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Christmas Gift Guide

Huawei's budget-conscious P8 Lite

A responsive 720p display

Android's long-in-the-tooth 4.4 KitKat OS

Slim, lightweight construction

Silver or gold metal trimmings

Record in 1080p with the 13-megapixel cam

A 5-megapixel shooter in the front

Quick-launch the camera

Snapdragon 615 humming inside

Good, but not a total knockout

As the less powerful counterpart to Huawei's flagship, the P8 Lite is an affordable midtier phone. Available for $250 (£158, AU$322 converted), the device features a 5-inch display and Android 4.4.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The device's 5-inch screen has a 720p resolution. While that isn't as sharp as, say, 1,080p, it's pretty standard given its price point. The display is bright, has a wide viewing angle, and is responsive to the touch.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Android enthusiasts will be disappointed to know that the handset runs a rather dated version of Google's mobile operating system, 4.4 KitKat, instead of the more recent 5.0 Lollipop. (Don't let those geometrically shaped hotkeys fool you!)

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The dual-SIM phone is an attractive and slim device. Available in black and white with either silver or gold accents, it has curved corners and a front and back side that lie completely flat.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

On the top and bottom edges are a 3.5mm headphone jack and dual audio speakers, respectively. The right edge houses a volume rocker and a power/control key below it.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Editing tools for both the 13-megapixel rear camera and front shooter include seven Instagram-esque filters that you can preview in real time; a beauty meter that blurs lighting and softens focus; and the ability to record 10-second audio notes with a picture.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The front-facing 5-megapixel camera can shoot in four different photo sizes and can flip images vertically.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

You can launch the rear camera while the handset is locked by pressing the down-volume button twice.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

The phone is powered by a nonremovable 2,200mAh battery and a 1.5GHz Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

Despite its low price point, the P8 Lite isn't the best affordable unlocked phone. The Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, for instance, costs $250, too, and has a sharper 5.5-inch 1080p display.

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
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