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Huawei P Smart 2019 Vs Honor 9 Lite - Which Budget-Friendly Smartphone Should I Buy?

Both the Huawei P Smart 2019 and the Honor 9 Lite smartphones capture decent images and come in at under £200 but which of the budget-friendly smartphones is the best? We put Huawei against Honor to find out.

|  Huawei Honor 9 Lite in Camera Phones
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9 Lite Vs P Smart Front Inside |
Honor 9 Lite Vs Huawei P Smart 2019

 

Not all smartphones cost the earth and not all inexpensive smartphones have rubbish camera specs either! The market for more affordable smartphones has become a much-saturated place with plenty of decent devices available for under £300, or even, £200. It's the latter we're focusing on in this feature, putting the Honor 9 Lite up against the Huawei P smart 2019. Bother smartphones are available for under £200 and offer plenty of features to keep smartphone photographers, on a budget, happy. 

We've picked these two particular smartphones as they both feature in the top half of our 'best budget smartphones' round-up meaning they're some of the best reasonably priced smartphones we've reviewed. 

Will the camera specs and image quality match those captured with more expensive smartphones? No, they won't but so long as you read the specs/features list before parting with your cash, you won't be disappointed. 

You can also use the below to navigate more sections of this feature: 

 

In The Hand

9 Lite Vs P Smart |
Honor 9 Lite Vs Huawei P Smart 2019

 

If you hold both smartphones at the same time, they both feel rather lightweight and fit comfortably in the hand but the slimmer Huawei P smart 2019 does feel slightly better and looks more modern. This is partly down to the more rounded corners/edges and an edge-to-edge screen. 

Even though we only reviewed the Honor 9 Lite last year, its design does look dated at the side of the very slick Huawei P smart 2019 but as a standalone smartphone, the design is still smart - particularly in the Sapphire Blue colour we have. However, it is a fingerprint magnet (as is the Huawei P smart 2019, which also scratches easily because of its plastic construction) so you might want to pop a case on it/them. 

The almost bezel-less design of the Huawei P smart 2019 is, well, smart and the edge-to-edge screen design, thanks to the small chin and dewdrop front-facing camera, makes the smartphone look more expensive than it is. 

In contrast, the Honor 9 Lite has a rather thick chin and the front-facing cameras are built into the top of the phone rather than a notch in the screen. This makes the smartphone feel boxier than the Huawei P smart 2019 but as we've said, it's not ugly, just not as modern as the newer P smart 2019 (it's amazing how quickly smartphone design changes!).  

 

9 Lite Vs P Smart2 |
Honor 9 Lite Vs Huawei P Smart 2019

 

The Honor 9 Lite does have a glass back, something the Huawei P smart 2019 doesn't have but they do both have a headphone socket. A microUSB port is found on both the Huawei P smart 2019, and Honor 9 Lite. 

Both smartphones have a fingerprint sensor that is in a good place on the back of the phone and is easy to find with your finger and on the side is the usual unlock/power buttons and volume controls. 

Some may think the lack of weight makes the devices feel cheap but neither brand has skimped on quality when it comes to build and the Huawei P smart 2019, in particular, looks like it could cost more money than it actually does. 

The Huawei P smart 2019 is slightly longer than the Honor 9 Lite but it's also thinner and you do get a bigger screen. 

Overall, both smartphones are a fab colour, handle well and there are no complaints in terms of construction but the Huawei P smart 2019 does take the win for overall design just because the almost bezel-less design, thin edges and curved corners make it look more modern. 

Winner: Huawei P smart 2019

 

The Screen

9 Lite Vs P Smart Front |
Honor 9 Lite Vs Huawei P Smart 2019

 

The 6.21-inch, 2340x1080, 19.5:9 display on the Huawei P Smart 2019 warrants no complaints and neither does the 5.65inch 18:9 FullHD+ screen found on the Honor 9 Lite. Both screens are bright and viewing outdoors in bright light was no problem. 

Winner: Huawei P smart 2019 - just because it's bigger. 

 

The Camera 

Cameras | 1/200 sec | f/5.6 | 14.0 mm | ISO 800
Honor 9 Lite Vs Huawei P Smart 2019

 

The Honor 9 Lite features dual cameras on the back, with one 13mp camera, and one 2mp camera. There is a single LED flash on the back, and no LED flash for the front selfie camera (however, there is an option to use the screen as a flash).

The main camera on the back of the smartphone is a 13mp f/2.2 camera, with a 26mm equivalent lens while the second camera is a 2mp camera, to help with bokeh and background blur. The main camera also features Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) for quicker focus. 

As well as dual cameras on the back, you also get them on the front where a 13mp + 2mp selfie camera is built in which lets you use beauty mode, plus enable and disable background blur. 

