HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Affordable All-rounder Smartphone?

With the success of the HONOR 90, the company is in it again with the release of the HONOR 90 Lite 5G. Just like the former, this newcomer is banking on its "megapixels" to appeal to those looking for a great value camera phone without spending more.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Affordable All-rounder Smartphone?

Based on its moniker, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G is technically a trimmed-down version of the standard model in the series. However, in my time with the smartphone, I realized that it could live outside the shadow of its brother. Join us in this review as we dig deeper into this smartphone's capability. Is there more to it than just the 100MP camera? And most importantly, is it worth your hard-earned money? Let's find out in this review.

{getToc} $title={Table of Contents} $count={Boolean} $expanded={Boolean}

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review


  • Capable 100MP main camera
  • Updated and trendy design
  • Large screen real estate
  • Big storage
  • Long battery life


  • No stereo speakers
  • Ultrawide and macro cameras need improvement
  • No storage expansion support


The HONOR 90 Lite 5G features a candy bar design with its plastic rear and glass front footprint. It's framed by a flat railing which is also made of plastic material. The design also boasts a flat backing and modern straight edges which give the device an edgy look; but more than just aesthetics, it provides a secure grip.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Design

This smartphone features a slim profile at just 7.48mm in thickness; it's also lightweight, weighing only 179 grams, offering a comfortable experience when handling the phone.

We have the Midnight Black for our review unit. If you're already bored with this color, there's another color option which is the Cyan Lake. According to HONOR, these hues are "inspired by the wonders of nature." For my Midnight Black phone, its back panel has a smudge-resistant matte finish defined by its nanocrystal-like coating. In turn, it embodies a calm night sky.

The camera module features a dual-ring camera arrangement. These rings are said to be crafted through advanced CNC Cutting techniques, and the result is quite eye-catching, and something that we haven't seen before.

For the ports and buttons, we have the power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner and the volume rocker on the right side. The left side is a home for the SIM tray. The top part houses the secondary microphone and a black dot that appears like an IR Blaster (but it's not). Lastly, the bottom side has the primary microphone, USB-C port, and speaker grille.

I said it before, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G is a downgraded version of the popular HONOR 90 5G in terms of its overall specs and feature-set; and it's definitely lighter and thinner than the latter. In addition, IP Rating and Gorilla Glass protection are not specified; thus it's very important to handle this smartphone with care. I suggest to always use the protective case that's included with the package.

Despite this, HONOR 90 Lite 5G is still a good phone when we talk about aesthetics and functionality. Its slim, lightweight, and ergonomic design is paired with two elegant colors. The new dual-ring camera design adds a luxurious appeal, while boasting above average camera features in its price point (which we will expound later on the camera review).


The HONOR 90 Lite 5G boasts a capable display with its large 6.7-inch LTPS LCD panel. It comes with 1080 x 2388p resolution that's more than enough to give clear and crisp display. To take the visual experience up a notch, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G's screen is equipped with a 90Hz refresh rate which translates to smoother animations and scrolling, making interactions with the device feel more fluid and responsive. It's a noticeable difference, especially for gamers and those who enjoy fast-paced content.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Display

One standout feature of this display is its 93.6% screen-to-body ratio. The HONOR 90 Lite features slim bezels and a hole punch camera, thus maximizing the smartphone's screen real estate. However, it's also worth-noting that the chin is still sizable and could definitely take away the bezel-less appeal if you're being nitpicky. Nevertheless, the high screen-to-body ratio significantly enhances the overall viewing experience, whether you're watching videos, browsing the web, or gaming. The large display is quite immersive in consuming content, and it also provides ample screen real estate for reading text.

This device also prioritizes eye health with intelligent features. The Dynamic Dimming and Circadian Night Display adjust brightness and color temperature as needed, reducing eye strain and aiding sleep. The display is also TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certified that ensures minimal blue light for eye comfort especially when you spend long hours in front of the screen.

The HONOR 90 Lite 5G's display quality is quite okay, but it does not blow the competition out of the water. I think HONOR could have made the display even more attractive and competitive had it implemented an OLED panel for stunning visuals and better viewing angles, yet it settled with only LCD.


The HONOR 90 Lite 5G is powered by the new MediaTek Dimensity 6020. It's a 5G-capable chip that's basically a repackaged version of the Dimensity 810. Built on a 7-nanometer process, it packs two ARM Cortex-A76 performance cores clocked at 2.2GHz speed and six ARM Cortex-A55 efficiency cores of up to 2GHz. The SoC is coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It also comes with HONOR RAM Turbo that utilizes the handset's storage to expand the RAM with an additional 5GB. It's worth-noting, however, that there is no support for expanding the storage capacity.

In my time using the HONOR 90 Lite 5G, I think the phone is capable of handling day to day tasks. This includes snapping photos, recording clips, browsing social media apps, setting calendar appointments, constructing emails, streaming on-demand videos, and playing casual games.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Mobile Legends Gaming Review

Speaking of gaming, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G can handle popular titles like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), Genshin Impact, and Honkai Star Rail. The phone also supports up to Ultra graphics and Super high frame rate settings in MLBB; while doing so, I have experienced a slight heat build-up when playing via Wi-Fi network. It's important to keep in mind that this heat build-up might be more pronounced if you're using mobile data for gaming.

