Hands-On

Honor 10 Lite Hands-on: Toning it down

When Honor 8X meets Honor 10

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After impressing us with the Honor 8X, the Huawei sub-brand now has a new midrange phone: the Honor 10 Lite. As its name implies, this is a toned-down version of the Honor 10, even though that phone is already a bang-for-the-buck device.

Is the Lite version any good? To answer that, let’s get on to our hands-on. You know the drill; we first take a look at the phone’s physique.

It’s got a 6.2-inch Full HD+ display

It’s an IPS LCD with wide viewing angles

It sports a waterdrop notch for the selfie camera

Less obtrusive than a conventional notch

The chin houses the other sensors

Because there’s no more space on top

On its right are the physical buttons

One for adjusting volume and another for power

On top is the hybrid card slot

Users need to choose between a second SIM or a microSD card

The good old micro-USB is still present

Along with the 3.5mm port and loudspeaker

The back has curved sides for better grip

It’s still not made from glass, though

There are two AI-powered rear cameras

Feels good in your hand

The Honor 10 Lite inherits the design of the Honor 10, but there are changes to keep its price down. To be honest, the Lite version is a blend of the main Honor 10 model and its midrange cousin the Honor 8X.

If you find notches to be a distraction, the Honor 10 Lite’s minimal notch might win you over. It’s not a totally new solution since Vivo and OPPO already have their own versions, but it’s nice to see it available on more affordable phones.

The display, with its Full HD+ resolution, is sharp and has good color reproduction. It’s not as bright as I’d want it to be, but it’s still usable even outdoors. The overall quality of the screen is one of the best you can have at this price point.

The curved back of the Honor 10 Lite makes it more natural to hold. This little design choice has a great impact on day-to-day use, unless you put on a case. It’s not perfect though, because I find the position of the rear fingerprint reader hard to reach using the index finger. Maybe its position is a bit higher than what I am used to.

It’s got the Kirin prowess

The presence of the Kirin 710 processor among midrange Huawei and Honor phones has become the norm. The Honor 10 Lite is no different and that’s a good thing. The Kirin 710 processor from Huawei’s own chipset factory proved itself to be a good contender. It’s not the best in the business, but it’s efficient and can deliver good performance.

The Honor 10 Lite will be available in multiple memory and storage configuration; I strongly advise to get the highest possible. My review unit only has 3GB of memory which isn’t much, but it was still able to run apps and games smoothly. I had no issues with the general performance of the Honor 10 Lite. The phone runs the latest EMUI 9.0 (based on Android 9 Pie) with all the customizations you’d expect. I am not a fan of EMUI because of how it looks, but that’s just me.

Gaming performance is good, even though my unit only has 3GB of memory to share with other opened apps. Both Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG: Mobile are playable on high graphics settings. It’s worth pointing out that the phone gets a bit warm while playing.

AI-powered front and rear cameras

Equipped with a total of three cameras, the Honor 10 Lite is more than capable of shooting quality photos. The phone has a pair of 13- and 2-megapixel shooters on the back. As always, the secondary sensor enables the phone to shoot portrait photos. Not only that, the staple AI feature is here as well. Thankfully, you can turn off AI even after taking the shot just in case you don’t like how it processes the image.

Here are some samples taken using the rear cameras:

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With a 24-megapixel front camera, there’s no doubt that the Honor 10 Lite is going after selfie lovers. To top that, AI and scene-detection capabilities are also turned on when taking selfies. The usual beautification feature is available, but there’s no AI beauty like on other phones

Check out these samples:

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Even with a high-resolution front sensor, I find the selfies taken with the Honor 10 Lite to be lacking. The rear cameras are quite good though, even in low-light scenarios.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Honor 10 Lite is a welcome addition to the growing midrange segment. The Honor 8X is already a compelling offering from Huawei’s sub-brand. This places the Honor 10 Lite in a confusing position.

Since the Honor 8X and the Honor 10 Lite practically offer the same value for your money, choosing the latter over the former has to be justified — aside from being the newer one of the two. What makes the Honor 10 Lite preferable over the Honor 8X are its improved selfie camera, slimmer profile, and updated software. The Honor 8X, on the other hand, appeals more to power users.

Are those enough to knock over the Honor 8X? Well, it’s a matter of preference. You may read our review of the Honor 8X to help you make the choice between the two.

The Honor 10 Lite is sold in different memory and storage configurations. It has a starting price of INR 13,999 in India and PhP 9,990 in the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: Honor 10 Lite vs OPPO F9 vs Vivo V11: Selfie Shootout

Cameras

Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?

Trying out the new Motion Mode on doggies!

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Fujifilm’s sequel to their first ever digital/analog hybrid is here and it’s looking better than ever. The Instax SQ20 is one classy-looking instant camera but what can it do? With a set of built-in filters and new features like the Motion Mode, it looks like a promising device.

I finally try it out, with help from some doggies, on our hands-on video.

The SQ20 retails for US$ 199 in the US, PhP 12,999 in the Philippines, and SG$ 299 in Singapore.

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

READ ALSO: Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

READ ALSO: Prynt Pocket unboxing and review: A printer that prints videos?

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Hands-On

Huawei Nova 4 Hands-on: A ‘hole’ new approach

Does the punch-hole display make a difference?

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One of the reasons why Huawei is always on the news, aside from the controversies, is because they have new phones every other week. I’m still loving the Mate 20 Pro for its amazing cameras, but there’s now the Nova 4 that, in my opinion, will be an interesting option for new smartphone buyers.

