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 sports a waterdrop notch for the selfie camera
The chin houses the other sensors
On its right are the physical buttons
On top is the hybrid card slot
The good old micro-USB is still present
The back has curved sides for better grip
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:
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:
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.
OPPO A9 2020 Hands-On: Massive and Playful
For every kind of junkie
OPPO recently streamlined its smartphone lineup. From Find and Reno, OPPO introduces us to the newest A series. On paper, it seems the A-series is a combination of the F-series and former A-series. Sitting in a sweet spot between an affordable price range and incredible performance, the OPPO A9 2020 is shaping up to be a contender in a sea of smartphones fighting for the crown in the midrange category.
With Xiaomi and Huawei firmly in the lead, can OPPO put up a fight just like it did with its F series? Let’s find out in this Hands-On!
Starting with looks, the OPPO A9 2020 gives in to a premium-like design
It has a dedicated fingerprint scanner and a quad-camera setup on its rear
You can find the power button here…
…While the left side houses the volume keys and sim card slot
Its top is clear, but its bottom shows-off its speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB-C port
It has a 6.5″ IPS LCD screen with a waterdrop notch for the front camera
The OPPO A9 2020 prides itself with its new design that took inspiration from its R-series. In addition, OPPO focused on the phone’s display, reinforcing its IPS LCD screen with a Toughened Corning Gorilla Glass 3+.
Moreover, its screen has new features such as the Sunlight Screen which allows you to adjust the contrast so you can read the screen, even under strong direct light. It also has a Blue Shield which filters out blue light, relieving your eyes from fatigue and strain and protecting your eyesight.
Going big and definitely not going home
Sporting a Snapdragon 665 chipset along with an 8GB RAM, 128GB storage (which you can expand up to 256GB of external memory), the A9 2020 really joined the battle of offering power to midrange devices. OPPO decides to make everything flashy and… big.
For instance, it boasts a humongous 5000mAh battery that can last you throughout the day. Furthermore, it’s capable of reverse wireless charging (through OTG) so your friends can rely on you when their phones run out of battery.
Gamers will find delight with the A9 2020. Thanks to Game Boost 2.0, OPPO’s accelerator technology aims to resolve latency, reduce touchscreen lag, and optimizing energy consumption to avoid overheating.
OPPO decided to up their game for entertainment junkies, too! Packed with Dual Stereo Speakers and Dolby Atmos sound effects, expect a superb, immersive audio experience.
The A9 2020 runs on ColorOS 6 based on Android 9.0. Now, its interface is cleaner and smoother. Icons look cute with their subtle gradient tones.
It also comes with smart functions like Smart Assistant, Riding Mode — which lets you remain uninterrupted by notifications and incoming calls — and a Music party app which lets multiple phones connect in the same LAN through a Wi-Fi hotspot for synchronized listening.
Navigating the phone is now easier with a single hand, too. Through Gesture Navigation, you can return to the home screen, check out recent tasks, switch pages and applications by just swiping up, left, and right.
Cameras for all angles and scenarios
The OPPO A9 2020 shows off its highly versatile camera setup. It has a 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel portrait lens, and a 2-megapixel mono lens on its rear.
On its front is a 16-megapixel camera with AI Beautification technology which automatically identifies your skin tone, age, gender, and skin color for customized beautification, giving you a pretty yet make-up free look.
More features include artistic portrait styles, ultra night mode, and 4K video shooting. More sample photos here:
Is the OPPO A9 2020 your GadgetMatch?
If you’re into massive and chunky smartphones with a solid build, the OPPO A9 2020 might be a good match. It offers power and performance for gamers and entertainment junkies, and its smartphone has a versatile camera setup to appease your needs. While there may be Xiaomi and Huawei leading the midrange category, OPPO definitely cooked up a powerful yet affordable phone that can go toe-to-toe with its rivals.
The OPPO A9 2020 is available in two colors: Space Purple and Marine Green. Its retail price is PhP 15,990 and will be available for pre-order starting September 20 until September 27 in Lazada, and through OPPO stores, authorized dealers, and e-commerce partner sites like Shopee, Akulaku, and Argomall on September 28.
