Monday, 19 August 2019

Honor View 20: Better than the OnePlus 6T?

Honor’s View series is the company’s most premium range in India and after last year’s success with Honor View 10, the Honor View 20 has arrived in India at Rs 37,999, which puts it head to head against the OnePlus 6T.

As one of the best phones of 2018, the OnePlus 6T still commands a great deal of attention, even as we look forward to the phones in 2019. So how does the View 20 fare against the 6T, which has already proven to be one of the fastest flagships yet? Should you buy the Honor View 20 over the OnePlus flagship? Well, it’s time to answer these questions.

I have been using the Honor View 20 as my primary phone for the last 10 days now. I switched from my OnePlus 6, and I have also used the OnePlus 6T, but I had certain apprehensions to say the least.

Firstly, would I be able to get used to the punch-hole display? I wasn’t as impressed by the punch-hole design, as others have been, so it had a thing or two to prove to me. I also had my doubts on EMUI aka Magic UI. See, I have always been a stock Android fan, so I wasn’t really sure if I would be able to live with the custom implementation for long, and lastly, I had my doubts on the camera.

I know the View 20 has a 48MP camera, but we all know that more megapixels don’t necessarily mean a better camera. Let’s see if Honor has managed to convince me.

First, check out our video on the phone, and then read on to find out my thoughts on it too.

Honor View 20 Specifications

Before we get started on the full review, let’s take a small detour to see the Honor View 20’s specs. It’ll come in handy when reading our review:
Dimensions    156.9 x 75.4 x 8.1 mm
Weight    180 grams
Display    6.4-inch IPS LCD (~85.7% screen-to-body ratio) with 1080 x 2310 pixels resolution, punch-hole design
Processor    Octa-core Hilsilicon Kirin 980 (7nm SoC)
GPU    Mali-G76 MP10
RAM    6GB/8GB
Internal Storage    128/256GB, no microSD card
Rear Camera    48 MP, f/1.8, 1/2", 0.8µm, PDAF
TOF 3D stereo camera
Front Camera    25 MP, f/2.0, 27mm
Operating System    Android 9 Pie-based Magic UI 2
Connectivity    Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Bluetooth 5, dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, microUSB
Sensors    Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Battery    4000 mAh Li-Po battery, 22.5W fast charging

As for the in-box contents, the Honor View 20 brings a robust retail package. Here’s what you get in the packaging:

    Honor View 20 smartphone
    SIM ejection tool
    Clear case
    22.5W Huawei Super Charger
    USB-C to USB-A cable

Honor View 20 Design and Display

As I said, I had plenty of doubts about the Honor View 20, but after using it for a week and more, I was pleasantly surprised. The first thing I loved about the Honor View 20 is its stunning, premium design. The View 20 is, without a doubt, a looker.


The glass back with the awesome V-pattern brushed finish is really striking, and the almost bezel-less front makes for a gorgeous looking phone overall. Plus, I really like the display on the View 20. It’s not AMOLED, like the OnePlus 6T, and I do prefer AMOLED, but the display on the View 20 hasn’t disappointed me one bit.

The 6.4-inch IPS LCD screen is vibrant, and it’s pretty bright so it’s visible outdoors. There’s one complaint though, and that’s the lack of Gorilla Glass or any other branded protection. Our View 20 easily picked up a few scratches, so if you buy this phone, please use a screen protector.

The big change on the front is the punch-hole camera design and I have really gotten used to it. You can easily ignore the punch hole in most of the UI, apps and games, and since it’s just a small hole, it’s not a problem at all, even if you do notice it. Plus, I like the nice animations Honor has added to the ring around the hole when you are on a call, or when you switch to the front camera. These are nice touches that really add to the experience.


What I really appreciate on the View 20 is that it has everything covered. There’s a tiny notification LED at the top up front, and while it’s very small, it gets the job done. The fingerprint scanner is also perfectly placed and it’s super fast, unlike the inconsistent in-display fingerprint scanner on the 6T. Honestly, I definitely prefer the physical sensor on the View 20.

There is the USB-C port at the bottom, and the headphone jack on the top, which surely gives it some points over the OnePlus 6T. Yes, there’s no wireless charging, and some sort of water resistance would have been nice but those aren’t really deal-breakers.

Honor View 20 Performance

The Honor View 20 is a phone that looks and feels like a flagship, but another thing that’s worth noting about the View 20 is its top-tier performance.

The Honor View 20 has the flagship-grade Kirin 980 SoC, which makes it a phone that’s super snappy, and that’s coming from someone used to great performance on the OnePlus 6, Since the View 20 is in the same price range, I was expecting great performance from it, and well, Honor hasn’t disappointed at all.


