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Honor 20 Lite (S$338) Hands-On Review; Singapore Launch 15 May

Raising the bar for entry-level smartphones at an astonishingly affordable price-point of SGD 338, the Honor 20 Lite is the first to arrive of the Honor 20 series – soon to be joined by the highly-anticipated Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro smartphones.

With a focus on design and camera performance, the Honor 20 Lite promises to deliver exceptional performance at an unbeatable price point. The Huawei sub-brand has eked out a category focussing on youth, and the Honor 20 Lite might be the best example of its strategy.

With a triple-lens camera system and astonishing 3D design, the Honor 20 Lite delivers a 90% screen-to-body ratio with a teardrop cut-out in the display for the 32-megapixel selfie camera.

The 6.21-inch display is an LCD one, and delivers a FHD+ resolution at a 1080x2340p resolution. With a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, the Honor 20 Lite is a fair bit “taller” than other smartphones, which means users have to bear with black bars when watching some video content.

The 3,400mAh is unchanged from that on its predecessor the Honor 10 Lite, and charges through a micro USB port. There is no wireless charging on the device.

Dual cameras on phones deliver a mixed bag of hits and misses, and triple cameras are no different. The 24MP + 2MP + 8MP triple camera, unfortunately, aren’t actually all full-fledged cameras. The 2MP unit is purely dedicated to depth sensing. However, in addition to the main 24-megapixel sensor that sports a f1.8 aperture is the 8MP 120-degree wide-angle shooter.

At such a price-point, the Honor 20 Lite’s true differentiating feature would be the versatility offered by the wide-angle lens – something that could be far more useful than a telephoto. However, the output should be best dedicated for web use, as it lacks the crispness and detail of higher-density sensors.

The AI camera mode does improve the output noticeably. This feature recognises more than 500 scenes in 22 categories, making adjustments that were generally more pleasing. The camera, however, did suffer in indoor scenes with low and artificial lighting.

Portrait mode and a night mode is available, which performed decently. On the front, the 32-megapixel selfie camera is the real star – the highest resolution camera on the front of any phone.

The phone offers a 3.5mm audio jack, which is best described as a rarity these days. However, its single downwards-firing speaker is nothing to shout about.

In terms of media, the Honor 20 Lite sports a decent 128GB of internal storage – generous for a budget device, along with options for expansion with a microSD card slot. Within, the Kirin 710 CPU that powered its predecessor the Honor 10 Lite launched six months ago remains; the chip also found on the Huawei P30 Lite. The phone packs 4GB of RAM and is touted to be angled toward gaming with the inclusion of GPU Turbo 3.0.

With competitors like the Google Pixel 3a, the Huawei P30 Lite, and the Honor Play, the Honor 20 Lite has an outstanding price, along with unique features like a wide-angle lens and exceptional design to differentiate it from the pack.

The Honor 20 Lite arrives in Singapore on the 15th May 2019 and will retail at a price of SGD 338.

Ian Ling
Ian is the resident Tech Monkey and Head of Content at VR Zone. His training in Economics and Political Science is at the basis of his love for journalism and storytelling. A photographer by passion, and an audiophile by obsession, Ian is captivated by all forms of tech that makes enthusiasts tick.

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