CM02
CM02
CM02

April 26, 2017

Huawei P10 Lite Review: The Glass Sandwich

By: John Diew



The Huawei P10 Lite has been introduced as the inexpensive alternative alongside with its flagship brothers. While it costs only half of the P10, that doesn't mean that the phone only perform half as good as its more expensive counterpart. Read on to find out if this phone has what it takes to be a proper mid-ranger.


Huawei P10 Lite Specifications Overview


Build Quality & Design



The Huawei P10 Lite incorporates the glass-metal-glass sandwich design. The metal rim along the sides are sandblasted and chamfered, smoothly connecting the 2.5D glass at the front and back. While it may not has the premium metal body built, but the end result is a phone that looks magnificent to the eyes and felt great in the hands.

The downside of this design, however, is that the phone is extremely slippery. The oleophobic coating on both glasses is proved to be awesome at anti-fingerprint, but it slides off from any kind of surface. If the surface is not level, it will slowly and steadily slip off. Not to mentioned that the glass is more prone to shattering when accidents happen.








Sound



Unsurprisingly, the bottom-mounted speaker is nothing spectacular. It is loud enough for your speakerphone calls and multimedia consumptions.

Display



The IPS display at the front has spectacular contrast ratio. Even as a non-AMOLED panel, the blacks is deep and the colour is sufficiently saturated and punchy. At 1920 * 1080 pixels resolution, the images and text look sharp on it.

While the phone does not come with factory-installed screen protector, nevertheless, the oleophobic coating on the display other than repelling water and fingerprints, it is also silky smooth, especially great for games.

Camera

Main Camera



The Huawei P10 Lite can be a member of the P10 family, but the main camera on it is just a standard single lens camera instead of Leica Dual Camera.

Images produced by the 12-megapixels sensor is reasonably sharp and beautiful, provided if the lighting condition is good. White balance and colour reproduction are right on the spot and I couldn't be any happier than that.







Autofocus can be on the slow side, consider that this phone does not come with the hybrid autofocus system that combines various algorithm & sensors for that lightning fast AF. Still, it gets the job done.

If you pixel-peep, you will find that the photos lack the details and easily overshadowed by its brothers with Leica Dual Camera. Still, if you're spending your hard-earned money for this phone, the camera will serve its purpose well.

Gallery:











Front Camera



The front 8-megapixel camera has a brighter f/1.9 aperture lens and supports autofocus.

Bonus selfie.


Software & Features




The P10 family is the first Huawei smartphones to receive EMUI 5.1 update, which is based on Android 7.0 Nougat. It features updated user interface that is easy to the eyes and simple to use.

Gone is the cyan theme colour and the overall new look is now much more similar to Android's design guideline. We now get to choose the have an app drawer and that is absolutely a great news.

Huawei also introduces a brand new feature alongside the EMUI 5, the Machine Learning Algorithm. The MLA is designed to study the user behaviour in order to efficiently allocate the CPU, RAM and storage so that the user experience will be improved over time.

While I did notice that some of my favourite apps are now launching faster, but the drawback of having this feature is that the battery life for the first 2 weeks will not be that good.

Performance



The Kirin 658 is basically the same chip as the Kirin 655 with slightly higher clock speed. To be precise, 2.36 GHz versus 2.1 GHz respectively. I seriously doubt if you can notice their performance difference in real life. Even the benchmark scores show that they're performing extremely close to each another.

It handles general application usage without any hiccup, even games runs smooth on it. Although you might notice some graphic stuttering on those graphics heavy games such as Asphalt racing series or simulators, simply turn down the graphics will improve the overall frame rate and gaming experience.

Battery Life



Battery life in the first 2 weeks is not great, due to the aforementioned MLA churning out the power for the sake of enhancing user experience. Clocking at max 3 hours of SOT for a phone with Kirin 658 and 3000 mAh battery is unacceptable.

It took me more than a week of usage to have the battery life gradually turn normal. Right now I'm consistently getting 5 hours of SOT with around 16 hours of usage.

I am hoping that Huawei would either turn down the aggressiveness of the MLA or give the user choice of disabling the feature. Otherwise, this kind of impact on the battery life is literally destroying the user experience even if the MLA will improve the future usage.



The Huawei P10 Lite do not support quick charge hence even charging from 17% to 90% requires 90 minutes. Oddly enough, the Huawei P10 Lite is charged through the Micro USB port while its brothers are having the USB-C port.

Final Words

The Huawei P10 Lite has its own strengths and weaknesses:
  • The design is attractive with the glass at the front and back but prone to shattering.
  • Battery life is good but does not support fast charge with USB-C.
  • The hardware is promising, but software can be less polished.
  • The overhauled software is good, but just like any new software out there, there are bugs issues with it.
Do keep in mind that this is a mid-ranged smartphone, hence there are compromises needed to keep the price in check. What matters is whether can you accept its pros and cons.

At the price of RM 1,299, is the Huawei P10 Lite a good mid-range smartphone? Yes, I personally think it is, provided if Huawei put in the extra effort to commit updates for bug fixes and future enhancements.

ROG01