2019 was a rather atypical year for Huawei. It is in fact impossible not to mention the problems the Chinese company had because of the ban suffered by the United States of America, which led the company to speed up the times as regards technological independence, between HarmonyOS and App Gallery. After the arrival of Huawei Mate 30 Pro, the first smartphone without Play Store in Italy, many have wondered what the company's strategy could be for the mid-range in 2020. Well, in recent weeks the Chinese giant has allowed us to thoroughly test the new Huawei P30 Lite New Edition.
The device is sold at a price of 349.90 euros and, as the most attentive of you have already guessed from the name, it is a sort of revised version of that P30 Lite announced in March 2019. For those who will buy the smartphone by February 9, 2020, there are free in-ear Bluetooth earphones Huawei Freelace, which are usually sold at a price of 99 euros. Find the points participating in the initiative by following this link. In addition to this, those who decide to purchase P30 Lite on the official Huawei website or at the Experience Store in Milan can take home, adding 1 euro, a piece of the Annakiki X Huawei capsule collection.
Design and unboxing
The sales package is part of the classic Huawei style: a white box with the name of the smartphone on the front and a sticker with all the information related to the device at the bottom. Inside we find the 9V / 2A charger (18W), the USB Type-C cable for charging, the pin for extracting the dual nanoSIM compartment (2 nanoSIM or nanoSIM + microSD) and the classic headphones of good quality. In short, we are talking about the usual good basic equipment, although we would have liked to find a transparent cover, which in this case is not present.
The dimensions of Huawei P30 Lite New Edition are equal to 152.9 x 72.7 x 7.4 mm, for a weight of about 159 grams. Average numbers, which allow you to safely use the smartphone in all contexts, even with one hand. Sure, the screen is wide, but now the market trend is this and essentially we are all used to this standard. Good grip: the device is never too slippery when you use it. As for the constructive solidity, we are facing a smartphone that provides a "premium" feeling, especially thanks to the metal profile.
We have learned the backcover now on various devices of the company: triple camera + LED flash on the top left, fingerprint sensor in the center and Huawei logo on the bottom, everything is in its place. The coloring that the Chinese company has provided us is the classic Midnight Black: we always remain of the opinion that too dark colors do not do justice to the back of smartphones. In any case, P30 Lite is also sold in the Peacock Blue color, which can offer a much better glance, from our point of view.
As for the unlocking sensors, everything is as expected: fingerprint reader with average speed and rapid facial unlocking.
Moving on to the front we find a panel with "drop" notch and quite evident edges, although we are always on the usual standards to which the Chinese company has accustomed us with several other models.
At the bottom of the device are the speakers, the USB Type-C port, the first microphone and the 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones. On the right we find the power button and the volume rocker, while the left side is completely "free". At the top there are the trolley for the SIM and the second microphone.
In conclusion, Huawei P30 Lite New Edition certainly does not shine for originality in design and repeats what has already been seen with several other smartphones, "old" P30 Lite included. The device then goes to insert in the middle of the myriad of phones on the market, but on the other hand this is not a big problem since the smartphone reflects all the classic quality standards that the Chinese company has accustomed us to.
If you hope that the sense of "déjà vu" disappears when it comes to the technical data sheet, unfortunately it is not. Indeed, Huawei P30 Lite New Edition is pushed by an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 710 processor operating at a maximum frequency of 2.2 GHz (4 x 2.2 GHz + 4 x 1.7 GHz), flanked by a Mali-G51 MP4 GPU and 6GB of RAM. Essentially, except for the RAM (which was previously 4GB), it is the same configuration as the previous P30 Lite, not a positive aspect, since we are talking about a smartphone released in April 2019 in Italy. The generational leap is therefore rather contained. The performance remains good for the use made by the average user, but it is clear that the Chinese company has forcibly fallen behind the competition.
Well instead as regards the internal memory, since it has been brought to 256GB (expandable via microSD up to 512GB), sufficient for any type of use.
Moving on to the display, we find the 6.15-inch IPS LCD panel with Full HD + resolution (2312 x 1080 pixels) and "drop" notch. It is a good screen, the color balance is done properly (obviously, the classic settings relating to color and temperature, Huawei is a safety from this point of view) and the automatic brightness works well. The panel tends to reflect a little too much when using the smartphone in sunlight, but we are on normal levels.
Also avoid all the problems related to the optimization of the aspect ratio, since now the developers have adapted and Huawei P30 Lite New Edition has the usual "full screen" mode, able to "force" the apps that usually would not be compatible. Then the functionality for eye protection (blue light filter) and the possibility to hide the notch via software are inevitable. Summing up, we can say we are satisfied with the display, even if it is essentially a re-proposal of the good things done in the past.
