At a glance
- 5.85 Inch LTPS LCD Screen
- Android 8.0, upgradeable to Android 9.0
- Dual Camera, 16MP and 2MP, 1080p video recording
- 3000 mAh battery, fast charging
- £129 (Amazon) £19 pcm (Vodafone)
- Sleek, premium looking design that feels great in the hand
- Budget handset with solid enough performance for most browsing and scrolling
- Bright, all-screen design with great clarity. reminiscent of more expensive competitor products.
Design and appearance
The P20 Lite, like its cousins the P20 and P20 Pro, is a stylish phone that reinvented the Huawei brand on release in 2018. In the hand it feels sleek but not too cheap, as it's a combo of glass and aluminium, with less of the plastic additions often found on budget models. It's also light, at 141g. The significant feature for the P20 Lite was that it contained a screen notch reminiscent of the Iphone X. Although this is more common now, many consumers still aren't fans of the notch and how it breaks up the screen. Huawei combats this by allowing the sides of the notch to darken in most apps, which works well here. The P20 Lite also has a back mounted fingerprint sensor which is quirky and fairly intuitive for quickly unlocking the phone.
The Huawei P20 range is celebrated for its camera wizardry, but if that's what you're looking for in your phone the P20 Lite is unfortunately not quite as exciting as it's more premium cousins. Though it does contain a fairly solid 16mp wide lens as its main camera, with a 2mp second lens dealing with depth information, the picture quality isn't close to the P20 Pro or even the P20. In the budget smartphone class this camera stands up, and will take clear photos in good light. In low light the P20 Lite struggles.
The Huawei P20's 5.84-inch LTPS screen offers good resolution and clarity, and it's larger size allows applications to run in widescreen. This gives an overall strong viewing experience for content. That being said, the sharpness and contrast of the screen doesn't compare to the more premium AMOLED screen seen in the P20 Pro. The P20 Lite, however, does share its screen resolution with its more expensive cousin, the P20. The 1080x2240 screen resolution is good enough for day-to-day smartphone usage, including movies and TV shows.
Software and features
The P20 Lite runs on Android 8.0 as standard and can be upgraded to Android 9.0. This is not the latest iteration of Android and Huawei's phones also use their own overlay for the operating system, called EMUI. For this reason, the P20 Lite doesn't look or operate exactly like other Android phones and this might take some getting used to for those switching from another brand. While the P20 Lite was made while Google still provided apps for Huawei, in recent years the two companies are moving apart, due to Google's ban on making software for Chinese companies. For this reason, apps and software updates may get more difficult to come by in the future.
Running on a Kirin 659 processor, the P20 Lite is solid without being very powerful. It won't be able to play high-end games like the other Huawei P20 models, and most will default to low-graphics mode. This processor should allow you to operate the system without too much lag, but don't expect much beyond that from the P20 Lite.