Believe it or not, it’s actually becoming more and more difficult to review phones from the more modest end of the spectrum. The reason is simple – smartphones are now a part of life, everyone from kids to pensioners have them and there is a growing part of the consumer base that just wants something to do the job. That is why there are now so many examples of really good quality devices that are generously laden with features, yet are available at a reasonable price. Manufacturers just cannot afford to churn out cheap and nasty handsets anymore.
The big boys of the flagship end will have that killer new feature and are made of Unobtainium and powered by Unicorn tears, but the truth of the matter is that it is entirely possible to spend £200 on a phone that will cover a good 90% of the requirements of your average Joe Schmo. Want a nice big bright screen? A decent camera? Fingerprint and facial recognition? You no longer have to spend a fortune to get them.
I’ve been looking at the Honor 10 lite lately and to be honest, its hard to find fault with it. Coming in at £200 or thereabouts, unless you are used to high end models, this is probably all the phone you’ll need. Sure there are better cameras available than the 13mp + 2mp dual set up this comes with, there are faster processors, there are sharper screens, but you’ll be paying a lot more to get them. And do you really need them? That’s something only you can decide. The 6.2” screen on the Honor is big and bright, colours are well presented and there is a tiny notch in the top which (unlike my iPhone) can be rendered invisible thanks to an option in the display settings. I found that the Honor with its 3gb of ram managed to run all the games and applications I needed easily enough and without too much noticeable lag, although to be fair, if you are playing graphic intensive games, you may see it start to struggle. The fingerprint scanner and facial recognition also reacted with similar speed and ease. What more do you want?
Ok, so it’s not without its flaws. Those of you who have read my previous reviews will know that I have high standards when it comes to audio quality and it’s an obvious benchmark to judge cheaper phones as this is often where corners are cut. It may be hard to compare processor speed and screen sharpness, but the quality of a handset’s speakers are very quickly apparent. As you would imagine, the sound isn’t great, but it’s certainly no worse that any of the other phones I’ve looked at in this class. It just does not compare to an iPhone or a Galaxy S model though. It does come with a 3.5mm headphone jack though so there’s no messing about with dongles, adaptors or any other contraptions which I know is a bugbear to some.
Another budget tell-tale is the micro USB port instead of the type C so it’s not super quick to charge, but where the Honor takes with one hand, it gives with the other. The battery life is very impressive from the 3400mah juice box, I found that I could get to the end of the day easily with power to spare. Coming from Huawei, the build quality is decent as you’d expect and it is a handsome piece of kit, but there is no escaping the face that it does feel rather plasticky. Of course if you are the sort who, like me, always has their phone in a case (one is even supplied in the box) then this becomes a bit of a moot point.
So in conclusion, the merit of this phone comes down to you. What do you actually need? Are you an advanced, heavy user? A general user, but one that likes to have the premium feel? Then no. However, if you are one of the increasingly mahoosive market share of people who just want a decent phone that does the job and doesn’t cost the same as a black market kidney, then absolutely, this phone could be what you’re looking for.