For those who want to avail through Home Credit, customers can pre-order the A9 2020 starting September 20 with flexible payment terms of six and nine months with a guaranteed zero percent interest.
Nokia 3.2 Hands-On: Basic but classy
Nothing fancy but really speedy
Nokia has been stepping up its lineup of budget smartphones. Early in 2019, the brand launched a plethora of budget smartphones that are under the Android One program. One of the budget-friendly smartphones introduced was Nokia 3.2. Eager to have that Nokia experience, I took the phone out for a spin.
It’s cheap… but classy
I had high hopes when I first got the Nokia 3.2 in its box. Seeing it earlier in MWC 2019 made me appreciate its look and vibe. Compared to other budget smartphones, it’s classier and sexier. However, the phone feels a little bit downgraded when compared to its predecessor.
Nokia the 3.1 with an aluminum frame, a plastic back, and corning gorilla glass while the 3.2 used only a polycarbonate unibody design. Its plastic back is smudgy and slippery, but the phone has a tighter grip, thanks to its subtle curved edges towards the front.
Even its buttons are subtly protruding on its sides. On the left is a dedicated Google Assistant button, and on the right are its power buttons and volume keys.
Found on its back are the 13-megapixel main camera, LED Flash, and fingerprint scanner. On the other hand, its top side features a headphone jack, while the micro USB port and speaker grilles are found on the bottom.
It also features a 6.2 inches LCD panel on its front display, with a tall 19:9 ratio. It might be disrupting, but the Nokia 3.2 still sports a small notch, housing its 5-megapixel selfie camera capable of AI face unlock. Even though it might be bigger and taller this time, the Nokia 3.2 is definitely a joy to hold.
Stock Android on a budget
The saving grace for Nokia’s disappointing build (at least for me) is its clean version of Android One. That means there’s no bloatware to take up your limited memory and storage.
Additionally, the Nokia 3.2 comes with Android 9 Pie out of the box. This makes it feel faster than its competitors in the budget segment despite having a 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Fortunately, it provides a microSD card slot up to up to 400GB of storage.
An entry-level performance
Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 429 processor, the Nokia 3.2 performs better compared to its predecessor which carried a MediaTek chipset. In addition, its GPU runs on Adreno 504.
This made the Nokia 3.2 handle graphic-intensive games like Mobile Legends even if it was set on the highest graphics setting possible. There were no delay and lag spikes, ensuring smooth gameplay all throughout.
Decent cameras for your everyday needs
Featuring a 13-megapixel main camera with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture, the Nokia 3.2 takes decent photos. Depending on the lighting, both of its cameras can either take a vibrant, lively reproduced color during daylight or a slightly desaturated photo on indoor and low-light conditions.
Of course, we can’t really expect budget smartphones to have flagship-like cameras. It won’t have quick auto-focus or any fancy features like blurring your background, but it’s the compromise we’re getting when we follow our tight budget. At the very least, make use of natural light and other camera tricks to improve your photos.
Lasts longer than your partner
If there’s one thing I enjoyed with this smartphone, it’s the humongous battery. Packing a 4000mAh battery, the Nokia 3.2 can definitely last a day on a single charge. It can handle your multimedia use and everyday tasks throughout the day, yet it will still have enough juice left to carry you through the night.
However, for a phone carrying a huge battery, it charges slowly at 10W. This phone might just be good for those who love to charge their phones overnight.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
The Nokia 3.2 is a contender in the budget segment. It might have a disappointing build and design, but the phone packs with power, performance, and speed, thanks to Google’s Android One program.
With a starting price of PhP 7,990 (US$ 154) for the 3GB/32GB model, Nokia loyalists will find this a real treat. For people looking for a secondary phone, or a primary phone with no frills and just functions to handle your everyday needs, the Nokia 3.2 could be your GadgetMatch.
However, there are still far better options in the budget category, like the Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3. If Nokia wants to come back in its former glory and capture people looking for an affordable powerhouse, they need to join the battle and beat Realme and Redmi in their game, just like Samsung bending over to compete in the tough budget battlefield.
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