When you hear of it, the Honor 10 Lite seems like a junior cousin of the Honor 10 flagship that the brand had launched last year. It is certainly far more affordable, starting at Rs 13,999. However, there is nothing particularly lightweight about the device. No, it does not come with a high-end processor like the Honor 10 but the HiSilicon Kirin 710 that powers it is definitely not a pushover — we found it could handle multiple tasks and even run PUBG on the 4 GB RAM and 64 GB edition of the device without too many problems (there is a 6 GB RAM edition too).
The phone also comes with a very good pair of rear cameras — a 13 megapixel main camera with a large f/1.8 aperture and a 2.0-megapixel depth sensor. The cameras are very capable in their own right but Honor has added a spin to them with its AI scene recognition — basically the cameras can recognise scenes and scenarios and automatically change settings to ensure that you get a better photograph.
Honor claims that the cameras can recognise 500 scenes from 22 categories, and change settings accordingly. Well, that might be stretching things a bit, but when it came to landscapes and food, we saw the cameras perform magnificently. It would have been great if the AI could have improved night time shots, but alas, there the camera is still a middling performer (all right in slightly dark places, far too noisy in very dark ones).
The selfie camera is a very good one, though — a 24 megapixel one with f/2.0 aperture, it too comes with some AI magic of its own as well, with the ability to recognise 200 scenarios across eight categories. And as long as you keep the beauty effects under control (lest you end up looking like something from an anime film), you will get very good selfies in terms of detail and colour. One feature that we really, really like in both front and rear cameras is the presence of Portrait Lighting, which lets you add something like studio lighting effects to your snaps.
We have already pointed out that the processor in the device works very well. It is a solid performer, similar to what we have seen in the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 (the one in the Nokia 8.1). It will not set benchmark records, but it will work very well indeed, and well, the 3400 mAh battery should see you through a day of normal use quite easily. Connectivity wise, the phone has Bluetooth, 4G, Wi-Fi and GPS. In terms of software, the phone runs on Android 9.0 with Honor’s EMUI 9 interface running on top of it — it is not as good as MIUI (which you get to see on Xiaomi’s and Poco’s devices) but comes with some very good features including something called HiVision which uses the camera to identify objects and even let you shop.
And all of this comes in a frame that looks gorgeous. The front of the device has a 6.21 inch full HD+ display with a dew drop notch containing the front facing camera, and hardly any bezels, making it super compact and easy to hold. And the back has eight layers of material that produce a wonderful shimmering effect when light falls on it. Best of all, it does not seem to pick up as many smudges and scratches as other “shiny” devices do (there is a case in the box, though). We would have liked water and dust resistance, but hey, no one’s perfect.
Starting at Rs 13,999, we think the Honor 10 Lite is one of the better options for anyone looking for a smartphone at less than Rs 15,000, competing with the likes of the Redmi Note 6 Pro. It looks good, is a good performer and comes with a very good camera for its price. Do not go by the “Lite” tag — if you are looking for a solid mid segment performer, the Honor 10 Lite definitely is a lot of weight!