I also experienced a frame drop in one instance when there are too many in-game effects in one frame. For optimum MLBB experience, I suggest you trickle down to high graphics and high frame rate settings. Shooting games like Call of Duty Mobile run smoothly in its default graphics settings.

The HONOR 90 Lite 5G does not have stereo speakers, just like the standard HONOR 90. The mono speakers come with a decent amount of volume and bass; thus, it would still provide a good experience in streaming your favorite apps or listening to music. Additionally, if you're going to use wired headphones, HONOR is generous enough to include a USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter in the package.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Multimedia

Benchmarks and Cellular Speed

The HONOR 90 Lite 5G tallied decent scores in our benchmark tests as follows:

  • AnTuTu Score: 400,746 for overall performance;
  • Geekbench 6 CPU: 732 (single-core) and 1,932 (multi-core);
  • Geekbench 6 GPU: 1,270 (OpenCL) and 1,278 (Vulkan).

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Benchmark Tests

In simple terms, these benchmark results mean that the HONOR 90 Lite 5G is capable of handling demanding tasks, from gaming to productivity, giving users a good overall user experience.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: 5G Connectivity

In our 5G speed test, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G clocked a download speed of 224 Mbps and an upload speed of 37.3 Mbps with Smart 5G cellular network. These results translate to fast browsing with instant page loading, smoother gaming with minimal lag, and buffer-free video streaming, even in high quality. In a nutshell, the 5G connectivity support is a great addition to the HONOR 90 Lite, making users' online experience faster and more enjoyable.

Overall, the MediaTek Dimensity 6020 is a decent processor for casual games, and could run high-graphic titles as long as users are playing in the default settings. It could also be an all-rounder device with its decent multimedia capability, while taking full advantage of its 5G connectivity.


The HONOR 90 Lite 5G comes with a triple rear camera system. Its main camera packs a 100MP f/1.9 sensor which is quite rare in this price range. There's also a 5MP f/2.2 wide and depth camera and a 2MP f/2.4 macro sensor. For selfie lovers, the front camera offers a 16MP sensor with f/2.5 aperture. Both the rear and front cameras support 1080p at 30fps video recording.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Camera Review

In a well-lit environment, the 100MP main camera flexes its muscle in taking bright photos with good detail and color saturation. The camera app supports up to 2x digital zoom which is literally a crop of the image taken from 1x setting. Photos on 2x zoom are actually decent with good saturation and details. However, I suggest not to zoom further due to loss of details and accumulation of noise.

The main camera left me craving with more contrast in photos. The dynamic range could also need some improvement. I hope a software update could help fix this.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Sample Main Camera Photo
Main camera sample photo

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Sample Main Camera Photo under optimal conditions
Main camera sample photo under optimal conditions

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Lowlight vs Night Mode Sample Photos
Lowlight and Night Mode

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Lowlight vs Night Mode Sample Photos
Lowlight vs Night Mode

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Main Camera vs Ultrawide Photos
Main camera vs Ultrawide

The 5MP ultrawide camera is a complementary sensor to the main camera. Using this sensor, I could definitely notice a drop in details. In the photo above, you can see the major difference in the floor tiles, the window tint, and the "SM City" letters on the traffic standee. However, I still give props to the wide perspective this lens could give to users who love taking landscape shots.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Super Macro Sample Photo
Super Macro Mode

Unlike the standard HONOR 90 where the super macro mode is a cropped version of the ultrawide camera, the macro function in the HONOR 90 Lite 5G is employed by a separate 2MP sensor. This means that it's a fixed-focused lens with an optimal focal length of 4cm. There's nothing ground-breaking about the macro mode; it shoots passable photos if positioned in the right distance from the subject.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Front Camera

The front camera is best for social media selfies with beautification filters. Both the front and the rear cameras also shoot portrait shots. Surprisingly, the portrait function has good subject-and-background separation. One interesting camera mode is the Multi-Video wherein you can record clips from the front and rear cameras at the same time. Of course, the "More" section of the camera app also includes popular modes like the Pro, Slow-Mo, Panorama, Time-lapse, and HDR Photo, to name a few.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Front Camera Sample Photos
Front camera sample photos

Overall, the 100MP camera of the HONOR 90 Lite 5G is an essential tool for everyday use. It is quite a treat to have this megapixel count in this price range. While we think the main camera is very capable, the ultrawide and macro are really not convincing in this camera set to the point that they could've been left in the cutting room in favor of an improvement to some other features.


