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Huawei P30 Lite Review: P30 Legacy on a Budget!

Huawei p30 Lite review
Lava International

It is really a nice concept of smartphone brands bringing a ‘lite version’ of their flagship devices. So, that makes those phones neither flagship nor they have mid-range specs entirely. Same is the case with the Huawei P30 Lite. Some things it borrows from the high-end P-series and some from mid-range Nova phones. And it makes for a really interesting combination! But how much of the features has it borrowed from its flagship sibling? And does it really carry the legacy of the flagship P30? Let’s find that out in this Huawei P30 Lite review.

Huawei P30 Lite Specifications:

  • Display: 6.15-inch IPS LCD display
  • Resolution: Full-HD+ (2312×1080 pixels); 19.5:9 aspect ratio @ 415PPI
  • Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 710
  • CPU: Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • GPU: Mali-G51 MP4
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB; Expandable up to 512GB via SD card slot (Uses SIM2 Slot)
  • OS & UI: Android Pie (v9.0) with EMUI 9 on the top
  • Rear Camera: Triple camera – (24 MP, f/1.8, PDAF, wide-angle) + (8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, 120-degree field of view) + (2MP, f/2.4, depth sensor), LED flash
  • Front Camera: 32MP, f/2.0
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Battery: 3340mAh non-removable Li-Po battery with 18W fast charging support; Uses USB Type-C
  • Colors: White, Blue, Black
  • Price: Rs. 39,999

Design

Huawei p30 Lite review design

Let’s start the things with its design! The P30 Lite has a premium looking glass back with gradient finish just like all of Huawei’s phones in 2018! But I am not complaining, it looks really good. But since it has a glass body, it can be a bit slippery but, again, it’s kind of a trade-off you have with a glass body.

But I still like the design especially because it’s ergonomic. I really liked the Galaxy S10 as it fits in my hands like it’s made for me and the P30 Lite gives me a similar feeling. And it has that right amount of heft to it and feels premium which, I think it has inherited from its flagship brothers.

I have used it without a cover because I like it that way and it has held up pretty well. Not major noticeable scratches have appeared. You get the phone with a screen protector already there, so Huawei has saved me the hassle of getting one.

Huawei p30 Lite review buttons

Moving on, the buttons are placed in the right spot and you get that good tactile click on pressing them. The back of the phone looks minimal. While we are talking about the back, the fingerprint sensor is easily reachable and fast to my liking. So, I have to say that Huawei has done a pretty good job in the design aspect.

Display

Huawei p30 Lite review display

Moving up front, the P30 Lite has a modest 6.1 inches display and I think it’s a good size. With all the phones growing to the size of tablets, this one’s a breath of fresh air. It’s an FHD+ screen that has enough brightness and good colors.

It’s an IPS LCD, so you won’t get those deep AMOLED blacks, but for a display this one is, you will have no complaints, I have had none.

Also, I am not known about Huawei including any gorilla glass protection on the screen though! So, do yourself a favor and slap on a protector on it.

Huawei p30 Lite review display 1

Likewise, you cannot notice the notch on top. It’s a regular U-shaped notch with a speaker grill above it that has a tiny LED notification. It’s a bit dim, but I am just happy that it’s still there. You do have an option to hide it, but I guess I have finally accepted notches, so I used it like that. So, nothing to complain about the display either.

Camera

Huawei p30 Lite review back camera

Now, the cameras. Don’t get me wrong when I said you get some flagship features in the P30 Lite, I was not talking about the cameras. Of course, we cannot expect P30’s cameras here! This one has what other mid-rangers offer at a similar price. It’s a triple camera setup consisting of a 24 MP primary camera, an 8 MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2MP depth sensor.

And judging by the pictures, it follows what other Huawei smartphones tend to do, oversaturate images a little bit! But that does not necessarily mean the images are bad. They look good. Take the below-attached samples as a reference. These pictures look good. And the pictures don’t miss out on details, they are sharp and on point!

And if you are wondering about the wide- angle pictures, here are some samples of it too. They have good colors and look vibrant. Of course, the primary sensor has managed to pack in a lot of details, but if you look closely, colors are better reproduced in the wide-angle shots.

Anyways, while we’re at it, let’s talk about portrait shots. Umm, they are not the best seen in a device of this price. The edge detection seems off and the blur is not very natural looking. Maybe Huawei should improve it by a software update. You also get different types of blurs, which are getting more popular on smartphones these days.

However, I used to ponder why there are two modes for portrait images, the aperture and the portrait mode. But it so happens that in pictures taken from the portrait mode you cannot change the depth of field and focus point but in the aperture mode, you can! Huawei could have included both in the same place as to make it simpler though.

Similarly, you get tones of camera features that need some serious digging in. They are not the most useful normally, but good to play with sometimes. However, what I liked is the night mode here. It’s not as good as the P30, but helps preserve details well and also makes the images brighter.

