Overview & Price
The Huawei Mate 20 Lite is a great alternative to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, in this review we will be going over the specifications of the device, giving you our verdict and even showcasing some of todays best Huawei Mate 20 Lite contract deals.
Launched in August of 2018, the phone has a big display and some impressive camera features.
Check out the best Huawei Mate 20 Lite contract deals..
Priced at £380 in the UK, the Huawei Mate 20 Lite is certainly cheaper than its big brother the Mate 20 Pro.
Battery life is good and can last a while but performance is mediocre, lets take a closer look at what makes this phone special.
The Huawei Mate 20 Lite camera is seriously impressive, however it does suffer in low light situations.
You may be wondering is the Huawei Mate 20 Lite waterproof? More on that shortly..
Design & Display
So first thing is first, what it the build quality and design of the Huawei mate 20 lite really like?
Well it has a metal frame, which is between two glass surfaces, giving it a much more premium look, actually without knowing it was a mid-range device we would genuinely think that it was a premium flagship handset.
The design of the phone is interesting to say the least, but the first thing you will notice is that it is absolutely huge! This is due to the edge-to-edge display and the lack of bezels on the phone.
Much bigger than your typical iPhone this thing can be compared to the iPhone XS Max, although it feels a lot less bulky and easier to wield in your hand.
Being just 7.6mm thick and weighing a 172g it really does easy to hold.
At the very top of the device you will see a tiny hole, which houses the microphone and around the back of the phone you will find two portholes which house the dual camera, right underneath you will see the fingerprint scanner.
Image: Kārlis Dambrāns
We love the unique porthole design but found it a little inconvenient that it was so close the scanner as we found ourselves touching the camera instead of the scanner for a little while until we got the hang of the phone.
With the portholes being dead centre of the phone and only sticking out by just 1mm, the phone will sit calmly on a desk without wobbling and triggering that crazy side of you!
One design feature we loved is that Huawei has decided to keep the headphone jack in this phone, meaning you don’t need an adapter to listen to music whilst in the car.
So is the Huawei Mate 20 Lite waterproof?
Although with the phone being on the more budget side of devices, you wont find an IP water resistance rating here so be careful not to drop this thing in the tub.
There is a SIM tray around the side of the phone meaning if you need to you can add a microSD card (expandable up to 256GB) to ensure you have more than enough storage for music and photos.
However the phone does come standard with 64GB of storage, which is very impressive for a phone of this price.
Huawei has chosen a 6.3-inch IPS LCD screen for the Mate 20 Lite, we were impressed with the phones display as colours are accurate and we had no issues with brightness.
There is a small notch cut out at the top of the display which is home to the front facing camera, however if your not a fan of the notch, no problem it can easily be hidden in the settings which makes the screen a little more even when it comes to gaming or watching YouTube videos.
The 1080×2340 resolution gives a pixel density of 409, which is surprisingly good when you consider the price tag of the phone.
he Huawei mate 20 lite actually uses a ‘Smart Resolution’ mode, which will automatically adjust the resolution in order to save battery on the phone, and keep you going for longer.
The display itself can project over 16million different colours, which is awesome as you can really find some interesting shades especially when gaming.
What’s under the hood we hear you ask?
Well the Huawei Mate 20 lite offers Android 8.1.0 with EMUI 8.2, which gives you options like scrolling apps page or homescreens, and it allows you to pick how many columns of icons you would like on one particular screen.
This phone offers AI in multiple areas of the device, which is awesome!
AI features are in most areas of the phone, for example in ‘Game Suite’ where you can find all of your games in one place.
When in game sweet you have options for GPU turbo, which will essentially ramp up the graphics in order to give you the best gaming experience possible.
You will also find a ‘Do Not Disturb’ option when in Game Suite which stops annoying texts disturbing your gameplay, however important texts and notifications will come through when the sender has sent a message multiple times.
