Huawei P20 Lite review

7/10 AVG.
RATING



7/10
Informr score
The Huawei P20 Lite currently has an Informr score of 7 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 15 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

While the phone isn’t bad per se, it’s not an exceptional value. Many reviewers question the price of the P20 Lite and recommend Honor’s similarly priced -- and better performing -- options instead.

What's good

  • Solid design
  • Bright, vivid display
  • Decent camera
  • Ample storage space
  • microSD support

What's bad

  • Weak low-light camera performance
  • Weak battery for gaming and video
  • So-so performance
  • Questionable UI design

Huawei’s P20 Pro established itself as a major contender in the flagship market. But trimming a flagship powerhouse down to a more budget-friendly option is a tricky affair. The P20 Lite tries to do exactly that and bring the P20 panache to a much lower price point. But does it succeed?

While the phone doesn’t stand out from a design perspective, it is attractive enough and well built. The phone is thin and light, and reviewers found it slipped into their pockets with ease. The glass back -- as usual -- was a fingerprint magnet. Otherwise, reviewers loved the comfortable grip and clean lines on offer.

The back includes a slight camera bump in the upper corner and a fingerprint scanner in the middle. The scanner is responsive and easily reached without having to adjust your hold on the phone.

Around front, the 5.84-inch 1080p LCD panel received mixed marks. While there’s plenty of color and brightness, reviewers felt the screen lacked contrast. Though at 432 pixels-per-inch, you’ll have no problem noticing details in video and images or reading text.

There’s also the infamous notch in play here. If you don’t like it, you can try to hide it by adding a black bar to the screen in the phone’s settings. But according to reviewers, this doesn’t work well due to lack of screen contrast.

Performance reviews were also scattered. The octa-core 2.36Ghz Kirin 659 processor with 4GB of RAM is enough to keep the phone running smoothly for media consumption, multitasking, and everyday use. But crank up a newer game and the phone shows its mid-tier pedigree. While games ran fairly smooth, they were slow to load and settings needed to be dialed back.

The phone includes a generous 64GB of internal storage. Should you need more space, it also supports microSD cards up to 256GB.

The software was another area of contention for the P20 Lite. It runs Android 8.0 with EMUI 8.0. While Huawei has trimmed back some bloat from earlier versions of EMUI, many reviewers found the interface ugly and cluttered. Fortunately, it runs snappy and applies minimal changes to Android features. This means you can always pick up an alternate launcher from Google Play without missing out on important functions.

The phone’s dual-lens rear camera with a 16MP color sensor and 2MP depth sensor perform well in decent lighting. But as the lights dim, so does camera performance. The phone also lacks the AI processing of the bigger P20 Pro, so you’ll likely just want to leave things in auto and see how pictures turn out.

The front-facing 24MP selfie shooter captured respectable images, but the lack of flash puzzled many reviewers. 

To keep things chugging along, Huawei included a 3000mAh battery with USB Type-C charging and Quick Charge support. In most cases, it lasted a day for reviewers. However, if you’re planning to stream video often or play games, you’ll want to keep the charger nearby.

Despite the praise, reviewers still had trouble recommending the Huawei P20 Lite. Ironically, it’s because they felt that other Honor phones -- Huawei’s budget-friendly sister company -- offered better value. The Honor 7X offers similar specs and features for slightly less while the Honor 10 offers better performance across the board for only slightly more -- and it looks better too.

Recombu explained this well, saying, “... this smartphone is perfectly fine as an everyday blower, even up to the challenges of online gaming and capturing good-looking photos… The main problem is that it’s not really much different to a whole load of recent Honor handsets...” 


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.36 GHz
Screen Size
5.84"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Cnet

The Huawei P20 Lite looks more expensive than it is, has dual cameras and is very affordable. But its battery life and performance are just OK. If $500 feels like too much for a phone, Huawei’s P20 Lite is a solid sub-$300 option.

- Daniel Van Boom, Cnet
Verified Tasks

The Huawei P20 Lite has one of many essential nicest are compatible and finish inside the mid-range space, plus some strong choices that set it aside from the competition – nevertheless an older processor method its days are numbered.

- Monica Sharma, Verified Tasks
TrustedReviews

The Huawei P20 Lite has some of the nicest fit and finish in the mid-range space, plus some powerful features that set it apart from the competition – but an older processor means its days are numbered.

- Alex Todd, TrustedReviews
BGR

Huawei has tried to recreate the premium experience and comprehensive package that it offers with its P20 Pro, but in a tight budget. But it looks like the company fell short at the execution stage. Don’t get me wrong, the device looks good on paper with that great glass back design, and near bezel-...

- Rehan Hooda, BGR
Fone Arena

The Huawei P20 Lite is just an average smartphone with a good display, attractive design and a worthy selfie camera, otherwise there is nothing unique about the device since this uses the same under-powered Kirin 659 SoC when we get smartphones with better SoCs at even less price.

- Srivatsan Sridhar, Fone Arena


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Huawei released the P20 Lite on March 21, 2018.


The P20 Lite price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare Huawei P20 Lite prices from around the web here on The Informr.


Huawei backs up the P20 Lite with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your P20 Lite has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Huawei support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Huawei's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
5.84"

The Huawei P20 Lite's screen size is 5.84 inches with 1080 x 2280 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.36 GHz

There is a HiSilicon Kiri 659 Octa core 2.36 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 16+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 3000 mAh battery. Huawei's performance ratings are 1800 minutes.

