Welcome to the Huawei P30 Lite Review post, here in this post you will find everything about the Huawei P30 Lite smartphone that you need to know.
Since the ban, however, Huawei has revealed that it will be bringing the Android Q update to Huawei P30 Lite, in addition to “popular current devices”, despite the ongoing trade ban. There’s no word yet on when this update might drop, but you can see the full list of Huawei phones that are set to receive the Android Q upgrade in our dedicated Huawei ban article.
Thankfully, Huawei has made very few cutbacks with Huawei P30 Lite’s overall design. It looks just as imaginative as ever, and while it lacks the iPhone-like silver tinted edges of its siblings, the 3D curved glass rear is comfortable to hold and the iridescent, colour-gradient finish is stunning. The back of the phone I was sent to review, for instance, nicely fades from an ocean blue to a dark, orchid purple.
Now our original Huawei P30 Lite review continues below
Huawei P30 Lite Review: Specification
|Processor||Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 710 (4×2.2GHz, 4×1.7GHz)|
|Screen resolution||2,312 x 1,080|
|Rear camera||48-megapixel, 8-megapixel, 2-megapixel|
|Dust and water resistance||N/A|
|3.5mm headphone jack||Yes|
|USB connection type||USB Type-C|
|Memory card slot (supplied)||microSD|
|Dual SIM||Yes (shared with microSD)|
|Dimensions (WDH)||152.9 x 72.7 x 7.4 mm|
|Operating system||Android 9|
Huawei P30 Lite Review: Design
Huawei was one of the original expert of affordable metal and glass smartphones. You will find a few more plastic ones in its line-up today. But Huawei P30 Lite is almost identical from one of its more expensive smartphones. Its back is curved glass. The sides are glossy aluminium. And its display borders look as slim as an iPhone XS’s. Huawei P30 lite is also pack up in an eye-catching finish. Purple at the bottom blends into blue at the top, and light casts an S-shaped swirl across its back. This is a looker, as long as you are game for some colour.
Huawei also makes the P30 lite in black, if the bright gradient seems a step too far. A much lower price makes Huawei P30 Lite a more reachable smartphone than the brilliant P30 Pro. Its shape is more adaptable too. Several millimeters shorter and narrower, it fits in hands and pockets that bit more easily. You have to dig fairly deep to find ways the Huawei P30 Lite has been dumbed-down. It has 128GB storage, for instance, but that’s still a huge amount for a phone.
Size aside, there is three exterior aspects that separate it from Huawei P30 Pro. The side buttons are plastic (or at least plastic-coated) instead of metal, there is a tiny sliver of plastic between the front glass and aluminium, and there is no official water resistance. Don’t ash out this phone. There are positives to being a cheaper phone in 2019 too. Huawei P30 Lite has a headphone jack and a rear finger pad rather than an in-screen one. These tend to be more reliable, and are often quicker. This one is very quick.
Huawei P30 Lite Review: Screen
Huawei P30 Lite has a 2312 x 1080 pixel screen, an aspect ratio of 19.25:9. Once again, the design is the most impressive element. As the display pushes into each corner, it looks more advanced than some premium smartphones of just a year or two ago. Its teardrop notch only bites a small chunk out of the screen. And, as ever, you can block the notch with a black bar if you like. Colour and contrast are a rung below the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro, but why would you expect anything else? Picture quality for games, films and apps doesn’t suffer much as a result either. Colour looks dynamic, text looks sharp.
Brightness is the one feature that still seems a step down, having used Huawei P30 Pro for several weeks beforehand. Huawei P30 Lite has a bright enough back-light to make high-contrast content look clear when outdoors on a sunny day, but this is not an ultra-bright screen. It is an HDR display though, and you can choose whether to have “vivid” or more laid-back colour.
Huawei P30 Lite Review: Software
Huawei P30 Lite runs Android 9.0 and has the identical custom Huawei interface as phones like the Huawei P30 Pro. You may have heard the Huawei interface is bad. It was, at one point, but it’s now one the better third-party interfaces, possibly outstripping HTC’s and LG’s once you apply a adjust or two. I only make a couple of modification to the Huawei phones I use. Firstly, I bring back the app drawer. Huawei P30 Lite does not have one as standard, but you can add a drawer in settings.
The phone’s default wallpaper is a bit of an assault on the eyes too, but you can obviously fix that in a couple of seconds. This software is otherwise more than sound. It runs well, and there are plenty of customization on offer if you go looking for them. Funnily enough, Google tweaked its own vanilla settings menu recently, adding more prominent icons. It now looks more like Huawei’s.