So of course we tested the device on a couple of our favourite games, first being ‘RuneScape’ which we used max graphics for.
The phone did not struggle at all and game us an impeccable gaming experience, no lag or stutter and everything was crisp with some beautiful colours and scenery thanks to the awesome display and AI features in the phone.
We then tested out playing ‘Fortnite’ which again game an amazing overall experience, especially with the ‘GPU Turbo’ setting on.
We found ourselves playing for long periods with the phone not showing any signs of slowing down which was seriously impressive for a mid-range device such as this.
Image: Kārlis Dambrāns
Huawei really do pull it out of the bag every time when it comes to the performance of their phones.
The Huawei Mate 20 lite has a Kirin 710 processor with four Cortex-A73 cores; in Lehman’s terms it’s an absolute beast.
This chipset is more powerful than what you would find in the Moto G6 Play or Honor Play, which are the Mate 20 lite’s competition.
The Kirin 970 was actually used in the Huawei P20 Pro, cool to see considering the P20 Pro is way more expensive.
Couple the Mate 20 lite’s chip with the fact it has 64GB or internal storage and your on to a winner, as previously mentioned this is expandable too but we for most users this wont be necessary as 64GB tends to do for the average user.
One feature we think you will love is the 360-degree face-unlock feature, allowing you and only you to gain access to the phone (unless you know the pass-code).
There is also a fingerprint scanner on the back which is just below the camera, there is also a second which is on the edge of the phone, strange placement of the secondary fingerprint sensor but never the less we found it useful when storing passwords and using it for online banking.
Sound quality is strong on the mate 20 lite and we had no complaints in that department, music is clear and loud and we found ourselves bopping away to Radio 1 Extra whilst having the music on in the tub, it echoed throughout the bathroom and we were pleasantly surprised at the overall quality of the speakers.
So onto what Huawei are known best for, and that is their fantastic work when it comes to implementing an amazing camera into their smartphones.
The Huawei Mate 20 lite camera has a whopping 20MP f/1.8 aperture lens and a 2MP depth sensor, which is used for shallow aperture shots.
The device takes beautiful pictures, especially when in good lighting conditions.
There is hardly any shutter lag even when using the quick fire mode, strong dynamic range is present in the phone and images look great.
The Huawei Mate 20 Lite camera is great as it gives a novice photographer the power to capture some amazing images; this is down to the AI technology that Huawei has used in the phone.
Just like the Huawei P20 Pro the phone automatically recognises which setting you are taking an image of and will adjust the image processing to suit the scene.
Image: Kārlis Dambrāns
The AI technology really does give you an Instagram worthy image without any effort whatsoever, although images can sometimes look oversaturated and like they have been through Photoshop and back a couple of times.
If the oversaturation does get annoying and you find images are being over saturated then you can easily turn the AI mode off, which then gives you a little more control of the quality of image produced.
‘Ai Gallery’ is implemented into the software, which will help you search images via different locations, making it easier to find them embarrassing holiday photos from Magaluf.
Another awesome feature is ‘Smart Shopping Experience’, this feature will search through Amazon to find the product or service you have taken a photo of, giving you the best price possible and options to buy the product at the same time.
This works well when trying to find books, as the phone will immediately load up the book on Amazon giving you the best price possible too.
Huawei has also implemented their own version of Apples Animoji’s however they don’t even come close the Apples but never the less are a cool feature to play around on and will keep the kids busy for a while.
One thing that the camera does struggle with though is taking images in low light conditions, don’t get me wrong the images are still great but we did notice a significant different between shooting in good lighting conditions, images are still clear but are less detailed and have some noise.
The Huawei Mate 20 lite has a 24MP selfie camera, this performed well even when in low light conditions, in-fact it performed well in almost total darkness.
Huawei has definitely marketed the phone towards the younger generation who love to take selfies for Instagram, and it’s easy to see why the younger generation in particular would love this phone.
