Huawei Mate 10 lite review

By Shaoor Munir on
December 2, 2017
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2017 has been the year of narrow bezel-less displays. With more and more flagships coming with these edge to edge displays, it was only a matter of time before these displays trickled down to mid-range and budget phones. Huawei, with its dedication to bringing newer technologies to lower prices than its competitors, is doing the same with its newest offering — Huawei Mate 10 lite. The 30,000 PKR phone comes with a narrow bezel-less FHD+ screen and is ready to make an impression on the mid-range smartphone market. Let’s take a look at how the phone performs in comparison to its price tag.

Specifications

Huawei Mate 10 lite comes with following specifications:

  • 5.9 inch FHD+ (1080 x 2160 pixels) Full view IPS LCD display
  • Octa-core (4×2.36 GHz Cortex-A53 and 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53) HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor with Mali-T830 MP2
  • 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage (with microSD card slot of up to 256 GB)
  • Dual 16MP + 2MP primary camera with f/2.0 aperture and phase detection autofocus
  • Dual 13 MP and 2 MP secondary camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1

Pros and Cons

Before going further into the review, let’s take a look at some positive and negative points of the newest mid-ranger from Huawei.

Here are the main features going in favor of Huawei Mate 10 lite:

  • Taller edge to edge 18:9 Full view display
  • Dual cameras on both back and front of the device
  • Impressive design
  • Good battery life

Here are a couple of points which might go against the Mate 10 lite:

  • No fast charging support
  • Still using the older micro USB port

Unboxing experience

See also: Huawei Y7 Prime review

Huawei has always been known to go the distance when it comes to providing a good out-of-the-box experience to its customers. The same holds true for Huawei Mate 10 lite. Here’s what you’ll get when you open the box:

Huawei Mate 10 Lite

  • 2V/5A wall adapter
  • Standard length USB-A to microUSB cable
  • SIM card removal tool
  • 3.5 mm headphones with inline mic, volume control and call start/stop button
  • Clear plastic back cover
  • Warranty and device information

Design and build quality

The first thing that you will see when you pick up the Huawei Mate 10 lite us the screen. With the taller 18:9 aspect ratio and 5.9 inches of bezel-less screen, it looks pretty amazing. The whole front portion of the device is very clean and is devoid of any sort of branding. The device looks super sleek and, even with nearly 6 inches of screen, is fairly manageable in the hand.

img_4431 (2)
The back of the device is a complete Aluminium slab, something which is not very common in the mid-range smartphone genre. The dual cameras sit near the top of the back of the phone with fingerprint sensor lying just a couple of clicks below that. The whole outlook of the device is that of a very sleek and smart piece of hardware, definitely not something which was I expecting in this price range.

The placement of buttons is pretty standard for a smartphone. The power button is on the right side of the device and the volume rockers reside on the left side of the device. All the buttons are tactile and easy to reach with the narrow frame of the device.

Display

img_4433 (2)

If you feel like that the display is being mentioned again and again in this review, it’s because it is. Mate 10 lite’s 18:9 FHD+ display is one of its main attractions and it is apparent the first time you hold it in your hand. The screen is sharp, bright and fairly accurate out of the box. The colors do seem a bit on the cooler side but they can be easily fixed through the calibration option given in the settings. To put it simply, the display is beautiful and is pretty amazing for the phone’s asking price.

Software experience

Huawei-Mate-10-lite

Huawei Mate 10 lite is shipping with Android 7.0 and EMUI 5.1 out of the box. That’s a bit disappointing as its bigger brothers will have Android Oreo along with EMUI 8.

The software experience isn’t bad by any measure though. There are some nifty additions to the stock Android like a built-in themes store and a device manager which keeps track of device resources and frees them up regularly to keep it running at the top condition. The device manager scans the whole device and generates a report based on how well the device is currently performing. One click optimize button can then fix all the issues and restore it to optimal condition. There are also a number of very important and useful additions to the software like a display color temperature adjustment tool in the settings. These little additions make the whole experience much more user-friendly.

MIUI 5.1 is a very slim and lean version of Huawei’s custom Android skin. It claims to be much lighter than other skins and the performance gains from the older versions of Huawei’s skins are clearly visible in day to day uses. There is no lag whatsoever when sifting through multitasking view or opening new applications.

Performance and battery life

Huawei Mate 10 lite comes with Kirin Octa-core Kirin 659 chipset, which is perfectly suited for mid to heavy usage. It flies through day to day tasks and can easily hold up its own against any application you throw at it. There are no stutters while navigating through the user interface and its a very pleasant experience to use this device.

Mate 10 lite is equipped with a 3340 mAh battery. It’s not crazy amount of juice, but coupled with the FHD+ screen and power efficient chipset, it provides enough oomph to easily get through a day with moderate to heavy usage. I never experienced the phone dying before putting it on charge at the end of day.

Camera

Huawei is touting the fact that this phone has four cameras in nearly every promotional feature about this phone, and frankly, Huawei does get boasting rights for the camera of this device after managing to install dual camera setups on both front and back of this device. With portrait mode becoming more and more popular with each passing day, it makes sense that the selfie camera gets the same dual-camera treatment that most manufacturers are giving the primary camera.

The quality of pictures taken from both the front and back camera certainly live up to the expectations. The pictures come out looking pretty good in most conditions. They have good colors and the post-processing doesn’t seem to add much noise after the picture has been taken. The only lacking feature in the camera is lack of optical or electronic stabilization. It might result in blurry pictures in some situations if you don’t have really steady hands. The same is true for the dual front cameras. The portrait mode works fine most of the time in good lighting conditions but it does make a mess of edges if there is not a lot of contrast between the object and the background.

Overall, the camera quality offered by Mate 10 lite is more than what most users would be expecting in this price category.

Conclusion

One of the most important thing while buying a new phone is measuring how much value does it provide for your money. If a phone is perfect in every sense and still costs way more than it should, it is not an intelligent purchase. That’s a particular area where Huawei Mate 10 lite shines. It’s asking price of nearly 30,000 PKR perfectly matches the offering by the Chinese phone manufacturer. For the asking price, you get a beautiful looking display, good performance, impressive design and excellent back and front cameras. If you are fan of big screens and want something which is still manageable in the hand, this might be the phone to look out for when you are in the market to get a new device.

 
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