Huawei Mate 20 Lite vs P20 Lite

Though flagship phones get all the attention, they’re not necessarily the ones you actually want to buy. That’s probably one reason Huawei has launched the Mate 20 Lite ahead of the Pro version.

But is this newcomer right for you? Here we explain how it differs from Huawei’s similar, but older, P20 Lite so you can make a decision between the two.

Mate 20 Lite vs P20 Lite: Price

There’s £50 separating these handsets, with the older phone costing £329 and the Mate 20 Lite £379.

They’re both available from Carphone Warehouse, the Mate 20 Lite here and the P20 Lite here.

If you prefer not to pay for a monthly contract, then the Mate 20 Lite starts at £23 (with a £29.99 up front cost) and the P20 Lite costs £18, with no other fees.

Of course, these may not be the only phones you’re considering and the Honor 10 is currently £359 from Carphone Warehouse and benefits from the more powerful Kirin 970 processor, has 128GB of storage and is dual-SIM to boot. It’s great value at this price.

You can read our full P20 Lite review as well as our hands-on review of the Mate 20 Lite.

Mate 20 Lite vs P20 Lite: Features & Specs

These are very similar phones, not only in looks, but also in their specifications. The Mate 20 has a few notable differences:

  • Bigger 6.3in screen
  • Bigger battery (lasts up to 2.5 days)
  • Twin selfie cameras

Both phones are firmly in the mid-range bracket: they lack the Kirin 970 processor you’ll find in the surprisingly affordable Honor 10.

That may not be a concern to you, but understand that this limits more than just general speed and responsiveness. For example, neither can shoot 4K video and though they have decent-sounding slo-mo modes, at 120fps (P20) and 480fps (Mate 20), they’re at lower resolutions than you might expect.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the pair offer no water-resistance (and neither does the Honor 10), but they do have standard headphone jacks.

Here’s a table comparing the specs of the Huawei Mate 20 Lite and the P20 Lite:

  Huawei Mate 20 Lite Huawei P20 Lite
Price (at launch) £379 £329
Colours Black, Sapphire Blue, Platinum Gold Midnight Black, Klein Blue, Sakura Pink and Platinum Gold
Operating System Android Oreo 8.1 + EMUI 8.2 Android Oreo 8.1 + EMUI 8.0
Display 6.3in 2340x1080 19.5:9 LTPS, 409ppi 5.84in 2280x1080p 18:9 LTPS, 432ppi
Processor Huawei Kirin 710 Huawei Kirin 659
GPU Mali-G51 MP4 Mali-T830 MP2
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB plus microSD up to 256GB 64GB plus microSD up to 256GB
Rear camera 16Mp and 2Mp  16Mp + 2Mp
Selfie camera 24Mp + 2Mp  16Mp
Wi-Fi  802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 
Bluetooh 4.2 4.2
LTE 4G LTE 4G LTE
SIM card Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM)
Battery 3750mAh non-removable 3000mAh non-removable
Headphone jack Yes Yes
USB USB 3.1, Type-C, fast charging  USB 3.1, Type -C, fast charging
Wireless charging No No
Water resistance rating None None
Dimensions 158.3 x 75,3 x 7.6mm 148.6 x 71.2 x 7.5mm
Weight 172g 145g

In terms of software, both phones come with Huawei’s EMUI which tends to divide opinion. It’s a far cry from stock Android and is more iOS-like than anything. Fortunately, there’s plenty to like about it, including the ‘born fast, stays fast’ feature which isn’t just marketing fluff: it actually works.

The Mate 20 Lite’s dual front-facing cameras aren’t just there for selfies with blurred-out backgrounds. Because the 2Mp camera is dedicated to depth detection, it means you can unlock the phone with your face, and this also works if you hold the phone sideways.

Mate 20 Lite vs P20 Lite

Plus, like quite a few other recent phones, that depth sensing camera allows you to turn your face into an animated emoji. Huawei calls this Qmoji, and it’s much like Apple’s Animoji and Samsung’s AR Emoji. You might think this is a gimmick, but then again, it might be another reason to go for the Mate 20 Lite instead of the P20 Lite.

Huawei Mate 20 Lite: Specs

  • Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2
  • 6.3in Full-HD+ (2340x1080) 19.5:9 IPS display
  • Kirin 710 processor ((4x2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • microSD card slot (up to 256GB)
  • 4G LTE
  • Dual or single SIM (dual uses microSD slot)
  • Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX HD
  • Fingerprint sensor (rear)
  • GPS
  • 20MP (f/1.8) + 2MP rear camera
  • 24MP (f/2.0) + 2MP selfie camera
  • USB-C
  • 3750mAh battery
  • 158.3x75.3x7.6mm
  • 172g
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2
  • 6.3in Full-HD+ (2340x1080) 19.5:9 IPS display
  • Kirin 710 processor ((4x2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • microSD card slot (up to 256GB)
  • 4G LTE
  • Dual or single SIM (dual uses microSD slot)
  • Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX HD
  • Fingerprint sensor (rear)
  • GPS
  • 20MP (f/1.8) + 2MP rear camera
  • 24MP (f/2.0) + 2MP selfie camera
  • USB-C
  • 3750mAh battery
  • 158.3x75.3x7.6mm
  • 172g

SHOULD I BUY HUAWEI MATE 20 LITE?

Although we’ve spent a limited amount of time with the Mate 20 Lite – we haven’t had time to fully benchmark it or verify Huawei’s battery life claims – it looks very much like it is well worth the £50 extra over the P20 Lite.

It’s bigger and heavier, which could be a negative, and a fairly large spanner in the works is the Honor 10. Honor is Huawei’s sub-brand and the ’10 is almost a flagship phone that, somehow, costs less than the Mate 20 Lite. It isn’t better in every way, but should certainly be on your shortlist.

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