Be it gaming, usual day-to-day tasks or multitasking, the phone hasn’t slowed down at all for me over the 10 days. High-end games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9 run on high graphics settings, and there has been no lag, and I like the fact that unlike the OnePlus 6T’s Snapdragon 845, the Kirin 980 is more future proof.

The OnePlus 7 will arrive soon with the Snapdragon 855, and that will make the 6T’s Snapdragon 845 a little old, while the Kirin 980 is a new 7nm processor that can take on the 855. Anyway, if you are wondering about the benchmark scores of the View 20 and the 6T, take a look. It’s clear that the Kirin 980 brings out the best in this phone and is more than capable of matching the 845.
Honor View 20
OnePlus 6T
Honor View 20
OnePlus 6T

We rendered a 2 minute 1080p video using Adobe Premiere Clip on both phones, and the View 20 took 3 minutes 11 seconds, while the 6T took 4 minutes 2 seconds, so the Kirin 980 makes all the difference when it comes to performance, even if it may trail in benchmarks. And that’s what really counts in the end.
Honor View 20 Software and Magic UI

Some credit for the great performance has to go to the well-optimized Magic UI 2.0. It’s still pretty much EMUI, with Android Pie on board, and while I am still not a fan, after using it for so many days, I have realized that I can live with it. Firstly, even though it has a number of pre-installed apps, I like that Honor lets you uninstall most of them, which is great and secondly, Magic UI brings some really interesting features.


There’s face unlock here, which is really fast, similar to what you get on the OnePlus 6T, so I really like that. There are also navigation gestures, which are a lot like the gestures on MIUI, and I think it’s a great implementation, although I haven’t found way to switch between apps, so that’s a little disappointing.

Another great feature is Digital Balance, yes Honor’s very own version of Digital Wellbeing, which shows me the time I spend on the phone, the apps I use the most, and I can even set app limits, and the bedtime, which removes the color from the screen to make it easier for you to nod off. It’s a great implementation of digital wellbeing features by Honor, and I am pretty sure a lot of users will find it handy.

Magic UI also brings an Easy Projection feature, which lets you access a Samsung DeX-like desktop UI by connecting your phone to a WiFi TV or monitor, but the twist here is, you don’t need a cable, it works wirelessly, and surprisingly, it works pretty well. I mean, I was expecting lag but the in my usage, things were pretty smooth. To be honest, using the View 20 as a trackpad isn’t the most intuitive thing, but I definitely think this feature can be handy for people who want to make a presentation or edit documents on a bigger screen. It’s a nice addition from Honor.

Anyway, there are a lot of other great features I found in Magic UI, like the performance mode, which sets your device to offer the maximum performance, fingerprint scanner gestures that I have found to be really useful.
Honor View 20 Cameras

The performance on the View 20 is something that really impressed me, but I know you are waiting for the word on that camera. The View 20 has the Sony IMX586 48MP sensor and a 3D Time of Flight sensor, which is honestly pretty limited, since there are no 3D motion games or apps you can try to test the 3D camera out.

Anyway, I took tons of photos with the View 20, and while there is an option to take 48MP photos, I much preferred the 12MP mode, which uses pixel binning.

Firstly, there’s not a lot of difference between the 12MP and 48MP shot from the View 20.  Sometimes the 48MP photo has a little more detail, and yes, you can zoom in to the photos more, but that’s pretty much it.

I also prefer the 12MP mode, because of the 1.6 micron pixel size, which means it’s a lot better in low light.


Overall, I like the camera on the View 20. It takes sharp and detailed photos in good light, as you can see, but there’s one small issue I have. Now, these photos might look great, but the View 20 generally captures photos that are warm. Almost every photo seems to have a little bit of yellowish tint in them, as you can see above.

It’s not a huge problem, and photos generally look good, but sometimes the warm colors do seem unnatural. In low light, the View 20 captures bright shots. As you can see, the above photos have a lot of light, but things are a little inconsistent, as sometimes the photos do not have a lot of detail and the noise starts creeping in.

Another problem is that the Portrait Mode on the View 20 does smoothen the face a lot, and that’s with beautification disabled. Some photos look fine, but when you zoom in, almost every photo has a bit of smoothening going on, which kind of ruins some shots.

Let me show you how it fares against the OnePlus 6T. So, here are a few comparison shots, and well, it’s very close.

