Huawei P8 Lite (2017) review

Lite in name, but not in nature

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Mid-to-low range Android phones have certainly come a long way in a relatively short space of time, but the P8 Lite 2017 represents a real step forward for this price bracket. The full HD screen is excellent, the Kirin 655 chipset offers plenty of power and the 3,000mAh battery can deliver over a day of decent usage.

The downsides are low internal storage and the plastic frame, but neither of these really impact the phone's appeal too greatly, and in the case of the former you can always use one of the SIM card slots to install a microSD card for extra storage.

For under £200 (around $245/AU$320) the P8 Lite is something of a bargain.

Who's this for?

If you've looked in envy at top-tier Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and HTC 10 but have baulked at paying such a large sum of money, then the Huawei P8 Lite 2017 is definitely for you.

While it doesn’t challenge those devices in every aspect of its feature set, it offers a premium-feel experience which makes the modest price tag all the more surprising.

Should you buy it?

If you don't mind a plastic-framed handset – and having to shell out for a near-essential microSD card – then the P8 Lite 2017 comes very highly recommended indeed.

Opting for a budget-price phone usually means compromising on some features, but outside of bleeding edge stuff – like 4K video recording for example – the Huawei P8 Lite 2017 feels like it's supplying a premium experience, but at a fraction of the price.

The Huawei P8 Lite 2017 is competitively priced, but there's no shortage of similarly accomplished phones in this bracket, such as the following three.

Moto G4

One of the few other budget Androids which boasts a full HD screen, the Moto G4 also runs Android Nougat, and it’s a near vanilla version of the OS, which is the purest and arguably best way to experience it.

All that and it’s even slightly cheaper than the Huawei P8 Lite 2017, but it lacks a fingerprint scanner and NFC, making the P8 Lite a slightly more attractive proposition overall.

Lenovo P2

Another low-cost Android phone with a 1080p screen, the Lenovo P2's display really is worth writing home about and the metal design is really eye-catching.

It also has a massive battery, giving it several days of life, but the camera is disappointing and it's something of a beast in terms of overall weight. Still, if you’re not a big smartphone snapper it’s well worth considering instead of the P8 Lite 2017.

Xiaomi Mi5

If you don't mind ordering your phone direct from China and jumping through some hoops to set it up, then the Mi5 is another worthy alternative to the P8 Lite 2017.

It has a powerful Snapdragon 820 chipset, 1080p screen, fingerprint scanner and USB Type-C, which makes for almost flagship specs, all for a mid-range price. It’s the better phone, but it’s also a bit more expensive and not as easy to get.

First reviewed: March 2017