We review the Huawei P30 Lite!

Along with their new P30 and P30 Pro flagships, Huawei also released their new mid-range champion, the P30 Lite, in the Philippines. Known as the Nova 4e in China, the P30 Lite brings the allure of triple cameras to the mid-range segment, along with the veiled promise of a P30 flagship experience. Well, sort of.

Glass back, glass front

Most mid-range smartphones at the P30 Lite’s price range typically use plastic for their posterior, which is a little annoying. Plastic generally is a lot more scratch-prone compared to regular glass, especially when it’s made to look like, well, glass.

The P30 Lite’s exterior has a lot in common with Huawei’s flagship P30 – namely the overall design and colorways. While we got conservative black for our review device, the P30 Lite is available in eye-catching Peacock Blue and Pearl White.

The triple camera module is nestled on the upper left side of the phone’s rear, with the physical fingerprint scanner flanking it. The power and volume buttons reside on the right side of the phone, with the 3.5mm jack, USB Type-C port and speaker grille on the bottom.

Overall the phone’s 3D curved glass design makes it easier to hold on to when you’re using it one-handed, and the fingerprint scanner’s position on the rear makes it easy to unlock the phone one-handed. If you want faster (but less secure) unlocks, you can always use the phone’s face recognition tech. One thing we really don’t like is how easy it is to smudge up the phone, which is why you’d probably be using the silicone case that Huawei includes with the device when you use it.

Tiny notch on a great screen

The P30 Lite has a 6.15-inch TFT IPS display with a full HD+ resolution at 2312 x 1080. Huawei claims that the display has a screen-to-body ratio of around 90% which is impressive. The bezels on the sides are pretty thin, though the top and bottom bezels are still on the thicc side.

As far as display quality goes, the P30 Lite’s panel is pretty great – it has punchy colors and deep blacks, despite being an IPS panel. Sunlight legibility is also pretty good – important when you spend a lot of your time outside.

Slightly slower processor compared to the competition

Like its more expensive brothers, the P30 Lite runs on a processor developed and produced by Huawei. Specifically, the phone runs on a HiSilicon Kirin 710 chipset, paired with 6GB of RAM.

While the Kirin 710 chipset is good enough for most people, its performance is eclipsed by the offerings of other chipset manufacturers, namely Qualcomm and MediaTek, at the same price range. To be fair, Huawei does include GPU Turbo 2.0 to try and up the Kirin 710’s number crunching capabilities when gaming.

As far as storage goes, you’re looking at 128GB of internal storage, which you can further bump up via the microSD slot.

Software-wise, the P30 Lite runs EMUI 9.1, Huawei’s own corporate skin layered on top of Android 9 Pie. There’s no app drawer by default, though that’s something you can change in the settings if you choose to. You can also opt to go with the traditional three-button navigation layout or go with gestures instead.

There’s a fair amount of bloatware installed on the phone, though a majority of these you can remove if you don’t like em.

Three cameras on board, though no Leica branding in sight

The P30 Lite comes with three cameras in its large, vertical camera module: a 24-megapixel shooter with an f/1.8 aperture, 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with an f/2.4 aperture, and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth camera for, well, depth information.

The P30 Lite doesn’t have Leica-branded cameras though, which is to be expected from the mid-range phone. Photos taken via the main 24-megapixel camera looks great in natural light, with good color reproduction and detail.

When the light leaves the frame though, the camera struggles a little bit, producing slightly muddied details.

The wide-angle lens is a great addition to the phone’s shooting arsenal, since we usually find ourselves using wide-angle cameras more than zoom ones in day-to-day use.

Shots using the wide-angle camera aren’t as detailed as the main shooter obviously especially in low light, but it managed to produce photos that are good enough to share in social media.

Selfies using the 32-megapixel f/2.0 aperture front camera come out pretty good, though the post-processing via the beautify feature makes some photos look a little artificial.

Whole day battery, plus fast charging too

The P30 Lite has a 3,340mAh battery inside its glass body, which is a little small, truth be told. But the Kirin 710 chipset is a power efficient beast, and we never really had issues when it comes to battery longevity during our time with the P30 Lite.

While PCMark’s battery benchmark kept crashing on our review unit for some reason, we managed to wring out around a day’s worth of battery (starting from 9AM in the morning till 6PM quitting time) with moderate use. If you do manage to drop the phone’s battery to red, the device has 9V2A quick charge capabilities to get it back into the action quickly.

Verdict: it’s an excellent mid-range phone in a sea of great options

Huawei’s P30 Lite slots neatly into the mid-range category with its Php 16,990 price point. While it’s not as fast as some of its rivals in the same category, the smartphone’s triple cameras are good enough for people looking to dabble in mobile photography.

We like the inclusion of the 3.5mm jack, as well as the USB Type-C port and roomy 128GB storage, things that usually aren’t present in the offerings of other brands in the same price segment.

Huawei P30 Lite specs

  • Kirin 710 octa-core processor
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 6.15-inch full HD+ IPS display, 2312 x 1080 resolution
  • 128GB of expandable storage up to 512GB
  • Triple rear camera: 24-megapixel main shooter with f/1.8 aperture, 8-megapixel wide-
  • angle camera with f/2.4 aperture, 2-megapixel depth camera with f/2.4 aperture
  • 32-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C
  • 3340mAh battery with 18W fast charging
  • Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9