OnePlus 6T

The photos look very similar, but I do prefer the 6T, with its more natural colors. However, it’s clear when you zoom into these images that the View 20 has more details. Even in low light photos, it’s very close. Generally, the View 20 photos are brighter, but I prefer 6T’s shots for the detail they offer.
Honor View 20 Night Mode

The Honor View 20 also has a Night mode, which works really well. Here are some photos comparing the night mode to the 6T. I prefer the Night mode shots from the View 20; the images here are just sharper and more detailed.

OnePlus 6T – Night Mode

The Honor View 20’s 25MP camera takes decent selfies, and well, it’s strictly decent. I mean, some selfies have the weird beautification going on, and some selfies just do not have much detail, even though it’s a 25MP camera.


Honor View 20 Video Recording

When it comes to videos, the View 20 has support for 4K, but there’s no 4K@60FPS support, which is a let down. The stability isn’t all that great because there’s no OIS, but the quality is really good. The details are nice, the colors are fine, and it’s sharp all around. Compared to the 6T, the video quality is just a tad bit better, but the 6T has more stability, since it has OIS.

So, concluding things on the camera front, I have been pretty happy with the Honor View 20’s cameras, and they are definitely great for the price, but if you ask me which is better, the View 20 or the 6T, it’s tough to make an outright call. I prefer the OnePlus 6T because its photos have more natural tones, the portrait mode is better, and the videos are more stable.
Honor View 20 Battery Life

The View 20’s 4,000 mAh battery has generally been very good to me. On most days, the phone easily lasted me more than a day. My usual day begins with some Google Maps usage, some music and continues with games, social media, mails, browsing, etc. The phone would generally be around 40-50% by the end of the day, which is really great. Plus, I like how EMUI always reminded me which apps are taking up more battery, so I could limit their usage, if needed.


And yes, the View 20 does come with Super Charge support. There’s a 40W charger in the box. I mean, the brick clearly says 40W, but weirdly, the View 20 only supports 22.5W SuperCharge, and not 40W SuperCharge 2.0, like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

While the Mate 20 Pro goes from 15 to 100% in just 50 minutes, the View 20 takes around 1 hour 20 minutes. That’s amazingly fast, and very similar to Dash Charge, so it’s still fairly impressive. Overall, the View 20 is pretty great when it comes to the battery and charging.

Honor View 20: What’s Good and What’s Bad

The Honor View 20 definitely has a lot going for it, but it does miss out on some features that could have made the experience even more premium. Here’s what it boils down to:
Pros

    Stunning glass design
    Bright and vibrant LCD
    No notch design
    Flagship performance thanks to Kirin 980
    Great battery life and fast charging
    Very capable camera and plenty of AI features
    USB Type-C port and headphone jack

Cons

    No wireless charging
    No water resistance
    Front camera could be better
    3D TOF camera is useless right now
    Lack of any screen protection
    No 4K@60FPS support
    Magic UI 2 can be overwhelming

Honor View 20: Better Than OnePlus 6T?

So the question is: Should you buy the Honor View 20 over the OnePlus 6T? If you want an AMOLED display, water resistance, a more refined Android skin, and slightly better cameras, the OnePlus 6T is the phone you should go for. It’s that simple.

However, the Honor View 20 at Rs. 37,999 is a great flagship phone, and one with almost no compromises.

It has a premium design with a “headphone jack”, a more consistent and faster fingerprint scanner, the new punch-hole display, a flagship processor that’s definitely more future proof, good battery life and super fast charging. So, if you are okay with an LCD display that’s still very good, and cameras that are just slightly inferior to the OnePlus 6T, the Honor View 20 is a phone that I will definitely recommend. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. India’s budget smartphone segment is the most active and decisive one right now, with a plethora of phone makers trying to dethrone Xiaomi and seize the pole position. Well, the Chinese giants are cluttering the market with new and updated smartphones every couple of months. Honor is leading the pack here by following up its budget effort, Honor 8C with the Honor 10 Lite, which we’re here to talk about.

The Honor 10 Lite (starts at Rs 13,999) picks up where the Honor 8C left off, building on the same design and upgrading the materials and screen for a more modern vibe. It also takes cues from the Honor 10 and looks really good. Honor was kind to send out a Blue variant of the smartphone to the Beebom office and here are my thoughts on the device, after having used it extensively for more than a week.