The cameras on the Huawei P smart 2019 consist of a 13MP f/1.8 rear camera (featuring phase detection autofocus) with a 2MP secondary camera for depth sensing, as well as an 8MP f/2.0 wide-aperture selfie camera which is a fixed focus lens. There are plenty of clever photography tricks built in including an aperture mode, portrait mode and a night mode - something we're seeing on a lot more reasonably priced smartphones. 

Both camera apps are very similar but the app built into the Huawei P smart 2019 sees some improvements over the Honor 9 Lite which makes it easier to use. For example, more modes are found under the rather obvious 'more' tab whereas to access them on the Honor 9 Lite, you have to swipe from the left of the screen (which you may not know unless you find some instructions). 

 

Quick Summary:

Huawei P smart 2019

  • Dual AI cameras: 13MP f/1.8 rear camera with 2MP secondary camera
  • 8MP f/2.0 wide-aperture selfie camera
  • Portrait Mode
  • Aperture Mode
  • Pro Mode
  • Night Mode
  • Beauty/Bokeh effects
  • Huawei AI Image Stabilisation

 

Honor 9 Lite

  • Dual rear cameras: 13mp f/2.2 (26mm), and 2mp
  • Phase Detection AF (PDAF), LED flash
  • Dual front cameras: 13mp f/2.0 (28mm), and 2mp
  • Portrait Mode
  • Aperture Mode
  • Pro Mode
  • Beauty/Bokeh effects

 

Winner: On specs alone, the Honor 9 Lite offers dual cameras both front and back (note: we're not taking image quality into consideration at this point). 

 

Photo Quality 

 

Trees | 1/646 sec | f/1.8 | 3.6 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P Smart 2019 Trees
Trees | 1/193 sec | f/2.2 | 3.5 mm | ISO 50
Honor 9 Lite Trees

 

At a quick glance, both smartphones seem to have produced similar results but look a little closer and you see that the Huawei P smart 2019 has handled the dynamic range and colours just that bit better. Although, the image captured with the Honor 9 Lite is lovely and sharp. 

Winner: Huawei P Smart 2019

 

HDR Plants | 1/50 sec | f/1.8 | 3.6 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P Smart 2019 HDR 
HDR Plants | 1/50 sec | f/2.2 | 3.5 mm | ISO 100
Honor 9 Lite HDR

 

HDR modes on the less expensive, and some expensive ones for that matter, can be a little overzealous but both the Honor 9 Lite and Huawei P smart 2019 HDR modes are actually rather good. Colours aren't too oversaturated and the Huawei P smart 2019 image in particular really pops. The photo captured with the Honor 9 Lite is a little soft in comparison and doesn't have the same oomph as the Huawei P smart 2019 shot. 

Winner: Huawei P Smart 2019

 

F2 | 1/100 sec | f/2.0 | 3.6 mm | ISO 64
Huawei P Smart 2019 Aperture Mode  
F2 | 1/100 sec | f/2.0 | 3.5 mm | ISO 64
Honor 9 Lite Aperture Mode  

 

The Aperture modes built into smartphones are clever but not perfect. You have to be at just the right distance for them to work successfully and usually, there are some clipping issues where the algorithm used hasn't worked so well. There are some clipping issues with both shots but the P smart 2019 image is slightly less impressive than the Honor 9 Lite. This could be down to the positioning of the person who captured the shot as much as the software but we still prefer the lovely out of focus bokeh in the back of the image captured with the Honor 9 Lite. 

Winner: Honor 9 Lite 

 

Selfie Beauty Bokeh | 1/208 sec | f/4.0 | 2.7 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P Smart 2019 Selfie Beauty Bokeh
Bokeh Beauty | 1/221 sec | f/2.0 | 3.5 mm | ISO 50
Honor 9 Lite Selfie Beauty Bokeh 

 

As well as adding bokeh to everyday objects and portraits, you can also add it to selfies, giving some lovely out of focus blur to your shots. Along with bokeh, you can also adjust the beauty level of the image via a slider which thins faces, smooths skin, makes eyes slightly bigger... all the things you'd expect when beautification is concerned. 

Sometimes, the effect can be a little strong and this is what has happened in the selfie captured with the Honor 9 Lite. Features are lost due to the amount of softening that's occurred, colours aren't great and the image just looks a little too fake. In comparison the selfie captured with the P smart 2019 looks much more natural with accurate colours and not too much softening going on. There are some clipping issues on the hood but apart from that, it's great. 

Winner: Huawei P Smart 2019

 

Selfie Bokeh  | 1/215 sec | f/2.0 | 2.7 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P Smart 2019 Selfie Bokeh
Bokeh | 1/198 sec | f/2.0 | 3.5 mm | ISO 50
Honor 9 Lite Selfie Bokeh

 

Without beauty mode on, we still prefer the image captured with the Huawei P Smart 2019 as colours are better and again, the Honor 9 Lite selfie is a little soft. 

