A Lite Handset 

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Usually it is Huawei that supplies my review samples of its handsets, but this time Vodafone provided the model.

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Huawei could not be accused of settling back and resting on its laurels.  The company has produced a regular stream of handsets under its main brand name of Huawei and Honor.  To these brands can be added various Lite offerings such as the Huawei P10 Lite handset which is the subject matter of this next review.  I have to thank Vodafone who kindly supplied my review sample.

Released by Huawei at around half the price of its original P10 product, this smartphone is available in a choice of colours.  Depending upon your preference, or mood at the time, you could go for Pearl White (sounds like a night club performer of yesteryear), Midnight Black (my review sample), Platinum Gold or Sapphire Blue with appealing rounded corners.  Weighing 146g, this handset has dimensions of 146.5 x 72 x 7.2 mm (H x Q x D), allowing Huawei to fit in a 5.2-inch LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touch screen that can deliver 16M colours with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels.

With the design of this handset, Huawei has gone with a dual glass type of arrangement.  The reflective surfaces of the front and back of the handset are held together by a metallic frame.  While this look can be both attractive and appear stylish, it does, in the case of this handset, pose one problem that I found annoying as the device sometimes seemed to mimic a bar of soap. 

There were a number of occasions, during the review process, when, after placing the handset on a flat surface, I found that it had moved several feet away of its own violation.  This caused me to scramble around looking for the phone.  On one occasion the phone managed to fall from a table and deposit itself in a bag of rubbish waiting to be disposed of later.  Fortunately I managed to find the phone before throwing out the bag of rubbish.  I found that the problem of slippage did not occur when holding the handset.  I put this down to the presence of the metal frame encircling the device.

As has become the normal practice with Huawei, the handset’s volume jogger and power button are situated on the right side of the unit’s body.  Positioned on the left side is a pop-out tray (appropriate tool provided) that can hold two nano SIMs or a combination of a nano SIM and a micro SD card.  Connections for a headset and micro USB lead are located on the top and bottom of the unit respectively along with microphones at both ends of the handset.

Unlike the P10, with its front-mounted fingerprint reader and dual camera lenses on the rear, this Lite version’s approach is somewhat different.  Huawei has reverted to the layout adopted by some of its earlier models.  Instead of the Leica dual camera feature, mounted on the rear, you get a single 12MP f/2.2 unit with LED flash and features that include phase detection, autofocus, geo-tagging, touch focus, face / smile detection and video capture of 1080 @ 30fps.  Keeping this main camera company, although not too close so there should be little chance of confusion, is the handset’s square shaped fingerprint reader giving you fast always-on, additional security protection.  An 8MP autofocus camera is mounted on the front of the handset.  Captures by both cameras were of a reasonable quality.

Beating at the heart of the Huawei P10 Lite is a HiSilicon 16nm Kirin 658 chipset, octa-core CPU (4 x  2.36 GHz Cortext – A53plus 4 x 1.7 GHz Cortext-A53) backed up by a Mali-T830MP2 GPU.  Ram is either set at 3 or 4GB with my review sample, supplied by Vodafone, having the latter amount.  Internal memory is a reasonable 32 GB but this is immediately reduced to 19.43 GB once Android 7 (Nougat) and EMUI 5.1 have taken their fill.  Fortunately, by opting for the nano SIM and micro SD combination, you can boost internal memory up to a maximum of 256 GB.

With a fairly basic installation of Android Nougat, the Huawei P10 Lite requires a 30 second period of housekeeping, following a three-second depress of the power button, to arrive at the handset’s opening screen.  This screen displays date / time / location details plus a fixed row of phone, contact,  messages and browser options along with the familiar trio of Android controls.  An initial three pane view will help get you started as you populate the handset with your favourite apps and make use of facilities that include accelerometer, proximity, compass, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC and a range of alert types.

The Huawei P10 Lite handset is powered by a non-removable Li-Polymer battery.  This has a capacity of 3000 mAh.  Running my usual continuous movie playing test, I was able to get 7 hours 5 minutes of viewing time before the handset closed itself down.  I was rather disappointed with the battery performance especially when compared with the handset’s other facilities.

Various Vodafone Pricing Plans for Huawei P10 Lite
DataMinutesTextMonthly FeeUpfront Fee
250 MB 250 minutes Unlimited £22 £40
500 MB 500 minutes Unlimited £24 £29
1 GB Unlimited Unlimited £28 £10
4 GB Unlimited Unlimited £34 Unlimited

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OverallHuawei P10 Lite rated 80 out of 100

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