Honor 10 Lite: Specifications

But before we delve into my experiences with the device, let’s take a peek at the specs table for the Honor 10 Lite:
Dimensions    154.8 x 73.6 x 8 mm
Weight    162 grams
Display    6.21-inch Full-HD+ IPS LCD, with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio
Processor    octa-core Hilsilicon Kirin 710
GPU    Mali-G51 MP4
RAM    4GB/ 6GB
Internal Storage    64GB, expandable up to 512GB via microSD card
Rear Camera    13MP (f/1.8) + 2MP depth sensor, single LED flash
Front Camera    24MP (f/2.0)
Operating System    Android 9 Pie-based EMUI 9
Connectivity    Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, microUSB
Sensors    rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, proximity, compass
Battery    3,400mAh, 5V/2A adapter
Colors    Sky Blue, Sapphire Blue, Midnight Black
Honor 10 Lite: What’s in the Box

Honor recently made a minor yet delightful change to its packaging and we now see the device on the box itself. Here’s everything you will find inside the Honor 10 Lite box:

    Honor 10 Lite (without a doubt!)
    5V/2A charging adapter
    Micro USB charging cable
    Silicone case
    SIM ejector tool
    Information leaflets

One thing I particularly like about mid-range phones is that they now come with a pre-applied screen protector. A great touch for budget consumers.

Honor 10 Lite: What's in the Box
Honor 10 Lite: Design and Build

Right from the get-go, Honor 10 Lite looks like a premium smartphone. The glass-like finish on the rear and dewdrop notch on the front will capture your interest and they don’t make it feel like a mid-range device. The smartphone borrows design cues from its elder sibling, the Honor 10, as well as the affordable Honor 8C that I reviewed earlier last year.

The rear panel on Honor 10 Lite looks like glass, but unlike the Redmi Note 7 (which is yet to arrive in India) it has an all-plastic build which has been treated to look glossy and reflective, similar to the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2. It’s true to Honor’s design language and gradient colors, which is something I have come to love over the past year.

honor 10 lite rear

The Honor 10 Lite looks absolutely stunning and matches up to its competitors. However, as is the case with glossy polycarbonate phones, it’s also a fingerprint magnet and scratches really easily. Our unit already has a lot of micro-scratches all over, so I suggest using that case provided in the box.

honor 10 lite fingerprint magnet

I have been using the Honor 10 Lite for over a week, and the in-hand feel of the smartphone is perfect. It carries forward the curved, lightweight, and comfortable build of the Honor 8C, including the placement of its 13MP+2MP dual cameras, fingerprint sensor, and the branding on the rear. The Honor 10 Lite is easy to grip and the metal frame around the edges offers more sturdiness to the overall build. The fingerprint sensor on the rear is also quite snappy.

However, the one major aspect where the Honor 10 Lite and Honor 8C differ is when you turn the smartphones over. Gone is the big notch and Honor insignia on the huge chin, which have been replaced with a petite and non-intrusive dewdrop notch housing a 24MP selfie camera, and a smaller bottom chin. This gives it a much cleaner look and I find it to be perfect for 2019.
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honor 10 lite vs honor 8C rear

The earpiece has now been pushed to the very top and the notification LED resides in the bottom bezel. The power button and volume rocker sitting above it on the right are sufficiently clicky, the left side is totally clean, the bottom houses the microUSB charging port, the 3.5mm headphone jack, and the speaker grill, and the SIM slot is found at the top.
honor 10 lite ports
honor 10 lite buttons
Honor 10 Lite: Display

Well, I’m not mincing any words when I say that the display on the Honor 10 Lite is simply gorgeous. It may not be an AMOLED display but instead, a 6.21-inch Full-HD+ LCD IPS screen with a dewdrop notch that’s my favorite implementation for the notch to date.

While most of my peers feel a more curvy notch, as seen on the OnePlus 6T, looks more fluid, I find the Essential-like notch here to be fabulous as well. It offers a screen-to-body ratio of over 90%, thanks to the trimmed chin as well, and that’s enough for me.

The display sports a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, along with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9, which has also become the norm for large notched phones over the past year. Speaking of the quality here, well, the Full-HD screen is nothing short of brilliant. It offers great color reproduction, gets super bright in direct sunlight for you to be able to see the Maps or scroll through your Instagram feed on the move.

I, however, disliked the dark transparent layer on the notification bar (easily visible on light wallpapers) as it ruins the almost perfect look of the device. The rounded corners don’t look too off here, and I’m relieved as it was something that kept bugging me on the Honor 8C as the text and icons disappeared into the edges.

Further, as Honor boasts, this display is also certified by TÜV Rheinland and it will be super comfortable to use Honor 10 Lite at night-time, without having to lose sleep. You will need to turn on Eye Care mode from the settings to enable it, and you will have a great time with the display here. It’s immersive and one of the best among all mid-range phones in the Rs 15,000 price segment.
Honor 10 Lite: User Interface

We’ve stepped foot into 2019 and I’m happy to see that Honor 10 Lite comes backed by Android 9 Pie-based EMUI 9. Yes, it’s not really something to boast about, but once you learn about the fragmented state of the Android ecosystem, well, you know that it’s surely a thing to celebrate.

