Completing the P30 series, Huawei’s P30 Lite is an entry level offering for users looking to get into P30 lineup without spending too much. Compared to P30 Pro, the Lite comes with a quite similar design. Other than that, it pretty much stands as its own device. As with previous Lite phones, the goal is to provide maximum value packaged into a beautiful body. Whether P30 Lite is a continuation of this successful trend or not, we will discuss in our detailed review below.
Following up older P20 Lite — the right comparison for this phone — new P30 Lite offers upgraded internals with a design refresh along with different material choices for the exterior. Gone is the matte plastic for the chassis and glass at the back for a complete glossy plastic exterior. Further, there are now triple cameras as opposed to dual and a very minimal drop-style notch display upfront. Discussing the device in detail, here are our thoughts on Huawei P30 Lite after extensively testing the phone.
Before our discussion, here is the list of all official Huawei P30 Pro technical specs:
- Network: (GSM / FDD / TDD / WCDMA)
- Display: 6.15-inch Display (2312 x 1080)
- Processor: Kirin 710
- OS: Android 9.0, EMUI 9.0.1
- Camera (Rear): 24 MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.8 aperture) + 8 MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens) + 2 MP (Bokeh Lens), supports autofocus.
- Camera (Front): 32 MP, f/2.0 aperture, supports fixed focal length.
- Connectivity: Type-C USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (wave2), Headphone Jack 3.5mm
- Memory: 4 GB RAM + 128 GB ROM
- Dimension: 152.9 x 72.7 x 7.4 mm
- Battery: 3,340mAh
Exterior and Design
Being part of Huawei P30 Series, the P30 Lite follows heavily from higher-end and more expensive P30 and P30 Pro — catch up on our full Huawei P30 Pro Review. The camera layout is the same, along with similar color options hence easily mistake-able for either from afar. However, for materials, there is a drastic difference — which is expected at this price. P30 Lite is a complete plastic phone with glass coming into play only at the front. However, Huawei has been really clever with its paint-jobs and also the overall finish. So much so, users can mistake the gloss back for glass which is good as the overall feel is premium, not some cheap matte plastic. Further, our unit was painted in Peacock Blue. There was a lot of depth into the paint and it reflected light in this nice S wave pattern which we absolutely loved! Further, there is also a standard Midnight Black color option available as well.
Placed on the rear is the fingerprint sensor. Unlike in-display sensors for other P30 phones, P30 Lite features a physical, separate sensor. While this may seem as a downgrade, it is highly accurate and faster than the in-display one. Further, there are camera sensors as well which are placed vertically. The camera bump is significant just like on other Huawei phones. For the flash, there is a single LED right beneath the camera array.
Moving towards the front, the display is one thing where P30 Lite shines. Despite being TFT LCD (IPS), the panel has a crisp 2312 x 1080 resolution. Further, whats most intriguing is, the dewdrop notch. Gone is the larger rectangular obstruction for a more minimal drop-style notch for the front camera. While it still isn’t completely bezel-less and some might find the hole-punch route better, it is a great improvement nonetheless. Speaking of the notch, under the front speaker grill, P30 Lite also comes with a notification light which is a great add!
For the surrounds, again, they are plastic. Starting with the right side, all the physical buttons are placed here. Huawei being adamant on placing all buttons on one side, it gets some getting used to but as a design choice, not as convenient as alternating button placement on each side. The volume rocker is a single elongated bar. Further, on the right side, it is left blank. As for the bottom, there is a USB type-C port, speaker grill and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Good on Huawei for still keeping the headphone jack around on its Lite series phone. For the speaker quality, it is pretty average. As for the Type-C port, it supports Fast Charge and there is a Fast Charger included in the box. On the top is the SIM tray that supports either Dual SIM or single SIM and microSD expansion.
P30 Lite Review: Internal Hardware and Performance
‘Lite’ doesn’t really mean you cut down on performance. To deliver value and remain competitive, P30 Lite really stands ground with its internals.
To cut down on costs, Huawei went with an IPS panel on the P30 Lite. While carrying similar resolution to the P30 Pro, the display is sharp. However, the colors aren’t as deep. Further, enhancing the experience are the minimum bezels. With P30 Lite, you get a flagship look upfront and that too, with the dewdrop notch. The screen also follows a tall aspect ratio which gives way for better one-hand use while also allowing users to enjoy immersive content.