The sense of "already seen" becomes even more evident when it comes to the photographic sector. In fact, we find one triple rear camera 48MP (f / 1.8) + 8MP (f / 2.4, wide angle, 120 degrees) + 2MP (f / 2.4, for the bokeh effect). The novelty in this case is the 32MP front camera (f / 2.0): it is the first time that the P Lite series introduces this type of sensor. The three rear sensors can record videos in Full HD at 60fps, while the front one reaches Full HD / 30fps. Zero news from the point of view of the Camera app, where there are the classic AR Lenses, Night, Portrait, Pro, Slow Motion, Panorama, Aperture, Light Painting, HDR and Time-lapse.
The sensors on the back are practically those of the "old" P30 Lite and the quality of the shots is therefore almost specular. The rear cameras are able to offer average results with good brightness, while in low light you start to see all the limits of the photographic sector, since you are losing too many details. Discreet front camera, but we have seen better in this price range.
Fortunately, artificial intelligence and the various night modes (Handheld Super Night and Super Selfie Night) sometimes manage to save the situation. Unfortunately, the videos lack a proper stabilization, although it must be said that many other smartphones behave the same way. Summing up, the photographic sector is certainly able to satisfy the average user, but if you are looking for a smartphone for photos it may not be the ideal solution. If you want to get an idea directly, you can find some uncompressed photos in our Drive folder dedicated to Huawei P30 Lite New Edition.
Turning to autonomy, we find a 3340 mAh battery, the same as the previous model. We often arrived in the evening with 25% residual charge, a good result which confirms that the Chinese company is a guarantee from this point of view. It also remains charging at 18W, so we are in the standards.
The connectivity sector is excellent, complete with everything: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC. Reception is also good, nothing to report from this point of view. The audio sector is average, during our tests the speakers managed to reach a peak of 78 dBA (a good but not exceptional result).
The operating system is Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9.1.0, which at the time of writing has the security patches of August 1, 2019. Here we can only repeat our usual impressions, since there is essentially no news compared to what we saw with the different devices that we tested during the last year. To note the fact that Huawei P30 Lite New Edition still has Google services, so the Play Store and all the other apps are in place and will not move from there. For the rest, the usual excellent gestures and the Digital Management screen should be mentioned.
The fluidity of the operating system is normal, the classic offered by the myriad of smartphones equipped with the SoC Kirin 710. There is some stumbling block, but nothing serious. A pity, however, that the patches are stopped in August and that the smartphone does not arrive on the market directly with the EMUI 10.
Performance and benchmarks
As you may have guessed, Huawei P30 Lite New Edition fails to assert itself in terms of performance. We know the Kirin 710 now as our pockets and in 2020 it would definitely be time to move to the Kirin 810, announced in June 2019. Unfortunately, the Chinese company had no choice, due to the ban suffered by the United States of America.
For benchmark lovers, the device has recorded a total of 187684 points on AnTuTu. On Geekbench, however, it reached 319 points in single-core and 1287 points in multi-core. Below average numbers, which cannot compete with those offered by other companies' smartphones. To give you a concrete example, Realme X2, device sold at a price that is close to that of this Huawei P30 Lite New Edition, recorded a total of 257545 points on AnTuTu during our tests. Certainly some slight steps forward have been made compared to the previous model, but the performance difference is not marked at all. In 2020, configurations of this type are starting to get tight.
We have chosen to test Huawei P30 Lite New Edition mainly with Call of Duty Mobile, Need for Speed No Limits and Ark: Survival Evolved, all titles that can potentially give a mid-range smartphone a hard time.
Well, Call of Duty Mobile runs smoothly and without lag only with details on "Basso" and FPS on "Medio", it is the game itself that blocks the highest options, detecting the hardware limits. In short, gaming also confirms what is described in terms of performance. Turning to Need for Speed No Limits, a slightly less resource-intensive title, the Electronic Arts game works without any kind of problem on this Huawei P30 Lite New Edition, but you can immediately notice that the title tends to lower the details automatically.
As for Ark: Survival Evolved, now "famous" title to put a strain on smartphones, the latter correctly covers the part near the notch thanks to the full-screen mode implemented by Huawei, but it works discreetly only with details on "Bass". However, they are often noticed frame rate drops and in general the experience is at the limit of the playable. In short, if you are a gaming lover, you would probably be better off looking elsewhere.