaches 1000 nits.

© AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

The display takes up most of the front of the unit. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

On a daily basis, I have enjoyed using the P20 Lite’s screen. The latter offers very good contrast, balanced colours and excellent brightness, even in fairly sunny outdoor conditions. As always, Huawei also offers the possibility to set the colour temperature in the parameters.

The viewing angles are also quite good (although it could be a little better) and the Full-HD+ definition is also nice. It will allow you to enjoy applications, games and videos.

© AndroidPIT

The display on the P20 Lite is of very good quality. © AndroidPIT

facial recognition in menu

In addition, as explained above, the P20 Lite has also opted for the notch introduced by Essential and then made popular by the iPhone X. Huawei thus takes advantage of this space to integrate its sensors, some of which are useful for facial recognition. Because, yes indeed, it is possible to unlock the device with your smile, i.e. using the facial recognition system.

The 16-megapixel front camera plays an important role here. On a daily basis, I was impressed by the speed of recognition. I was expecting something similar to View 10 and I wasn’t disappointed. While Huawei’s technology may not be as advanced as Apple’s, it’s almost as effective, even in low-light situations.  

© AndroidPIT

The notch is in the middle of the range. © AndroidPIT

Software interface: the Achilles heel of the smartphone

As we have already seen on some Lite versions of Huawei, the software interface of the smartphone remains the main weak point of the terminal. Although the P20 Lite offers Android 8.0 Oreo and EMUI 8.0, Huawei’s phone suffers from some slower speeds that hamper the user experience.

During my test, I noticed some rather unfortunate bugs, even for a mid-range smartphone. I’ve noticed some unexpected application closures, some overheating at times and generally slow animations and poor multitasking management. Another concern is that many applications are not yet compatible with the notch and some information is not displayed correctly. While the last update (Build Number ANE-LX1 8.0.0.223(C432)) fixed many of the bugs, it has not yet fixed all the problems. I very much hope that Huawei will do something quickly to find a solution.

© AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Oreo is in the game but the P20 Lite is not a monster of fluidity. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

A convincing device ?

If you look at the P20 Lite, you might think you have a high-end device but looking at the technical specifications you will immediately notice that the device is closer to the Huawei P Smart than to the iPhone X. At the heart of the P20 Lite we find a Kirin 659, a chip that has already proven itself on other devices in the house (Honor 9 Lite and P Smart).

Perhaps Huawei could have placed a new chip but with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal memory expandable via microSD, the Kirin 659 is sufficient for daily use. It’s just too bad the software hasn’t been optimized. While the transition between certain applications can sometimes take a while, fortunately the performance is sufficient to ensure a pleasant use, but it is better not to be in too much of a hurry.

Huawei P20 Lite on benchmarks

 

3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1

Geekbench Multi Core

PassMark Memory

PassMark Disk

Huawei P20 Lite

206

3704

4564

47917

Huawei P20 Lite – sound quality

With the P20 Lite, you have a single loudspeaker. Unfortunately, the stereo sound of the P20 Pro has not been preserved. The sound is therefore rather disappointing, especially at high volume where the distortion is somewhat noticeable offering a metallic sound. As for the audio output, it is in the middle range. For those who love good sound and have high-end headphones, there are other options. 

As far as communications are concerned, the Huawei P20 Lite is fulfilling its mission. Callers as called get along well and network coverage is very good (even in the subway). The smartphone is compatible with all 4G bands.

© AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

The fingerprint reader is also fast and reliable. © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

Let the double camera be, and the double camera was!

Until now, the Lite range has been limited to a single photo sensor On the P20 Lite, Huawei decided to place one more, placed vertically on the left (just like on the standard P20 and the iPhone X). The camera protrudes slightly from the body and uses two sensors (16 and 2 megapixels) with an f/2.2 aperture, the second sensor being used only to create a bokeh effect in portraits. Several modes are available in the camera (including Pro, Night, Panorama, HDR, and AR modes). The Large Aperture mode is also present to play with the blur/net effect before and after the picture.

The quality of the shots is quite disappointing for a smartphone that wants to compete with more posh smartphones. That’s correct, but we clearly expected more from the smartphone. An Honor 9 Lite or Honor 7X offers better results. The photos lack detail, the white balance remains a little cold and the focus is sometimes difficult to get. 

  • Photo gallery taken with the Huawei P20 Lite

On the video side, it is little or pro the same result. The P20 Lite is capable of shooting in Full-HD and the results are good when the light conditions are right. Finally, at the front, the 16 Megapixel sensor delivers correct selfies and will suffice for most users. 

© AndroidPIT

The camera in action. © AndroidPIT

A smartphone with staying power

The battery of the P20 Lite has a capacity of 3000 mAh. And let’s just say it right away, it offers a very suitable autonomy in everyday life. If you’re a moderate user, it’s easy to exceed the day and a half of autonomy, as long as you’re not a big player. At our PCMark benchmark test, the Huawei P20 Lite withstood almost 9 hours.

Huawei P20 Lite – Technical Data

Dimensions :

148.6 x 71.2 x 7.45 mm

Weight:

145 g

Battery Capacity :

3000 mAh

Screen size :

5.84 inches

Display technology :

LCD

Screen:

2280 x 1080 pixels (432 dpi)

Front camera

16 Megapixels

Rear view camera :

16 Megapixels

Flash:

LED

Android version :

8.0 – Oreo

user interface :

Emotion UI

RAM:

4 GB

Internal memory :

64 GB

Removable Memory :

microSD

Chipset:

HiSilicon Kirin 659

Number of hearts :

8

Maximum clock frequency :

2.36 GHz

Connectivity :

HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

Final Verdict

Here we have a mid-range aircraft that has a fairly premium look and is generally fulfilling its mission. Its processor is not the most recent, but it has proven itself. Its RAM memory, good internal memory, autonomy, compatibility with 4G and the presence of Android Oreo / EMUI 8.0 provide a sufficient user experience for the majority of users. 

The device also has a few small features that many users will find useful: Dual SIM compatibility, USB Type C, dual camera, unlocking with a smile, presence of the notch, etc. It’s up to each individual to see if it’s useful in his or her daily life, but for a device in this range it’s always a nice surprise.

However, we remain somewhat disappointed by this aircraft which does not really stand out from the competition (Galaxy A8 in particular). The price of 369 euros is not really economical and really n’t make the device one of the best value for money on the market. You can indeed find devices with a similar data sheet for less money like the Honor 9 Lite or Honor 7X.

This section was amended on 8 May 2018. This is now the final version of our test, but the comments written during the test have not been deleted.

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