EMUI is one of the better Android custom ROMs out there and I’ve always had a pleasant time when I switch over to an Honor/Huawei phone from my Android One-backed Nokia 7 Plus. EMUI comes with a myriad of features, with your Google News Feed on the right, an option to bring back the app drawer (what a relief) and MIUI-like navigation gestures, which I don’t really like. There are a couple other navigation options available as well, so you can take a pick from them too.

honor 10 lite - user interface

While you would expect Android 9 Pie to bring AI features in tow, like Adaptive Brightness or Adaptive Battery and Digital Wellbeing tools, they’re nowhere to be found on the Honor 10 Lite. EMUI has its own granular controls for these features.

Huawei has built its own Digital Wellbeing clone, i.e. Digital Balance. It offers exactly the same set of features, such as screen time, app limits, and bedtime mode as well, which is kind of awesome, I guess. You also get facial recognition on board here and it’s really fast in daylight conditions, but falls face-first in low-light conditions.
Honor 10 Lite: Performance

The performance of the Honor 10 Lite is consistent for the most part, however, it takes a bit of a nosedive when you’re operating it hastily, or have too many apps opened or playing heavy games such as PUBG Mobile. We will talk about all of this in a little detail below, but before that, let’s get the hardware specs out of the way.

The Honor 10 Lite is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 980 chipset, designed in-house by its parent Huawei, coupled with up to 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The two options offered by the company are enough, but I would’ve loved to see a 128GB variant too. Coming back to the performance, well, the chipset here is capable enough and would be able to handle most of the tasks you throw at it.

The app-opening times are fast, multi-tasking is usually a breeze but Honor 10 Lite is a little strict with memory management and that could be troublesome for some users. You’ll mostly experience no lags or stutters in the UI and both the scrolling, as well as the touch response are good. It offers a complete and satisfactory for the most part.

Turning our attention to gaming, Honor 10 Lite isn’t designed for heavy gaming (for someone who’s looking to play PUBG Mobile at the highest graphics settings) but it should be sufficient for casual gaming. The company certainly has GPU Turbo, a framework to boost gaming performance, baked into the Honor 10 Lite but it cannot just come in and do wonders here.

honor 10 lite pubg

I played PUBG Mobile, which takes up medium settings by default, on the Honor 10 Lite each evening and I found that it runs decently. You may notice a few frame drops when you’re caught in a firefight (it can be frustrating) and textures might not load properly, but that shouldn’t really affect your gameplay heavily. Just turn down the graphics to low to produce the best results.

I know PUBG Mobile is the only game most of you guys care about these days, but I also tested out Asphalt 9 and Mortal Combat X on Honor 10 Lite. Well, my verdict is that you shouldn’t expect a passable gaming experience here but the daily usage would be almost buttery smooth.
Honor 10 Lite: Benchmarks

Though we’ve already shed light on the performance on the Honor 10 Lite and we know it is not going to disappoint, well, still here are some of the popular benchmark numbers for those who give it a ton of weight. The Honor 10 Lite has a single- and multi-core score of 1530 and 5238 on Geekbench, whereas the Kirin 710 scores over 120,000 on the AnTuTu test bench.

honor 10 lite benchmark

When you compare these figures to the Honor 10 Lite’s direct competitors, well, we found the device sitting smack dab in the middle of the Snapdragon 636-powered Redmi Note 6 Pro and the Snapdragon 660-powered ZenFone Max Pro M2. The former’s AnTuTu score is around 116,000 whereas the latter sits near 130,000, so it’s fair to say that Kirin 710 is quite powerful and will handle all the tasks you throw at it.
Honor 10 Lite: Cameras

Cameras have now become an important factor for when you’re making a buying decision. The Honor 10 Lite packs in the same dual rear-camera module as the Honor 8C, including the 13MP (f/1.8) primary sensor and the 2MP depth sensor. Well, there’s not much more you can expect from a budget phone but Honor still offers a 24MP (f/2.0) camera on the front to help capture some stunning selfies.

honor 10 lite cameras

I spent the better half of the last week with this smartphone and well, the cameras on the Honor 10 Lite are probably the least impressive aspect here. I remember I liked the looks of the Honor 8C too but the cameras there were lackluster and I just don’t want to repeat myself but the same is the case here. The photos captured using the Honor 10 Lite aren’t really good. You can check out some of the samples we clicked right here:
Honor 10 Lite Camera Samples: Daylight

