Honor 50 Lite

What is it?

The Honor 50 Lite is a budget smartphone, but you are making some compromises. Compared to its stablemate, the Honor 50 5G, it doesn’t have 5G, it has a lower-resolution screen and a slower processor, and it has a poorer specification main camera. There’s also only one storage option (128GB) and battery life is significantly shorter.

It has a 6.7-inch LCD display, with 1,080 x 2,376 resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. The eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, with the 6GB of Ram provided on the tested version (8GB is available), should provide a decent amount of power. Of its 128GB of storage, 109GB is available for you to use. However, there is no micro-SD card slot to expand on this storage should you need more.

The phone can be unlocked using face recognition or the fingerprint sensor. The faster Wi-Fi 6 is not supported by this phone, so you won’t benefit from its faster data transfer speeds. It does have near-field communication (NFC) which allows it to be used with contactless payments systems like Android Pay. There’s also a built-in FM radio and a conventional 3.5mm audio jack for connecting to headphones.

On the back there’s a quadruple-lens arrangement, with a 64Mp main sensor, plus 8Mp ultra-wide, 2Mp depth and 2Mp macro lenses. The front-facing selfie camera has 16Mp resolution.

It measures 16.2 x 7.5 x 0.9cm and weighs just 190g.

What’s it like to use?

It’s simple to set up and use. The menus are logically arranged, which keeps navigation simple, and the LCD display is bright, with nicely balanced colours, although contrast levels and angle of view could be better – like many LCD screens the display can dim and take on a bluish tint when viewed from the side. Pleasingly, the touchscreen is very responsive to finger swipes and taps.

It's not the quickest phone we've tested, but it should be fine for everyday apps.

Call quality is reasonable when used in quiet situations but drops off a fair bit when there is an increase in background noise. The built-in mono speaker isn’t great either, with the sound rather sharp and slightly distorted.

This model has no formal IP water-resistance rating but passed our rainfall test unharmed. It also survived our drop tests, and the screen doesn’t scratch easily, so this phone should withstand the rigours of everyday life.

How long does the battery last?

Not long. Its 4300mAh battery only lasted 22.5 hours at maximum brightness in our tests, although you can push this further to 29 hours if you darken the screen a little – both are mediocre results.

The supplied 66 Watt charger can fully replenish the battery in a rapid 38 minutes, but the phone can’t be charged wirelessly.

How good are the cameras?

Rather below par. The suite of rear cameras delivers reasonable results, with daylight scenes showing a good level of detail, although they are slightly dark with a purple tint that makes colours a little unrealistic. Similarly, portrait shots look rather unnatural.

In lower light conditions things deteriorate, with a dark, slightly blurred look, pale colours and an increase in fuzziness. Turning on the flash doesn’t improve matters much, with tinted, pale colours and high grainy levels spoiling the overall results.

Images from the front selfie camera show some detail, but again colours are pale and uneven, with a hard contrast level. In lower light conditions images get increasingly indistinct and fuzzy, although the flash is effective, and pictures improve when you switch it on.

Rear-lens videos are disappointing, with little detail and flat, washed-out colours. There’s also noticeable jitter and jerkiness. Front camera videos look blurred, poorly contrasted and with unnaturally tinted, pale colours.

Is there anything I should know?

This phone is available in three different colour options –black, silver or blue.

Should I buy it?

It’s not a bad budget phone, but its below-par camera performance and battery life put it behind similarly priced rivals. See our Which? Best Buys for alternatives.