The Honor 90 has been one of the most popular models Honor Philippines launched in 2023. It has almost everything you would want and expect from a smartphone in its segment. Honor even got the pricing right at just PHP 24,990, making it very affordable for what it has to offer.
But for some, PHP 24,990 is still a significant amount, and it still might be out of reach, especially for those who are budget-conscious. To give their customers a more budget-friendly option, Honor has now released the Honor 90 Lite.
Interestingly, the two phones don’t look alike. On paper, it has decent specs, but the Honor 90 Lite is a bit of a downgrade as compared to the Honor 90. However, the 90 Lite is a lot more affordable. Just how affordable? Well, it retails for just PHP 12,990, nearly half the price of the Honor 90.
Given how well the Honor 90 did, today we’ll be taking a close look at the Honor 90 Lite, and whether or not it is a phone you should consider.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
As you can see the Honor 90 Lite looks nothing like the Honor 90 we reviewed previously. The Lite has large flat sides with a plastic back panel.
It has a minimalist design, which looks nice featuring only the Honor logo on the back. Interestingly, the Honor logo sits flush but the text at the bottom is embossed, which makes it feel weird to the touch.
The camera housing also looks rather interesting. Instead of two full circles, the two overlap each other, forming a sort of infinity with the flash to the side. Other than that, the Honor 90 Lite looks like most budget phones today.
Like the back panel, the matte frame is also made out of plastic. At the bottom, you’ll find the USB-C port together with a loudspeaker. On the right side, you’ll find the power button which doubles as a fingerprint scanner, and the volume rocker. On the left is the dual-SIM card tray but no SD card slot.
With its flat frame, the phone is easy to hold and relatively light weighing just 179g. It’s not the thinnest phone at 7.48mm, but it still fits your pocket nicely. Our review unit features the Cyan Lake color, which is nice and there are two other colors available – Titanium Silver and Midnight Black.
Display and Multimedia
Flip the phone over, and you’ll be greeted by a nice 6.7-inch display with really thin bezels. I’m not exaggerating how thin the bezels are at all, just look at the screen. Although there is a notable chin at the bottom of the screen, it’s still a great-looking screen.
The LCD itself also looks great for watching videos and playing games. Since it’s not an OLED screen, the Honor 90 Lite doesn’t have the very vivid colors and deep blacks you would expect. Still, the LTPS LCD is pretty sharp and the colors are accurate.
You also have respectable viewing angles too together with a 90Hz refresh rate. Still, I do wish Honor fitted a 120Hz refresh rate display instead to make it smoother for gaming and watching movies or series. Also, the screen isn’t as bright as other mid-range models we’ve tried recently. But even under the sun, you can still see everything on the screen.
Despite the 90Hz refresh rate, watching movies on the large, near-borderless display is great. Although it does only have a mono loudspeaker, which you can easily cover up by accident when watching.
The loudspeaker is average at best too, so I recommend using Bluetooth headphones or earphones for a better experience. This phone does not come with a headphone jack after all.
The camera on the Honor 90 Lite is surprisingly very capable. The triple rear camera is highlighted by a 100MP main lens along with a 5MP combined Ultrawide and Depth lens, and a 2MP Macro lens. There are various shooting modes available including Super Macro and HDR Photo, making it great for all situations.
The images themselves look great, especially in optimal lighting conditions when using the 100MP main shooter. You get sharp images all around and the colors are rich and vivid. The way the Honor 90 Lite processes images isn’t too extreme either, giving it a more natural look and feel. If you want punchier colors, turn on the AI photo mode to get more dramatic-looking images.
While the camera is great in well-lit environments, image quality does suffer when shooting dimly-lit scenes and at night. Since the camera on the Honor 90 Lite does not have image stabilization, the photos end up not as sharp. Night mode doesn’t help too much either. While it does reduce grain, the photo becomes overly smoothened out and little details are retained.
Personally, I would just leave it in photo mode with AI turned on. Still, it’s not too bad for what the phone is worth.
As for the front camera, you get a 16MP shooter. It’s average at best, with a somewhat wide lens making it great for selfies. But like the rear camera, it’s best used in well-lit environments. There are also several filters you can play with.
