Honor, the 'digital natives' Huawei spin off, have announced the first handset in their Honor 20 range, the Honor 20 Lite. The £249.99 handset arrives on May 15th, before the launch event even for its more expensive, fully featured siblings, and will be available from a wide range of retailers (but not subsidised on any networks). With its triple cameras, gorgeous colour scheme and tiny notch it ticks a lot of boxes, but what's it really like?
Pretty impressive at first look is the answer.
The 'Phantom Blue' blue to purple shifting colour scheme is stunning, although if you want something more subtle a 'Midnight Black' version will be offered exclusively by Carphone Warehouse for the first 6 months after release. Held next to the flagship Huawei P30 range, a lot of design cues are shared - the positioning of the camera, the curved (plastic with 8 layers of coating) back, that small notch in the 6.21" FHD+ 19.5:9 screen and of course the EMUI 9 software. Honor or Huawei, you get a very consistent software experience nowadays.
Of course, at the price point there are some compromises to be hand. The Kirin 710 mid-range processor is very capable and is paired with 4GB RAM and a very generous 128GB of storage as well as offering microSD expansion. A rear fingerprint scanner is included rather than the hot new under screen version but to be honest, it's incredibly fast and works well, as does the face unlock feature, so we're pretty happy with that. What is disappointing is the continuing presence of microUSB (although you do get a 3.5mm jack as compensation and Honor tell us a large part of the market simply doesn't want USB C yet) and we were also dismayed to discover a lack of 5GHz WiFi. The 3400mAh battery should provide excellent stamina when paired with the EMUI / Pie software combo.
The triple camera array compromises a 24 Megapixel F1.8 autofocus main camera, a 8 Megapixel F2.4 120 degree wide angle fixed focus camera and a 2 Megapixel camera for hardware enhanced bokeh effects. The software includes the signature AI experience which can now recognise 500+ scenarios in 22+ categories. A 6 second non-tripod super night mode is included, as the company look to cement their position as masters of low light photography. Honor know that selfies are important to their audience and have included a 32 Megapixel front facing camera on the Honor 20 Lite.
We'll be updating on Twitter as we spend more time with the device, but in the meantime if you have any questions about the device, feel free to hit us up in the comments.