Huawei P40 Lite vs. Apple iPhone SE 2020

Tsepz_GP

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So a week ago I got the Huawei P40 Lite to play around with, and I have been really impressed by this incredible smartphone

Looking at pricing the P40 Lite is trading blows with one of the most anticipated devices of 2020, the new version of the iPhone SE, featuring Apple’s latest and greatest A13 Bionic chip.

As both a iOS and Android user I have found it pretty intriguing how each side approaches the smartphone in every way, and Huawei in particular has had a very interesting approach.

The P40 Lite is essentially a mixed bag of High end features with some mid end compromises to keep pricing in check a lot like the Apple iPhone SE, let me explain with a spec comparison:

Screen
Huawei chose to go with a pretty large 6.4inch 1080P LTPS IPS LCD Panel, with a 398PPI and Punch Hole which I have thoroughly enjoyed using for watching videos and web browsing. I am not sure where they got this panel but it reminds me of how good and well balanced LCD panels are when they are done right, images are crisp and text is smooth, it is an absolute pleasure to use it for media consumption and reading as I have. On the other end the iPhone SE 2020 uses a much smaller 4.7inch 750P Retina display with a 326PPI density, this is is considerably small compared to the P40 Lite however people have been begging for smaller phones as well in this segment as we have embraced phablets so much, so I am sure the SE will have its fans.

For me personally the P40 Lite’s larger screen is a big win here.






Battery & Charging

Well once again Huawei have come out guns blazing with a monster 4200mAh battery, which is quite large for what is the lower mid end phone. Huawei are not denying someone on e budget the opportunity to have a phone that can do 2 days easily on a charge with moderate usage and I love that. The P40 Lite also comes with the gargantuan 40W Charger in the box meaning your P40 Lites huge battery can be juiced from 0-70% in just 30 minutes.

For comparison the iPhone SE 2020 uses the same small 1812mAh battery the iPhone 8 used and comes with the slower 5W charger.

GSMArenas battery test shows just how big a difference one can expect between these to in real world usage





For me personally having used the P40 Lite alongside my iPhone 11 Pro Max which is my daily driver, I have not been able to kill the P40 Lite, granted I was not using it as my main phone due to work reasons, but I did use the P40 Lite to play quite a bit of YouTube and do some Web browsing and it has yet to die as of Sunday, I took delivery of it on Monday.

To me this presents an interesting argument for the P40 Lite in that a person who simply wants a good smartphone that can last them through WhatsApp, playing music and web browsing with the odd picture and video taken here and there has a great option in this device, it will get them through a few days easily and then charge up in a jiffy!







SoC

Well now things get interesting. The P40 Lite comes in with an impressive Kirin810, not quite the brute that the 990 is in the P40 Pro variant, but the 810 holds its own also being based on the 7nm process, this is a modern chip built to be frugal and get the job done efficiently as possible without dropping its great performance and it does so admirably, but unfortunately it falls short of the monstrosity that beats beneath the little iPhone SE 2020s body. Apple bet on putting a powerful chip in the SE to keep a consistent experience across their 2019/2020 range, as well as for the Image Processing Prowess that exists in the A13 Bionic.

However the Power to Battery ratio in the SE is well out of line as can be seen in the Battery Performance, while Apple put the better SoC in their phone they didn’t give it the backup of a large battery. In my 11 Pro Max I can fully appreciate the A13 Bionic’s power (there is A LOT of it) due to it having a battery that is appropriately sized, however in the SE it seems one will be left wanting for more.

Camera

The approach here between Huawei and Apple is just as interesting as the SoC approach, however the results are not as clear cut. The P40 Lite comes with 4 cameras, including an ultra wide angle lens which I am incredibly happy to see in this price point. Once again Huawei are saying “the cool stuff should not just be in the flagships” and it shows, the P40 Lite is a fantastic and versatile shooter, I am not huge on photography but I got some decent shots in. The phone does a good job in good lighting

Rear Camera(s)

Camera Specs - P40 Lite
48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.4, (ultrawide)
2 MP, f/2.4, 27mm (macro), 1/5.0", 1.75µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)

Camera Specs - iPhone SE 2020
12 MP, f/1.8 (wide), PDAF, OIS

As you can see Apple chose to go with one camera on the iPhone SE but from what I have seen the A13 does a great job in processing the images taken with the SE, as long as they are in good light.

I believe both these phones will serve you well if you are simply looking to have a decent snapper in your pocket, don’t expect incredible Night time shots though, both of these have smaller sensors versus their high end siblings.

Here are some shots I took with the P40 Lite




Pricing

This is the main focus in this segment, price. It’s very simple, if you are looking for Value for your money, get the P40 Lite, it comes with everything but the kitchen sink, however if you want to enter the Apple ecosystem and don’t want to quite splurge, get the SE 2020.

A quick check on pricing really puts things into perspective here:

The P40 Lite on Huawei’s own store starts at just R6499 for the 128GB with some extras added.




