The Honor 8 has been our favorite smartphone with dual-rear camera setup in the sub-Rs 30,000 price range, offering a compact form factor, capable hardware and good camera and overall performance. The company’s latest smartphone, the Honor 8 Lite, is an affordable variant of the Honor 8 that misses out on the dual-rear camera setup. Priced at Rs 17,999, it does retain front and back glass design, metal frame, and comes with a decent hardware on board. Here are our first impressions of the Honor 8 Lite.
The latest smartphone from the Huawei-owned brand is the Honor 8 Lite. Priced significantly lower than the Rs 29,999 Honor 8, the Lite variant offers similar specifications, looks and styling, but with less on offer when it comes to camera and performance. You get 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, along with a hybrid SIM slot that allows either storage expansion or dual-SIM connectivity. You can find the power button and volume rocker on the right, SIM tray on the left, micro-USB port and speaker grille at the bottom and 3.5mm jack at the top.
What works for the device is the all-glass look, which helps the phone stand out from other devices in the price bracket that use either metal or plastic in a matte finish. While the frame of the phone doesn’t appear to be metal, the 2.5D curved glass at the front and clean finish at the rear do help the phone retain its premium feel.
The presence of the older micro-USB standard is disappointing, considering that the Honor 8 comes with the newer type-C port. Additionally, the charger bundled in the package is a basic 5W unit, and charger is slow as a result. It took well over three hours to fully charge the Honor 8 Lite, which today is disappointing for a device that is expected to be priced between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000.
The back of the phone has a fingerprint sensor which doubles up as a touch-sensitive gesture controller. You can set up the sensor to read gesture controls to swipe through pictures in the gallery, bring up the notification shade and more. These gestures don’t employ the security features of the sensor, which means that the feature can be used by anyone once the phone has been unlocked.
While no doubt the key reason why the Honor 8 Lite is so much more affordable than the Honor 8, it’s a bit disappointing to see the dual-camera set up absent on the Honor 8 Lite. What you do get is a single 12-megapixel camera, which of course does not give you access to the smarts that the two sensors afforded the Honor 8. It also means that the Honor 8 Lite’s nomenclature comes off a bit misleading; the phone isn’t really the younger and more affordable sibling of the Honor 8 except when it comes to aesthetics, since the dual-camera set up is what defines the Honor 8. We will of course put this through proper testing in our review, where we’ll be able to tell you for certain just how much of a difference having just one sensor makes.
There is one other significant difference between the Honor 8 and Honor 8 Lite. While the former is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 950 SoC, the latter runs on the Kirin 655 chipset. Fabricated on the 16nm process, the chipset competes directly with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, using the same octa-core arrangement with eight ARM Cortex A53 processors. This puts the phone head-to-head with successful sub-Rs 20,000 devices such as the Moto G5 Plus, Lenovo P2 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. We will be comparing performance with the Snapdragon 625 properly in our full review of the Honor 8 Lite.
Also making its debut on the Honor 8 Lite is the company’s latest iteration of Emotion UI, version 5.0 based on Android 7.0 Nougat. A significant change in the new UI is the ability to have a dual-layered interface, letting you have a dedicated app drawer for all your apps and keep the home screens uncluttered and personalized. Additional features such as private space, improved background process cleaning and resource allocation are also present.
The Honor 8 Lite will appeal to buyers looking for a good combination of looks, mid-range performance and reliability, taking on a slew of mid-range devices from major brands. While the Honor 8 is one of our favorite devices under Rs 30,000, it remains to be seen whether the Honor 8 Lite can win us over. Find out in our full review, coming soon.