The photos captured from the Honor 10 Lite in daylight look vivid and beautiful, thanks to the AI working its magic in the background. It identifies the objects and adjusts the colors accordingly, mostly making the photos look a little oversaturated. The photos clicked are sharp and have decent detail, all of which seems lost even if you zoom in a bit. It will, however, work out in your favor if you post to social media platforms often.
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Honor 10 Lite Camera Samples: Low Light

The low-light and artificial light scenarios are where the Honor 10 Lite takes a backseat. It does capture the scene well, it illuminates it too, but the details are all lost in the process. The low light photos generally look like oil paintings when you zoom in, which is a sign of the sensor not capturing enough detail. The shadows are also often too much, and contrast in the resulting images is off the mark.
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Honor 10 Lite Camera Samples: Selfies/ Portraits

As for the selfies and portraits, well, the photos captured using the front camera have excessive beautification going on that smoothens out the skin a lot. This happens even when the beauty mode is off, which only suggests how artificial the skin tone is going to look when you activate it.

The portrait photos, on the other hand, have good edge detection with a natural-looking blur and the pictures clicked look good here. However, the phone falters when two people are in the frame, blurring out one of the faces.
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Honor 10 Lite Camera Samples: Night Mode

Finally, Honor has also baked a night mode into this sub-Rs 15,000 smartphone and no, there’s no need for it here, as it doesn’t work wonders. The Honor 10 Lite would certainly capture more light in this mode, but you have to wait a good 5 seconds and the photos will look too bright, with the painting effect.
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Without Night Mode
With Night Mode
Without Night Mode
With Night Mode
Honor 10 Lite: Video Samples

The Honor 10 Lite is capable of capturing up to 1080p videos at 60fps, which is a great addition to this budget phone on the company’s part. The smartphone also packs in EIS (Electronic Image stabilization) support, so the videos captured are stable but you can easily notice the wobble here. It isn’t the most stabilized video but it’ll get the work done:

Honor 10 Lite: Audio and Telephony

The bottom-firing speaker on the Honor 10 Lite is pretty good and gets really loud. The sound output isn’t the best though, it’s a bit tinny and the high-pitched instruments take over the vocals, thus, disrupting the experience. The sound output is flat with no bass either, and I’m not its biggest fan.

honor 10 lite calling

Further, I had been using the Honor 10 Lite with my primary Jio SIM and the network, as well as call reception, have been good. The company boasts that it uses AI to enhance the quality but I didn’t really notice anything out of the ordinary.

As for the audio output from the 3.5mm headphone jack, which a lot of you, readers, are concerned about on budget phones and ask us regularly, well, it’s quite decent for the price. It’s not tuned by AKG or anything, so don’t expect too much but it’s perfect for your daily use. I used the Realme Buds to test on the Honor 10 Lite, in case you are wondering.
Honor 10 Lite: Connectivity

Connectivity is one aspect where the Honor 10 Lite has improved over the Honor 10. The latter was a great phone, but it included only a dual nano-SIM card tray with no memory card support. The Honor 10 Lite fixes the same with the inclusion of a hybrid dual-SIM tray. It can either hold 2 nano-SIM cards or a SIM card and microSD card to expand storage up to 512GB.

The smartphone also supports the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac standard, which means you can connect to faster 5GHz networks with it. The familiar connectivity options such as Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS (for navigation), NFC, and more are present here. The lack of the infrared sensor, which seldom comes in handy to control smart TVs or air conditioners, especially when you can’t find the remote, is saddening.
Honor 10 Lite: Battery Life

The Honor 10 Lite packs inside a modest-sized 3,400mAh battery, which is the same as the Honor 10. And well, the similarity doesn’t end there as the battery life is almost exactly the same as well.

I’m not going to lie, I’m a heavy smartphone user who not only sticks to calls, WhatsApp, and a bit of browsing. I stream music all day, have Twitter and Instagram active every so often, and play PUBG Mobile before heading home. And if that feels too much, add a ton of YouTube consumption after that.

Well, after all of this, I was still able to get an average of 5 hours of screen on time, which is quite good for me. The Honor 10 Lite also didn’t deplete much, only about 25%, during 1.5 hours of PUBG gameplay at 70% brightness. You can, however, manage the battery drain with the help of features such as the power saving mode, smart resolution and a better look at what apps are using your battery in the background.

I had about 10% of charge left before I plugged back the Honor 10 Lite, that brings us to the charging aspect here. The device does not come decked with a 22.5W power adapter that you get with its elder sibling. You only get a 10W (5V/2A) charger in the box. This means there’s no fast-charging support here, but the provided charger juices it up from 0% to 75% in about an hour and 25 minutes, which is solid.
Honor 10 Lite: Is it Honorable Enough?