The iPhone SE 2020 starts at R9999 at iStore for 64GB



OVERALL

As I said before, the P40 Lite by far offers the best value, in my opinion, if I was shopping on a budget I’d get the P40 Lite without thinking twice, but if you are looking at a way to dip into iOS, the SE 2020 Is a great choice and will given you 11 Pro performance in day-to-day tasks.

The big question though is around Huawei AppGallery, for the most part I was able to get most apps I needed for the P40 Lite in the AppGallery such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Here Maps, YouTube (with the YouTube Vanced App), Instagram, FNB etc... accessing Gmail was done through the Huawei Email app. It does get more difficult when it comes to other Google Services however such as Google Play Music.

Findorra
A great app in the AppGallery is Findorra which allows searching and installing of many of these other apps like Google Chrome and Google Maps, some apps are still coming soon to Findorra but if this is anything to go by, Huawei are definitely listening out for the concerns around Ecosystem and Apps and they are making strides to replace what is missing




 
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Tsepz_GP

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Some size comparisons of P40 Lite next to P30 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The P40 Lite is quite a large phone, but it’s super light and solid on the hand, very easy to manage for longer periods of texting and watching video.




I thoroughly enjoyed watching video on this, the side Punch Hole camera is out of the way, most times I forgot it’s there.

 

Duke of Hazard

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I said that my current P20 would be my last Huawei, but now really after reading this I'm thinking of getting one in July when my contract is due. Especially if you can still get Google apps on it.

That battery, wide angle lens and gargantuan charger are same kind of features that brought me to the P20 Lite in the first place
 

SauRoNZA

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Nice review.

Unfortunately the thing often forgotten in the modern sphere of devices is that the phone doesn’t stand alone and forms part of a much bigger picture of related hardware and services that ultimately complete the offering.

This is extends far further than the usual Android vs iOS now in the case of Huawei becoming a shunned “off brand” of sorts now and potentially having troubles in this regard now and in the future and I’m not sure they have their own offerings to compete.

Not that I was personally looking at an SE, but even at the top echelon of devices I can happily compromise on some minor feature differences of the device itself over others, for the value it brings me elsewhere, or more importantly that gets taken away should I decide to make the switch away from iOS.

So I would like look at whether the SE is worth the reduction in price over the iPhone 11 or XR rather than looking at other phones.

*posted from an iPhone 11.
 

Geselskap

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Headache predicted for Huawei once the public realise the number of apps not supported out of the box.

My 3rd party email client of choice "mymail" is not supported.
The Google Family Link range of apps for parents and kids that I have on my kids non-Huawei phones, are a deal-breaker.
Tymebank banking app not currently supported.
Google Keep... deal-breaker.
And, Huawei App Gallery directing to browser pages to sign into and open regulars like Google Drive, etc...not something I would consider just a minor inconvenience.
And then this huge issue of how to go about keeping apps updated without Google Play Store...

Great camera though.
 

Dr Who

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So in a real world test with a real device how much of a deal breaker is HMS vs GMS? Like an earlier post said, with a world of free apps running off or funded by google how easy is this to use? We all know the main problem apps like gmail etc. But what about smart watch apps, banking apps, games and anything else you might stumble across in the playstore.
 

backstreetboy

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So in a real world test with a real device how much of a deal breaker is HMS vs GMS? Like an earlier post said, with a world of free apps running off or funded by google how easy is this to use? We all know the main problem apps like gmail etc. But what about smart watch apps, banking apps, games and anything else you might stumble across in the playstore.
You can view the Appgallery here https://appgallery.cloud.huawei.com...le=de_DE&source=appshare&subsource=C101830835 or AFAIK you can install it on any Android phone.
 

Geselskap

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"GMS vs HMS"...

No amount of money is going to turn anything Huawei can come up with at present, into a suitable alternative.

This is going to hurt the consumer. And Huawei throwing money into their marketing budget, to make people think otherwise, is just going to cause more buyer's regret/remorse.

IMO.
 

Geselskap

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I have a beautiful, powerful P40 lite just sitting here. For my kids to game on. Not even close to being a daily driver for me.
It's more like some damn unstable build of some dev ROM that you just flashed to your Android and were so excited to try. But, alas. It doesn't exactly do WHAT YOU WANT IT TO.

Yes, it does do what Huawei wants it to do for you.
 

backstreetboy

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I have a beautiful, powerful P40 lite just sitting here. For my kids to game on. Not even close to being a daily driver for me.
It's more like some damn unstable build of some dev ROM that you just flashed to your Android and were so excited to try. But, alas. It doesn't exactly do WHAT YOU WANT IT TO.

Yes, it does do what Huawei wants it to do for you.
Nothing wrong with EMUI and it's not dev quality at all. My Honor 9 Lite was a pleasure to use for the two years I had it.
 

Geselskap

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Nothing wrong with EMUI and it's not dev quality at all. My Honor 9 Lite was a pleasure to use for the two years I had it.
I should have posted that observation within the context of "GMS vs HMS" in my first post. Since I was using the comparison to highlight my current experience of HMS and not of EMUI.

You are right about the Huawei skin of Android. That is in another league compared to HMS.
It would be so wrong for me to even think of calling it unstable.
 
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