Huawei Mate 10 Lite review: How many cameras do you need? This phone gives you 4

It has a nice heft to it, avoiding the cheap, plastic touch of many other inexpensive phones. The 5.9-inch, 2:1 screen is also a highlight, accentuated by the phone's small bezels. As with Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, you'll have the option to lengthen most apps to fit this extra space. I never found this to cause any distortion problems, and the 2,160x1,080-pixel screen is sharp and vibrant.

Powered by Huawei's estate-made Kirin 659 CPU, the phone came up short on benchmark tests as compared to its pricier competitors, but using the phone to browse Facebook, send emails and texts doesn't even feel slightly sluggish. The same can be said about its rear fingerprint sensor, which is super snappy, though the camera can lag a little.

huawei-mate-lite-10-1
Ian Knighton/CNET

There's enough graphical grunt for 3D gaming too. Sonic Dash wasn't quite as smooth on the Mate Lite as it was on my iPhone 8, but it was only when comparing the two that the Mate 10 Lite performance felt jittery.

The Mate Lite lasted around 11 hours in our lab tests, which isn't enough to net it top marks, but is enough to get you through the average day. I browse extensively, including some video watching, during my two hours of commuting each day, but I was never worried the Mate Lite wouldn't make it.

Finally, it comes with 64GB of storage, making it more spacious than other budget phones, which often offer 32GB or 16GB.  

3D Mark Ice Storm (Unlimited)

Huawei Mate 10 Lite
12,363
Motorola Moto X4
16,796
Alcatel Idol 5S
13,817
HTC U11 Life
15,838

Note:

Longer bars equals better performance

Geekbench v.4.0 (single-core)

Huawei Mate 10 Lite
915
Motorola Moto X4
869
Alcatel Idol 5S
869
HTC U11 Life
850

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Geekbench 4.0 (multi-core)

Huawei Mate 10 Lite
3,377
Motorola Moto X4
4,114
Alcatel Idol 5S
4,276
HTC U11 Life
4,017

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Unlike the OnePlus 5T, the Huawei Mate 10 Lite isn't a true midrange-priced flagship phone replacement: It'd need better cameras, some extra features and more battery life for that. But then again, the 5T isn't as cheap as OnePlus' phones once were. The phone's official retail price of AU$499 ($380 and £280) makes it a good deal, though it's outclassed by the newly released Moto X4, which comes with NFC, water resistance and a better battery life. But being able to snag it from online retailers for less (AU$350, $270, £200) makes it a very worthwhile sell.

Motorola Moto X4 spec comparison


Huawei Mate 10 Lite Motorola Moto X4 Alcatel Idol 5S HTC U11 Life
Display size, resolution 5.9-inch; 2,160x1,080 pixels 5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels 5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels 5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels
Pixel density 409ppi 424ppi 424ppi 424ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.15x2.96x0.30 in. 5.8x2.9x0.31 in. 5.9x2.79x0.29 in. 5.9x2.9x0.32 in.
Dimensions (Millimeters) 156.2x75.2x7.5mm 148.4x73.4x8mm 148.6x70.8x7.4mm 149.1x72.9x8.1mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.78 oz; 164g 5.7 oz; 153g 5.25 oz; 149g 5 oz; 142g
Mobile software Android 7.0 Nougat Android 7.1.1 Nougat Android 7.1 Nougat Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera Dual 16-megapixel, 2-megapixel Dual 12-megapixel, 8-megapixel 12-megapixel 16-megapixel
Front-facing camera Dual 13-megapixel, 2-megapixel 16-megapixel 8-megapixel 16-megapixel
Video capture 1080p 4K 1080p 4K
Processor HiSilicon octa-core Kirin 659 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
Storage 64GB 32GB  64GB 32GB 32GB
RAM 4GB 3GB or 4GB 3GB 3GB
Expandable storage Up to 256GB Up to 2TB Up to 512GB Up to 2TB
Battery 3,340mAh 3,000mAh 2,620mAh 2,600mAh
Fingerprint sensor Back cover Beneath screen Back cover Beneath screen
Connector Micro USB USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone jack Yes Yes Yes No
Special features Dual rear cameras, dual front cameras, 18:9 screen ratio Water-resistant (IP68), selfie-flash, dual rear cameras Dual 3.6-watt speakers Water-resistant (IP67)
Price off-contract (USD) Converts to $380 $399 (Motorola and Google); $330 (Amazon with Prime ads) $280 $349 (HTC)
Price (GBP) £280 £349 (32GB) Converts to £210 Converts to £265
Price (AUD) AU$499 AU$699 Converts to AU$350 Converts to AU$455

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