Huawei P10 Lite Review

June 27, 2017 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Huawei P10 Lite is a budget version of the main Huawei P10 flagship smartphone. It shares some of the same specifications of its sibling, but it is available to buy at a cheaper price. We’ll be taking a look at how the Huawei P10 Lite’s camera performs. It features a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, which is joined by a front-facing 8-megapixel selfie camera. Unlike the main P10 camera, the Lite doesn’t have a dual-lens set-up, and, there’s no mention of co-engineering with Leica. Other specifications which are likely to be of interest to the photographically minded is the fast-charging battery, and the 5.2-inch Full HD display. The device we have been working with has been loaned to us by Vodafone, who you can order the Huawei P10 Lite with. The Huawei P10 Lite costs around £269 sim free.

Ease of Use

The Huawei P10 Lite is a mid-range phone, and in terms of sizing, it also sits somewhere in the middle too. With it’s 5.2-inch screen it’s larger than something like the iPhone 7 (4.7-inch screen), but it’s smaller than some of the “phablet” devices which are currently available. This means that you can use it one-handed quite easily if you’re using the keyboard for texting and so on.

As is common for modern smartphones, the Huawei P10 Lite uses quite a minimalist design. It’s available in four colours; sapphire blue, midnight black, pearl white and platinum gold. We have been using the black model for the purposes of our review. The edges of the phone are nicely curved for an attractive look, while the metal frame makes it feel higher quality than the price point suggests it might be.

In order to charge the Huawei P10 Lite, you use a micro USB charging cable (supplied). The P10 Lite features fast charging which means that with just a 10-minute charge you get enough juice to watch 2-hours worth of video. It takes just 90 minutes to completely charge the battery to 100%. You can also use the micro USB cable to plug the phone into your computer for transferring images across. You will need the free Android transfer software for your computer to get images across, which is very easy to use.

On the side of the Huawei P10 Lite there’s a slot where the SIM card goes, but there’s also space here for a Micro SD card, enabling you to boost the internal memory capacity of the phone. You will need to use the special tool provided in the box (or a paper clip if you lose it), to access the port, so it’s unlikely you’ll be taking the memory card in and out of the phone with any regularity.

Huawei P10 Lite
Front of the Huawei P10 Lite

The other side of the Huawei P10 Lite sees the on/off button, as well as the volume rocker switch. You can use the down button in conjunction with the camera. You have the option to press it down twice while the screen is off to launch the camera app - if you prefer you can even have it open and take a photo automatically. Alternatively, once you’re in the camera app, the down button can be used to take a shot.

Another way to open the camera app is from the main screen - you can swipe up from the bottom corner if the phone is locked without having to unlock the phone. You can take photos, but you’ll only be able to view those which you have taken in this session unless you unlock the phone fully.

The camera app itself is well-featured, giving you lots of options. If you swipe left, you’ll be able to choose between the different camera modes available. The standard “Photo” mode is a fully automatic option which suits most situations, or beginner photographers. There is a “Pro Photo” option which is likely to be appealing to enthusiast photographers. If you select this option, you’ll be able to make a number of changes to different shooting parameters, displayed along the bottom of the screen. There’s the ability to change ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, AF mode, metering and white balance. The only thing you can’t change here is aperture, which is somewhat of a shame. Still, it’s nice to have options at all. Unlike the more advanced P10 camera, the Lite doesn’t give you the option to shoot in raw format, which may be disappointing to some, but is unlikely to bother the average smartphone user.

After you’ve changed any or all of these parameters, if the image doesn’t look right, you have the option to return everything to automatic or default settings by tapping an icon in the corner of the screen. It’s a good way to quickly start again without having to change everything individually.

Huawei P10 Lite
Rear of the Huawei P10 Lite

Further at the bottom of the screen you’ll see three icons, in the middle is the photo button - you can use this as an alternative to using the physical down button on the side of the camera. To the right of this icon is the video icon, which you need to press to switch to video recording - the Huawei P10 Lite maxes out at full HD rather than 4K.  To the left of the central icon is an icon which you can use for playing back your images.

If you’re shooting in the automatic Photo mode, you’ll see that there are some options displayed at the top of the screen too. You can switch the flash on and off, adjust the level of skin smoothing, add a filter, and switch to the front facing camera. Other shooting modes available from the left swipe menu include video, pro video, HDR, time-lapse, panorama, light painting and all-focus. The last option is interesting as it gives you the ability to change the focus point after you’ve taken the shot - it’s quite a fun feature which is perhaps more of a party trick than something you’ll  want to do often, but it’s impressive for close-up shots where there’s a shallow depth of field displayed.

