Starting today, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, Huawei, has 3 recent smartphones in its top-of-the-range series available in the Kenyan market. The Huawei P10 Lite, announced back in February and available in various markets around the world starting in March, joins the Huawei P10, which started selling in Kenya towards the end of May and the Huawei P10 Plus, which went on sale in the country only a month ago.
The Huawei P10 Lite, like its predecessor, the P9 Lite, arrives with a 5.2-inch full HD display. The processor has been bumped up to the latest Kirin 658 from Huawei’s subsidiary HiSilicon while the memory, at least for the model that is being made available in Kenya, rises to 4GB, according to a statement released by Huawei Kenya.
Just as it was the case with the P9 Lite last year, the P10 Lite doesn’t graduate to the Leica-designed dual-cameras that adorn the back of its bigger and pricier siblings, the P10 and P10 Plus. Instead, it gets an almost similar 12-megapixel lens that, if the 13-megapixel shooter on the P9 Lite is anything to go by, should be a world beater at its price. I remember taking the P9 Lite with me to Dubai alongside a flagship smartphone from another Chinese device maker that cost Kshs 10,000 more and still preferring the night images I took of the iconic Burj Khalifa with the P9 Lite.
Software-wise, anyone who plans on picking up the Huawei P10 Lite will be getting the latest iteration of Huawei’s in-house Emotion user interface that is layered on top of Android 7.0, Nougat.
Still on the software, the Huawei P10 Lite is the first “lite” P-series device to get Huawei’s proprietary Knuckle Sense technology (it’s actually made by Qeexo, an American technology company that specialises in development of user interaction solutions for touch-enabled devices i.e gestures and goes by the market name FingerSense). Knuckle Sense, the software that allows users of to do things (gimmicks) like knocking twice on the display to take a screen shot or drawing a C with their knuckles to fire up the camera app, has been available on Huawei’s flagship devices in the P and Mate series since 2015 when it debuted on the P8.
On the battery front, Huawei claims that the P10 Lite’s battery, which is still similar to last year’s P9 Lite capacity-wise (3,000mAh) can last 2 hours playing video from a 10-minute charge which should be remarkable since I really enjoy fast-charging (Huawei calls it Super Charging) on the Huawei Mate 9 and the Huawei P10 (yes, that). I don’t remember witnessing any form of fast charging on the P9 Lite so this should be a worthy upgrade.
While the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus took the extra step of moving the fingerprint sensor from the back to the front of the device where it is now embedded in the physical home button, the P10 Lite maintains the old order and as such, lacks a home button the front, sticking with the tried and tested software on-screen buttons.
Sadly, Huawei’s device, meant to bring the exclusive P10 experience to those who are short of the money to afford it, is the priciest P-series “lite” device to ever trade in the Kenyan market. Its Kshs 35,000 price tag at Huawei retail shops across the country, where it is available, might be its main undoing given that there is no shortage of budget options not just from Huawei but the competition as well.