Video recording is not the Mate 20 Lite strong point, shooting at 1080p@60fps and 1080p@30fps with the front camera we have definitely seen better.
There is no 4K recording present here either, but the phone is still more than capable of producing decent footage even if its not 4K.
Given how cheap the Huawei Mate 20 Lite can be attained on a contract deal, we feel it is exceptional value for money when compared to its competition.
The Huawei mate 20 lite boasts a 3750mAh battery, which is bigger than we expected for a device in the mid range category.
The battery will easily get you through a full day of usage, we tested it out for a couple days and found even when playing music a lot throughout the day, watching some YouTube videos and face-timing friends, the phone still had around 30% left at the end of the day.
That being said if you are a gamer and will be using the phone a lot for gaming, you can expect a more moderate 10 hours of screen on time, as when playing games for long periods of time we did notice the battery life drain significantly quicker, although this is the case with any smartphone.
Overall when it comes to the Huawei Mate 20 lite battery life, we had no issues and were delighted with the amount of screen on time we got with this thing, even when watching videos and streaming music.
So is the Huawei Mate 20 Lite worth your hard earned cash?
Well if your looking for a big display which is great for watching YouTube and Netflix, a powerful battery life which will easily last you a full day of usage and a great camera, then this could be the phone for you.
We would have loved it if the Huawei Mate 20 Lite was waterproof, but we recommend investing into a case and screen protector just for a little more protection when it comes to water and splashes.
However there are certainly other options out there, which are cheaper, for example the Honor 10 is around £120 cheaper than the Huawei mate 20 lite, and even has a better camera and greater power.
The value for money with the Huawei Mate 20 Lite is great but you might want to check out our Honor 10 review before making any rash decisions!
We hope you enjoyed our Huawei Mate 20 Lite review as much as we enjoyed making it, and feel free to check out the best Huawei Mate 20 Lite contract deals at the top of the post.
We would also recommend checking out our Huawei P20 Lite review as this may be more up your street.
The Huawei P10 Lite may also be worth checking out too, however now in 2019 it is a little outdated.
Full Spec Below:
Launch: 2018, September
- Dimension: 158.3 x 75.3 x 7.6mm (6.23 x 2.96 x 0.30 inches)
- Weight: 172g (6.07 oz)
- Build: Front glass, aluminium body
- Sim: Single SIM (Nano-SIM0 or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- Type: LTPS IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours
- Size: 6.3 inches, 97.4 cm² (-81.7% screen-to-body-ratio)
- Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19:5:9 ratio (-409 ppi density)
- OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo); EMUI 8.2
- Chipset: Hisilicon Kirin 710 (12nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
- GPU: Mali-G51 MP4
- Card slot: MicroSD, up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
- Internal: 64GB, 4/6GB RAM
- Primary: 20MP, f/1.8, 27mm (wide), PDAF
2MP, depth sensor
- Features: LED flash, panorama, HDR
- Video: 1080p@30fps
- Secondary: 24MP, f/2.0 26mm (wide)
2MP, depth sensor
- Features: HDR
- Video: 1080p@30fps
- Loudspeaker: Yes
- 3.5mm Jack: Yes
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
- Bluetooth: 4.2, A2DP, LE
- GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- NFC: Yes (SNE-LX1 only)
- Radio: FM radio
- USB: 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
- Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
- Non-removeable Li-Ion 3750 mAh battery
- Charging: Fast battery charging 9V/2A 18W
- Colours: Saphire Blue, Platinum Gold, Black
- Price: As seen in above post
- Performance: Basemark OS ||: 2501 / Basemark OS || 2.0: 2367 / Basemark X: 20444
- Display: Contrast ratio: 1470:1 (nominal), 3.051 (sunlight)
- Camera: Photo / Video
- Loudspeaker: Voice 67dB / Noise 70dB / Ring 84dB
- Audi Quality: Noise -94.7dB / Crosstalk -73.1dB
- Battery life: Endurance rating 97h