A little price drop would make this a better deal.
- Good looking design
- Decent overall performance
- Flexible camera configuration
- Decent battery life
- No expandable storage
- Priced just a bit too high
- Video recording is limited to 1080p 30fps
Design and Build Quality
Compared to the HONOR 90 5G which has a curved rear panel and a curved display, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G has a boxier design, with flat sides, a rear panel with a metallic finish, and a flat display. Like the former, it’s still mostly plastic, but does not feel cheap when held.
The shape of the camera module is also different, housed in an island with a glossy finish to give that bit of contrast to the rest of the phone. The power button on the right also acts as a fingerprint scanner while the SIM tray is located on the left. Like many recent devices, this does not have a headphone jack and microSD card slot.
The HONOR 90 5G prides itself in its award-winning curved AMOLED display with 3840Hz PWM Dimming, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G sticks to a standard LCD with a 90Hz refresh rate. It’s still a decent display for your media consumption needs, but don’t expect colors to be popping out or deep blacks.
The silver lining is that this has Widevine L1 security level, which means you won’t be restricted in terms of resolution when watching on popular streaming platforms like Netflix. This only has a single speaker at the bottom, but it produces good levels of volume and clarity, though the low-end could be better.
HONOR 90 Lite 5G is powered by the Dimensity 6020 processor, which, based on numbers, is equivalent to the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 on the Qualcomm side. You also get 8GB of RAM, which is still okay for this price range, and 256GB of storage, which should compensate nicely for the lack of a microSD card slot.
For day-to-day use, this processing package delivers a good balance of performance and efficiency. Apps open fast most of the time, and even some light to moderate multitasking should not pose any issues.
The device achieved a 99% stability score in 3DMark’s Wild Life stress test, which subjects the device to a series of high graphics tests for a certain amount of time to see how stable the processing package runs. As shown by the chart above, the device was able to perform consistently throughout the test, with results from the best and worst runs being almost similar.
For gaming, considering the price, the performance is actually pretty decent as well. Of course, resource intensive games like Honkai: Star Rail and Diablo immortal will only run as smooth as possible in Low or Very Low settings, but for lighter games like Mobile Legends, things should be pretty smooth with Super frame rate and Ultra graphics settings.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Honkai: Star Rail
Except for Honkai: Star Rail, where there are severe drops in FPS (some are noticeable in game), the HONOR 90 Lite 5G is able to hold the FPS at consistent levels for the other games we threw at it. The device did run warm at times, but not hot enough that we’d say it’s uncomfortable.
HONOR 90 Lite 5G has a 100MP main camera, a 5MP wide+depth unit, which is a very welcome addition, and a 2MP macro lens, which I feel isn’t necessary, but is there if you need it.
Quality-wise, it’s actually pretty decent in terms of detail and color accuracy. It’s okay in low-light, but there were times when it struggles to focus.
HONOR 90 Lite 5G runs MagicOS 7.1 on top of Android 13. Like its siblings, you do get the same features such as Multi-Window which allows you to open apps in floating windows that you can move and resize, and the dock, from which you can have quick access to certain apps.
Of course, that also means that you get the same tiny issue that I have with this Android skin. You have to go through the settings menu of the camera app to adjust resolution and fps, which can be a hassle when you need to quickly adjust settings.
With light to moderate use, which in my case is a bit of Disney+/Netflix/YouTube, some Spotify, a little bit of email, a few minutes of light gaming, and mostly social media browsing and updates, with some picture-taking, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G should last a full workday with just enough power left to still be connected for the trip home. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on several factors, such as if you’re mostly on Wi-Fi or mobile data, and which apps you use.
HONOR 90 Lite 5G Verdict
The HONOR 90 5G Lite may not have the bells and whistles of its more premium sibling, but even on its own, the device offers a decent overall performance, a flexible camera system, and good battery life. While not for heavy gamers, nor for those who want the best cameras in its price range, this phone should still be a great all-rounder for day-to-day of light to moderate use.
The only thing that makes this phone less compelling, is its PHP 12,990 price tag. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good phone, but compared to what you’re getting from the competition just by paying a bit more, you can’t help but think that maybe HONOR could’ve done more in several departments.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.