The AI mode is less aggressive than what we previously got on Huawei phones. However, it does oversaturate pictures like you can see in this flower, but in this image, the AI works really well.

Selfies, on the other hand, from the 32 MP camera are impressive. Although, not the most natural, but not bad either. They are colorful and bright and will not disappoint you in any way.

Huawei p30 Lite review front camera

Portrait selfies are an outcome of software but good enough to like them overall. There are also various portrait lighting effects which are fun to play around with.

Also, I like to keep the beauty mode off all the times because I like my pictures to look natural. However, I have seen some of my friends to have a liking for it. So, here are some samples of beautified selfies I clicked to check how it works. Do, let me know in the comments below if you like it.

One thing I seriously love about the cameras is the videos it can take. The phone has Gyro- EIS that makes the videos very stable. You have options of shooting in different resolutions, but I suggest you do it in [email protected] fps for the best quality and stabilization. And if you are into vlogging on a budget, this one might be for you!

So, summing up the camera part, except for the portraits, you are getting a very good deal here!

For high res images, Click here.

Performance

The P30 Lite runs on the same Kirin 710 chipset that we saw on last year’s Nova 3i and Honor 8X.  In a similar price range, you do get better chipset for sure. Just look at these benchmark scores we compared against similarly priced Galaxy A50 and Poco F1.

Seems like Huawei needs to bring another mid-range chipset to compete in this segment or they could have just given the Kirin 970.

Having said that, we know how that Kirin 710 performs, it’s not bad by any means. It can handle almost everything you throw at it from multitasking to high-end gaming. Although you won’t get to play PUBG in the highest of settings like the A50 or Poco F1, since the Nepali government has put a ban on it, there are very limited days of playing it anyways! I have tested playing Asphalt 9 too and it runs well so nothing major to worry about.

Here are some benchmark scores:

  • Geekbench 4:
    • Single-Core: 1526
    • Multi-core: 5346
    • Compute: 2596
  • AnTuTu:
    • 127833
  • 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme
    • OpenGL ES 3.1: 945
    • Vulka: 1354
  • PC Mark
    • Work Performance 2.0: 6532
  • AndroBench
    • Sequential Read: 292.39 MB/s
    • Sequential Write: 154.3 MB/s

So, if performance is your topmost priority, you do have an option to get the Pocophone F1, which is unbeatable for the price but if you feel your needs are not very comprehensive, the Kirin 710 will do just fine. Plus, you are getting 6GB of RAM and 128 GB storage inside, which is good to see on a midrange phone.

Software and UI

Huawei p30 Lite Android Oreo

The phone runs on Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9.0.1. And I love how EMUI has evolved over the years. The experience is now smoother and better than before and I have very less problems with it. And I also like how Huawei lets users make customizations as per their liking which is good to have.

You do get a fair share of bloatware in it but most of them can be uninstalled, so no worries here. And although EMUI has its perks, One UI feels lighter and easier to operate.

And Huawei is getting better with updates these days, so think this one will receive Android Q update as well. Having said that, I haven’t received a system update on my use, just hope that it’s on the way! However, the latest security patch is dated February 2019!

Battery

Huawei p30 Lite review battery

The Huawei P30 Lite has a decent 3,340 mAh battery packed inside which is good enough. And as compact the phone is, the battery size does nothing but compliment to it.

Talking about the battery life, you get a day of use. And my usage is above an average person. It will give you 5 hours of screen on time with 2 hours of watching videos, an hour of gaming, and 2hours of social media.

And although the phone has a relatively smaller battery, you get an 18-watt fast charging adapter inside the box along with a Type-C cable. It takes around 1 hour 45 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%.

Extras:

Huawei p30 Lite review headphone jack and speakers

Moving on to the extras, the single firing speaker at the bottom is a good one and is moderately loud. There’s a headphone jack too, which I am thankful to see.

Huawei p30 Lite review SIM slot

But you have to sacrifice on a SIM slot to expand the memory if need be because this one has a hybrid SIM slot. Although 128 GB will be enough for most, I guess.

As already mentioned, the fingerprint sensor at the back is swift and gets it correct all the time, except for when your hands are greasy. The facial unlock is fast as well and is done by the primary camera so might not be the most secure!

Conclusion:

The Huawei P30 Lite seems to offer good stuff to the table overall. The main competition to it right now is the Galaxy A50 especially because of its superior AMOLED display and slightly better performance. But other than that, you are getting a very appealing design, more storage and an impressive set of cameras with the P30 Lite.

If you ask me, personally I have liked using the P30 Lite as my daily driver these last 2 weeks. And as I said earlier I love how it is a breath of fresh air in the world of large smartphones. So, buying the P30 Lite is not going to be a regret, that I can tell you for sure!