P20 Lite Specs

Overview
Release date March 21, 2018
Regions available Canada, UK, India
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor HiSilicon Kiri 659 Octa core 2.36 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 64 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.75 W/kg
Body: 1.21 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headphones, Data Cable
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1800 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 19.625 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Midnight Blue, Klein Blue, Sakura Pink, Platinum Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.86 x 7.12 x 0.74 cm (5.9 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 145 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 2280 pixels
Pixel density 432 pixels
Size 5.84 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX, aptX HD
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 2.2
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Dual lens
Yes
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, Dual camera feature (2 MP 2nd camera, f/2.4), HDR
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Face detection, Self-timer, Aperture f/2.0
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments

Also available in dual SIM variant.

Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Huawei P20 Lite Reviews
Where to buy Huawei P20 Lite
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Critic Reviews


Cnet

Cheap and gorgeous Moto G6 alternative

from Cnet

The Huawei P20 Lite looks more expensive than it is, has dual cameras and is very affordable. But its battery life and performance are just OK. If $500 feels like too much for a phone, Huawei’s P20 Lite is a solid sub-$300 option.

Read full review

The Huawei P20 Lite looks more expensive than it is, has dual cameras and is very affordable. But its battery life and performance are just OK. If $500 feels like too much for a phone, Huawei’s P20 Lite is a solid sub-$300 option.

Read full review

Less

Verified Tasks

An excessively succesful bit of kit

from Verified Tasks

The Huawei P20 Lite has one of many essential nicest are compatible and finish inside the mid-range space, plus some strong choices that set it aside from the competition – nevertheless an older processor method its days are numbered.

Read full review

The Huawei P20 Lite has one of many essential nicest are compatible and finish inside the mid-range space, plus some strong choices that set it aside from the competition – nevertheless an older processor method its days are numbered.

Read full review

Less

TrustedReviews

Premium design, rich feature set

from TrustedReviews

The Huawei P20 Lite has some of the nicest fit and finish in the mid-range space, plus some powerful features that set it apart from the competition – but an older processor means its days are numbered.

Read full review

The Huawei P20 Lite has some of the nicest fit and finish in the mid-range space, plus some powerful features that set it apart from the competition – but an older processor means its days are numbered.

Read full review

Less

BGR

A good looking device that could use more power

from BGR

Huawei has tried to recreate the premium experience and comprehensive package that it offers with its P20 Pro, but in a tight budget. But it looks like the company fell short at the execution stage. Don’t get me wrong, the device looks good on paper with that great glass back design, and near b...More

Huawei has tried to recreate the premium experience and comprehensive package that it offers with its P20 Pro, but in a tight budget. But it looks like the company fell short at the execution stage. Don’t get me wrong, the device looks good on paper with that great glass back design, and near bezel-less screen but the device falls short on performance due to what seems like problems with optimizing the operating system.

Read full review

Less

Fone Arena

Good display, good design

from Fone Arena

The Huawei P20 Lite is just an average smartphone with a good display, attractive design and a worthy selfie camera, otherwise there is nothing unique about the device since this uses the same under-powered Kirin 659 SoC when we get smartphones with better SoCs at even less price.

Read full review

The Huawei P20 Lite is just an average smartphone with a good display, attractive design and a worthy selfie camera, otherwise there is nothing unique about the device since this uses the same under-powered Kirin 659 SoC when we get smartphones with better SoCs at even less price.

Read full review

Less

Firstpost

A good-looking smartphone with an average camera

from Firstpost

As more smartphone manufacturers have started looking at the mid-range in 2018 by adding new and updated SoCs to make for performance-packed offerings, Huawei’s first mid-range device in years falls short on the performance front. And this is exactly what mid-range buyers are looking for, a bet...More

As more smartphone manufacturers have started looking at the mid-range in 2018 by adding new and updated SoCs to make for performance-packed offerings, Huawei’s first mid-range device in years falls short on the performance front. And this is exactly what mid-range buyers are looking for, a better camera and a speedy UI that sets their smartphone apart from the over-powered budget smartphones from Xiaomi.

Read full review

Less

Gadgets Now

Light, bright but not a true delight

from Gadgets Now

The Huawei P20 Lite is a smartphone that will generate curiosity but might not impress the lot. This is partly down to its looks and display as the camera doesn’t really get you excited. There aren’t faults with its performance but somehow the smartphone falls short of being the ‘real deal’.

Read full review

The Huawei P20 Lite is a smartphone that will generate curiosity but might not impress the lot. This is partly down to its looks and display as the camera doesn’t really get you excited. There aren’t faults with its performance but somehow the smartphone falls short of being the ‘real deal’.

Read full review

Less

GSMArena

Off to a good start

The Lite delivers on most of its promises although it just can't impress with performance. But if you look beyond that captivating display, you may want to check a few other options before placing your order as some of those will perhaps give you better value. That said, if you really love how th...More

The Lite delivers on most of its promises although it just can't impress with performance. But if you look beyond that captivating display, you may want to check a few other options before placing your order as some of those will perhaps give you better value. That said, if you really love how the P20 lite looks, there is no reason not to get it.

Read full review

Less

TechRadar

Huawei's mid-ranger is a notch or two below its brothers

from TechRadar

The Huawei P20 Lite supplies a little iPhone X design magic at a third of the price, but with limited notch compatibility and sub-par performance it somehow manages to feel a little expensive.

Read full review

The Huawei P20 Lite supplies a little iPhone X design magic at a third of the price, but with limited notch compatibility and sub-par performance it somehow manages to feel a little expensive.

Read full review

Less

Notebookcheck

A solid mid-range smartphone

from Notebookcheck

The Huawei P20 Lite is a smartphone for those without the need for complex 3D applications who are looking for a day-to-day device that has good performance and an appealing design.

Read full review

The Huawei P20 Lite is a smartphone for those without the need for complex 3D applications who are looking for a day-to-day device that has good performance and an appealing design.

Read full review

Less



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