Huawei has been releasing three P devices for a while. Along with them come more affordable Lite models, as well as flagship Plus versions, which are now dubbed Pro. The same thing happened with last year’s P20. And, as it turned out, the cheapest P20 Lite sold better than any of its siblings. Today we take a look at Huawei P30 Lite. Will this lighter version make a good purchase?
Huawei P30 Lite specs
- Display: 6.15″, LTPS (IPS LCD), 2312×1080 pixels
- Chipset: Hisilicon Kirin 710, 8-core, 4 core Cortex A73 with a frequency of 2.2 GHz and 4 core Cortex-A53 with a frequency of 1.7 GHz
- Graphics accelerator: Mali-G51 MP4
- RAM: 4 GB
- Storage: 128 GB
- Support for microSD memory cards: up to 1024 GB
- Wireless networks: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 (A2DP, LE, aptX HD), GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS), NFC
- Main camera: triple, main module 48 Mp, aperture f/1.8, PDAF; additional ultra wide-angle module 8 Mp, f / 2.4, 13 mm; depth sensor 2 MP, f/2.4
- Front camera: 24 megapixel, f/2.0
- Battery: 3340 mAh
- OS: Android 9.0 Pie with EMUI 9.0.1 Shell
- Dimensions: 152.9×72.7×7.4 mm
- Weight: 159 g
Price and positioning
This “lightweight” version is more than twice cheaper than P30 and is three times cheaper than asking top of the line Huawei P30 Pro. In some regions, the smartphone is known as Nova 4e.
Design, materials and build quality
It would be strange to deny that it was Huawei whp introduced the spectacular iridescent backplates and gradient colors in the mobile segment. Now, this technique is used by many manufacturers.
But even with all the colors, the blue-violet gradient of Huawei is easily recognizable. With this color, P30 Lite looks very good. The back nicely shimmers in the light and attracts a lot of attention to itself. In addition to everything else, the overflows are not vertical, but look rather like a wave, which only enhances the effect.
But you can not get away from the vertical block with cameras. Because of the peculiar edging it may seem much larger than it actually is. Also, the module protrudes above the surface of the back cover, but according to personal sensations it feels similar to Xiaomi devices. But of course, the cover does not hurt. Otherwise, the smartphone will be unstable on a flat solid surface, and using the device in this position will not be very comfortable. Plus, the case will serve as an additional measure of protection of the camera unit when it falls or just from scratches.
In front, Huawei P30 Lite cannot offer something new and unique. However, even the flagship P30 Pro is not far from it. And in general, the entire P30 series is similar in front. The cheapest model has a wider bezels around the screen and did without curved glass on the sides.
The drop-shaped notch is not a novelty, but the field below, as usual, is thicker than the others. In short, nothing special, but there are no negative aspects. A kind of standard smartphone design in 2019.
In addition to the bright cover, the bezel around the perimeter and the edging of the camera block are painted blue. By the way, the bezel is made of plastic, but it’s very difficult to distinguish it from the metal one. Only dielectric inserts for antennas give away the fact that it’s not metal.
But I would not call it a critical nuance that badly spoils the impression. Yes, P20 Lite had a metal frame and a small downgrade did occur. But at the same time, when a lot of smartphones are equipped with cute plastic panels, Huawei uses glass.
What we have is a glass and plastic sandwich. The smartphone is sturdy, even with plastic around the perimeter. The build quality is great, a flagship level. But there’s no dust of water protection.
There is an oleophobic coating on the front of the glass, but it is weak. Initially, the front panel is under a protective film. True, it gets scratched easily. Peacock Blue helps protect the phone from fingerprints, as well as, I suppose, white Pearl White. But the Midnight Black is likely to get dirty more.
All elements in front are located in the upper part. The earpiece speaker grille was widely stretched, on the left of which we have the LED for notifications. Under it is the drop-shaped notch with the front camera. On the right are light and proximity sensors.
On the right side of the Huawei P30 Lite are the power and volume buttons. The left side is completely empty.
Below are a 3.5mm audio jack, a USB Type-C port, a microphone and a multimedia speaker. Above we can see the second microphone and a combo slot for two SIM cards of the nano format or one SIM and a standard microSD memory card.
In the upper left corner of the rear panel there are three camera eyes, a single flash and inscriptions with key characteristics. To the right a standard round pad with a fingerprint scanner. In the lower part there are different vertical inscriptions, logos and markings.
