Huawei Mate 20 Lite assessment: Not so smart

The Huawei Mate 20 Lite is a curious case of the “lite” version predating the “same old” version, providing a captivating glimpse into the longer term for lovers of the Mate line.

What’s the forecast? Let’s to find out in our Huawei Mate 20 Lite assessment. (Kind of gave it away within the name regardless that.)

Specs and appears

Huawei Mate 20 Lite

The promoting level of the Huawei Mate 20 Lite is the AI goodness it gives, even with mid-range specifications (and value, in idea). It’s a promise Huawei has been recognized to ship on previously, and it must translate to a couple attention-grabbing options within the digicam division.

Mate 20 Lite Specs

Speaking of which, that’s the telephone’s different large promoting level — a complete of four cameras, because of an additional lens across the entrance. It’s were given a 20MP f/1.8 lens across the again, and a 24MP f/2.0 lens across the entrance, each subsidized up by way of secondary 2MP intensity sensors.

It additionally comes with 64GB of inside garage, subsidized up by way of both 4 or 6GB of RAM, and a 6.3-inch 19.5:9 IPS LCD 1,080 x 2,340 show. It’s were given USB Type-C, NFC — one thing numerous customers will probably be satisfied to look — FM radio, a headphone jack, and a fingerprint sensor. There’s no splash resistance or wi-fi charging, however that’s par for the path for a mid-range instrument. The respectable 3,750mAh battery simply noticed me thru an afternoon.

On most sensible of all that, it runs Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2.

Mate 20 Lite EMUI

The telephone’s steel and glass design is sexy. I’m no longer in truth keen on my army model, or the development across the vertical digicam module, however that’s very a lot a private desire (does any person else suppose the black and army conflict?). Despite that, I will be able to inform it’s neatly made for its 379-pound (~$500) ticket. Other colours come with sapphire blue and platinum black.

It’s effectively reflective and feels solidly constructed, however as Android Authority‘s personal Kris Carlon identified in his hands-on, it’s additionally a bit at the generic facet.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite Back

That stated, this telephone’s notch may flip some folks off. It’s no longer simply some other notch — it’s a super-wide notch. This is an indication of OEMs’ true dedication to notches in this day and age.

You may suppose having two selfie-cameras offers the easiest excuse to drop the divisive characteristic and go back to a forehead as an alternative. Rather than move that path, Huawei selected as an alternative to simply make its notch r e a l l y w i d e. Cool cool.

As with different Huawei gadgets, you’ll be able to a minimum of flip it off within the settings when you want.

Huawei has selected to make its notch in point of fact vast

This offers it an 81.7 % screen-to-body ratio, and individually, it reasonably affects at the seems.


Performance is sadly the place issues begin to crumple a bit for this Huawei Mate 20 Lite assessment. This isn’t a specifically fast telephone. It’s uncommon I believe the want to level that out in this day and age.

The telephone’s efficiency isn’t horrible, or any place close to Honor 7s territory, however it’s from time to time noticeable while you’re navigating the UI. Every at times, an animation will stutter, or one thing will take just a bit bit longer than it must and it takes the sheen off of the enjoy reasonably.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite Performance

My herbal inclination at this level is to move over to a couple of benchmark apps and notice simply how the chipset holds up.

Except neither of the benchmark apps I in most cases use (Antutu and Geekbench) would set up. This used to be bizarre since I had no drawback with different apps.

Mate 20 Lite How Fast

Call me a conspiracy theorist, however perhaps this has one thing to do with Huawei’s contemporary observe of gaming its benchmark rankings.

Is it now simply banning customers from studying? Or has it been banned?

We already know a little bit in regards to the Kirin 710 and will draw a couple of conclusions in regards to the most likely efficiency. This chipset isn’t slightly as fast because the Snapdragon 660, regardless that its power potency is also higher because of the 12nm production. It is forward of one thing just like the Helio P60, regardless that no longer by way of an enormous margin.

The Helio P60 powers the Realme 1, which I in truth discovered carried out a bit sooner than the Mate 20 Lite in day by day use. Whether that’s because of higher optimization or device I’m no longer positive.

For gaming, the Mate 20 Lite is determined by the Mali-G51 MP4, which doesn’t pack a lot punch. It’s no longer terrible and also you’ll indisputably be capable of play nearly all of video games. Just don’t be expecting to run issues at the best settings, or for the telephone to be specifically future-proof.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite Performance

Performance might not be helped specifically by way of the EMUI layer plastered on most sensible of Android. If you’ve used an Honor or Huawei instrument earlier than, you’ll know what to anticipate. It’s no longer my favourite Android pores and skin, however I believe it’s a step-up from ColorOS. Your mileage might range.

Dual selfie digicam and AI options

At the instant then, this Mate 20 Lite assessment unearths the instrument very a lot at the again foot. The instrument will want to galvanize with its AI and twin lens options to have a possibility of clawing itself again into competition.

Turns out two lenses up entrance mixed with AI is a quite potent mixture, a minimum of in theory. It guarantees stepped forward facial reputation at any attitude (AI talent to acknowledge your face + intensity data), in addition to some attention-grabbing AR options (like Animoji). It additionally may just imply you get the similar scene detection and basic AI magic dropped at footage at the entrance you get across the again.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite front facing cameras

Then there’s face release, which for me is in truth a few of the slowest implementations of the generation I’ve ever skilled. It indisputably doesn’t paintings at any attitude, and it takes an excessively noticeable one or two 2nd pause earlier than it registers me when head-on.

I don’t put on glasses, however perhaps I simply have a peculiar face.

Maybe the YouTube feedback are proper and I’m a hobbit.

