Huawei P20 Lite quick review: Best mid-range smartphone in the market?

I have been interacting with the Huawei P20 Lite, a budget-friendly version of the standard P20 flagship phone for a week and a half now. The device was launched in the country a few weeks ago through e-commerce site Jumia. Globally, the phone was launched in March and as it has been in the past, the Huawei P20 Lite which falls in the P-Series continues to focus on mobile photography.

You can read our previous about the Huawei P20 Lite specs, including pricing and availability here. I haven’t interacted with the Huawei P20 itself so I won’t go into much details about it.

As I said, I have been using the device for just a week and a half so this is just going to be a quick review where I will be sharing a few things I discovered while using the phone.

First here are some few details you need to know about the Huawei P20 Lite. The device has an impressive 80 percent screen-to-body ratio, a very simple design and also a facial recognition feature. And just like any other smartphone being launched it has a notch.

The Huawei P20 Lite retails at Ksh.32,000. This makes it a quite competitive mid-range device, as it is even cheaper than OPPO Camera phone OPPO F7 which is selling at Ksh. 35,990.

Two weeks of using the device, did I like it? Read my review below:

Design, build and Display


I will give Huawei a plus here. The design is simple and the phone actually looks good. The corners are rounded with a little notch at the top of the screen. The notch contains the front camera, the speaker and the light sensor.

The device measures just 71.2 x 7.4 x 148.6mm, so its compact but not actually small. It fits really well in your hands which is something I really like in a smartphone.

The display measures just 5.84 inches with a 2280×1080 pixels resolution and a bezel-less design and you will agree with me that display sizes are getting really unusual nowadays. With this resolution, the device gives you some pretty good colours which you can also adjust in the settings and is also quite energy efficient. The device also has a clean front with just the Huawei name sitting on the chin.

I like the rounded metal frame on the Huawei P20 Lite and also the smooth glass at the back, it makes the phone appear very stylish.  

Something else, the device has an ambient light sensor and what this means is that it can adjust the brightness of the screen automatically. You don’t have to worry about using it outside or even in the sun or in the dark.


 The fingerprint reader is at the rear and interestingly it lacks the Leica branding we have seen on previous Huawei devices. At the back is also where you have the dual lenses.

The first thing you will also notice while holding the P20 Lite is how literally light it is. The device only weighs 145g which is lighter than most phones in the market currently.

The headphone jack is placed at the bottom of the phone. Next to it is a USB-C port and the speaker which honestly speaking don’t sound great. It is also important to note that the Huawei P20 Lite is not waterproof, as Huawei has not mentioned anything about it.

Specs, battery and performance     

Just as it was expected, Huawei has stuck with its in-house Kirin processor on the Huawei P20 Lite. The Kirin 659 Processor, which is somewhat similar to the Snapdragon 625, performs really well with Huawei’s EMUI 8.0. and 4GB RAM. The HiSilicon Kirin chipset makes the Huawei P20 Lite quite a powerhouse in terms of performance.

Since I had little time to use the phone I tried using some of the most app draining applications during my one week review period and I never experienced any lags.

The device also comes with 64GB of internal storage which should be enough to store your files. You also get Android Oreo out of the box which means you get to enjoy all the latest software the phone has to offer.

I must, however, say that Huawei needs to come up with a better UI soon, it should maybe come as an update. The EMUI 8.0 appears cluttered with inconsistent icons – for example, some icons are squared while some are rounded (See image above0. I posted this on Twitter and just like me not everyone seems to like this UI according to the responses I got.  

So many positive things have also been said about the device’s Face ID, especially in terms of accuracy and speed. I tried it out and it certainly is on a high level compared to all the other Android devices with the same feature that I have interacted with. The fingerprint scanner is also quite fast.

The Huawei P20 Lite also comes with a non-removable 3000mAh battery which does not disappoint. The battery also supports Huawei’s own fast charging technology. The good thing is the phone comes with an 18W fast charger, so you don’t need to go hunting for a separate charger. A full charge took me more than two hours which is actually longer than expected.  

Huawei P20 Lite also gives you two power saving modes: The power saving mode and the ultra-power saving mode. The power saving mode limits background app activity, disables email auto-sync and system sounds, and also reduces visual effects to save power. The ultra-power saving mode on the other allows you to only use select apps which consume less power.


The Huawei P-Series focus is always on mobile photography and to ensure you ‘’shoot like a pro’’ Huawei decided to give the P20 Lite dual cameras: a primary 16-megapixels f/2.2 lens backed up with a 2-megapixel shooter with f/2.4 aperture. The images produced are good and detailed  (Check samples below). There are also multiple modes available including pro photo/video which allows you to manually set the camera settings, 3D panorama, panorama, slow-mo among others.  


The selfie camera is 16-megapixels and this makes the P20 Lite a contender in the selfie race with the recently launched OPPO F7 and Tecno Camon X Pro. (Hopefully, we will get a chance to review the OPPO F7 and a comparison, you can, however, read about the Tecno Camon X Pro here)

Just as you would expect from ant selfie-centric smartphone, the Huawei P20 Lite has an in-built beauty mode. Huawei’s approach to the selfie mode is however simple and different giving you an option to just choose from Level 1 to 10. If you love using stickers then the P20 Lite also has a bunch of them inside the camera app. At 16-megapixels the selfie camera does a good job. See some of the selfies taken with the phone below. More photos are available on our Instagram page

Verdict, Price and availability

The Huawei P20 Lite is a good device, no doubt about that. For a mid-range device, the phone packs some interesting features. The design as I mentioned earlier is also stylish and if I had some Ksh.32,000 lying somewhere I would definitely spend it on this device. The device is perfectly fine as your everyday companion.

The phone is available in Midnight Black, Klein Blue, Sakura Pink and Platinum Gold and can be purchased on Jumia or any Huawei branded shops from across the country. The review unit we have here is black and looks really sleek and attractive.

Have anything to add to this review? Drop us a comment in the comments section below. As I said at the beginning of this article, I have used the phone for only a week and a half so I might have missed out on something. 


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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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