2019’s sure been a year. For South Africa, that means extreme highs and depressing lows, but one things for sure, the country didn’t stop…
Memes have sprouted about the love Xiaomi had for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, a chipset that found its way into more of the Chinese company’s devices than we bother to count. But its a love that’s equally matched by Huawei and Honor, and the Kirin 710.
Launched in mid-2018, the 12nm, eight-core chipset features four ARM Cortex-A53 cores and four ARM Cortex-A73 cores. It tags the ARM Mali-G51 GPU along, while boasting a base frequency between 1.7GHz and 2.2GHz.
More than nine devices currently use the chipset, and six of those are available in South Africa.
With that said, in which of these phones should you invest your money? We weigh up each device’s strengths and weaknesses.
Honor 10 Lite
Strengths: The cheapest phone on this list. The rear camera is surprisingly handy once you get to know it. It’s easy to hold. It’s difficult to drop when its included case is on. FM radio is a nice inclusion.
Weaknesses: Battery will last just over a day if you don’t push it. It feels decidedly cheap in the hand. There’s currently no dual SIM option. Probably the poorest screen in this head-to-head. Selfie camera is overhyped. MicroUSB port.
Should you buy it? No. Unless you’re considering the P Smart 2019, there are better options.
Huawei P30 Lite
Strengths: It looks like the Huawei P30, and that’s probably the point. Build quality is good, and you do get a dual SIM option. The fingerprint reader is swifter than many flagships. 128GB of internal storage is a positive with a microSD card slot to boot. USB-C.
Weaknesses: For three cameras, it’s an average camera experience. Edging the pricey side of this group for not much more to offer.
Should you buy it? If you prioritise storage and want a comfortable device in the hand, it’s definitely worth a look.
Strengths: Largest screen of the group. Absolutely ridiculous two-day battery life. My favourite physical design of the group, despite the notch. Feels the most premium in the hand.
Weaknesses: The rear camera is strangely underwhelming and struggles to focus on subjects. Still employs a microUSB port. Still running Android 8.1 Oreo.
Should you buy it? Yes, but only if you value battery life and usability over camera performance.
Huawei P Smart 2019
Strengths: Dual SIM. Android 9 Oreo. A large 16MP sensor for the selfie camera.
Weaknesses: Only slightly more expensive than the Honor 10 Lite for arguably worse specs. Only the 3GB/64GB version is in South Africa. MicroUSB once more.
Should you buy it? No. More expensive than the Honor 10 Lite for almost exactly the same device, but it does have a dual SIM option if that’s a priority for you.
Huawei Mate 20 Lite
Strengths: The Mate line has totally different aesthetics and design philosophy compared to the other devices on this list. Two cameras up front and two cameras at the back. One of the larger batteries on this list. USB-C. WiFi 802.11 ac support.
Weaknesses: Priced beyond anything in this segment.
Should you buy it? Considering you can get a P30 if you spend just a little bit more, we’d have to say absolutely not.
What if I don’t like any of these Kirin 710 phones?
Well then you’re in luck.
Huawei and Honor are set to bring three more Kirin 710 devices to audiences in the coming months. The Huawei P Smart Z with a pop-up selfie camera, the rumoured punch-hole selfie camera Huawei P20 Lite 2019, and the Huawei Y9 2019, which is the most exciting device on this list for those looking for a budget option.
Feature image: Honor 8X by Andy Walker/Memeburn