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Huawei P20 Lite review: Posh midrange smartphone with great battery, camera

Khalid Anzar/New Delhi 14 May 18 | 01:00 PM

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei has been absent from the Indian smartphone market for quite some time now. The company, though, has been shipping smartphones of its online subsidiary Honor. But recently, the world’s second-largest smartphone brand officially launched its latest P20-series smartphones in India soon after their international unveiling.

The Huawei P20-series features a flagship P20 Pro, midrange P20 and the price-effective P20 Lite. However, the company launched only the flagship and the Lite variants in India, leaving the P20 space vacant only to be filled by the upcoming Honor 10. While the P20 Pro is an imaging powerhouse, the P20 Lite is a trimmed-down version designed to compete in the midrange segment.

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The Huawei P20 Lite takes design cues from the company’s flagship offering, so it looks modern and has a premium feel to it. However, in terms of specifications and features, the phone seems to have taken inspiration from Honor devices.

Business Standard reviewed the Huawei P20 Lite on several parameters to test its overall performance. Here is the review:

Design

The Huawei P20 Lite boasts a glass-metal-glass sandwich design, similar to the P20 Pro, which looks plush. The front side of the phone is dominated by a notch-based screen, which adds to the overall design theme. On the back, the phone’s reflective glass is reminiscent of the Honor 6. However, unlike the P20 Pro glass back that throws up different colour shades when looked from angles, the P20 Lite doesn’t have the same charm.

The rear camera module bulge is the only thing that doesn’t go well in terms of design language. Other than that, the phone feels solid and has a premium touch.

Display

The Huawei P20 Lite sports a 5.84-inch fullHD+ IPS LCD notch-based screen. The screen renders good colours and the contrast, brightness and saturation levels are satisfactory. However, the reflective glass on top of the screen limits its utility under direct sunlight.

Speaking of the notch, it can be set to enable or disable from the settings. However, the notch is disabled by default while playing video content and there is no way you can enable it. In online video streaming apps such as Amazon Prime Videos and Netflix that render content in 16:9 aspect ratio, the content shows glaring thick black borders on both sides which seems out of place and ruins the experience.

Camera

The Huawei P20 Lite boasts a dual camera module on the back sporting a 16-megapixel sensor, paired with a depth sensing 2MP sensor. For selfies, the phone sports a 24MP front facing camera. For a midrange smartphone, both the rear and front cameras take satisfactory shots.

On the software side, the camera interface features several modes, including the portrait and beauty mode. However, it lacks on the artificial intelligence mode that is there in the P20 Pro and other midrange smartphones such as Vivo V9 and Oppo F7.

Performance

The Huawei P20 Lite is powered by Kirin 659 processor, paired with 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM. The phone boots Android Oreo-based EMUI 8 skin, which is swift and has a lot of scope for customisation. The phone manages to run apps without lag or stutter and graphic intensive games such as Asphalt 8 runs without any glitch. However, the phone tends to heat a bit after exhaustive gaming sessions and cools down only after the games are closed down.

Battery

The Huawei P20 Lite is powered by 3,000 mAh battery, which keeps the show running for almost one and a half days on regular usage, which involves a couple of hours of gaming, video streaming, video calls and internet browsing.

Verdict

Priced at Rs 19,999, the Huawei P20 Lite is an all-rounder with exceptional battery life and great camera. The phone is among the finest modern day device with notch-based screen and sturdy build quality. The phone’s processor does feel underpowered, especially when it comes to graphic handling capabilities and the thermal management. However, if gaming is not the primary requirement, the P20 Lite is an all-rounder with a bit of everything for everyone.

The Huawei P20 Lite competes with the Vivo V9 and OPPO F7 in midrange segment.

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