Winner: Huawei P smart 2019

 

Grit Bin | 1/168 sec | f/1.8 | 3.6 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P Smart 2019 Grit Bin 
Grit | 1/144 sec | f/2.2 | 3.5 mm | ISO 50
Honor 9 Lite Grit Bin

 

It's another win for the Huawei P smart 2019 with all colours, particularly the yellow, having more pop. The image captured with the Honor 9 Lite also has a much cooler feel than the Huawei P smart 2019 image when in reality, it wasn't actually that much of a dull day. 

Winner: Huawei P smart 2019

 

Car | 1/394 sec | f/1.8 | 3.6 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P Smart 2019 Car
Car | 1/220 sec | f/2.2 | 3.5 mm | ISO 50
Honor 9 Lite Car 

 

Both smartphones have done a decent job at reproducing colours accurately but there's just a little more sharpness in the image captured with the Huawei P smart 2019 and the dynamic range is a little better, too.

 

Winner: Huawei P smart 2019

 

Dinosaurs | 1/33 sec | f/1.8 | 3.6 mm | ISO 125
Huawei P Smart 2019 Dinosaurs 
Dinosaurs | 1/33 sec | f/2.2 | 3.5 mm | ISO 200
Honor 9 Lite Dinosaurs

 

The macro capabilities of both smartphones are actually rather impressive. We were able to get close to both sets of miniature dinosaurs with both smartphones which were also able to capture good levels of bokeh. However, the Honor 9 Lite has, again, made the image much cooler with a definite liking of blues and it's not quite as sharp as the Huawei P smart 2019 photo. 

Winner: Huawei P smart 2019

 

Building | 1/298 sec | f/1.8 | 3.6 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P Smart 2019 Building
Building | 1/438 sec | f/2.2 | 3.5 mm | ISO 50
Honor 9 Lite Building

 

The Honor 9 LIte has produced a shot that's much more accurate this time with the Huawei P smart 2019 brightening the shadows (and lighter areas) a little too much and the brickwork has changed colour. 

Winner: Honor 9 Lite 

 

Panorama |
Huawei P Smart 2019 Panorama

 

Panorama |
Honor 9 Lite Panorama

The dynamic range of the first panorama is much better than the second with more detail in the shadow areas and brighter colours. Both are stitched well, though.

Winner: Huawei P smart 2019

 

More Sample Photos: 

 

Huawei P smart 2019 Sample Photos

 

Huawei Honor 9 Lite Sample Photos

 

ISO Comparison

The Honor 9 Lite has an ISO range of 50-1600 (manually selectable), the same as the Huawei P smart 2019. 

For the best results, with both smartphones, stick to the lowest ISO possible as even ISO400 starts to show a loss in detail and when you reach ISO800, colour saturation also suffers. The Huawei P smart 2019 does, also, produce slightly warmer results. 

 

Winner: Honor 9 Lite (just). 

 

ISO100 | 1/89 sec | f/1.8 | 3.6 mm | ISO 100

Huawei P smart 2019 | ISO 100

1/71 sec | f/2.2 | 3.5 mm | ISO 100
Honor 9 Lite  ISO 106

 

ISO400 | 1/333 sec | f/1.8 | 3.6 mm | ISO 400
Huawei P smart 2019 | ISO 400 

1/275 sec | f/2.2 | 3.5 mm | ISO 400

Honor 9 Lite ISO 400

 

 

White Balance Comparison

Huawei P smart 2019: Auto White Balance does a good job under all lighting scenarios (with Tungsten, perhaps, edging towards slightly warm) but the fluorescent preset has a very green colour cast to it. Results under mixed lighting are good, but a little warm. 

Honor 9 Lite: Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten lighting with a good result. When using the tungsten preset, there is a very minimal difference. AWB performs well under fluorescent lighting, and the preset isn't needed here. Results under mixed lighting are very good. Detail is reasonable but suffers under lower light conditions.

 

Winner: Honor 9 Lite

 

AWB Mixed Lighting

AWB Mixed |

Huawei P smart 2019  | AWB Mixed Light 

AWB Mixed Light | 1/33 sec | f/2.2 | 3.5 mm | ISO 50

Honor 9 Lite | AWB Mixed Light 


 

Video Quality 

Huawei P smart 2019:  4K video isn't built in sadly, and there's no stabilisation either so footage can look a bit shaky. You can shoot in 1080p, though, at 30fps or 60fps. 

Honor 9 Lite: The camera records FullHD video at 30fps with stereo sound, compression is high, and video quality suffers as a result. You can use the LED light on the back during video recording. As there is no optical image stabilisation, it's difficult to get steady video while recording handheld.