We’ve now approached the most important and conclusive section of the review, i.e. the judgment section. The judgment for whether you should buy the Honor 10 Lite or not. I would never say that Honor 10 Lite (starts at Rs 13,999) is a bad device or that you should avoid it, well, because it is not. The device comes laden with modern quirks like a dewdrop notch, a glass finish, Android 9 Pie out of the box, and offers solid performance at a budget price.

All of this makes the Honor 10 Lite a perfect candidate for someone’s who is planning to get a modern mid-range phone in the sub-Rs 15,000 segment. However, I cannot stress this enough, you will have to compromise on the camera front a little. The picture you click won’t even match Redmi Note 6 Pro standard at times, which brings me to all the alternatives for the Honor 10 Lite.

And obviously, if you are looking for an all-around great performer but don’t mind a bland design then the Redmi Note 6 Pro (starts at Rs 13,999) is perfect for you. The Realme U1 (starts at Rs 10,999) or Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 (starts at Rs 12,999) should be your pick if you want a modern look but can compromise a little on the software and camera front respectively. And finally, if you can wait out your smartphone purchase, then the Redmi Note 7 is said to be coming to India soon and it’s going to be the Redmi device we’ve all been waiting for in 2019.

PROS:

    Gorgeous build
    Stellar in-hand feel
    Beautiful display
    Powerful speaker
    Fast biometric locks

CONS:

    Fingerprint magnet
    Scratch prone
    Inferior cameras
    Micro USB charging

SEE ALSO: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 Review: The Best Budget Smartphone to Buy?
Honor 10 Lite Review: Bad Cameras Really Hurt!

In a world now saturated with Redmi and ZenFones, Honor is trying its best to offer a device that checks all the right boxes. The Honor 10 Lite has a standout design, modern waterdrop notch, and even the latest software features out of the box but still, it’s doomed because of the lackluster cameras – a long-running shortcoming in budget Honor phones. Xiaomi is easily most popular phone brand in India. It has reigned supreme for many quarters, according to IDC, and it’s all thanks to the many offerings in different price brackets, including the Redmi Y and A series in the sub-Rs 10,000 bracket, Redmi Note series in the sub-Rs 15,000 price bracket, and the flagship-grade Poco F1 in a sub-Rs 20,000 price segment.

The Chinese giant is, however, looking to court more users who’re finally giving in to the smartphone hype and converting over with the Redmi Go. It’s a sub-Rs 5000 smartphone that has a large screen, Android Go, and all essential features that you look for in budget phones.

Xiaomi was kind enough to lend us the Redmi Go, the blue color variant, and I have been using it for the past few hours. Here are my first impressions of the Redmi Go:
What’s in the Box

The Redmi Go comes packed in a familiar red cardboard box that we have seen from Xiaomi in the past. It comes with the Redmi Go branding in bold letters on the front and not a whole lot inside. Here’s everything you’ll find inside the box:

    Redmi Go handset
    microUSB charging cable
    5W charging adapter
    SIM ejector tool
    User manuals

redmi go unboxing

One shouldn’t really expect to see a pair of earphones or a silicone case bundled with the phone simply because of its affordable price tag. No complaints here.
Redmi Go: Specs

Before we delve into my first impressions of the Redmi Go, let’s take a quick peek at the specs sheet:
Dimensions    140.4 x 70.1 x 8.35 mm
Weight    137 grams
Display    5-inch HD (720x1280 pixels; 296 ppi)
Processor    Qualcomm Snapdragon 425
GPU    Adreno 308
RAM    1GB
Storage    8GB (Expandable up to 128GB)
Primary Camera    8 MP, Scene Recognition, Real-time filters
Secondary Camera    5 MP, Auto HDR, HD Calling support
Battery    3000 mAh
Operating System    Android Oreo (Go edition)
Colors    Black and Blue
Price    Rs. 4,499
Redmi Go: Design &  Build

While Xiaomi may have switched to a newer and trendy “Aura design language” with the mid-range Redmi Note 7 Pro, the Redmi Go will instantly remind you of the older budget phones from the company. The brushed metallic polycarbonate build of the Redmi Go feels similar to what we’ve seen on Xiaomi budget phones like the Redmi 6A and others.

The brushed metallic finish of the Redmi Go feels really good and the curved rear panel makes for a comfortable in-hand feel. It quickly gets smudged with sweaty palms, which can’t be avoided if you’re using the device without a case.

We’ve got the blue color variant with us and no, it isn’t blingy or shiny like a ton of phones with gradient backs these days. The rear camera sits flush with the rear panel but it’s higher placement, along the top edge, bugged everyone who saw it in our office. I was fine with it initially but not I can’t ‘unsee’ it.

