Huawei P40 Lite E, which is in fact the Y7p model, is one of the latest propositions from the Chinese manufacturer, which is supposed to be a more budget version of the Lite representative of the P40 series. And just like all new Huawei models, you will not find Google apps in here. Is this really a problem?
Huawei P40 Lite and P40 Lite E are my first reviewed smartphones of the Chinese manufacturer, which lack the support of utilities and apps from Google. At least officially, because we can go around this. We are dealing with elegant and efficient smartphones, which have nice cameras and they are reasonably priced.
Contrary to P40 Lite, the reviewed model has a weaker display, a less efficient CPU, a smaller amount of memory, Android 9, weaker cameras and worse lifespans. Its advantages, on the other hand, will be the possibility to use microSD cards along with two SIM cards (in the non-hybrid solution), a more comfortable (for some) placement of the fingerprint scanner at the back and a lower price – around 160 euro.
The smartphone arrived at the office without a packaging, so we do not know what can be found in the set – whether there are earphones, what are the charger’s parameters or if the manufacturer added a cover or other accessories.
- Housing and display
- System and applications
- Sound. Photos and video
- Communication. Voice calls. Efficiency (benchmarks)
- Battery. Summary. Advantages and disadvantages
Housing and display
We can describe the looks of the device shortly – this is a black, shiny monolith, which fits current standards. It is available in Aurora Blue or Midnight Black colours – I received the latter one. The device itself looks big and angular, but it turns out that it is handy and comfortable in usage. And it looks like a more expensive phone than it really is. Unfortunately, it cannot boast with neither dust- nor waterproofness.
The display has almost 6.4 inches and a 1560x720 pixels resolution. The pixels density is on the level of 269 pixels, so below the level in which the human eye can recognize single pixels. In practice, the display looks decent, but when reading small text we can see that they are not as clear as in models from a slightly higher shelf. But there had to be some cuts for the phone to be cheaper. In the vicinity of the display there is a hole with the camera for selfies, and the bezel around the display is moderately narrow. What is more, the display has a protective foil, which protects it to some degree from any damage. Those, who are wearing glasses with polarizing filters might have a problem – in the horizontal orientation the display gets dimmed and is unreadable.
The housing is black, shiny and it catches dirt and fingerprints easily (especially near the camera). The plastic is finished with a high polish, which under an appropriate angle and lighting gives nice reflexes. At the back we can find a triple camera in a vertical orientation, placed in the left corner in a module that stands above the housing. There is a LED flash placed below cameras. In the central point there is the fingerprint scanner, which unlocks the device quickly and without any errors. The facial recognition is an alternative security. In the lower part of the back panel there is a logo, as well as printed markings and certificates.
The plastic frame is well profiled and comfortably curved, and its colour corresponds with the colour of the housing nicely. On the right side there is an oblong buttons for the volume control and the power/lock button. The lower edge is the place for the external speaker, a microUSB socket for charging and data transfer, a microphone’s hole and a universal minijack. On the left edge there is a tray for two SIM cards (in the nano size) and a memory drive. Those are three separate slots, so we can use two numbers and a memory drive without any problems.
System and applications
Huawei P40 Lite E has Android 9 Pie and the EMUI 9.1.1 add-on. We do not know whether this model will receive an update to the higher version, but I would not count on it. Security updates are from the 1st of February 2020. But even with the older Android and the not so new EMUI version, the smartphone works without any problems – it works smoothly and fast, I did not notice any lags or slowdowns while running other apps or switching between them.
The biggest flaw of Huawei P40 Lite E is of course the lack of Google Mobile Service, which is the lack of the Google Play store and the support for services and apps of the American giant. This is of course the consequence of the political-economic war between the USA and China (though it hit Huawei hard the most). There is a store of the Chinese manufacturer that is App Gallery, but the lack of Google apps and some other popular ones, which I use every day was bothersome. But, just like with Huawei P40 Lite, using Phone Clone or Chat Partner we can – unofficially – download Google Play, Gmail, YouTube, Maps and other apps from Google to the phone that officially does not support it. And everything worked fine. What is more, we know that Huawei will take into account warranties even when there will be changes in the software made by users – which means that we have a quiet permission to search for ways of installing GMS.
The smartphone has a single speaker placed on the lower edge. Because of this it is easy to muffle it with our finger. But it works fine, the sound is loud and clear enough to be used for watching movies and series or while gaming. The presence of an FM radio and Huawei Histen effects, available after plugging in earphones, are advantages.
Photos and video
When it comes to the lower price shelf, cameras are usually one of the elements, on which the manufacturers decide to save money. But Huawei decided that P40 Lite E should not be deprived of a decent camera – the main one has 48 megapixels and a f/1.8 brightness lens. It is supported by an ultra-wide-angle lens with the 8-megapixel resolution (f/2.4) and a not very helpful camera for measuring depth (2 Mpx, f/2.4). And how does this set work in practice?
It mostly ensures a decent quality while taking photos in good lighting – it is best to shoot in the daylight. This is not a quality that would swipe you off your feet, but in the lower price shelf it is completely acceptable. The wide-angle camera work is worse – not only there is a decrees in the quality, visible distortions appear. And it is pointless to use it at night – especially that the night mode does not work in this camera. In the main sensor it really makes sense to use it, because it enhances the quality of photos taken in an insufficient lighting and at night.