Running the whole show is the MagicOS 7.1 that is based on Android 13. HONOR has not officially mentioned it, but I assume that this phone will get at least one major Android update. The whole interface of the MagicOS is quite familiar with its minimalist homescreen and flat icons. The OS also supports Google PlayStore and Google Mobile Services; thus, it'll give you a hassle-free experience in downloading official apps.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Software

Upon setting up, you'll be guided on how to use the Gesture Navigation but if it's not your cup of tea, you can also use the button navigation. The Control Center is layered with quick toggles and settings, which you can access by swiping down from the upper right of the display; if you swipe down on the left side of the screen, you'll access the notification shade. Swiping down anywhere from the homescreen will access universal search for apps, files, and more.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Software Review

The MagicOS 7.1 also supports HONOR Share, Link to Windows, Wireless Projection, and other collaboration tools which you can take advantage if you are using more than one HONOR devices. All in all, the OS is easy to use and comes with a slew of features for productivity.


HONOR equips this smartphone with Li-Po 4500 mAh battery. This is 500mAh short than the HONOR 90, but coupled with its power-efficient chipset, it can still keep you connected for longer time. In our PCMark battery life test (with fixed brightness and volume levels at 50%, dynamic refresh rate), the HONOR 90 Lite 5G scored 13 hours and 12 minutes. In our real-time experience, the battery proves capable of lasting a full day under conditions of fair to moderate usage.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Battery Life Test

The HONOR 90 Lite 5G comes with 22.5W fast charging support. We also conducted a charging test starting from 11:15 AM and concluded at 12:36 PM for a total of 81 minutes or 1 hour and 21 minutes. The test's progress is summarized as follows:

  • 11:30 AM (15 minutes): 23%
  • 11:35 AM (20 minutes): 31%
  • 11:45 AM (30 minutes): 45%
  • 12:00 PM (45 minutes): 67%
  • 12:15 PM (60 minutes): 86%
  • 12:30 PM (75 minutes): 97%
  • 12:36 PM (81 minutes): 100%

At 45-minute charge (12NN), it reached 67% as shown in the chart below.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Fast Charging Test

There's nothing remarkable about this smartphone's fast charging capability, especially when we compare it with other competitor phones in the same price range that outperform the HONOR 90 Lite 5G in this aspect. Needless to say, it does not come with support for wireless charging.

This smartphone also includes handy features like Smart Charge and Smart Battery Capacity. Smart Charge learns your charging habits, which is great when you have the habit of charging your phone overnight. It pauses at around 80% and resumes before you wake up. Meanwhile, Smart Battery Capacity intelligently manages peak battery capacity, slowing aging and ensuring consistent performance and battery life over time. By default, they are enabled via Settings > Battery > More battery settings to help keep your battery at optimum health.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Review: Should you buy the HONOR 90 Lite 5G?

Verdict: Should you buy the HONOR 90 Lite 5G?

If you're looking for a capable smartphone priced below Php 13K, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G is a great choice. It's a very convincing mid-range phone that strikes a good balance in camera, design, processor, display, and affordability. Its strongest suit is the main camera, especially when you use it under optimal conditions. The 100MP camera is pixel-binned into 25MP photos; and with ample storage, you won't run out of space for your captures. On top of that, the battery life is above average, thanks to its power-efficient chip.

Personally, I would've loved to have an OLED display. I would even trade the ultrawide and the macro camera for that. But of course that's just me since I'm coming from punchy AMOLED screens. I think prospective HONOR 90 Lite 5G buyers would still appreciate the LCD display with its 90Hz refresh rate, as it offers affordability without sacrificing quality. The design is also something I love about this smartphone; it has an updated aesthetics reminiscent of higher-priced phones on the market today.

In conclusion, the HONOR 90 Lite 5G is an easy recommendation in this segment due to its capable main camera, classy design, generous storage capacity, expansive screen featuring 90Hz refresh rate, and long battery life. Adding to its allure is its remarkably competitive price point.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Price, Availability

The HONOR 90 Lite 5G is now available for pre-order at Php 12,990 only, from September 27 to 30, 2023, where you can get a FREE HONOR Gift Earbuds worth Php 1,590 at HONOR Experience and Partner Stores or online via Lazada, Shopee, and TikTok Shop. HONOR fans can also avail the HONOR 90 Lite 5G via Home Credit for as low as Php 521 per month.

HONOR 90 Lite 5G Specs

  • 6.7-inch FHD+ LTPS LCD display, 90Hz
  • Mediatek Dimensity 6020 5G (7 nm) SoC
  • 2.2 GHz Octa-core CPU
  • ARM Mali-G57 MC2 GPU
  • 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM
  • Triple rear cameras:
  • 100MP, f/1.9 main camera
  • 5MP, f/2.2 wide & depth camera
  • 2MP, f/2.4 macro camera
  • 16MP, f/2.5 front camera
  • 1080p@30fps videos
  • Loudspeaker
  • Dual 5G SIM (Nano)
  • 5G, 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G)
  • Bluetooth v5.1
  • USB Type-C 2.0, OTG
  • Fingerprint (side-mounted)
  • MagicOS 7.1, based on Android 13
  • 162.9 x 74.5 x 7.48 mm, 179 grams
  • Li-Po 4500 mAh battery with 22.5W wired charging
  • Midnight Black, Cyan Lake
Previous Post Next Post