Like every year, Huawei presents a Lite version of its flagship smartphone. The P20 Lite is therefore a watered down version of the P20, coming to occupy the mid-range terrain with a 19:9 screen amputated from the small surface of the notch. Overall, the P20 Lite does pretty well.
Launched at €369, the Huawei P20 Lite will cross paths with competitors such as the HTC U11 Life, the Sony Xperia XA2 or the Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018). The latter will probably be one of the toughest opponents for the P20 Lite, especially since many merchants have pushed its price below the €400 mark.
A 19:9 aspect ratio screen.
Ergonomics and design
It will have escaped no one, the notches invade the screens of smartphones. Made famous by Apple's iPhone X, this peninsula in a sea of pixels is far from unanimous. This did not prevent Huawei from adopting it for its P20 and P20 Lite. A choice on which one can wonder, insofar as the P20 Lite still has a border below the screen. The display nevertheless occupies more than 80% of the front face, making this smartphone pass in the court of the good students in the matter.
A notch is fashionable!
At the back, there is a more classic design, with a glass slab that retains fingerprints. Overall, elegance remains in order for this P20 Lite and the finishes are beyond reproach. The lock and volume keys are well positioned to be operated with the thumb of the right hand.
Mirror, my beautiful mirror, tell me: who keeps the most beautiful fingerprints?
The fingerprint reader is placed on the back of the smartphone. It is in place to fall under the index, but remains unusable if the terminal is placed on a table or attached to a support in the car, for example. Its operation remains very good and the device unlocks almost instantly when you put your finger on it. Huawei is also renewing its touch capabilities, in particular to scroll through photos or bring down the notification panel with a swipe of the finger.
USB-C and a 3,5mm jack.
The Huawei P20 Lite does not offer waterproof certification, where a Samsung Galaxy A8 is displayed in IP68. Good points, however, the P20 Lite has a microSD port – shared with the second nano SIM slot –, a USB-C port and a 3,5 mm jack.
A well positioned fingerprint reader.
If Huawei adopts a new screen format with 19:9, the company does not abandon the LCD. Here, the 5,84" (14,8 cm) IPS panel displays a definition of 2 x 280 px and a resolution of 1 dpi. On this side, no problem to be noted. With a contrast ratio of 080 434:1, the screen of the P600 Lite is among the good students in IPS. It is still a notch behind a Galaxy A1 and its Super Amoled panel. The P20 Lite also does quite well against the rays of the sun, with a maximum brightness of 8 cd/m² and a light reflection rate of 20%.
Delta E colorimetry = 2,9
Like almost every time, you have to go through the display settings to get the best colorimetric rendering. Here, you have to choose the "Hot" profile. We then note a very good delta E at 2,9, even if we note less fidelity in the red, green and yellow tones. On the other hand, the color temperature remains quite high, at 8 K, revealing a bluish drift in the gray tones.
In terms of responsiveness, the P20 Lite is in the middle of our comparison. We noted a tactile delay of 71 ms and an afterglow time of 17 ms.
The Huawei P20 Lite is equipped with an ARM Cortex-A659 8-core Kirin 53 SoC and 4 GB of RAM and does not have to be ashamed of the performance it delivers. The P20 Lite can cope with the vast majority of uses without showing any slowdown. Only very demanding tasks may take a little longer than on a high-end smartphone.
Temperatures recorded during CPU + iGPU load.
When you use it heavily, the P20 Lite rises a little in temperature on the surface, but never hinders the grip. There is a maximum of 36°C, and only in a limited area of the device.
The Mali-T830 MP2 graphics chip is a bit weaker. It can still run most games on the Play Store smoothly, but very greedy games should be avoided, which will have difficulty maintaining this fluidity, even if the level of graphics is lowered.
Audio is not particularly a strong point of this P20 Lite. Its headphone output isn't the most powerful, but it will suit most portable headphones, and distortion remains at a low level. The dynamic range is slightly below the average of our comparison, while the rendering of the stereo image is just above. The P20 Lite is therefore not a cador, but it is correct.
With a single speaker placed on the lower edge, we could not dream of high quality sound. Indeed, this speaker produces a relatively powerful sound, but very imprecise. Distortion becomes a problem beyond 75% of maximum listening volume. We will not use it to watch a series episode and even less to listen to music.
In the photo, the Huawei P20 Lite relies on the back of two modules. The first incorporates a 16 Mpx sensor and a 26 mm equivalent optic (f / 2,2); the second is based on a sensor of only 2 Mpx and has no other purpose than to help the first in the creation of "portrait" type photos, with a simulated background blur. In broad daylight, the shots are correct, nothing more. We feel that the feeling of detail in the image is artificially created by contrast enhancement. We do not necessarily find the level of detail expected from a 16 Mpx sensor. The exposure is satisfactory, but the white balance a bit cold. On the reactivity side, the capture time is sometimes limited by a hesitant autofocus.enlarge
In low light, the P20 Lite remains fairly average. It manages to recover very little light and the electronic noise is very present. It must be said that the smartphone captures its photos at ISO 3, a value that is rarely satisfactory, even on some SLR cameras. The sensor is not helped by the optics which only opens at f/200 and is not stabilized. Without being over the top, Samsung's approach to the Galaxy A2,2 (8) captures more light and provides a better exposed overall scene. On the other hand, there are no more details on the photos of the A2018.enlarge
In video, the P20 Lite can go up to a Full HD definition (1 x 920 px). Unsurprisingly, Huawei's smartphone is more comfortable when there is enough light. Focus tracking is pretty good, as are exposure metering.
The front sensor also climbs to 16 Mpx. It offers well-detailed shots, above what is found on average on smartphones. We can blame him for a certain tendency to overexposure for the backgrounds, but nothing too bad.
A 3 mAh battery and a mid-range SoC are often the secrets of smartphones with very solid autonomy. The P000 Lite doesn't quite validate that adage, but is still a serious student. On our SmartViser test protocol, the P20 Lite runs for 20 hours 13. An honest score, but worse than that of a Samsung Galaxy A58 (8) and its 2018 hours 16, or an Xperia XA48 and its 2 hours 15. In practice, the P40 Lite can approach two days of use in standard use, but will be more often in demand for energy on the attack of the morning of the second day.
Well calibrated screen.
Good front sensor.
Notch not always exploited.
Average photo part.
The Huawei P20 Lite is a smartphone that does quite well in all areas. We would like to see the Chinese manufacturer take a step forward in photos, but it hasn't been done yet. There remains this notch, which will bother some and leave others indifferent. For less than €400, a Samsung Galaxy A8 offers a little more.Sub Notes
- Ergonomics and design