Huawei P30 Lite Review: Triple Camera Budget Champ

Huawei made quite a mark on the world of mobiles when they launched the P30 Pro. It took on the flagships of major companies head-on with its triple camera setup. However, the P30 Pro was quite expensive and the people looking to get some of the same features had to make do with the lite version of the flagship, the Huawei P30 Lite.

There are many people who shy away from Huawei, simply because they do not want a processor that is made by the company itself rather than the conventional Snapdragon or MediaTek processors. However, the Kirin processors have proven themselves to be just as good, if not better than the conventional SoCs.

Huawei P30 Lite Review: Everything That You Need To Know

Quick Highlights

The P30 Lite provided a lot of the P30 Pro without the price tag that accompanied with the flagship. This is why, the P30 Lite became very popular with the people who wanted the premium design of the elder sibling and most of the features within the price of a budget smartphone.

The Huawei P30 Lite gets rid of the conventional notch and replaces it with the teardrop camera notch like the one that we first saw on the Essential phone. The design is striking and the storage is quite generous as well. The phone is an overall good value for its price tag, bringing you the best of the features in a budget phone.

One of the best things about the Huawei P30 Lite is the camera setup that allows you to capture the moments without any delay with the fast capture speeds. One thing that holds back the P30 Lite is its processor which does not break even with the ones that the competitors are offering in the same price range.

Design And Display

Huawei P30 Lite - Design and Display

The overall profile of the Huawei P30 Lite is almost the same as the other phones from the company. The Huawei phones are following the slim and light design that helps provide a premium touch to the phone. There is a glass panel at the back which curves around the edges. This allows the user to hold the phone quite comfortably without the corners pushing into the palm of the hand.

The one thing that does not allow the phone to be as magnificent as it could be is the cheap and glossy frame that is around the edges, which attracts a lot of fingerprints too. One way to deal with the fingerprints and hide the frames is to put on a case or a skin on the edges.

There is a fingerprint sensor on the back and the volume rockers are on the right side below the power button. We believe that the quality of the buttons could have been a lot better since Huawei is a large corporation and could have easily invested in making better buttons.

One of the better things about the phone is the presence of a USB Type C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack that allows you to plug in your headphones for an amazing sound experience. What is not so good about the phone is the single downward firing mono speaker that does not allow for a good sound experience.

The Huawei P30 Lite is available in Midnight Black and Peacock Blue, of which the latter is the better choice. The Peacock Blue receives the signature Huawei gradient design and it looks great when the change in the way the light hits the phone shifts the color of the rear end from blue to purple. There is an inverted S on the back that shimmers on catching light, providing the phone with a premium look that it deserves. The glass back, however, is a trap for fingerprints. Therefore, it is recommended that you put a case or wrap your phone with a skin.

When you turn the phone over to the front, you are greeted with a beautiful and large 6.15-inch LCD display. It has a full HD 2312×1080 resolution and a screen to body ratio of about 84%. The bezels on the sides are quite thin while there is a somewhat large chin at the bottom. At the top, the phone sports a teardrop notch that is way less intrusive in the screen real estate than a regular notch. The corners of the phone are rounded off to not intrude in the comfort of the palm when holding it from the corner.

The display is quite stunning considering the budget of the phone. The notch does not cause much of a hindrance when watching videos or playing games in landscape mode. The brightness of the phone is adequate for use in bright light conditions and the quality of the colors is quite crisp as well.

However, the one place where the display does not stand up to the competition is the sharpness of the colors. While the IPS LCD is good for the price range, it is not as good as the QHD displays or AMOLED displays that are offered on some of the phones with a small price difference.

Battery life and Camera

Huawei P30 Lite - Battery life and camera

Camera review:

There is a triple camera setup at the rear of the Huawei P30 Lite. There is a primary 24MP sensor that is responsible for the capture of maximum details. It also has a secondary 2MP sensor that is responsible for the depth perception for beautiful bokeh shots while the tertiary 8MP sensor allows for the ultra wide shots to capture the wide sceneries. At the front, you will find a 32MP sensor that provides you with more than beautiful selfie shots.

The front camera is the star highlight of the phone. There are many AI beautification features that allow for enhancing various aspects of the pictures that you take on the Huawei P30 Lite. The front camera understands the shape and type of the face that it is going to click the picture of and enhances the picture in order to bring more softness to the facial features.

There is a hybrid zoom option that allows magnification upto 5 times and 10 times that allows you to capture details in a picture that would otherwise have been impossible to get with any other phone. There is a digital zoom as well which allows magnifications of up to 30 times. This would allow you to capture things that are further than you can imagine.

For instance, Huawei advertises the phone to be able to capture good pictures of the moon with the Huawei P30 Lite. The lens and the sensors are able to capture more than 40% more light than a normal phone and you can turn the night shots into beautiful memories that you can preserve for the rest of your life.

The camera of the Huawei P30 Lite has an ISO range between 204 and 800 that allows you to capture the darkest skies and turn them into a starry one. The phone also has the Huawei AIS Long Exposure mode that can help you turn everyday things like streams and waterfalls into artistic masterpieces that you can blow up onto a canvas and hang it up in your living room.

The one thing that sets the phone apart from the rest of the smartphones within the same price range is the availability of the ultra wide lens. It allows you to capture more of the landscape around you and bring in more details than the smartphones that you have had already. The macro shots on the Huawei P30 Lite, giving you the chance to take pictures from 2.5 cm away.

