Huawei P20 Lite Review: Premium Looks for cheap price?

The P20 Lite looks great at its price, but does it actually performs like a premium phone as well?

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite
Huawei P20 Lite looks great for its price, but does it actually performs like a premium phone as well?

Huawei recently launched a new variant to their flagship series, the Huawei P20 Lite. Which is supposed to be an affordable mid-segment device with amazing performance. The Huawei P20 Lite packs some impressive specifications. Whats more interesting is that the smartphone quite well-priced. However, not always the specifications decide how the smartphone will be. So let’s see if the Huawei P20 Lite worth your hard earned money or not?

Huawei P20 Lite

The Huawei P20 Lite comes with a 2.36 GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 650 coupled with a Mali-T830 GPU and 4GB of RAM. It sports a 5.83-inch (1080 x 2280 pixels) HD IPS LCD display. For the optics, it features a 16-megapixel rear sensor with f/2.2 aperture combined with 2-megapixel PDAF sensor and an LED Flash. For the selfies, it packs a 24-megapixel front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture. All of this is backed up by a 3,000mAh Battery.

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite
The P20 Lite sports a Notched display with a chin at a bottom.

The devices comes in a plastic shell which looks like glass at the first glance. So, don’t let the looks fool you. That glass looking back is basically a plastic layer painted in a pretty shiny manner. But for its price point, it is acceptable. It runs Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo with Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 on top. The phone sports a dual-hybrid sim card slot along with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB Type-C port for charging and data syncing. It also includes a fingerprint sensor at the back.

Design

The Huawei P20 Lite features a pretty back to basics design. The phone with its shiny plastic back and semi-boxy design looks good. Especially with the reflective coating on the on the plastic back. We had the blue colour variant to review and with that reflective coating, it looks gorgeous.

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite
The front of the P20 Lite is almost perfect.

The front consists of a 5.3-inch LCD HD IPS notched display. On this notch, you have an earpiece, the sensor array for the proximity sensor, accelerometer, and the 24-megapixel front-facing camera. The device features a rear fingerprint sensor.

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite
The reflective back of the P20 Lite is the most gorgeous thing on a smartphone

On the back of the device, there is a dual camera setup aligned in a vertical orientation on the top left of the device with a LED flash below it. The fingerprint sensor is in the centre of the device. The phone bears the Huawei branding and camera information on the left side aligned with the vertical camera unit. The back attracts fingerprints very easily.

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite, Top Left Right Bottom
Bottom, Left, Right, Top in that order

The power buttons and the volume rocker is on the right edge. The left edge is pretty basic with just the hybrid-dual sim card tray. On the top edge, there is a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. And on the bottom edge, there is a USB Type-C port for charge and data transfer along with a primary microphone, speakers and 3.5-mm headphone jack.

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite, Case
The included case doesn’t look good, however, it does the job.

The smartphone looks great and feels acceptable in hand for the price. However, the notched display might be a big push away for some people and maybe a liking for some others. Overall the design of the smartphone is great. With the reflective back, the smartphone looks gorgeous.

Software

The Huawei P20 Lite runs Google’s Android 8.0 Oreo with the EMUI 8.0 skin on the top. EMUI is Huawei’s own skin which it adds to its devices and Honor devices to give them a unique look. Huawei’s EMUI offers a completely modified Android experience with its custom launcher, icon packs and a lot of bloatware apps like Facebook, Truecaller, Netflix, UC Browser, Dragon Mania, Puzzle Pets, and much more. These might be useful for some but not most. Whats worse is that only the pre-installed games can be removed, this makes it really annoying.

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite, Software
The EMUI is highly modified.

When it comes to performance, all these little changes don’t affect the performance much. The company has optimised the software to handle the notch.

Performance

The performance is a major area of concern in any device, the P20 Lite sports a 2.36 GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 650 coupled with a Mali-T830 GPU and 4GB of RAM.

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite, AnTuTu, GeeekBench
AnTuTu(right) and GeekBench(left)

We ran our usual AnTuTu benchmark test and the GeekBench benchmark test to evaluate the performance of the phone. On AnTuTu the device yielded a score of 87735, which is okay considering the price. The GeekBench yield a single core score of 926 and multi-core score of 3658. The performance numbers of the device on paper were sort-of good for the value. The phone exhibits no lag while long heavy usage durations. The phone also runs extremely cool.

In light gaming such as Temple Run and Crossy Chicken, the phone runs smoothly. Heavy games like Asphalt 9 Legends were also able to run without any hiccup.

Display

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite
The LCD Display is made to cut around the Notch.

The smartphone has a 5.83-inch LCD HD IPS display with a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels. The display brightness gets quite low and bight depending on the ambient lighting situation. The colours are okay for the display sported on this phone. The sunlight readability is good.

Camera

The Huawei P20 Lite features a 16-megapixel f/2.2 aperture rear sensor along with a 2-megapixel PDAF camera with LED Flash. For the selfies, it packs a 24-megapixel f/2.0 aperture front-facing camera with f/2.4 aperture. The camera sensors are okayish on paper. Although, not everything depends on the camera lens as we have seen in the past.

The colours in the shots by the rear camera are too bright. The contrast is great and the white balance is also great. This makes the shots have colours which are brighter than natural.

The 24-megapixel front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture has a different story. The white balance of the shots is bad. This makes the photos from the front camera look bad until and unless there was perfect lighting.

The rear camera on the P20 Lite is amazing for day to day usage. However, the front camera is quite bad. If selfies are the most important thing you want, then skip this one.

Battery

Packing a 3,000mAh battery the phone lasts not even a day. After heave usage, the full charge phone will die almost at the end of your work hours. If you are into heavy gaming you will definitely need to charge it more regularly than you like. The charging time for the included charger is around one hour.

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite, Battery
PC Mark Work 2.0 (left) and Battery Usage (right)

We ran the PC Mark’s Work 2.0 Battery Life test which subjects the phone to heavy usage and finds out the battery life in that condition. The device yielded a result of 8 hours and 39 minutes. Which is less than the mark with the capacity of a battery in smartphones.

Conclusion

Huawei, P20, P20 Lite
Overall, the P20 Lite is a good phone for its price but you can certainly get better for a little bit more

The Huawei P20 Lite is priced at Rs. 19,999, for which the performance and features it offers, its a tough call to make a decision on whether to purchase the device or not. It is one of the best smartphones at that price. However, investing a little more and stretching your budget can get you the Honor Play which according to us is the best smartphone you can get under Rs. 25,000. However, if your budget is maxed out at Rs. 19,999, then the P20 Lite is one of the absolute best smartphones in that price point, that is if you don’t mind the notch.

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