HONOR 20 Lite review - Nice budget-friendly smartphone just short of perfection


With the upcoming HONOR 20 series unveil in London on 21 May 2019, we have been given the courtesy of looking at the HONOR 20 Lite which was released in Malaysia for almost a month now. Also known as the HONOR 10i in other regions, this phone is the company's first triple rear camera on a budget for just RM949. Sounds like a good deal right? Well... you certainly get what you pay for with some pros and cons. Read on to find out more.


Design - Looks great for a budget phone

Available in Phantom Red and Phantom Blue, the HONOR 20 Lite looks quite great for a budget phone with those shining gradient colour combinations. However, you can pretty much expect it to be quite plastic-ish. The phone is compact enough and like every other phone nowadays, it also comes with a notch on top. So aside from the eye-catching phantom colours, it's not really my cup of tea (but if you don't mind notched screens, it should look just fine).


Here's how the front and back looks like


It's the gradient colour that catches the attention, we have the Phantom Red here which looks sick


Be warned, though, it's quite prone to fingerprint smudges


The hybrid SIM card tray is located on top


As usual, the 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB 2.0 and speaker grill are at the bottom


The right side view, there's nothing on the left


Tech specs and features - Pretty basic

Here are the tech specs of the HONOR 20 Lite:


  • Kirin 710 chipset
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 128GB of internal storage (expandable memory up to 512GB)
  • Measures 154.8 x 73.64 x 7.95mm, weighs 164g
  • 6.21-inch DewDrop display
  • 24MP + 8MP (ultra-wide) + 2MP (depth) triple rear camera
  • 32MP selfie camera
  • Features fingerprint and face unlock, GPU Turbo 2.0, Super Night Shot, AI Scene Camera,
  • Supports 4G, VoLTE, WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth and micro USB 2.0 connectivity
  • EMUI 9.0 based on Android 9.0
  • 3400mAh battery capacity

Similar to the design, there's also not much to look at the tech specs. It packs a respectable 4GB + 128GB memory and GPU Turbo 2.0 on board which suits games like PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends, nothing too hard for the Kirin 710 chipset. But I guess what makes the phone stand out is that it has a triple rear camera setup, as not every budget phone has these.

That said, even though it's HONOR's first triple rear camera phone, it doesn't really make it that special as many new phones also have them. In any case, the triple rear camera consists of a 24MP main sensor, an 8MP with an ultra wide-angle lens and a mini 2MP depth sensor. As you all know, the ultra wide-angle lens is great for taking landscape photography but it will certainly lose out some quality or resolution. More on that later.


The fingerprint sensor just hanging below the triple rear camera setup


The camera user interface, still the same ever since the introduction of AI Camera


There are some Portrait lighting effects for you to play around with too


Performance - Quite durable but it has a sound problem

Moving on to the performance, the HONOR 20 Lite is already capable of taking on A-list games that were mentioned above. We also tried playing Asphalt 9: Legends on it and we are pleased to let you know that despite only having a 3400mAh battery, it can still withstand some heavy punches and intense graphics set at the highest setting.

While it doesn't get too hot after a few minutes and scoring average scores from its benchmarks, it has one annoying thing that gets on my nerves - the sound quality. To give you the best example of how it sounds like, the HONOR 20 Lite sounds like an old school walkman that you once proudly brought around (only 90's kids understand) but lacking stereo quality sound. So that doesn't sound good but don't fret, all hope is not lost. 

Screen record of Asphat 9: Legends + Command and Conquer: Rivals gameplay


AnTuTu score, not very high up


Single and Multicore scores


When you don't do much with the phone, it lasts quite long like most phones. It takes awhile to fully charge, though, like two hours or more for 100%

Besides that, connectivity and network calls are good. Same goes to the camera performance which does great in daylight and portrait shots, although I can't say the same for dim low-light environments.

Anyhow, this phone does its job and that's all that matters. The most useful feature we found in particular is that its ultra wide-angle lens is great for outdoor shots. You can check out the photos below and see for yourself.


Welcome to Bangkok, Thailand!


The difference between a normal and ultra wide-angle shot from the same spot. You can see the light is not captured as much on the latter


Another shot sample, less light on the ultra wide-angle lens


Close-up shot


Medium shot, excellent colour contrast


A selfie portrait shot


Selfie shots are fine


The food doesn't look that enticing mostly because of the low yellow light environment


Another close-up shot


Overall, portrait shot results are satisfactory


Taking advantage of the ultra wide-angle lens in the airport terminal


Panorama shot


Tried to capture some sunset before dark


Super Night Shot mode on, the normal photo would be almost pitch black 


Conclusion – Pretty decent

For a phone that's RM949 with a triple rear camera setup, has nice gradient phantom colours and decent tech specs that are good enough to get by or get your game on, I think the HONOR 20 Lite is just nice for those who like taking landscape photos with their pretty new smartphone. But the tinny sound quality may make some users a bit put off, so if you're the type that watches or listens to a lot of high quality audio content, maybe you should plug in your 3.5mm headphone or earphones.

Technically, we can say that there isn't any competitor around since the HONOR 20 Lite is currently the only phone under RM1K with a triple rear camera setup. But for those who are willing to pump in a little more money for good quality you can go for the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (RM1299), Samsung Galaxy A50 (RM1199) and the Huawei Nova 4e (RM1199) which all don't have that sound problem and can certainly take ultra wide-angle shots as well (and perhaps even better). The choice is yours, really.

So what do you think of our review? Honestly, it could have been a perfect budget-friendly phone but oh well, what's done is done. BTW, we just launched our new TechNave app 2.0 where you can search, compare and buy smartphones all from that one app. You can find our new app in the Google Play Store right over here and stay tuned for more gadget reviews only at TechNave.com!

Honor 20 Lite Specs & Price >