Review: Why Honor 8 Lite is a good buy
Huawei is trying to fill the gap between its affordable and mid-range devices. Its new smartphone Honor 8 Lite, priced at Rs17,999, is placed between the Honor 6x (Rs11,999) and the Honor 8 (Rs29,999). At that price, it faces competition from the Moto G5 Plus (Rs16,999).
Compact design, good looks
The Honor 8 Lite looks a lot like the Honor 8. The glass panel on the back gives it the look and feel of a more expensive smartphone. The only drawback here is that it smudges easily and even picked up a few scratches when put down on a dusty surface. It is available in black, blue, white and gold colours.
The chamfered edges and the phone’s own compact form factor makes it easy grip. It weighs just 146g which makes it slightly lighter than the Moto G5 Plus’ 155g.
The volume and power keys are placed side by side on the right side panel and are easily accessible, but feel a bit stiff when pressed.
Like most Honor smartphones, the fingerprint sensor is placed on the back. It is accurate and fast most of the time.
Moto G5 plus has a removable metal back with matte finish but it doesn’t look as flashy as the Honor smartphone.
The 5.2-inch display has a resolution of 1,920x1,080p. The screen size is ideal for users who don’t want to move to a truly big-screen smartphone yet. The resolution makes text in ebooks and web stories look crisp. The display doesn’t feel too bright, but handled colours in games and videos accurately. Moto G5 Plus has a 5.2-inch screen with a resolution of 1,920x1,080p.
Huawei has packed a number of handy display settings. The Eye Comfort mode blocks blue light to reduce visual fatigue. You can also adjust colour temperature and switch between the soft looking warm mode and the more natural looking cool mode.
New Android, feature packed UI
This is one of the 9.6% Android smartphones which run Nougat version of Android (7.0 in this case). Huawei has made a few handy changes to the Emotion UI which runs on it. One of them is the secondary interface. Now you can switch to the more user-friendly app drawer mode. A floating dock has been added too. It is an always-on button which you can drag and place anywhere on the screen. It offers quick access to shortcut keys such as back, home, recent tasks and screen lock. There is an Indian theme too with Kangra paintings as the wallpaper. There is a shortcut button next to the navigation keys. It opens the notification page with a single tap.
Overall it is an impressive UI with lots of cool customisations. The Moto G5 Plus also runs Android 7.0 with near plain version of Android but doesn’t have as many features.
Like most Huawei smartphones, this one too runs on their own processor. In this case Huawei has used its new 16nm HiSilicon Kirin 655 octa-core processor and clubbed it with 4GB RAM (in India). The international version has only 3GB RAM. It is a fairly powerful chip and can handle most everyday tasks such as movies, social media, web browsing with consummate ease. Even with 8 to 10 apps running, we didn’t notice any stutter. It is also capable of big gaming titles such as the PES 2017 and Real Racing 3 without any lags or major heating issues.
It offers 64GB internal storage which is still uncommon in the affordable segment. One of the nano SIM slots doubles up as microSD card slots. You can add up to 256GB more to it. Powered by a 3,000mAh battery, the smartphone delivers 18 to 20 hours of back-up on modest use, which is impressive for the given screen size and resolution.
Impressive front and rear cameras
Camera is one of the strong points of Honor 8 Lite. Unlike its sibling, it has a single 12-megapixel camera which impresses in most lighting conditions. Colours look rich without feeling oversaturated at any point. It is also good at detailing—even in landscape shots we didn’t notice any noise. It also held well under low light. There was a slight noise but we were impressed with its ability to handle reflections and colours. Moto G5 Plus’s 12-megapixel camera works well in daylight, but is not at par with the Honor 8 Lite in terms of colour reproduction in indoor shots. The 8-megapixel front camera comes with handy Beauty modes. It can take good-looking selfies even in limited light.