Video recording is maxed out at 1080P@30FPS, and it’s similar to the photos. It works great in well-lit environments, but not in low-light. But here are some sample photos and videos we took using the Honor 90 Lite. I do wish Honor made it possible to capture at least 2K video since it doesn’t have OIS.
Check out our sample photos taken using the Honor 90 Lite in the gallery below.
Performance and Benchmarks
So the Honor 90 Lite can take great photos, but how does it perform when you’re using it? Under the hood of this smartphone is a MediaTek Dimensity 6020 along with 8GB RAM. Our unit also comes with 256GB internal storage, which is adequate for this phone. Although I do wish Honor added a microSD card slot for users who want to save a lot of apps, photos, and videos.
The MediaTek Dimensity 6020 isn’t the most powerful chipset on the market, so you do have to manage expectations. Still, the phone can run MLBB and CoD: Mobile smoothly without any issues. While we did get it to run Genshin Impact, the settings were at the lowest possible. Also, it did heat up when playing Genshin for extended periods. And even then, the gameplay wasn’t as smooth as I expected it to be.
Despite that, it can do multi-tasking easily even when several apps are running in the background. There was only a little lag when browsing through Chrome or watching videos.
To give you a better idea, here’s how the Honor 90 Lite performed through our usual benchmarking apps.
Device: HONOR 90 Lite
Chipset: MediaTek Dimensity 6020
Geekbench 6 Single-Core 732
Geekbench 6 Multi-Core 1,924
Geekbench OpenCL 1,252
3D Mark Wild Life 1,192
PCMark Work 3.0 8,383
Antutu Storage Test 36,637
OS, Apps, and UI
The Honor 90 Lite runs on MagicOS 7.1 based on Android 13. Like before, it does come with several bloatware and 3rd party apps that you will not likely use. You can easily uninstall them, but still, it’s not ideal to declutter a phone even before you start using it. Once you do have them uninstalled, it’s quite nice to go through the menu.
Battery and Connectivity
In terms of battery life, the Honor 90 Lite uses a 4500mAh battery pack, which is a bit smaller than what you would usually find.
Interestingly, the battery on the Honor 90 Lite does last a relatively long time given its size. I’ve been using this phone for a few days now, and it lasts almost the entire day before needing to recharge. But mind you I did play ML and Genshin too.
Via PCMark’s Battery Test, the Honor 90 Lite lasted 13 hours & 30 minutes, which is great considering the small battery size.
For the price of PHP 12,990, the Honor 90 Lite has a lot to offer. You get a 100MP main camera, a decent chipset, and a relatively long-lasting battery size. But it doesn’t live up to the hype the Honor 90 built.
There are several downsides to the Honor 90 Lite. One of them is the camera, which lacks OIS and is a bit lackluster when it comes to low-light shooting. At the same time, the performance is average at best. Not to mention, the screen isn’t the most beautiful since it’s not OLED.
If you have the budget, I would still recommend getting the Honor 90. For it’s price point, you can’t go wrong with it. While the Honor 90 Lite is lighter on the wallet, it does lack the features and performance the Honor 90 comes with.
But if your budget is limited, then the Honor 90 Lite is an okay phone. The only problem now is that it faces some serious competition in the segment; phones with OLED displays, stereo-loudspeakers, and more.
What we liked:
Decent main camera
Long battery life
What we didn’t like:
- Bloatware with Magic OS
- No OIS
HONOR 90 Lite 5G specs:
6.7” FHD+ LTPS LCD
2388 x 1080 pixels, 90Hz refresh
MediaTek Dimensity 6020
8-cores, up to 2.2GHz
8GB RAM (+5GB extended memory)
Triple rear cameras:
– 100MP f/1.9 main
– 5MP f/2.2 ultrawide
– 2MP f/2.4 macro
16MP f/2.45 selfie shooter
5G, 4G LTE
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4GHz and 5GHz
USB Type-C (USB 2.0)
Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Extra volume mode
MagicOS 7.1 (Android 13)
22.5W charging (wired)
162.9 x 74.5 x 7.48mm
Cyan Lake, Midnight Black