Huawei P8 Lite Review – A Great Smartphone for $200?

by Linus 1

It has been more quite some time since Huawei released their budget smartphone – the P8 Lite, which is kind of a younger brother to the high-end P8. Still, we thought that you may want to know if this device is worth your attention, so you may want to check out the Huawei P8 Lite review!


Huawei P8 Lite Review: UNBOXING
The smartphone comes in a neat looking box and inside of it you can find a charging plug, USB cable, a pair of headphones, SIM ejector PIN and some instruction manuals.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: DESIGN and DISPLAY
As far as aesthetics go, the P8 Lite carries a similar design language to its bigger brother – the Huawei P8. However, as the name implies, the Lite version has a different specs sheet and it all starts with the display.
The P8 Lite has a 5” 720p panel. Which is good but not great. The colours don’t look very accurate as they are on the colder side. Also, the visibility outdoors is not the best since the brightness output is pretty low.
The Huawei chose the on-screen navigation buttons, which can be customised the way you want. The top side is where the 5MP camera, earpiece and the proximity sensor are located.
The P8 Lite is entirely made of brushed plastic to imitate the looks of metal found on the P8. Although it does not feel very cheap but it is far from the look and feel of the cold metal finish.
As far as the optics go, the device has a 13MP shooter along with single tone dual LED flash.
The sides of the P8 Lite are made of plastic and there are a lot things going on the right side where you can find a dual SIM card slot and both of them support 4G LTE networks. One slot carries a micro SIM and another doubles as a nano SIM/microSD card slot, which takes the cards up to 128GB for storage expansion.
The volume rocker and the power on/off buttons have a great tactile response but they feel a bit plasticky.
There is nothing on the left but on the top side there is a headset jack along with the noise cancelling mic and on the bottom there are what looks like the speaker grills. However, only the left one is the actual speaker and the right one is a mic.
Overall, the device is well made but the use of plastic all-over the device makes it feel a little bit cheap for my taste.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: UI
The Huawei P8 Lite runs EMUI 3.1, which is company’s own take on Android 5.0. All the apps sit on the home screens and you may want to organise the apps using folders.
There are some interesting features like the so called simple mode, which changes the look of the icons and leaves the most commonly used features.
In addition, the EMUI supports a lot of gesture and motion controls as well as one hand mode and all of them work pretty good.
Last but not least there are some customisation options like the ability to choose from a variety of themes and so on.
The day-to-day usage is usually smooth but sometimes you may see a minor hiccup. It is nothing major though and overall UI experience is good.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: Multimedia
The multimedia experience is good but not great. The video playback works without any hiccups but the placement of the speaker is terrible since it gets muffled very easily.
Speaking of which, the loudspeaker quality is decent but the sound lacks depth and it is noticeably worse than the Huawei P8, but comparable to other devices in this price range.
The sound quality via headphones is also decent and I have no complaints there.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: Hardware and Performance
The Huawei P8 Lite has a home-brewed octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 620 chip clocked at 1.2Ghz and it is supplemented with a Mali-450MP4 GPU along with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage.
The highly demanding tasks like gaming work okay but graphics don’t look that good like on flagships and you may see some skipped frames there and there. Still, the overall performance is acceptable and the phone does not heat up to uncomfortable levels.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: Camera
The camera app on the Huawei P8 Lite is easy to use although it is inspired by iOS as you need to swipe up and down to choose a different shooting mode, which includes a standard one, beauty, HDR, Panorama and so on. Also, there are some settings to play with and a fast shutter speed makes the overall camera app experience great.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: Image Quality
The image quality is a one pleasant surprise on the Huawei P8 Lite. Although the images are not ideal as the dynamic range can be a hit or miss but you can get some pretty sharp looking daylight images with a good amount of details a decent colour reproduction.
When it comes to images taken indoors, a bit more noise kicks in but you can still capture decent looking images.
The night shots are not the sharpest but not bad for a budget device.
Overall, the camera performance pretty good for the device that costs just over $200 as you can’t expect a flagship grade performance for this price.
A 5MP selfie camera is capable of producing maybe not the sharpest looking images but the pictures will be great for social media needs.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: Video Quality
The device can shoot videos at maximum resolution of 1080p and the footage is sometimes average but other times may look pretty good as the sensor can capture a decent amount of details and reproduce natural looking colours.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: Connectivity
I don’t have any complaints about any of the connectivity options as the call quality is decent at both ends, the Wifi and Bluetooth range are good and the GPS lock speeds as well as accuracy are ok. Well, the GPS accuracy may not be that as good as the Snapdragon chip powered devices but there is nothing to be a deal breaker.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: Battery Life
The Huawei P8 Lite has a 2200mAh non-removable battery, which sounds uninspiring on paper. The screen on times can reach 5 hours or more but I found to last me for around 4 hours on normal use.
On the other hand, the standby time is very good and the device should get you through the day unless you are a heavy user.
Huawei P8 Lite Review: Conclusions
So there you have it, the Huawei P8 Lite, a budget offering from the Chinese tech giant. It has a design, which is inspired by its bigger brother, the P8, but it does not carry the same premium materials and it may feel a bit plasticky for some. Other than that, the overall build quality is solid.
The UI works fine most of the times and the overall performance is decent. Some neat features like simple mode, gesture and motion controls along with some customisation options add a little bit of variety in the budget smartphones’ category.
One of the key features of this device is a decent camera and it actually surprised me as I’ve seen much worse performers in the sub-$200 price range.
So what is the conclusion? Is it a good offering for the price of just a tad more than $200 unlocked? Well, it’s not bad.
Are there any other offerings out there? Absolutely. Some of the devices like the just released third generation Motorola Moto G, Asus Zenfone 2 or some other offerings are able to make the Huawei P8 Lite run for its money. It is a decent smartphone but it’s up to you to decide.