50 Shades of blue might be a good way to explain Honor’s product portfolio. Honor has a predilection for blue, and its first device for 2019 underscores what we always knew. The Honor 10 Lite lands in an ultra-competitive segment where the likes of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 and the Xiaomi Mi A2 are already slugging it out. This price sensitive segment where consumers want a lot for less is a tough path for most brands. Honor has used design as its key differentiator in the budget segment and the Honor 10 Lite sticks to the same script.
The 10 Lite comes in a brilliant new shade of blue – Sky Blue, that’s a slight contrast from the skies we’re used to in Delhi. It swings from silver to blue with the same psychedelics that Honor has mastered. It looks premium and can pass off for a glass back but is actually crafted in plastic. It keeps the device quite light despite a large 6.21-inch display (1080 x 2340 pixels / 19.5:9 Aspect ratio / 415 PPI). The 10 Lite also becomes the first Honor device to sport what Honor calls a ‘dew-drop notch’. Wide notches are clearly going out of vogue and this one will please notch haters with a tiny notch (that accommodates the front cam) that you can ignore. Honor manages to squeeze the earpiece into the frame and pushes the screen: body ratio beyond 90%. Yes, this is all-screen and a display that is one of the most vibrant in this price segment.
Honor has been one of the first brands to ride the AI wave with its cameras. The 10 Lite features a 24MP front cam and a dual cam that combines a 13MP and a 2MP lens. The dual cam opens up multiple possibilities including portrait mode. The cameras are a mixed bag. Portraits didn’t quite work for us and lowlight photography (that is supposed to get a boost with the AI engine) gave us mixed results. You can let the camera’s AI mode alter the settings for the best image – there are 22 categories and over 500 scenarios pre-loaded, although you might choose to take control. The selfie cam comes with heaps of beautification modes – you really have no excuse to look bad. You can turn off the AI mode if you don’t like an ‘over beautified’ version of yourself.
At the heart of the Honor 10 Lite is a new octa-core processor – Huawei’s Hisilicon Kirin 710. It combines with 4GB or 6GB of RAM (there are two versions) and 64GB of Internal memory. There’s a dual SIM with a hybrid slot in case you want to add a Micro SD card for additional storage (up to 512GB). You will have to sacrifice the second SIM card for the Micro SD card though. The device sailed through our tests and bouts of intense gaming like PUBG without a fuss. The 3400 mAh battery is another strength. It comfortably lasted us a whole day. There’s no fast charging though, and Honor sticks to a Micro USB charger at a time when Type-C chargers are becoming the norm. The 10 Lite also becomes the first Honor device to sport Android 9 (a.k.a. Pie) out of the box. The device also comes pre-loaded with EMUI 9, the newest iteration of Huawei’s custom UI. This version incorporates some new features like Digital Balance (similar to Google’s Digital Well Being).
The Honor 10 Lite is certainly not light in the design department – it’s easily one of the most striking phones in the sub Rs 15,000 segment. It certainly doesn’t boast of the best cams in the segment but is worth considering for its overall performance and solid battery life aside from the form factor.
The Honor 10 Lite comes in Sky Blue (our favourite shade), Sapphire Blue and Mirror Black. It costs Rs 13,999 (4GB / 64GB) and Rs 17,999 (6GB / 64GB)