Last year, Huawei P20 Lite honorably won first place in my personal rating, as the most convenient smartphone. It was very compact, narrow and thoughtful in terms of ergonomics. Huawei P30 Lite is larger – it is taller and wider (152.9 × 72.7 against 148.6 × 71.2), hence the diagonal has also grown from 5.84 “to 6.15”, but the thickness remained the same – 7.4 mm.
This is no Galaxy S10e, but the device is smaller than Huawei P smart 2019. The smartphone fits comfortably in your hand, and you don’t have to change the grip. Even to use the fingerprint scanner. In general, I did not notice any inconvenience in operating the Huawei P30 Lite.
Huawei P30 Lite Display
The smartphone is equipped with an elongated 6.15-inch screen, made with LTPS technology (IPS LCD). The resolution is Full HD+ or 2312×1080 pixels, the density is 415 ppi.
The quality of the matrix installed in Huawei P30 Lite is excellent. There is a good margin of brightness, excellent balanced color reproduction and brilliant factory calibration. The display is endowed with rich colors and good contrast with the IPS-technology.
The viewing angles are also good, but the slight fading of dark shades at certain angles remains. In general, it’s a nice and good-quality display, without obvious flaws.
As always, there are two color modes in the settings: normal and bright. The first is for those who prefer warmer picture and less saturated colors. The second mode has colder white color, but juicier colors. However, in both cases, the user can manually adjust the temperature.
With long-term use of the smartphone in the dark, it is recommended to activate eye protection. To reduce the power consumption of the display, in some cases, a smart reduction in resolution is provided, or it can be forced to be reduced to HD+. Of the other options: full-screen display (if the application is not adapted to the elongated screen format) and the ability to display or hide the notch permanently or in certain applications.
P30 Lite uses the older, but still good mid-performance Hisilicon Kirin 710 chip. It includes 8 cores, 4 of which are Cortex A73, operating with a maximum clock frequency of up to 2.2 GHz. The remaining 4 cores are Cortex-A53, and their maximum operating frequency is 1.7 GHz. Mali-G51 MP4 handles the graphics, as usual. In synthetics, Huawei P30 Lite demonstrates the expected results.
In the European market Huawei sells model with 4 GB of RAM, but there is a version with 6 GB. This is enough to ensure comfortable work with several applications running simultaneously. The storage in P30 Lite is 128 GB, of which 108.44 GB are available to the user. If there is a need, the memory can be expanded by installing a standard microSD memory card up to 1 TB instead of the second SIM card.
Like any other smartphone with the same platform, Huawei P30 Lite demonstrates a good speed and smoothness of the interface, applications run quickly. The smartphone supports GPU Turbo 2.0 technology which require you to add games to a separate “Game Center” application with acceleration enabled.
You can play on the device quite comfortably, if you do not try to set the maximum graphic parameters wherever possible. For example, PUBG Mobile looks quite playable at high graphics settings when launched through the Game Center. By the way, there is a little life hack. If you do not care about battery life and smartphone temperature during a gaming session, you can enable productive mode in the battery settings. Theoretically, the game will become even more enjoyable in terms of FPS.
Huawei P30 Lite Camera
In Huawei P30 Lite, as in the “senior” P30, there are three modules installed in the main unit of the camera. But they, of course, are different and aren’t as good. The main one is the 48 megapixel sensor (in the European version of the smartphone), with an aperture of f/1.8 and PDAF. The second module is ultra wide-angle with a resolution of 8 megapixels, f/2.4 aperture and a focal length of 13 mm. The third camera is a typical 2 MP (f/2.4) depth sensor.
Some versions of P30 Lite come with 24 megapixel standard sensors. Also, despite the fact that the tele-module is the prerogative of P30 and P30 Pro, Huawei tried to add zoom to the Lite version as well. So, thanks to 48 Mp, a double zoom becomes available, apparently without loss of quality. We’ll see how it looks in reality.
Even when choosing 48 Mp, some effects become unavailable, and the manufacturer recommends leaving 12 Mp in the application. In particular, it becomes impossible to switch between lenses when taking photos with 48 megapixels. However, all the pictures below in the first block with photos I did in 48 megapixel mode (in the gallery they get reduced resolution, but the originals are in the link below). I compared the photos with 48 Mp and 12 Mp, and they show the same result, as it seemed to me. To find at least some difference in the small details you need to really look out for it.
