“The Honor 10 Lite will sit between the Honor 8C and 8X”

The year 2019 has just started, and it seems that phonemakers are already getting ready for battle that lies ahead in the Indian smartphone market. While most brands are teasing their upcoming launches, Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has gone ahead and launched the budget-oriented Honor 10 Lite in India. The successor to the popular Honor 9 Lite (review), the new phone comes with a waterdrop notch design and powerful specs. We got the phone in our labs recently and decided to take it through our unboxing treatment followed by our first impressions of the handset.

The Honor 10 Lite comes packed in a minimalistic-looking rectangular retail box. Similar to the packaging of other phones from the brand, the box is blue and only bears the phone’s image and name on top. You’ll be greeted by the handset as soon as you remove the lid, below which you’ll find a protective case, documentation and a SIM-ejection tool. Underneath that, you’ll find the adapter and a charging cable.

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Coming back to the smartphone, it’s interesting that the Honor has pre-pasted a screen guard on the display of the 10 Lite. Thanks to the COF tech (chip-on-film) which allows the display module to sit on the back, the bezels at the bottom are quite thin. Combined with the small cut-out on top, more than 90 percent of the fascia is covered by the display. This also means that the phone packs in a large 6.2-inch screen in the same footprint as its progenitor, the Honor 8 Lite, which flaunted a 5.2-inch panel. The IPS screen bears full HD+ resolution with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9.

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Design-wise, the Honor 10 Lite offers a gradient finish with its Sapphire Blue and Sky Blue variants, while the black model is more understated, yet classy. Interestingly, while the handset seems to be built from glass because of its shiny finish, it’s actually fashioned out of polycarbonate which makes it more durable. The company has made use of an 8-layer process to achieve the glass-like finish.

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As far as the button and port placement is concerned, you won’t find anything surprising. Having said that, it’s odd to see the phone continuing with a micro-USB port for charging and data transfers, that too in 2019.

Similar to the Honor 8X (first impressions), the Honor 10 Lite comes equipped with the in-house Kirin 710 chipset. The octa-core SoC is fabricated using 12nm process and offers two quad-core clusters running at 2.2GHz (Cortex-A73) and 1.7GHz (Cortex-A53). The processor is paired with 4GB / 6GB of RAM to offer smooth multitasking. During my brief use, the phone offered smooth performance without any trace of lags whatsoever. However the true measure of the performance can only be gauged when we put the handset through its paces properly, so stay tuned for our in-depth review. The phone is available with 64GB of storage onboard, which can be expanded further by up to 512GB with the use of a microSD card.

For imaging, Honor’s latest device ships with dual 13-megapixel f/1.8 and 2-megapixel f/2.4 snappers on the back. The combination helps in achieving portrait effects. Selfie lovers would enjoy the high-res 24MP Sony IMX586 sensor on the front. The company has also utilised the AI mode for both the rear and front cameras, which identifies the scene being captured (background in the case of selfies) to offer the best output.

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The Honor 10 Lite is also the first phone from the brand to come with the Android 9.0 Pie out of the box. The OS has been skinned with EMUI 9.0 which also makes use of AI to offer fast app launch times, better battery life among other things. Speaking of which, the phone draws the power from a 3,400mAh pack.

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Sadly, Honor hasn’t revealed the pricing of the 10 Lite. What we do know however is that it’ll be placed between the Honor 8C (first impressions) and 8X, making it an interesting proposition for budget buyers. The handset will be going up against the Realme U1 (review) and ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 (review). We’ll be using the phone as our daily driver to dissect whether or not you should be buying the Honor 10 Lite over its rivals, so keep an eye out for that.

Photos by Pratik Vyas