Honor, the sub-brand of the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei has come a long way now, from the past. It was mostly known for launching many affordable smartphones in the past which were not essentially good looking but they were definitely easy on the pocket. However, now things have started to change a little. Remember the Honor 8 smartphone from last year, which had a beautiful, glossy and reflective glass back? Yes, that is one of the best smartphones that Honor has ever launched till now and is certainly going to be there for a long time. If you are interested to know more about it, then you can check out our full written review of the Honor 8 on our website.
Although the Honor 8 was very good at a lot of things, it was essentially not the most affordable smartphone coming from Honor. At the time of the launch, it was priced at about 30,000 INR. No doubt that it was an impressive device inside out but it was still an expensive package nonetheless. Honor did end up selling a lot of them in India, however, the other devices in the market were still outselling it. In fact, the Honor 6x which was launched later was outselling Honor 8 since that also came with a Dual camera setup, for a comparatively much lesser price. So what would you do if you were stuck in a situation like this? Simply tone down the internals a little, cut off some features and call it a Lite version, yes? Well, that’s what Honor has done here with the Honor 8 Lite.
The Honor 8 Lite as the name evidently suggests that it is a lighter version of the Honor 8 smartphone. So essentially what we are looking at here is a very similar looking package with slightly less powerful internals in just about the same sized body. Then what has changed with the new Honor 8 Lite and why should someone care to pick this one up over the others? Well, let’s find out.
Note: The Huawei P8 Lite 2017 smartphone is being sold as Honor 8 Lite in India.
First of all, when we say that the Honor 8 Lite is a very similar looking package to the Honor 8, we are very serious. The Honor 8 Lite comes with a glass back and front just like the Honor 8 and it looks gorgeous. Yes, it does not have the same exact type of glass used on the Honor 8 and it doesn’t reflect the light, the way the Honor 8 did, but it is still a very great smartphone to look at. This might as be one of the best-looking devices in the market right now at this price. The glass back looks absolutely stunning and it is very glossy as well. In fact, it is so glossy that we had a hard time taking pictures of it without our face and the camera appearing on the device.
On the front also there is a 2.5D curved glass which gives it a nice feeling when you touch it. On the sides, we have plastic which does a great job of looking and feeling like metal. The buttons feel nice and tactile and the display on the front is also beautiful to look at, especially with the black variant which we have here for this review. At the back, however, you will notice that it comes with only a single sensor, which means that there is no dual camera goodness with this one. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and we will discuss the camera a bit later into the review. But overall, to sum it up, the Honor 8 Lite has a marvelous build quality and for this price, you simply cannot ask for anything more than this.
Hardware & Performance
In terms of the hardware, we are looking at a fairly decent set of specs. Honor is not going crazy here with the specs and that’s again because it is a ‘lite’ version. The Honor 8 Lite has a 5.2” FHD display which means it has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. This is an IPS LCD panel and it is nice and beautiful to look at. In short, it looks exactly like the one on the Honor 8 for the most part. Underneath the hood, we have a HiSilicon Kirin 655 which is a 64-bit octa-core SoC and it has Mali-T830 MP2 GPU for graphics rendering. The Honor 8 Lite has 4GB of RAM and it also comes with 64GB of internal storage with an option to expand it externally via a microSD card which goes into a hybrid slot.
Although these set of specs doesn’t really sound all that great on paper, it is still a great performer. We will leave a couple of benchmark results if you are really interested in that for some reason. But as you all know, a device’s performance has a lot to do with the overall day-to-day usage and not just show good numbers on the benchmarks. The time we spent with the device, it felt really nice and snappy for the most part. All the apps were loading just fine and there were no hiccups. You can do a good amount of gaming as well, but keep in mind that the device will heat up and it will feel warm to the touch in some time. And yes, there is also a fingerprint scanner sunk into the back of the glass body. This is an active fingerprint scanner and you can simply tap on it and unlock the device at in no time at all.
Coming to the battery life, the Honor 8 Lite has a 3,000 mAh non-removable battery which sealed inside the glass body. The battery life which we got out of this device was the usual ‘1-day’ battery life which you can get our of any other typical smartphone with a 3,000 mAh battery. The Honor 8 also had a 3,000 mAh battery and it was also a decent performer when it comes to battery life and the Honor 8 Lite is no exception. If you are a heavy hitter, who is always online browsing the internet, using social media and gaming, etc. then, in that case, you might as well be able to kill it in just about a day. And sadly the charging port is a USB 2.0, so you won’t get the reversible cable head or fast data transfer as well for that matter.
The Honor 8 Lite is running on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box with the company’s EMUI version 5.0 on top of it. EMUI, as we all know is quite heavy and it adds a lot features over the stock android. The EMUI adds ne features like Dual Apps with which you can run Dual WhatsApp, etc. on the Honor 8 Lite smartphone. This feature is already available with few other manufacturers, but now Honor has also introduced this with the Honor 8 Lite. The Honor 8 Lite also comes with a bunch of bloatware which thankfully can be uninstalled instead of just disabling it. Out of the box, you get all the stock Google applications as well including the new Duo app. Despite being a heavy skin, the EMUI doesn’t seem to lag on the Honor 8 Lite. It runs pretty well and handles all the day-to-day activities also pretty easily. Most of it is obviously because it is a new device and we will have to see how the software ages overtime on a hardware like this.
As mentioned earlier, this is not having the same dual lens camera like the one found on the Honor 8, but you will still like this a lot better. It has a 12MP rear-facing camera with Phase detection Autofocus a.k.a PDAF (this sounds a lot cooler) and on the front, we have an 8MP selfie shooter with a f/2.0 aperture. The images captured from the Honor 8 Lite are nice and sharp and offers a lot of details, thanks to the megapixel count. It captures these images fairly quick as well. However, there is no OIS here with the Honor 8 Lite and hence you need to have steady hands to prevent the shaky photos and videos. Talking about videos, it can record only upto 1080p resolution and there is no 4K here sadly. The software adds in a ton of shooting modes as well which is always good to have to change things up a bit. You can also double tap the volume down button to quick load the camera and snap an image. Other than that, we are leaving some of the camera samples here which we shot with the Honor 8 Lite and you can take a look at them and decide for yourself.
Honor 8 Lite perfectly justifies the ‘Lite’ tag. It looks just as good as the Honor 8 without giving up too much as far as the design is concerned. Now coming to the internal hardware, although it has slightly less powerful internals, the Honor 8 Lite excels here too. It runs all the day-to-day apps perfectly fine and feels nice and snappy just like a 2017 smartphone should be. Yes, the camera may not be as good as what we saw with the Honor 8, but it is still a good one and it gets the job done. Aside from the EMUI software experience, this is a pretty sweet package. Overall, to sum it all up, Honor has given a decent performer which is wrapped in a shiny and slick hardware at a price of Rs 17,999.