The Huawei Nova 4 offers pretty much everything a premium midrange phone should: a nice display, beautiful body, and good cameras. It’s also one of the few phones in the market that has a hole in its display instead of a notch.

Is a punch-hole display more preferable than a notch? That’s what I tried to find out while using the Nova 4 for this hands-on.

First, let’s start with the basics:

It’s got a notch-less 6.4-inch display

In exchange, there’s a hole for the front camera

There’s support for two nano-SIM cards

No space for a microSD card, though

On its right are the physical buttons

They blend in well with the phone’s frame

The 3.5mm headphone jack is on top

Along with an IR blaster and noise-canceling microphone

At the bottom is the reversible USB-C port

There’s also the loudspeaker and main microphone

The back houses three cameras

And the swift fingerprint reader

The gradient color scheme is present

This has become Huawei’s signature

Can’t deny that it’s from Huawei

From its body to its color, the Nova 4 contains 100 percent of Huawei’s DNA. Gone are the days where we associate every touchscreen phone as an iPhone. Once the gradient color of the Nova 4 shifts, it instantly captivates. The usual question I get when my friends see me holding the Nova 4 is: It that a Huawei?

Personally, I wouldn’t buy a phone with an extreme persona like this Aurora Blue variant of the Nova 4 I have for review. I still prefer my discreet OnePlus 6 in black, but that’s just me. Of course, there’s a black variant of the Nova 4 available as well for those who don’t want a phone that becomes a centerpiece on a table.

The shape and size of the Nova 4 are no different from any premium phone that came out lately. It’s got a glass front and back with a shiny metal frame and the sides of the phone curve gently, making it easier to grip. Overall, I found no issues about the build of the Nova 4, aside from it being smudgy most of the time.

At first, I found the punch-hole to be as annoying as the notch. The hole is larger than expected, but I got used to it. Most apps treat the hole like a notch, so the experience is similar to before. The punch-hole doesn’t have an advantage over the notch in terms of usability.

Where the punch-hole shines is how it’s more tolerable when watching a video in full screen. Some games are not aware of the area the hole is occupying, thus control buttons get covered. Turning off the “full screen display” switch for some games fixes this.

Flagship-grade speed and stability

Enough with the looks; let’s now dive into the internals of the phone. The brain of the Nova 4 is the Kirin 970 processor. It’s the previous flagship 10nm chipset from Huawei’s own labs. It’s also inside the Mate 10 and the P20 series. Moreover, the Nova 4 has the same processor as its predecessor.

Performance-wise, there’s no big difference. This means Nova 3 owners don’t need to upgrade, unless they want a new and different-looking phone. The advantage of the Nova 4 is its upgraded memory to 8GB, although storage remains the same at 128GB.

Android Pie comes out of the box with Huawei’s EMUI 9 placed on top. Frankly, there’s not much new about the custom interface since EMUI 6, aside from the staple features of Android Pie. The heavy skin of EMUI doesn’t affect the performance of the phone, but it’s also not the best-looking.

In terms of gaming, popular titles like Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG Mobile are playable on high graphics settings. There’s no sign of hiccups or lag thanks to the optimizations by Huawei’s GPU Turbo.

As mentioned, the hole in the display is considered a “notch” by the system, so you can still hide the area it occupies by diving into the Settings panel. This makes the phone look hole-free, but you lose the extra screen real estate in some apps. So far, there are no issues with system and third-party apps, and I hope it stays that way.

Good cameras with ultra wide-angle lens

When it comes to taking photos, the Nova 4 doesn’t disappoint. It’s got a main 20-megapixel camera paired with an ultra wide-angle 16-megapixel shooter. There’s also a 2-megapixel depth sensor to help in taking portrait shots with bokeh effect. As for selfies, the 25-megapixel front camera can take detailed and pleasing stills.

AI scene detection is available both on the front and rear cameras, so the phone always helps in taking the best-possible photo. Check out these samples:

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Like with most camera phones, the Nova 4 can take good-looking photos in broad daylight. Good thing the quality doesn’t drop when shooting indoors or in the evening. Generally, the Nova 4 is a capable phone for taking photos, except the ultra wide-angle lens doesn’t sport autofocus. Night mode is also available when you need to take photos in incredibly dark environments.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The Huawei Nova 4 is a new smartphone with a fresh approach to the notch dilemma. If you dislike the notch, the punch-hole display is your next best option.

For me, the ideal best bezel-less phone doesn’t have a notch or a hole — just like the Mi Mix 3, OPPO Find X, or Vivo NEX. Those phones have their own issues about their approach, however. It’s just a matter of preference at this point because nothing is perfect — for now.

While I wait for the perfect bezel-less phone without moving parts or display cutouts, I appreciate the options given to us. In the end, it’s your choice if you want a notch, a hole, or a mechanism to house the selfie camera. There are also phones without front cameras at all, maybe that’s your cup of tea — or coffee.

SEE ALSO: How the Huawei Watch GT made me believe in smartwatches

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Accessories

Neutrogena’s Light Treatment stick will target your pimples

I tried it to see if it works!

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Adult acne is real and it has plagued one too many women (and men!). In the search for beauty tech that will help rid me of my breakouts forever, I discovered Neutrogena’s Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment. (It’s a mouthful, I know.)

This LED light treatment stick uses red and blue LED lights to target specific spots on your face to treat acne in the most unobtrusive way possible. But, how exactly does it work and is it effective? I gave it a shot and here’s how my experience went.

In case you’re having trouble viewing, watch HERE.

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