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Huawei P20 lite Unboxing and First Impressions

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Huawei shocked the world with the P20 and P20 Pro, but will the upcoming P20 lite have the same shock value when it finally releases in the PH?
Huawei P20 Lite Unboxing and First Impressions
Shiny and shimmering

From the Nova 2i, the P20 lite now has a gyroscope, the Huawei Quick Charge 2.0 and the new light fusion technology for low light photography.

The Kirin 659 and the Mali-T830 MP2 is retained but now with the machine learning and object detection in the camera.

Huawei P20 lite Specs

Display: 5.84-inch FHD+ FullView 2280 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved class at 432 ppi
CPU: 2.36GHz 64-bit Kirin 659 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-T830 MP2
RAM: 4GB
ROM: 64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 16MP + 2MP f/2.2 w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0 w/ screen flash
Battery: 3,000mAh w/ Huawei Quick Charge 2.0
OS: Android 8.0 Oreo OS w/ EMUI 8.0
Connectivity: WiFi, 4G LTE w/ VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, BLE, aptX, OTG, NFC, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, USB Type-C, Huawei Histen 4.0 audio, Colors: midnight black, klein blue, sakura pink, platinum gold
Dimensions: 148.6 x 71.2 x 7.45 mm
Weight: 145 g
Price: PHP 15,990 (PHP 13,990 sale price)

Disclaimer: Huawei seeded us with this unit, but rest is assured that this review will be unbiased.

Unboxing / Accessories

Unboxed!

The Huawei arrived in the usual white box with the smartphone branding but without the picture of the phone itself.

Huawei has included a Huawei Quick Charge 2.0 certified USB wall charger with 9V/2A and 18W fast charging support.

It still has usual USB to USB Type-C cable, earphones with microphone, pre-installed screen protector, SIM ejector tool, and paper documents.

What we missed is a silicone jelly case that usually comes with most Android phones in recent years.

For those who are looking for a case, Spigen Philippines has teased on their official Facebook page their own case for the P20 lite.

Build Quality / Design

The notched near bezel-less screen
The notched near bezel-less screen

Huawei continues to push the boundaries in build quality for the mid-range market. The Nova 2i was one of the few phones in its class that's made of metal. The P20 lite improves upon this by adding a glass panel aside from the metal body.
Microphone only on top
Microphone on top
Speaker, microphone, USB Type-C and headphone jack
Speaker, microphone, USB Type-C and headphone jack
Hybrid SIM tray
Hybrid SIM tray
Volume rocker and power button
Volume rocker and power button

The blue color in particular is visibly stunning! Unlike the acrylic from the OPPO F7 and the faux metal back plate of Vivo V9, the P20 lite uses high quality glass that adds this subtle but elegant flare whenever light strikes it at different angle.

The P20 lite uses high quality metal and glass!

In front is the 5.84-inch FHD+ FullView 2280 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved class at 432 ppi. Unlike the OPPO F7, the P20 lite does not have Gorilla Glass. It does have an 19:9 aspect ratio that immerses the viewer even more.

There is a large camera hump that houses the dual camera lens set up.

It also has all the usual ports and buttons including the 3.5 mm headphone jack. A welcome upgrade is the USB Type-C port that most of the competition has yet to implement.

Initial findings

The scores
The scores

1. The Huawei P20 pushes design and build quality in the mid-range market. The screen isn't the largest though but It is bright, vibrant and sharp.

The notch is smaller than the iPhone X. But, you can hide it like in the P20 and P20 Pro. Unlike the bigger brother though is that because it isn't AMOLED, the black isn't deep enough to blend with the bezels.

2. The processor and GPU that Huawei used is the same as the one from the Nova 2i. It can compete with the Snapdragon 626 of Vivo, but it is underpowered compared to the new Helio P60 from the OPPO F7.

Scores are slightly better than the Nova 2i but when compared to the competition, Huawei may need to improve this part on the next one.

It is paired with ample 4GB RAM and 64GB of expandable storage.

Huawei added a proprietary Quick Charge 2.0 technology via USB Type-C which can charge the phone up to 43 percent in 30 minutes only.

3. Huawei's new EMUI 8.0 that can be found on the Huawei Mate 10 that was released late last year. It is still one of the most feature-rich skin around. It also has machine learning to keep your phone fast always.

4. At the back, it still has a 16MP + 2MP f/2.2 w/ PDAF, and LED flash. The images are so far to our liking. It is on par if not better than the F7's main camera.

It has 10 levels of beautification and the bokeh mode that pushes to f/0.95 via software.

It also has scene detection that can automatically detect the scene and it has the light fusion technology that helps with low light.

The 16MP f/2.0 w/ smart screen flash front-facing camera is good. How it stacks up with the competition is still up there until we do further testing.

According to Huawei, there's a new beauty algorithm uses 3D facial recognition technology with 96 facial recognition points to enhance your natural features, from skin smoothening to eye and lip brightening, without any loss in detail. 

It even has a smart screen flash adjusts color temperature for 11 different scenarios is interesting. Like the Nova 2i, Huawei has added cute AR filters, and face unlock tech.

5. The P20 Lite has no LED notification. But, it has OTG, speedy fingerprint scanner, face unlock, USB Type-C port, gyroscope sensor, and FM Radio.

Related: Huawei P20 lite: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

The P20 Lite is Huawei's answer to the shortcomings of the Nova 2i. The company has added a gyroscope sensor, Huawei Quick Charge 2.0, and improved its build and design that none of the competition could match.

Huawei has also an improved dual camera system, selfie camera with smart screen flash, and Android 8.0 Oreo OS w/ EMUI 8.0 skin out of the box.

So far, it is a formidable camera-centric mid-range phone that is worth considering.

For our review: Huawei P20 lite Review - Beauty Made Affordable?
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