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Sunday, 4 June 2017

HONOR 8 LITE features


Honor, the sub brand of Huawei, has been trying its best to make a mark with its offerings such as the Honor 6X, Honor 8 and more. But the company seems to be facing tough competition from rivals such as Motorola and XiaomiOppo and others in the budget and mid-range segment.


To gain more traction in India, which also happens to be one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, Honor few months back tried to bring the flagship Huawei P9 to more affordable market in the form of Honor 8. Now, to bring the Honor 8 to users with more tight pockets, the company has launched its Honor 8 Lite. Being the stripped down version of the Honor 8, the Honor 8 Lite is priced at Rs 17,999. The sacrifise can also be seen in the spec-sheet.


But based on the price tag is it really bang for the buck? We used it for a week and here's what the buzz is all about.



Design and display

Don't expect the Honor 8 Lite to be light-weight as it sports a combo of metal and glass, which gives a 'faux' sense of premium-ness. Playing on the same design profile as the Honor 8, the handset's back is covered with a layer of glass while the front has a 5.2-inch screen with 2.5D glass. These, when added up with the brushed metal side panels and 7.6mm thin profile doesn't just make the handset look more elegant but also fragile at the same time.


There's a rear camera on the top left corner with LED flash, a fingerprint sensor at the centre and a company branding below. There are two speaker grilles at the bottom, of these just one is the main speaker while the other mirrors the audio coming from the main speaker. A micro USB port lies in the middle of the speaker.




The volume and power buttons are on the right side and within a thumbs reach but unfortunately not as tactile as we've noticed in some other handsets. The SIM card and microSD card slot lie on the left side bezel, while the front-facing camera lies on the speaker grille placed above the display. There is also a multi-colour LED notification light for alerting users.


While the Honor 8 Lite's design is worth appreciating, its display was underwhelming. The handset has a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) display, a combination that is used widely across multiple smartphones in the mid-segment. The display is coated with 2.5D curved glass. Although we like the curved glass coating, it also means easy picking up of minor scratches on the display from the corners.


The display is bright and crisp but not the best one seen in the smartphone in a given price range. Like other mid-rangers, this too has a Blue Light filter, which you can activate manually or set a schedule for. Some of the other options that shouldn't come as a surprise for you are the font size change, themes, text style options, screen saver and colour temperature adjustment. The smartphone's screen manages to make itself readable under bright daylight situations.


However, one of the drawbacks is the omission of the oleophobic coating, which makes it vulnerable to even slightest of smudges and fingerprints. We would prefer you to apply a screen guard on the Honor 8 Lite. Besides this minor issue in the screen, it is decent.





Performance and camera


Performance is one of the departments where the Honor 8 Lite falls short of impressing us. Although it is the same processor (Kirin 655) that powered the Honor 6X, which was an impressive handset in itself, it fails to make the Honor 8 Lite run fluently. We encountered lags in certain places while playing heavy games and multitasking. For instance, we tried the newly-launched graphic-heavy Injustice 2 and the device hanged every single time. Playing full-HD videos from the storage was no problem per say.


The octa-core processor (4+4 Cortex A53 cores with Mali-T830 MP2 GPU) is supported by 4GB RAM, which is likely the saving grace for the handset's processing performance. We ran both Antutu and Geekbench on the Honor 8 Lite and as expected got low scores of 57739 and 816,3348 (single-core, multi-core) respectively.


Android OS and the user interface on top also plays an important part in the performance section. After using the smartphone for sometime along with our experience with previous Honor devices, we can say that Huawei has done an impressive job with its EMUI. The Honor 8 Lite runs the same version as we saw in the Honor 8 - EMUI 5.0, which has the comparatively new Android 7.0 Nougat as its base. EMUI does seem a different initially with its overlayed options and more. But it is easy to find your way around.


A ton of features and customisations can be found if you dig the Settings option deep enough. You can enable/disable 4G calling, switch the home screen style along with app layouts and grid customisations, select a combination of navigation keys that are placed at the bottom of the display, customise the fingerprint sensor to take images, answer calls and more. Similar to Honor 8, the Honor 8 Lite also lets you customise the fingerprint gesture to show the notification panel, browse photos and more, a function we are a big fan of.





Camera is not the best in the segment but is impressive enough to fullfill the needs of majority of customers. The Honor 8 Lite comes with a single 12MP rear autofocus camera with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash. The colour are well saturated and the images shot in both daylight and artificial light conditions are impressive. The images shot in low light are equally good with much lesser noise levels as compared to others during low-light shots. There is one-touch access to most of the frequently-used features such as video capturing, switching between front and rear cameras, filters, Beauty mode, gallery and the enable/disable flash option.
The fingerprint sensor worked with accuracy everytime during our use. We mostly used it for unlocking the device.