The power key and volume rockers on the right edge are made from plastic as well. They feel a little mushy for my liking. Redmi Go includes the microUSB port, speaker, and the primary microphone at the bottom edge, and the 3.5mm headphone jack up-top with a secondary noise cancellation mic.
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Redmi Go: Display

Redmi Go also has a pretty compact design, thanks to the small 5-inch HD display on the front. Xiaomi neither opted for a trendy 18:9 screen nor a notched one, probably to keep costs low. Also, someone purchasing their first smartphone (coming from a feature phone) wouldn’t really care for a taller display. Most such users should be happy with what they get for their money.

The HD display (1280 x 720 pixels) on the Redmi Go is decent for the price and features huge bezels on the top and bottom, with capacitive buttons on the bottom. The screen ordinarily gets bright, but appeared dim under the direct sunlight outdoors. We’ll thoroughly test the same over the coming days.
Redmi Go: Performance & Software

Redmi Go is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 425 SoC, clocked at 1.4GHz and is coupled with 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage. Xiaomi has launched only the lower-end variant of the smartphone in India, leaving out the 16GB variant. I have not toyed around with the Redmi Go enough to pass a final judgment but the 1GB RAM is possibly going to prove to be a bottleneck in the long run, especially if you load up heavier apps on it.

This smartphone as suggested by the name is made to handle light tasks and I’ve already seen frame drops and stutters across the UI. It is more evident when you switch between apps or type quickly. We will test out the same, along with the gaming performance of the Redmi Go, and deliver our final and complete verdict in the complete review.

    Software

Redmi Go, if you’re unaware, comes with Android 8.1 Oreo (Go Edition) out-of-the-box. This is a special version of your favorite mobile OS, designed to run smoothly on entry-level smartphones with 1GB RAM and less.

Note: It’s unfortunate to see Redmi Go running Android 8.1 Oreo. I find no reason why Xiaomi didn’t go with Android Pie when it’s been out for more than 6 months and there already are phones running the same out there.

Xiaomi has slapped its own Mint Launcher on the stock OS and the device comes pre-loaded with a number of Go apps including Google Go, YouTube Go, Gmail Go, Assistant Go, and more. There’s not much bloatware here, except for the FB Lite and Amazon app, and you certainly shouldn’t expect ads in this clean stock experience.

We got a 86MB performance update within minutes of powering up the device, so timely software updates can be expected from the Redmi Go.
Redmi Go: Cameras

redmi go camera

With a sub-Rs 5000 smartphone from Xiaomi, all we can expect are two cameras. Redmi Go delivers the same with an 8MP (f/2.0) rear camera, with a single LED flash, and 5MP (f/2.2) selfie camera on board. Xiaomi has bundled a myriad of camera features with the smartphone, including real-time filters, Auto HDR, the ability to adjust the scene type or manual controls.

We clicked a few samples (daylight, low-light, and selfies) we captured with the Redmi Go and the cameras look to be pretty average for now. It performs well in daylight and pictures look grainy in artificial light. We’ll reserve our final judgment for the full review, until then here are a few pictures we captured with the device:
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Redmi Go: Connectivity & Battery

Redmi Go comes with all the connectivity features you expect from a smartphone these days. It has 2 separate SIM trays, with one of them accepting just a single nano-SIM card, while the other one supports a nano-SIM card, as well as microSD card (up to 128GB storage).

While you can simultaneously use 2 SIM cards on this smartphone, you won’t be able to use VoLTE on both. No dual VoLTE support on board here, which would have been a huge plus.

    The dedicated microSD card slot on Redmi Go is a boon for users, especially because of the low internal storage.

The device supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, which means you’ll only be able to connect to 2.4GHz networks and not high-speed 5GHz ones. It includes Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS, and Beidou support as well.

    Battery

Xiaomi has packed the Redmi Go with a modest 3,000Ah battery pack that should be more than enough to get you through the day. I believe average use (calling, WhatsApp, and content consumption on YouTube on an HD display) will give you a great usage time, but we’ll have to spend more time with the device to confirm the same.

SEE ALSO – Asus ZenFone Lite L1 Review: Can This Break Xiaomi’s Budget Dominance?
Redmi Go First Impressions: Time to Dump Your Old Feature Phone?

Redmi Go is Xiaomi’s cheapest Android smartphone to date and it’s a huge deal because the Chinese giant will now attract feature phone users who are looking for a modern and feature-packed phone but without burning a hole in their pocket. Is it underwhelming, as some readers say on social media, or not, we will find out in our complete in-depth review.

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