Honor 20 Lite Smartphone Review

We're putting the Honor 20 Lite smartphone to the test to see how the budget version from the Honor 20 smartphone trio performs.


|  Huawei Honor 20 Lite in Camera Phones
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HONOR 20 Lite

 

Quick Verdict

With the Honor 20 Lite, it's probably the price that first attracts you to it, then its looks/design and when you start using the smartphone, its camera will also get the 'thumbs-up'. Colours are accurate in images, portraits look good and detail is good. Yes, there are some clipping issues when using bokeh effects, particularly with selfies, and the AI function tends to oversaturate certain colours, green being the main one, but overall, it's a decent camera for the price. HDR mode extends the dynamic range so you get more detail at either end of the scale and the aperture mode introduces some lovely out of focus shapes to photo backgrounds. The on-going Huawei problems that are still taking up newspaper columns may be a concern but Honor have promised they will continue to support their customers but currently, we don't know if Huawei/Honor smartphones will continue to receive updates. However, this aside, for around £220, you can't go wrong with the Honor 20 Lite. 

+ Pros

  • All-screen display 
  • Good image quality  
  • Excellent price  
  • Eye-catching design
  • Great specs (for the price)

- Cons

  • Huawei issues can't be ignored 
  • Limited zoom 
  • No USB-C 
  • Clipping issues when using portrait mode
  • AI oversaturates colours, particularly greens 

 

The Honor 20 Lite is the budget/mid-range smartphone which completes the trio of smartphones in the Honor 20 series. As with the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro, the Honor 20 Lite has a big focus on photography but at a price that more people will be comfortable with. However, as the Honor 10 Lite is still available, with reasonable specs and a really great price that's well under £200, is the Honor 20 Lite a big enough improvement to make it worthwhile spending the extra money needed to buy it?


Honor 20 Lite Features

HONOR 20 Lite
 

As with all Honor smartphones, they're designed to look like a premium smartphone without the premium price but this also means you get cut-down versions of some features, too. 

You do get a large 6.21-inch display, thin bezels and a small dewdrop notch, which is home to the front-facing camera, taking up minimal space. You also get a fingerprint scanner on the rear and an AI-assisted triple rear camera set-up which is built into a really cool-looking back panel (the Phantom Blue colour on test is particularly eye-catching). However, to be able to bring you features like this at the price on offer, Honor had to make some cuts somewhere and these come in the form of a plastic body, LCD panel instead of an OLED on the screen, micro-USB instead of USB-C, smaller battery, limited zoom on the camera... you get the picture. It's worth noting we're not saying these are bad things that mean the Honor 20 Lite loses points, they're just things that are worth noting before deciding which of the Honor 20, or indeed any other smartphone, is for you. 

While we're mentioning the 'not so flagship' features, the triple camera is, technically, a triple camera setup, but the 3rd camera is a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor so it's not really something you use on its own to capture images. Instead, it's used to enhance the photos you capture with the 24MP f/1.8 main camera. You also get an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera and a 32MP f/2.0 selfie camera on the front. Plenty of photography modes and AI features are built-in, though, along with HD video at 30/60fps. You also get a decent amount of memory (128GB ROM/4GB RAM) which can be extended further with a microSD memory card. 

Key Features

  • 6.21inch screen (1080 x 2340 pixels)
  • 32mp selfie camera, dewdrop
  • 24mp main camera
  • 8mp ultra-wide-angle camera
  • 2mp additional camera
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 3400mAh battery
  • 128GB ROM/4GB RAM
  • Kirin 710 processor 
  • 164g
  • 1548mm x 73.6mm x 8mm 

 

Honor 20 Lite Handling

HONOR 20 Lite
 

The overall design of the Honor 20 Lite is quite similar to the Honor 10 Lite with a big screen, minimal bezels and a modern design. The dewdrop notch takes up minimal space and the lack of a chin means you do get an, almost, all-screen design. The sides are rounded but the frame, and back, are constructed from plastic rather than metal or glass which will be one of the cost-cutting ways Honor use to bring you a smartphone like this at such a good price. Some won't like it but plastic isn't as easy to break like glass, which is a positive, but it will scratch easily so pop on a case to prevent this. A case will also stop fingerprints from marking the rear of the smartphone, too. 

Even though the Honor 20 Lite has plastic construction, the overall look of it is eye-catching as the Phantom Blue option shifts from blue to purple depending on how you move the smartphone around. If you prefer something less colourful, a black version is available. 

Staying on the back, you find the triple-camera in the top-corner and fingerprint sensor top-centre which is in easy to reach. To the side are the power and volume controls which feel a little high-up as you have to adjust your hold or move the smartphone slightly to reach the buttons and on the bottom is a headphone jack - yay but not a USB-C port - boo. Instead, you get micro-USB and to the side of this sits a speaker. 

In the hand, the Honor 20 Lite feels well-made and comfortable to hold. You can easily navigate it with one hand but as we always say; capture photos holding the smartphone in both hands. 

The large 6.21inch LCD screen is big (90% screen-to-body ratio), bright and we didn't have any trouble using it outdoors. If you sit the Honor 20 Lite next to a smartphone with an OLED screen, of course, you'll find differences but in reality, you're not going to do this and as the picture is sharp and colours are accurate, there's nothing negative to say about it. 

HONOR 20 Lite
 

The camera app is very similar to the camera app found on other Honor smartphones with just a few options missing when compared with more expensive smartphones. It's easy to use, simple to navigate and there are plenty of modes/features built-in. You do get a Pro mode should you want to control things such as white balance and the portrait mode makes it easy to introduce bokeh to shots. There's also an aperture mode, night mode, HDR, panorama, slow-mo, AR lens, light painting, time-lapse, stickers and filters built-in. You also get access to a wide and standard lens as well as digital zoom. 

Battery life - The battery is rated at 3,400mAh which is less than the Honor 20/Honor 20 Pro but it's not poor by any means. In fact, the chances of you running out of power are pretty slim with light use allowing us to only reach 40% after two day's use. There's no wireless charging available and fast-charging isn't built-in either. 

Antutu and Geekbench scores are as follows: Geekbench - Single Core: 1548 & Multi-Core: 5477 and AnTuTu - 131697. 


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