For better productivity you can activate a floating dock, switch to one-handed UI design, activate motion control features such as flip to mute as well. Honor has its own HiBoard when you swipe to the extreme left on the main home screen. For those unaware, HiBaord is Honor's way of letting users search for content from both inside and outside the device. It can be deactivated by long pressing on the home screen and navigating to the 'Settings' option.


The dual-SIM smartphone comes with a hybrid microSD card slot. So you can either have two SIM cards activated at once or a single SIM activated with extra storage capability.




Swiping towards left will give you the camera and video settings where you can change the aspect ratio, and toggle touch to capture, smile capture and other features. On the right there are different capturing modes to choose from. There is an 8MP front-facing camera with wide-angle lens, which makes taking selfies easier.


Battery, being one of the deciding factors in a smartphone, won't let you down. The Honor 8 Lite uses a 3000mAh battery, which in our day-to-day usage ran for over 9-10 hours constantly on a regular use. Light users will be able to stretch the running time to over 12 hours easily.


Honor has thrown in a couple of battery-saving features in its 8 Lite as well. You can activate the Power Saving Mode, which like seen in other handsets with similar options, limits the background app activity, reduces or disables visual effects and sounds, disables background email retrieval and more. There is also an 'Ultra Power Saving' option that runs only select apps. What's nifty is the handset's constant reminder from time to time about the apps that hog power in the background.



The lack of fast-charging does pinch a little.




Verdict



Honor 8 Lite does leave a good impression in the battery, OS and camera department. These three factors does make it one of the potential contenders in the particular price point. Design, to some extent, is decent but nothing that you aren't familiar with. It does come with useful features baked right inside the UI and the obvious new features that come with Android 7.0 Nougat. But not everything is impressive with Honor 8 Lite.



The smartphone's display is just about average and smudge-friendly, which could be bothersome for users. The processor, though being one of the latest ones, struggles when it comes to multi-tasking between heavy apps or smooth handling of games. It, however, will be able to get most of the job done. Some of the alternatives worth checking out are Moto MMoto G5 PlusVivo V5 and Oppo F1S.

HONOR 8 LITE SPECIFICATIONS

SUMMARY
performanceOcta core
display5.2" (13.21 cm)
storage64 GB
camera12 MP
battery3000 mAh
ram4 GB
SPECIAL FEATURES
fingerprint sensor positionBack
other sensorsLight sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope
fingerprint sensorYes
GENERAL
operating systemAndroid v7.0 (Nougat)
sim slotsDual SIM, GSM+GSM
model8 Lite
launch dateMay 12, 2017 (Official)
custom uiEMUI 5.0
brandHonor
sim sizeSIM1: Nano SIM2: Nano (Hybrid)
network4G: Available (supports Indian bands) 3G: Available, 2G: Available
fingerprint sensorYes
MULTIMEDIA
loudspeakerYes
audio jack3.5 mm
PERFORMANCE
chipsetHiSilicon Kirin 655
graphicsMali-T830 MP2
processorOcta core (2.1 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53 + 1.7 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53)
ram4 GB
DESIGN
thickness7.6 mm
width72.9 mm
weight147 grams
height147.2 mm
coloursBlack, Blue
DISPLAY
display typeIPS LCD
screen to body ratio69.3 %
pixel density424 ppi
screen size5.2 inches (13.21 cm)
screen resolutionFull HD (1080 x 1920 pixels)
touch screenYes Capacitive Touchscreen, Multi-touch
STORAGE
internal memory64 GB
expandable memoryYes Up to 128 GB
CAMERA
settingsExposure compensation, ISO control
camera featuresDigital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus
image resolution4000 x 3000 Pixels
sensorBack-illuminated sensor (BSI)
autofocusYes
shooting modesContinuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
resolution8 MP Front Camera
optical image stabilisationNo
flashNo
video recording1920x1080 @ 30 fps
BATTERY
user replaceableNo
typeLi-ion
capacity3000 mAh
NETWORK CONNECTIVITY
wifiYes Wi-Fi 802.11, b/g/n
wifi featuresMobile Hotspot
bluetoothYes v4.1
usb typecYes (Doesn't support micro-USB)
nfcNo
network support4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G
gpsYes with A-GPS
sim 14G Bands:TD-LTE 2300(band 40) FD-LTE 1800(band 3)3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz GPRS:Available EDGE:Available
sim sizeSIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano (Hybrid)
sim 24G Bands: TD-LTE 2300(band 40) FD-LTE 1800(band 3)3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz 2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz GPRS:Available EDGE:Available
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