Here are photos taken with particular cameras – you can clearly see the difference in the quality, colours and the light balance:
And here is a comparison of photos taken at night in the auto and night modes:
But what makes us realise that we are dealing with a lower price shelf? Mostly in close ups we can notice that the details levels is not the best one, and the noises-reduction algorithm blurs some areas of the photo. But if we do not want to crop photos and focus on uploading them on social media, then even the budget Huawei P40 Lite E will work. But I must add that when it comes to camera modules, the difference between Huawei P40 Lite and P40 Lite E is simply high – of course in the favour of the first one.
The camera app is the Huawei standard – I am curious when the manufacturer will refresh its interface. There are a lot of modes and settings, photos can be taken in the maximum resolution of 48-megapixel (though the default and the recommended resolution is 12-megapixel), there are colour effects, the AI mode and the support of the HiVision app for recognizing objects.
An 8-megapixel camera placed in a small notch at the front of the display is responsible for taking selfies. It takes satisfying shots only when we will provide an appropriate lighting. There is a problem with catching the focus – numerous shots viewed on a bigger display were simply out of focus.
When it comes to video recording, Huawei P40 Lite E leaves a bit to be desired. It provides photos in a maximum resolution of Full HD with 60 frames per second. The lack of optical image stabilization is bothersome, and recordings themselves, well, they do not astonish. Well, Huawei smartphones were never the best players on the field in this area, especially those from the lower shelf, and the reviewed model confirms this.
In its price shelf, Huawei P40 Lite E offers a standard set of communication options. The smartphone supports 2G, 3G and 4G networks, it has Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi in the 802.11b/g/n standard, working in the 2,4 GHz channel, with Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot. What is more, it supports two SIM cards, VoLTE and has a navigation module based on GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou. From physical sockets there is a universal minijack and a microUSB one (USB 2.0, OTG) – I really did not expect this socket from a brand new smartphone, launched in 2020, even in the lowest price shelf.
The receiver can be found in the cavity in the upper frame, between the display and the upper edge of the phone. It is loud enough and it provides a clear sound during calls – I had no problems with hearing and understanding my interlocutors. The microphone catches the sound appropriately, though during a strong wind there were some distortions heard on the other side. Basically, I asses the quality of calls as a good one.
Memory and efficiency
Huawei P40 Lite E has 64GB of internal memory, out of which the user is left with around 52GB after turning the phone for the first time. But the smartphone can enhance this space by using microSD cards – drives of up to 512GB are supported.
The smartphone works well in most everyday activities. The CPU used in this model is the middle-shelf Kirin 710F (created in the outdate 12nm technology), supported by 4GB of RAM. I did not notice any lags or slowdowns while using most apps or the browser. Multitasking is not a problem, though we must remember that Huawei likes to kill apps working in the background, to increase the power saving. However, games quickly show that P40 Lite E is not a particularly good models for gamers. And not only because of the poor resolution. Asphalt 9 or Real Racing 3 can give us some nice time, but it is best to select medium graphic settings in order to ensure a better smoothness of the gameplay.
The smartphone has a 4000mAh battery, but lifespans are not impressive. Average, yes, but nothing more. A full day of work is achievable, but if you play a lot or watch series online, then you need to look for a charger before the end of the day. In a more power-saving mode the smartphone can accompany you for two days. It is worth adding that the phone has a microUSB socket and it does not support quick charging. And because of the fact that the office did not receive a full set, I do not know how fast it would be and how quickly we can charge the battery.
- lifespan with the display on (YouTube, 1 SIM card, active Wi-Fi module, 50% screen brightness, minimum sound level) – 15 hours and 26 minutes;
- PC Mark battery test result – 10 hours and 27 minutes;
- Geekbench score (full discharge) – 5330 points, discharge after 8 hours and 53 minutes;
- an hour of streaming videos (Chrome, 1 SIM card, active Wi-Fi module, 50% screen brightness) - 10% of the battery lost;
- an hour of playing videos from the phone’s memory (airplane mode, 50% screen brightness) - 8%;
- half an hour of playing Real Racing 3 - 6%;
- 8 hours in the standby mode - 4%.
Huawei 40 Lite E is an interesting model from the lower shelf, though it did not convince me to itself as much as Huawei P40 Lite did. It is weaker in many ways, so I definitely advise you to pay more for the stronger model. And how does Huawei P40 Lite E present itself in comparison with the competition from its price shelf? Here it competes with Xiaomi (like Redmi 8) or Motorolas (like Moto G7M, or models from the One series).
Advantages and disadvantages
- looks and finish
- quick fingerprint scanner
- FM radio
- it can support two SIM cards and a microSD one in separate slots
- 48-megapixel main camera and a wide-angle lens
- photos quality in good lighting
- nicely working night mode
- possibility to install Google Play and Google services
- good price
- lack of support for Google Mobile Services
- lack of a notifications LED
- outdated microUSB socket
- no NFC
- Android in the 9.0 version
- Wi-Fi only in the 2.4 GHz channel
- the back of the phone attracts dirt and fingerprints
- the camera module stand above the housing