The HDR+ mode of the Huawei P30 Lite deserves more attention than it gets. It uses the AI technology, taking in several frames and joining the best parts of the bunch of the pictures to create a picture that looks more than just amazing. The HDR+ mode of the phone balances the color, saturation, and light perfectly and it is rather unseen in a phone in the price range.

Battery life:

The battery of the Huawei P30 Lite is rather small. Standing it at just 3,340mAh, you would expect the battery to run out in times of need. However, the internals of the phone are not really that power demanding and you can expect the phone to last you through the better part of the day. However, this is true only for moderate use of the phone.

You cannot expect the battery to last you through the day if you are performing heavy tasks like playing heavy games as PUBG Mobile or editing pictures and videos on the phone all day. However, if you are streaming videos and surfing through social media, you can expect the phone to give you a good one day battery life.

Hardware & Software

Huawei P30 Lite - Hardware and software

Hardware Performance:

A) Processor

The Huawei P30 Lite features the mid-range processor from the company, the Kirin 710 SoC. It is the same processor that we find in the Honor 10 Lite and the Honor 8x. This is where the true nature of the budget smartphone comes into play with the Huawei P30 Lite. You can perform the daily tasks that you would on any other budget smartphone and gaming is also possible running most titles at low to mediums settings. The phone will however, not be able to switch between heavy applications as seamlessly as its elder siblings.

Huawei P30 Lite - Geekbench score

While the P30 Lite is not a performance champ by any means, it manages to stay head to head with other devices in its price range. The Kirin 710 even scores better multi core performance in the Geekbench test than the Galaxy A50.

B) Gaming

The Huawei P30 Lite is a budget smartphone and the specs are mid-ranged as well. This is one of the main reasons why you cannot play heavy games at full graphics on the smartphone. However, if you are looking to play light games that do not require much RAM or Processor strength, you are in luck. The phone is able to push out decent frame rates on lighter games. On the other hand, the heavy games like Call of Duty Mobile or PUBG Mobile will bring you decent frame rates only if you lower the quality of the graphics.

C) Non-Gaming Performance

When you are living with the Huawei P30 Lite, you will be performing a lot of tasks that are not playing games. This would include things like surfing the internet or playing music and videos. When it is the latter, you will not have any problems with the phone. However, if you are surfing the internet and have multiple tabs open at the same time, the phone can take a few seconds to reload the pages that you might have opened in the background.

D) RAM and Storage

The Huawei P30 Lite sports a 4GB RAM that is capable of handling light to moderate multi-tasking. The internal storage of the phone is capped at 128GB, allowing you to store quite a lot of content on your phone. You can also expand the internal storage of the phone by up to 512GB by inserting a microSD card.

However, this is not the only storage that you get with the device. Huawei offers its own cloud storage for its users. Granted that it is free to only a limited storage amount, you can avail more of the cloud storage if you choose to pay for it. 

E) Communications and Sensors

The Huawei P30 Lite is the cheaper more budget friendly version of the expensive P30 flagship. However, Huawei has not done any cut offs in the sensors department. The phone covers all necessary sensors including accelerometer, gyro, proximity and compass. The fingerprint sensor is mounted at the back of the device and works fast.

The phone supports 4G LTE, 3G and 2G. Comes with Dual Band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac , Bluetooth 4.2 , GPS and Type C port. Headphone lovers will appreciate the 3.5mm jack for use with wired audio peripherals.  There is no under display fingerprint sensor or wireless charging but since this is a budget phone that is understandable.

Software Experience

Huawei P30 Lite - emui

The Huawei P30 Lite comes with EMUI 9.0 based on Android Pie right out of the box. The EMUI allows the users to simplify their daily tasks through the use of AI features. There are new vibration feedbacks and pure sounds that help to increase the interactive nature of the phone’s hearing and touch experience.

Huawei’s EMUI will cover most if not all of the features that you might need when using your smartphone. There are also special Huawei addons like HI-Vision or the preinstalled apps such as Movie Maker. There is also an emphasis on AI powered features which try to make predictions based on how you use your smartphone. There is also a lot of customization options for the user interface which is not seen in other UI’s like stock android.

One drawback of all these features however is bloatware. While many features are often useful there are some apps pre installed in the device that you may never need but cannot be uninstalled. This uses up unnecessary resources on the smartphone which can cause slowdowns.

EMUI promises a feature rich experience with a touch of nature and there are many features to love. The bloatware could have been reduced but it will not break the overall experience of using the device.

Overall Verdict

Huawei P30 Lite - Overall verdict

Over the past few years, Huawei has smudged the lines between budget and premium smartphones. It comes to no surprise that the company can launch a phone that has the features of a mainstream phone but is priced under the budget categories to ensure that the others in the same category take a serious hit.

The design and display of the phone are quite premium to look at and touch. The camera hits the ball out of the park. The triple camera setup is unseen in the price range and will continue to dominate the field without any competitor coming even close.

The phone takes a hit when it comes to the performance. Heavy gaming is impossible on the Huawei P30 Lite without reaching levels of frustrations due to the lags in the game or the scratchy gameplay that is to be expected with the high graphics.

The AI Technology in the phone is able to bring a lot of optimization to your daily life and is offered to bring an ease of access with the various gesture controls, battery optimization, and boost in performance. The battery life on the phone is enough to live with but not enough that you can go days without charging your phone.

Overall, the Huawei P30 Lite is a good choice for anyone who is looking to buy a budget smartphone with a great camera. If you are looking to buy a phone to play games or perform heavy tasks, the P30 Lite should not be in your list of consideration.

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