– Processor, Storage and RAM
Huawei has lately been quite ahead with its Kirin series of processors. Where processing power has increased, efficiency has also been focused upon. Delivering some of the best battery times, Huawei has outfitted P30 Lite with its Kirin 710 chipset. Coupled with 4GB of RAM, the performance is worthwhile as well on the P30 Lite. We ran some extensive tests on it and it didn’t stutter. For day-to-day use and gaming, we find the P30 Lite to be well suited. Further, 128GB base storage is yet another plus for users looking to get the best out of there smartphone. With the main audience being developing markets, the phone does come with dual SIM capability but if you don’t want that, the second SIM slot doubles up as microSD card expansion.
For reference here are some benchmarks:
Fully utilizing great software and a high-capacity battery, P30 Lite is a great endurance phone. While being sleek and light, the phone manages to pack in a 3,340mAh battery module. The number alone doesn’t seem that high, but EMUI optimization and Kirin processing techniques makes the phone run for a complete day even with heavy usage. If battery performance is your key focus, it is hard to find a competitor for P30 Lite in the same price bracket.
P30 Lite Review: Camera
P series relates directly to Photography and as P30 Lite is part of the complete P30 lineup, there are expectations from it to perform well and take good shots. To start with, P30 Lite has three-rear facing cameras. First there is the primary 24 MP Lens that has f/1.8 aperture, next there is also a 8 MP Ultra Wide Angle Lens and lastly, 2 MP Bokeh Lens is present as well. For the hardware this is a pretty standard mid-range setup, nothing extraordinary. As for the complete package, we took some shots with the phone and found the performance to be well-equipped for daylight shots with great sharpness. Further, the Night Mode is what really makes this phone tick. It is not equivalent to P30 Pro’s but, in its own right, it stands well. For good Night shots, you need a light source. Further, as the Night Mode stitches together multiple pictures taken at different exposures, the final picture is sharp with good exposure all around. It is also important to note that the camera app supports scene recognition for best settings and has 22 different categories for the rear camera.
Presence of ultra-wide lens gives it P30 Lite extra versatility, though not as sharp as the main lens and unable to utilize Night Mode, it is still a great have and way more practical than carrying only bokeh lens as the secondary. Here some of the sample shots we took:
For the front, surprisingly, there is a 32MP sensor which overtakes the primary module on the phone. The photos out of the selfie camera are sharp and thanks to AI enhancing beauty features and 8 different categories of scene recognition, the overall package is good.
P30 Lite Review: Software
EMUI, or Emotion UI, from Huawei is what comes pre-installed on the P30 Lite. As there are versions to Android, similarly, EMUI has its own set of versions. For P30 Lite, it runs EMUI 9.0.1 and interestingly, Huawei didn’t go with EMUI 9.1 which is running on other P30 phones — quite odd! Nonetheless, as for the software experience on the P30 Lite, it is quite well balanced and well equipped. The icons and overall theme is more appealing to the younger audience with bright colors used throughout the system. Further, EMUI adds tons of customization features and additional functionality that isn’t otherwise available on stock Android. For starters, the phone comes with options to choose from navigation gestures, navigation dock and standard three-key navigation. More, the software optimization thanks to EMUI is a key factor in the phone’s extensive battery life.
Also worthy of mentioning are the stock apps that come with P30 Lite. These are proprietary Huawei apps that are designed to improve the overall user experience and add convenience. For instance, the Phone Manager is a great utility for managing storage and RAM resources of your phone. Ahead, we have detailed all the highlight stock P30 Lite apps.
Default bundled Huawei P30 Lite Apps and Features:
- Phone Manager: This is sort of a central app provided by Huawei to overview your phone stats and monitor it. It is helpful for cleaning out junk from storage and seeing which apps use the most RAM and all of that sort.
- Themes: Huawei provides this Theme app from which you can download extensive themes for your EMUI device. The good thing is, it has a variety of selection and you can easily filter through.
- HiGame: A sort of redudancy towards Google Play but HiGame basically provides the best games which Huawei has helped in development for its smartphones. Good to browse through when you are searching for an optimized game for your phone.
- Mini Screen View: This built-in mode allows you to shorten the whole display towards the bottom of the screen so that you can use the phone effectively with one hand.
- Huawei Clone: For users transferring from older smartphones, Huawei Clone offers you to copy over older SMS, photos and other user data to your new P30 Lite quite effectively and automatically.