Swiping right on the Huawei P10 Lite's main camera screen also reveals some settings which you can change. These change depending on the shooting mode you’re working in, but generally include options to change photo or video resolution, switching sounds off, switching the timer on, and so on. You can also switch on “capture smiles”, which means the shutter release will automatically be triggered if the phone detects someone smiling in a shot.

Huawei P10 Lite
The Huawei P10 Lite In-hand

Tapping different points on the screen in the main camera app changes the autofocus point, but also changes where the camera meters from. That means if you tap on a dark area of the scene, the exposure will change to accommodate for that. The same thing happens if you tap on a bright part of the scene. If the scene is of high contrast, try your best to tap on a part somewhere in the middle to try and get both shadow and highlight detail.

Overall, it’s a pretty easy camera app to get to grips with - especially if you have used an Android phone before. It doesn’t take too long to navigate around the various different options available. You can also use the camera within other third party apps, such as Instagram.

Once the Huawei P10 Lite is switched on, camera start-up time is made quick by the fact that you can access it directly from the start-up screen. Autofocusing speeds are good in bright light, with a little hunting taking place in very low light conditions.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

It’s possible to get some pleasing images with the Huawei P10 Lite when the lighting is good, but it’s far from the best camera phone on the market. Even at low ISOs, images look a little smudgy if you example them closely, but, if you’re mainly going to be looking at them on the screen of the P10 Lite, or sharing them at small sizes sites such as Facebook and Instagram you shouldn’t have too much of a problem.

Generally speaking, colours are fairly well rendered, being vibrant and warm enough without going over the top. All-purpose metering generally gets it right when it comes to exposure, so only super high contrast scenes are confusing for the P10 Lite.

The Huawei P10 Lite, like most smartphones, is equipped with a digital zoom. However, the results from using it suffer from a loss of detail that mean it’s best avoided unless you’re absolutely desperate to get closer to the action.

As is often the case with many smartphones, low light performance leaves something to be desired. Image noise is visible even at reasonably small sizes if the light is low, so if you find that you often shoot in low light, you may want to consider other phones on the market. If you can find some way to stabilise the phone, you could use longer shutter speeds to keep the ISO down.

On the plus side, the inbuilt filters are quite fun and worth experimenting with, while the panorama mode does a good job of effectively stitching together shots automatically.

For the Huawei P10 Lite's front facing camera, it’s a similar story. It performs well in good light, but as the light drops, a loss of detail and noise start to appear.


The Huawei P10 Lite has 5 manually-selectable ISO sensitivity settings available at full resolution, ranging between ISO 100 and ISO 1600.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


Focal Range

The Huawei P10 Lite's fixed focal length lens is equivalent to 29mm in 35mm camera terms. Digital zoom is available, but with a corresponding reduction in image sharpness.



Digital Zoom



The Huawei P10 Lite able to focus as close as 5cm from a subject. We found this claim to be accurate, though autofocusing does occasionally struggle to lock on at this kind of range.




The Huawei P10 Lite uses a twin-LED flash, and as usual for this technology, it gives a weaker flash burst than a standard xenon camera flash.

Flash On

Flash On - Front Facing Camera


Thanks to the optical image stabilisation and a wide f/2.2 maximum aperture, the Huawei P10 Lite performs fairly well at night. This image was taken at the camera's ISO 100 sensitivity at a shutter speed of 8 seconds, and though there's some noise and detail smoothing, the result is still comparable to what a typical compact camera would produce.




The Huawei P10 Lite's camera app includes a range of different filter effects, but this being a smartphone, extra effects are only an app away.

filter-nofilter.jpg filter2-Blue.jpg
filter3-Dawn.jpg filter4-Impact.jpg
filter5-Nostalgia.jpg filter7-Valencia.jpg
filter6-Mono.jpg filter8-Halo.jpg


The Huawei P10 Lite's automatic sweep panorama mode works well and lets you stop panning at will. The results aren't always perfect, but ghosting is rare. Unlike most regular camera panorama modes which produce significantly downsized images, the Huawei P10 Lite has enough processing power to capture at high resolutions, so panoramas are usually around 3000 vertical pixels.


