Huawei’s smartphones have been gaining in both quality and popularity in recently, but until now it’s left the low-end to its partner brand Honor. That changes with the Huawei P9 Lite, a low-cost smartphone which is in direct competition with the Moto G4.
The P9 Lite is the cheapest of the P9 branded phones, not that you’d know it at first sight. Visually and physically, the P9 Lite is very similar to its P9 siblings, and yet it costs only £190 – that’s around half the price of the full-blown P9.
It shares the beautiful chamfered edges and clean lines of its more expensive brothers and it’s just as sleek and slim. The shiny aluminium finish has been dropped in favour of an all-black, textured plastic body, which doesn't show the scratches like the other P9’s.
The Huawei P9 Lite is uncommonly attractive and if looks are more important to than all-round performance, it’s more than worth the price of less than £200.
Huawei P9 Lite review: Display
The display is surprising given the phone’s “Lite” status, it is nearly identical to the standard P9’s. It measures the same 5.2in and has the same resolution at 1920 x 1080.
It has a top-quality display which has a contrast ratio of 1532:1 which is excellent, and this helps it produce images with plenty of impact. Its sRGB colour gamut coverage of 98% is great to see on a low cost phone and sees the P9 Lite stretch out a lead over the Moto G4 – which only achieves a 90% sRGB coverage. Peak brightness isn’t bad either at 482cd/m2. It isn’t quite as bright as the Moto G4’s dazzling 539cd/m2 panel, though.
Peak brightness isn’t bad either at 482cd/m2. Sure, this gloomy British winter weather is hardly the best test, but this sort of figure means it should be readable when the sun eventually does come out to play. It isn’t quite as bright as the Moto G4’s dazzling 539cd/m2 panel, mind.
Huawei P9 Lite review: Performance and battery life
The Huawei P9 Lite has an octa-core Kirin 960 chip clocked at 2GHz and this is paired with 3GB of RAM. On the whole, it’s a reasonably nippy smartphone and with 16GB of onboard storage, (expandable up to 128GB) which should just about enough room for everything.
I handles multiple applications and browsing the web on Chrome was fluid and generally glitch free. It doesn’t feel as slick as its bigger siblings with their faster Kirin 955 chips but for well under half the price of the P9, it isn't half bad.
The P9 Lite also comes up top trumps in games performance. An on-screen score of 8.3fps in the GFXBench Manhattan test might not sound like much but Moto’s G4 barely scraped by at 7. In-game performance wasn’t too detracting, with the slightest of frame drops only once the screen was crammed with enemies and laser blasts in Sky Force: Reloaded. All other games tested worked without any problems at all.
The battery is a little disappointing lasting just over 9hrs in our continuous video playback test and is well behind the Moto G4’s long-lasting 13hrs and 39mins.