Huawei P30 Lite Review: Performance
Huawei P30 Lite has a Kirin 710 processor, designed by Huawei subsidiary HiSilicon. This phone has an octa-core CPU with a true mid-range core structure. There are four Cortex-A73 cores and your Cortex-A53s. Cheaper phones tend to have eight lower-power Cortex-A53s.
Its obvious competitor is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, which has six cores rather than eight. The Snapdragon’s cores are newer, but the sheer number of them lets the Huawei P30 Lite slightly outperform the rival Google Pixel 3a Lite in the CPU-heavy Geekbench 4 benchmark. It scores 5316 points (1548 per core), to the Pixel’s 5100-odd. Power is a bit less impressive where it matters most in real terms: the GPU. The Kirin 710 has a quad-core Mali-G51.
This is not as punchy as the Adreno 615 or 616 used by some competitor. It is about as low-powered a GPU can get and still supply fair 1080p performance. Huawei P30 Lite is remarkably weaker than even the lower-end Adreno 615, seen in the Pixel 3a XL. It scores 837 (1365 using the Vulkan API) in 3D Mark’s Sling Shot Extreme test, to the Pixel 3a XL’s 1630 (1542 using Vulkan).
PUBG will only play at Medium visuals, not High. And a real GPU-melter like Ark: Survival Evolved demands significantly cut-down graphics to run well. All lower mid-range smartphones like this do, but the Pixel 3a XL lets you push the visuals more. It plays PUBG at “High” settings, for example. Not much of a gamer? Don’t worry about the Huawei P30 Lite’s noncompetitive GPU. But Huawei does need to sort this going forwards. Mid-table Qualcomm Snapdragons are just too good at this point.
Huawei P30 Lite Review: Camera
Huawei P30 Lite is installed with three rear cameras. It’s the most attractive part of this smartphone, apart from its shiny back. Huawei’s reasoning is obvious. This is how to make Huawei P30 Lite seem a true part of Huawei’s P30 family. Main camera of this phone is of an ultra-high resolution, just like its costly siblings. Huawei P30 Lite has a 48-MP main camera that takes 12-MP pictures by default. This lets it use four pixels for every one in the final photo. Above it sits a 13-MP ultra-wide and a basic 2-MP depth sensor. There is no zoom lens here.
Unfortunately, the main camera is not a match for Huawei P30 Pro’s, even if it is significantly higher resolution. Pay for that top-end phone and you get sharper pictures, and an actual reason to shoot at full resolution at times. There is almost no meaningful additional detail captured at 48MP here, compared to standard 12-megapixel resolution.
However, camera is still great, particularly for the price. Until you go pixel peeping, the Huawei P30 Lite’s pictures look sharp, bold and intense. They also have Huawei’s famous dynamic range enhancement. Color is flatter than the Pixel 3a XL, but noise handling is great and so are detail levels.
One part truly disappoints. Huawei P30 Lite has a dedicated handheld Night mode just like the higher-end Huaweis, but it is not particularly effective. In pricier Huawei phones it brings out cloud contours in black skies, dramatically improves colour reproduction and make images look as though they were taken with a “proper” camera mounted on a tripod.
However, you do get a durable ultra-wide camera. It has a basic 13-megapixel sensor that is not incredibly detailed and becomes noisy in dimmer light, but a different view is still a useful creative tool. Some sample images: Video capture tops out at 1080p, 60 frames per second. There is no 4K mode. And if you use the 60fps mode (rather than 30) you lose all-important image stabilisation. This is a typical lower-mid range video shooter.
There are more agreement here than you might have hoped. But the selfie camera is great. It has a 24-megapixel sensor and can render a lot of fine facial detail even in dim indoors light.
Huawei P30 Lite Review: Battery life
Huawei P30 Lite’s battery does not get close to matching the capacity of the Huawei P30 Pro, which can last two full days if you go easy on it. It has a 3340mAh battery, little small for a phone with a 6.1-inch screen. In my experience it beats the Exynos Samsung Galaxy S10 we get in the UK. It tends to finish the day with around 15% charge, after a good few hours of podcast streaming through the day.
Three hours of YouTube video streaming takes 29% off the charge level, suggesting it’ll last for 10 hours of such streaming. It is no battery warrior. But it does the job just fine.
Huawei P30 Lite Review: Verdict
Disappointingly, Huawei’s P30 Lite is a bit of a mixed bag. If you look past its lavish looks and triple camera array, you’ll find a phone that doesn’t quite match up against its rivals, even if it does represent a significant saving on its P-series stablemates.
But the biggest problem for Huawei P30 Lite is that the Xiaomi Pocophone F1 is even better and costs just a little bit more. That’s not necessarily Huawei’s fault per se, but there’s no denying that Xiaomi has been storming through the mid-priced market in recent months. Although Huawei P30 Lite is a reasonable smartphone in its own right, I know where I’d rather spend my money.