In general, looking at the daytime shots, I can call the result quite good, but not excellent. The detailing on the photos is normal, the color rendering is pleasant and the dynamic range is wide. In a room with medium illumination, the pictures are also quite normal, the noise does not creep over the entire pic and the details are almost not suppressed by the noise level. I just wish that the camera in auto mode was not so keen to lighten everything around. In the dark or with poor light around, Huawei P30 Lite is not as strong as its senior brothers. But the same can be said about almost every device in this price range.
In the next block, photos are taken with a double zoom. They are not very impressive, which should have been expected. After all, let me remind you that cropping occurs from the main module. But in some situations, of course, you can use zoom – and very quickly, with one touch.
A wide-angle module provides a viewing angle of 120°, which will help shooting landscapes or architecture. It works about the same as the other models – just an adequate quality with proper lighting. Although the white balance does not differ at all from the standard module. Which is good.
With the bokeh effect, the smartphone is doing well. Artificial intelligence has become an integral part of cameras in Huawei devices, and not only in them. The front camera can distinguish up to 8 scenes and choose the most appropriate ones. The main one will be able to recognize one of 22 scenes. And the effect is noticeable.
P30 Lite can shoot video in full HD resolution and with 30 or 60 FPS. The lack of 4K is a little sad, but blame Kirin 710. There is an electronic stabilization system. The final quality is average.
Front camera is 24 megapixel with f/2.0 aperture. It’s a very good selfie camera, overall. It boasts various improvements and AR-modes.
In the camera application we get a variety of shooting modes, which include advanced manual mode. But without saving uncompressed RAW files, of course.
I think you have already noticed that the smartphone fingerprint scanner is on the back. So yes, there’s no under-display fingerprint sensor. Is Huawei greedy? No, it’s just IPS-screen which doesn’t support this technology.
I can assure you that this scanner is as good as one might think, it’s just not as effective. The familiar sensor works with lightning speed and very high accuracy. As usual with Huawei.
Huawei P30 Lite can also be unlocked using face recognition. And this method works very well, in almost any conditions and with any position of the device. By the way, sometimes the lock screen is not even displayed – the switch-on works instantly, as if the scan is taking place even before the power button is pressed.
Huawei P30 Lite battery life
The battery built into the Huawei P30 Lite is not the largest: 3340 mAh. In most cases this is enough for a day of active use.
Indicators of active work of the screen fluctuate within 5-6 hours, which implies the frequent use of social networks and instant messengers, listening to music and not very long browsing. Not a record in the market, but not the worst result.
In the synthetic PCMark Work 2.0 test at maximum brightness, the device lasted 5 hours and 46 minutes.
I personally could not verify the charging speed with the standard charger, but Huawei promises support for fast charging. 40% in 30 minutes or all 100% in 1 hour and 45 minutes sound about right.
Sound and communications
The earpiece speaker sounds loud and clear. The multimedia speaker is also fine, with okay levels of volume. Not bad, that’s all. In headphones, traditionally everything is fine; Huawei P30 Lite also has a 3.5-mm jack on the bottom. When wired headphones are connected, a number of Huawei Histen audio effects become available. Wireless headphones don’t support the effects, but the sound is still good enough.
The smartphone is equipped with the full range of wireless modules necessary for the modern user. These include dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, and accurate GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS). Of course, not the frehest Bluetooth 4.2 (A2DP, LE, aptX HD), but it works as it should. In addition, there is also an NFC-module for contactless payments or quick pairing with devices.
Firmware and software
Huawei P30 Lite runs on Android 9 Pie, with familiar EMUI 9.0.1 shell. The interface design can be widely customized with the help of different themes.
But the shell functionality is all top notch. There are several ways to navigate, including full-screen gestures. There are several actions (turning, lifting and raising to the ear), and you can use the fingerprint scanner for navigation.
Huawei P30 Lite is a great mid-ranger, which looks nice, has decent IPS display and okay hardware. The cameras, as well as the battery, are alright.
You can find some cons, if you want, but nothing serious. For this money, Huawei P30 Lite is good in almost every way. In other words, it’s balanced, as all phones should be.
Huawei P30 Lite looks hardly similar to the other models, except for general design. The difference in the approaches to the simplified versions of the flagships of all manufacturers is obvious, but Huawei may have a point, considering the price.