A tool with IR face unlocking just like the Pocophone F1 is far sooner already and works at midnight. It’s less expensive, too.

I haven’t been extraordinarily blown away by way of the overall high quality of the selfie digicam’s footage. The bokeh mode is slightly excellent at reducing me out of the picture, however no longer noticeably higher than gadgets carrying simply one lens up entrance. The basic efficiency of the entrance digicam may be simply k, which is a disgrace given the prime pixel rely — one thing I at all times welcome on a entrance shooter.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite Selfie Portrait Mode

The animoji have been the one issues that inspired me. These are the definition of “gimmick” (and no longer a wholly novel one both), however in equity they paintings really well. I will be able to elevate one eyebrow and the little chameleon or no matter will do it too. It’s spectacular how fast and correct that is even in comparison the dearer Note 9. I will be able to’t see myself the usage of it incessantly, nevertheless it’s a excellent show off for the tech. It’s a amusing celebration trick, too.

This is me as a rabbit, and likewise a penguin, for those who’ve ever questioned how that may glance.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite Animoji

Main digicam

Huawei Mate 20 Lite Review

The major digicam is ok.

I’ve a little bit of a love-hate dating with Huawei and Honor cameras. The large promoting level in this day and age is the AI scene reputation, and getting it on a mid-range chipset is a cast entice.

That scene detection is in point of fact hit and miss. A large number of the time it saturates photographs to a peculiar stage, making them glance unnatural. On the Honor 10 and Honor Play, I spotted this stepped forward through the years, ultimately turning into from time to time lovely spectacular. Here that’s no longer the case. Several of my footage got here out noticeably worse because of the AI mode — saturated to the purpose of being unsightly.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite AI Photography

Here the Mate 20 Lite appropriately identified this as meals, then proceeded to make it glance radioactive…

I ponder whether the Kirin 710 is solely finding out the whole thing once more from scratch and also will beef up with time, or whether or not it’s simply no longer slightly as much as the duty. It’s noticeably slower at recognizing such things as vehicles, which is comprehensible too.

Turn that scene reputation off and you have got a beautiful same old Huawei digicam. Images are on occasion washed out, or have that peculiar warm-hue I’ve spotted on different Huawei telephones. It additionally has moments of brilliance the place it reacts very effectively to other lighting fixtures.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite Dynamic Range

I believed this % got here out lovely effectively

Low-light efficiency isn’t specifically excellent. I put this in opposition to the Realme 2 Pro, seeing as I used to be reviewing each on the similar time, and that a lot less expensive instrument used to be a lot better at taking footage at night time. The Realme 2 Pro had a reasonably upper aperture, however I’d nonetheless like extra right here. The Mate 20 Lite’s darker pictures pop out a bit smudgy and grainy when put next.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite low light performance

Not unbelievable low mild efficiency

It could be remiss of me no longer stating how the Huawei Mate 20 Lite wins primary issues for its extremely feature-rich digicam app. Just like different gadgets from Honor and Huawei, you get cool stuff like report scanning, a full-fledged professional mode, time lapse, and (my favourite) mild portray. While AI scene reputation may no longer at all times paintings as marketed, it’s a minimum of amusing to mess around with and I’m hopeful it’s going to recuperate. The portrait mode in this facet additionally works slightly neatly.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite Camera Sample

It’s a amusing digicam to make use of and when you in point of fact paintings at it, you’ll be able to get some excellent footage. However, this isn’t a “nice” digicam by way of any stretch. I wouldn’t depend on it if you are taking numerous footage as a part of your task, or as a significant pastime.

For extra digicam samples, take a look at the folder right here.

Value and shutting ideas

If it kind of feels like I’ve been a little bit arduous at the telephone all over my Huawei Mate 20 Lite assessment, that’s almost certainly because of its value.

Like I stated, the Mate 20 Lite will set you again about $500. I simply can’t see any justification for paying that a lot.

Huaweie Mate 20 Lite Back

For considerably much less cash you have to get your self a Pocophone F1 and also you’d enjoy significantly sooner efficiency — they’re no longer even in the similar ballpark — in addition to a lot more potent digicam efficiency and lots extra options. The F1’s simplest downside is its plastic construct.

If that issues so much to you, for simply $29 extra, you have to purchase a OnePlus 6, a real “flagship” enjoy with a good looking steel construct, superb AMOLED display screen, and the similar killer efficiency because the Pocophone or higher. You may just additionally get the Honor 8x, with most commonly the similar specifications at a fragment of the associated fee, in addition to a pitcher construct. It makes use of microUSB and also you lose a couple of megapixels within the digicam division, nevertheless it’s just about the similar.

Honor 8x vs Huawei Mate 20 Lite

Heck, you have to even get an Honor Play or Honor 10 for lots not up to this — gadgets from Huawei’s personal subsidiaries with the entire similar scene reputation, light-painting, UI layer, and the corporate’s personal flagship Kirin 970 chipset (flagship for no less than for a short time longer, anyway).

Offering AI smarts in a mid-range processor isn’t in point of fact all that spectacular, while you price much less in your personal flagship processor somewhere else!

Huawei Mate 20 Lite Gloss Back

The simplest factor this telephone has going for it in point of fact is the twin lens digicam up entrance. Seeing because the selfie digicam isn’t all that and the face release is slower than many different choices, I simply can’t in point of fact counsel this instrument to any person.

The tech has promise, I’m hoping it’s going to be higher discovered after we see the true Mate 20. This isn’t a foul telephone, it’s simply no longer a compelling possibility for the cash, given what else is in the market at this time. The mid-range has transform extremely aggressive, and you want to do much more to face out.

This looks like an explanation of idea greater than one thing any person must in truth purchase.