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Huawei P10 Lite camera, which were all taken using the 12 megapixel JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1280 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 17 second movie is 36.1Mb in size.

Product Images

Huawei P10 Lite

Rear of the Huawei P10 Lite

Huawei P10 Lite

Front of the Huawei P10 Lite

Huawei P10 Lite

Front of the Huawei P10 Lite / Image Displayed

Huawei P10 Lite

Front of the Huawei P10 Lite / Camera Mode

Huawei P10 Lite

Front of the Huawei P10 Lite / Camera Mode

Huawei P10 Lite

Front of the Huawei P10 Lite / Settings

Huawei P10 Lite

Front of the Huawei P10 Lite

Huawei P10 Lite

Front of the Huawei P10 Lite

Huawei P10 Lite

Side of the Huawei P10 Lite

Huawei P10 Lite

Front of the Huawei P10 Lite

Huawei P10 Lite

Front of the Huawei P10 Lite


If you’re looking for a new smartphone, but don’t want to spend big on some of the flagship models out there, including the iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S8, or even the main Huawei P10, then the Huawei P10 Lite is a good mid-range option which should suit your basic needs. 

The Huawei P10 Lite performs well in good light, producing reasonably pleasing images. It’s also good that you can take manual control if you want to, while some of the camera’s features are fun to use, such as ‘All Focus’, filters and panoramic mode. The P10 Lite’s camera runs into problems however if you want to shoot in low light - image noise is an issue even at small sizes, as well as a loss of detail. The digital zoom is also to be avoided, too. 

On the plus side, the fact that the Huawei P10 Lite can be charged quickly is useful for those that take a lot of photos. It’s also an easy camera app to get to grips with, with a simple system of swiping and tapping to get what you want. 

If your main concern when shopping for a smartphone is the camera performance, then the Huawei P10 Lite is probably not the device for you. However, if your main concern is saving money, considering you get a fully functioning smartphone for under £300, the camera may well be a secondary concern. As it is, if you mainly use your phone for off-the-cuff snaps, you should be pleased with what it produces, just don’t expect anything too groundbreaking. 

For those that are drawn by the main P10’s dual-camera Leica setup, it’s important to remember that the Huawei P10 Lite doesn’t have any of that, but, it’s worth checking out the main P10 if you are interested in that technology. 

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3
Value for money 5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Huawei P10 Lite.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is the first version of the most popular smartphone in the world to offer not one, but two integrated cameras. The iPhone 7 Plus also offers photographers 12 megapixel resolution and 4K video recording, plus the intriguing new portrait mode which uses both lenses to recreate the defocused look of a DSLR with a wide aperture lens. Read our in-depth Apple iPhone 7 Plus review, complete with full-size sample images, test shots, videos and more...

Apple iPhone 7

The Apple iPhone 7 is the newest version of the most popular smartphone in the world, offering photographers 12 megapixel resolution, an f/1.8 28mm lens with optical image stabilisation, and 4K video recording. Read our in-depth Apple iPhone 7 review, complete with full-size sample images, test shots, videos and more...


The HTC One is a new flagship smartphone with some intriguing photography features up its proverbial sleeve. The HTC One has a 4 megapixel sensor, 28mm fixed lens with fast f/2.0 aperture, 1080p video, sweep panoramas, a range of picture effects and 8fps burst shooting. Read our HTC One review to find out if it's the best smartphone for photographers...

Huawei Mate S

The Mate S is Huawei's flagship smartphone, offering photographers a 13 megapixel sensor, a 29mm f/2 lens with optical image stabilisation, full manual shooting mode, and 1080p movie recording. Can the Huawei Mate S really replace a compact camera? Find out by reading our in-depth Huawei Mate S review...

Huawei P10 Plus

The new Huawei P10 Plus smartphone has once again been co-developed with Leica, this time around focusing on delivering "stunning artistic portrait shots in the Leica image style". Is this the best smartphone for photographers? Find out by reading our in-depth Huawei P10 Plus review...

Huawei P9

The new Huawei P9 smartphone has been co-developed with none other than Leica, and promises to "reinvent smartphone photography" - a bold claim indeed. The P9 offers photographers a 12 megapixel sensor, not one, but two lenses (one colour, one monochrome), a fully manual shooting mode, 1080p movie recording, and a powerful 3000mAh battery. Is the Huawei P9 a dream ticket for keen photographers? Find out by reading our in-depth Huawei P9 review...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1

Is it a camera? Is it a smartphone? No, it's the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1, which is bravely offering both in one device. Can the Panasonic CM1 replace a high-end camera and a premium smartphone? Read our Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 review now to find out...

