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Huawei P30 Lite Review: The ultimate 2019 midrange smartphone


The Huawei P30 officially goes on sale in Kenya on April 26th. Huawei unveiled the P30 series in the country a couple of weeks ago which included the P30 Pro, the P30 and the budget variant P30 Lite which we had as our review unit.

We did the unboxing already, in case you missed it you can check the video here.

Well, the buzz is mostly centred on the flagship Huawei P30 Pro especially due to its photography prowess. The P30 Pro is actually the best camera phone you can buy right now if the reviews I have read online are anything to go by. The phone offers unprecedented zoom capabilities. The phone can zoom in like a DSLR and can also quickly snap low-light photos. At the launch Huawei Kenya Vice President, Steven Li said that the Huawei P30 Series is a fundamental breakthrough after decades of digital camera technology development.

That said, its lower-end sibling- the Huawei P30 Lite is also an attractive new offering in its price range. The phone borrows design elements from the Huawei P30 Pro and also offers competent hardware a starting price of Ksh.29,999.

The Huawei P30 Lite looks gorgeous and flashy. We got the Peacock Blue variant which is really eye-catching from different angles. The phone doesn’t feel too large despite packing a 6.15-inch full-HD+ (2312×1080 pixels) display.  It also uses an LCD panel with a 90 per cent screen to body ration. This is all thanks to the waterdrop notch at the top of the screen. The 3D Glass exterior also offers a nice in-hand feel with a decent grip. The screen colours look great even under sunlight, and the viewing angles are also just fine.

Under the hood, the Huawei P30 Lite is based on Huawei’s midrange octa-core Kirin 710 chipset paired with either 4GB and 128GB of storage. This is actually where the P30 Lite shows its true budget nature.  We have seen the Kirin 710 chipset on phones like the Honor 10 Lite and Honor 8x. The P30 Lite is able to keep with the average day use but of course, don’t expect to seamlessly jump back and forth between power hungry apps or play heavy games without experiencing some little lags.

Huawei’s cleaned up EMUI 9 skin based on Android 9 Pie runs things on the software side on the Huawei P30 Lite. It comes with a lot of features such as gesture support, performance, battery optimization and a clean settings menu which you can access easily. All these are meant to make your life easier while using the P30 Lite. Switching between apps was smooth and the UI felt snappy during our interaction with the device.

The Huawei P30 Lite is run by a 3340mAh battery which supports 18W fast charging. On moderate use, including streaming videos and scrolling through social media, the phone’s juice could last a day.

As far as the cameras are concerned, the Huawei P30 Lite features a triple rear camera setup which consists of a 24-megapixel (f/1.8) wide-angle camera assisted by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor for bokeh effects. The front camera, on the other hand, is 32-megapixel (f/2.0) with onboard AI and supports features like 3D panoramas, AR stickers, and portrait mode. The front shooter captures some good selfies with a good amount of details

Despite the EMUI 9 featuring a number of AI effects and image recognition, I need to mention that the photos at times ended up looking over-processed and unnatural. Check sample images in the gallery below.  The photos look good especially when there’s a lot of lighting but still, there’s some little loss in details.

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Of course, you know how much we wished the phone also came with Huawei P30 Pro’s periscope wizardry and the much-talked-about 5x optical zoom capability.

Overall, the Huawei P30 Lite is a worthy addition to Huawei’s already crowded budget lineup of smartphones. The phone brings a mix of interesting hardware and specs and its definitely a phone I would spend my money on.

It offers a good design, great screen and an amazing or should I say fair camera setup with AI. The performance is good as the phone is able to handle most tasks well enough on average use. For the battery, again you can have enough juice for a day again, on moderate use but if you happen to run out of battery the phone can charge up really fast with the bundled fast charger.

With the Kenyan market now flooded with a number of budget phones like the recently launched OPPO F11, it will be interesting to see how the Huawei P30 Lite performs.

Below are the specs:

Display Size 6.15 inches
Dimensions 152.9 x 72.7 x 7.4 mm (6.02 x 2.86 x 0.29 in)
Resolution 1080 x 2312 pixels (~415 ppi density)
OS Android 9.0 (Pie), EMUI 9.0
CPU Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
Chipset Hisilicon Kirin 710 (12 nm)
GPU Mali-G51 MP4
RAM 4 GB
Internal Storage 128 GB
Main Camera (Triple) 24 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF

8 MP, 13mm (ultrawide)

2 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor

Features: LED flash, HDR, panorama

Selfie Camera 32 MP, f/2.0, 0.8µm
SIM Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Battery Non-removable Li-Po 3340 mAh battery

Charging: Fast battery charging 18W

Features Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
Colours Peacock Blue, Midnight Black, Pearl White
Price Kshs 29,999
Availability BUY ON JUMIA

BUY ON KILIMALL

 

Have anything to add to this specs sheet? Leave us a comment in the comments section below. In the meantime, follow or subscribe to our newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out on any future updates on your favourite smartphones.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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