If Honor 8 was the cousin of Huawei P9, Honor 8 Lite is the sibling of Honor 8. While the P9 stood apart with its Leica halo around it, Honor 8 still had the dual camera minus the Leica branding, the last of the trio, the Honor 8 Lite has a shiny glass body like his sibling but is denied the twin camera at the back, would that be a sore point? Or can the Honor 8 Lite still manage steal the show with what he is endowed with? Let’s find in this Honor 8 Lite review.
The box comes in a unique package with the phone sandwiched between two small packages inside. Out of the box you get
- The phone
- a frosted hard rear case
- Power adapter (wish it was in black color too)
- microUSB cable
In case you love watching unboxing videos, take a look at our video.
Design, Build and Display
- Glass body
- dual 2.5D unibody
- 147.2 x 72.9 x 7.6 mm
- 147 grams
Like the Honor 8 , the Honor 8 Lite too is made of glass at both front and back and the glass at the rear is made of twelve layers of glass. Both the sides gets 2.5D glass treatment. The rear is glossy and reflective and the black device has a gorgeous look. The chamfered edges and the rounded corners gives a comfortable hold.
The attractive back has the fingerprint sensor, a flushed 13-megapixel rear camera and a LED flash and Honor branding at the bottom.
The right side has the power button and volume button both gives a very good tactile feedback. The metal frame around the sides compliments the black shade of the Smartphone.
The SIM tray is hybrid which means you can have two SIMs or one SIM and another microSD card. The Honor 8 Lite supports 4G VoLTE.
The top houses the 3.5mm audio jack and a microphone.
- 5.2-inch IPS LCD display
- 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution
- 424 ppi
- 69.5% screen-to-body ratio
Looks like Huawei feels 5.2-inch is a sweet spot when it comes to display sizes. The Huawei P9, Honor 8 and now Honor 8 Lite all features the same display size. Personally, I love mega display sizes but then I have seen many finding the 5.2-inch a perfect size to hold with ease and operate the phone. The fullHD display of the 8 Lite is bright and lively. The colors are popping out and the saturation levels are neat , like Honor 8 , the Lite also has a well tuned display. In short, the display is a winner here and is as good as the overall visual appeal of the phone. While a bit reflective under direct sunglight, the viewing angles are very good.
The auto-brightness slides smoothly when you move into different ambient light situations. In the display settings there is a bluefilter that goes in the name of eye comfort, you can manually turn it on or can schedule the start time and end time. The color temperature can also be fiddled with.
Software and EMUI
- Android Nougat 7.0
- EMUI 5.0
Honor 8 Lite is the first device from the Huawei family to get the Android Nougat along with EMUI 5.0 out of the box. EMUI or Emotions UI is their own take on the Android user interface in case you are not aware of. Traditionally, Huawei has been forefront in bringing many new features much before Android officially bakes them later in their stock Android updates. So some of the Nougat features might be a bit familiar to some of the Huawei users. Still, you get the best of Nougat and also the EMUI is more optimized in its latest iteration.
Multi-screen is just the long press of the menu button away and many apps are supported. A notable introduction is what Huawei calls as HiBoard, it can be accessed by swiping to the right of the main homescreen. It has three main elements. At the top there is a search bar to search apps, contacts and messages , followed by a row of App suggestions which is basically your list of four apps you uses last. The rest of the screen can be used to display your favourite curated articles from Flipboard.
Huawei also has introduced dual Apps or what it calls as Twin app, which currently works on WhatsApp and facebook where we can duplicate these two apps and have two instances running parallely. Strangely, my review unit runs on the EMUI 5.0 but the feature is missing. I will update after I get a feedback from the Honor team regarding this.
Then there are usual EMUI features like floating dock which is a floating dial that can be moved to the left or right edge of the display and used to quickly access back, home, recent task, screen lock and one-touch optimization. I don’t find it useful though since it comes inbetween my other tasks and also it lacks the ability to customize the shortcuts.
There is also support for one handed UI, where a user can minimize the screen and also shift the keyboard to the left or right. OTG feature is supported and also the on-screen navigation key placement of back and menu button can be interchanged.
Finger Print Sensor
One of the notable feature about the finger print sensor is it just takes a 6 scans to configure your finger, usually most phones take 9 to 12 scans. Also, the finger print sensor is quiet accurate and fast enough. You can add up to 5 fingers and also use the finger print sensor to app lock. Apart from unlocking and app lock, Huawei has added lot more functionality to the finger print sensor with gesture options. So you can use the finger print sensor to click a camera picture, take incoming calls or stop alarms by touch and hold gestures or you can browse photos in the gallery by swiping left and right the sensor or access the notification shade by swiping down the sensor area.
- HiSilicon Kirin 655
- Octa-core processor
- 4 x 2.1 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4 x 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53
- 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
- 64GB ROM, expandable storage up to 256 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
- 16nm chipset
While Qualcomm’s Snapdragon might be very popular and has an immense trust factor among consumers, the Huawei’s home baked HiSilicon Kirin chipsets are underdogs. In all the Huawei devices I have tested that are powered by these chips, they have always surprised me. Honor 8 Lite is no different. While the Honor 8 was powered by the Kirin 950 , the 8 Lite has a bit lower run Kirin 655 block. The game play was smoother and most would not have much complaints when it comes to gaming, except for a bit of heating. You can check my gaming review in the video below.
The usual daily chores are smooth on this phone including multi tasking. The call quality is good and the speaker is good enough. The apps loads faster and the transitions are smoother. Overall, I have no complaints about the performance of the Honor 8 Lite.
The phone has a 3000mAh battery but lacks fast charging. It takes over 2.3 hours for full charge. The battery life is decent like most other mid-rangers in the market. If you are a normal user with a light mix of every tasks on the phone, you can sail through a 1-day battery life cycle but if you put through your phone to some rigorous tasks like moderate gaming, camera and other stuff, you might fall short of a day.
- 12MP primary camera , f/2.0, PDAF
- 8MP selfie camera, f/2.0
- 77 degree wide angle lens
Honor 8 Lite sizzled with a dual-camera setup which is a sort of fancied trend now for its supposedly better bokeh capabilities. Honor 8 Lite skims the extra lens and settles for a regular single lens. Still, the Honor 8 Lite might impress you with its camera in the segment it comes in. It fares better than most of the phones here.
The images are sharp, crisp with good color reproduction and vibrancy. The detailing is good too. The focus locks nicely. On the downside, the Honor 8 Lite lacks OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). So you need to have a steady hands for a shake-free imaging.
The EMUI offers a varied mix of camera modes that would make any amateur take some interesting pictures including pro mode for still and videos, HDR, time lapse, light painting that offers some DSLR type imaging capabilities via simple preset selection, Slo-Mo and more.
Verdict : Should you opt for Honor 8 Lite?
When Honor 8 was launched in India, I was skeptical because the Indian retail unit lacked double SIM capability which was a deal breaker in our country where many have two SIMs, it also did not support VoLTE but the company has made amends with Honor 8 Lite. The Lite in fact covers everything a consumer would expect in this mid-ranger. It has got hot, good looks thanks to the unibody glass design, the black especially is gorgeous to look and hold. It offers good performance and the camera can shoot well too. At Rs 17,999 Honor 8 Lite is a good buy for someone looking at buying a phone under Rs 20,000.