Samsung Galaxy S6

The Galaxy S6 is Samsung's flagship smartphone, offering photographers a 16 megapixel sensor, a 28mm f/1.9 lens with optical image stabilisation, and UHD movie recording. Can the Samsung Galaxy S6 replace a compact camera? Find out by reading our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S6 review...

Sony Xperia XZ

The Sony Xperia XZ is a new photography-focused premium smartphone, featuring a 23-megapixel primary camera with a 1/2.3"-type Exmor RS imaging chip. Read our in-depth Sony Xperia XZ review now...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Huawei P10 Lite from around the web. »

Recently Huawei launched this year’s “P” model, the high-end P10 with its Leica-branded dual cameras and a sleek metal design. However, as a high-end phone it will be outside the budget of some consumers. Therefore Huawei has also launched a cheaper version of the P10 called the P10 lite. It doesn’t come with the P10’s dual cameras nor does it have the same flagship level internals, but similarly neither does it carry the same price tag!
Read the full review » »

The Huawei P10 Lite mid-range smartphone costs only about half as much as the Huawei P10 with a Leica camera, but has otherwise much in common with the high-end meteorite. Our test shows what ultimately is the difference and who should choose which of the P10 models.
Read the full review » »

This year, Huawei is aiming to entice budget-conscious consumers with the P10 Lite. Rather than boasting Leica-branded dual cameras and powerful hardware like its flagship siblings, the China-based manufacturer has chosen to equip the P10 Lite with a mid-range processor and a single 12MP shooter at the back, thus slashing the price to around $350.
Read the full review »



Graphite Black/Sapphire Blue/Pearl White/Platinum Gold


5.2 inch FHD LCD screen
1.21 mm edges
1920 x 1080 with high color gamut
High contrast 1500:1


Kirin 658, 16nm Octa-core (4 × 2.1GHz + 4 x 1.7GHz) + i5 co-processor

Operation System

Android™ 7.0 Nougat


4GB RAM + 32GB ROM (WEU, Northern Africa, Southeast Asia, APAC only)


Main SIM card:
FDD LTE: Band 1/3/7/8/20
UMTS (WCDMA) / HSPA+ / DC-HSDPA: Band 1/2/5/8
GSM / EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Secondary SIM card:
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Main SIM card:
FDD LTE: Band 1/3/5/7/8/28
TDD LTE: Band 40
UMTS (WCDMA) / HSPA+ / DC-HSDPA: Band 1/5/8
GSM / EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Secondary SIM card:
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Main SIM card:
FDD LTE: Band 1/3/5/7/8/18/19/26
UMTS (WCDMA) / HSPA+ / DC-HSDPA: Band 1/5/6/8/19
GSM / EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Secondary SIM card:
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Main SIM card:
FDD LTE: Band 2/4/5/7/28
UMTS (WCDMA) / HSPA+ / DC-HSDPA: Band 1/2/4/5/8
GSM / EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Secondary SIM card:
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Main SIM card:
FDD LTE: Band 2/4/5/7/12/17
UMTS (WCDMA) / HSPA+ / DC-HSDPA: Band 1/2/4/5/8
GSM / EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz


GPS / Glonass


Bluetooth 4.1
802.11 b/g/n 2.4G
802.11 ac/a/b/g/n, 2.4G / 5G (WEU, Japan, Korea)
USB 2.0


Fingerprint sensor
Gravity sensor
Optical sensor
Distance sensor


Rear: 12MP, 1/2.8 inch sensor and 1.25 µm single pixel
Front: 8MP
PDAF and CAF 0.3s mixed focus


SWS2.0, 8.5V Smart PA


3gp / mp4 / wmv / rm / rmvb / asf

Emotion UI

EMUI 5.1


3000 mAh (typical)
18W fast charge, 9V 2A
Smart Power-Saving 5.0


Supported (WAS-LX1A, WAS-LX1)

In The Box

Handset x 1
Charger x 1
USB cable x 1
3.5 mm headset x1
Quick Start Guide x 1
Card eject tool x 1
Protective shell x 1 (except LX1, LX1A)

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