 

  Huawei P smart 2019 Honor 9 Lite
4K Video No No
Full HD Video  Yes Yes
Optical Image Stabilisation No No
Slow-Motion Video Yes Yes

 

 

 

Winner: Honor 9 Lite 

 

Battery

  • Huawei P smart 2019: 3400mAh
  • Honor 9 Lite: 3000mAh

 

Processor

  • Huawei P smart 2019: Kirin 710. The Geekbench score is 1371 single core and 5075 multi-core while the AnTuTu score is 120027.
  • Honor 9 Lite: Kirin 659. Geekbench 4 gives the smartphone a score of 940 single core and 3620 multi-core. AnTuTu benchmark gives a score of 88684.

 

Other Features 

  Huawei P smart 2019 Honor 9 Lite
MicroSD Slot Yes Yes
Water Resistant  No No
Headphone Socket Yes Yes

 

Size & Weight 

  • Huawei P smart 2019: 155.2mm x 73.4mm x 8mm & 160g 
  • Honor 9 Lite: 151mm x 71.9mm x 7.6mm & 149g 

 

Price 

Huawei P smart 2019: £199

Buy On Amazon UK 

 

Honor 9 Lite: £129 

Buy On Amazon UK

 

Ratings

 

Huawei P smart 2019

"The Huawei P smart 2019 is an affordable, 'head overrules heart' smartphone and so long as you read the specs/features list before parting with your cash, you won't be disappointed."

Recommended - 

 

Honor 9 Lite

"The smartphone looks great, with a stylish design, good colours, and a large 18:9 screen. It also offers a good amount of storage considering the price. However, the camera(s) on the smartphone is a little disappointing. Video quality is quite low, and the lack of image stabilisation is particularly noticeable. The budget price is hard to argue with though, and for general use, the smartphone offers an appealing option."

Recommended - 

 

Our Pick: Huawei P smart 2019

P Smart 2019 |
 

It was close but the Huawei P smart 2019 looks smart, definitely more modern, the camera app is slightly better designed and overall, image quality is better, too.

It will cost you slightly more money but at just under 200 UK pounds, if you want to make a sensible choice when it comes to buying a smartphone, don't want to spend hundreds, or even thousands, on a device but still want decent specs, the Huawei P smart 2019 is well worth considering.

Does it have the best camera? No, but it's not terrible by any means and there are plenty of creative effects for you to play around with. 

 

To compare the 2 smartphones further, have a look at the specs table below. 

 

If you're interested in another brand that can still capture good photos, have a look at our 'best gear' section of the site where we list the 'Best Camera Phones For Photography 2019' and the 'Top Budget Camera Phones For Photography'.

 

Comparison Table

Huawei P smart 2019Huawei Honor 9 Lite
ManufacturerHuaweiHuawei
Front Camera
Pixels8Mp (Megapixels)13Mp (Megapixels)
Max Aperturef/2f/2
Smartphone Cameras
Smartphone Cameras
  • Wide-Angle (Standard)
  • Depth (Bokeh)
    Additional CamerasNo DataNo Data
    Lens
    Max Aperturef/1.8f/2.2
    35mm equivalentNo Data26mm
    Optical Zoom0x0x
    Image Sensor
    Pixels13Mp (Megapixels)13Mp (Megapixels)
    Pixels (W)No Data3264
    Pixels (H)No Data2448
    Sensor TypeNo DataNo Data
    Sensor SizeNo DataNo Data
    Sensor Size (width)No DataNo Data
    Sensor Size (height)No DataNo Data
    Aspect Ratio
      • 4:3
      LCD Monitor
      LCD Monitor6.21in5.65in
      Screen resolution1080x234018:9 2160x1080p FHD+
      Touch ScreenYesYes
      Focusing
      Focusing modes
      • Autofocus
      • Face Detection
      • Touch AF
      • Autofocus
      • Spot
      • Face Detection
      • Centre
      • Touch AF
      Exposure Control
      Shutter speeds shortestNo DataNo Data
      Shutter speeds longestNo DataNo Data
      ISO sensitivity50 - 160050 - 1600
      Video
      Movie modeYesYes
      Video Resolution
      • 1920x1080 FullHD
      • 1920x1080 FullHD
      Video FPS3030fps
      Stereo SoundNo DataNo Data
      Other Features
      Image StabilisationNoNo
      Interface
      USBUSB 2USB 2
      Wi-FiYesYes
      Storage
      Internal MemoryNo Data3000MB
      Power Source
      Battery Type3400mAh3000mAh (Typical)
      Box Contents
      Box ContentsNo DataNo Data
      Dimensions
      Weight160g149g
      Width155.2mm151mm
      Height73.4mm71.9mm
      Depth8mm7.6mm
      View Full DetailsView Full Details

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