• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

The Honor Magic 4 Lite is a real mixed bag of a phone, with some specs and features that are way ahead of similarly priced competition, and others that trail behind.

As a result it’s not the most balanced smartphone you can buy, but for certain users – those who prioritise the things the Honor Magic 4 Lite excels at – this will be the perfect handset.

If you’re wondering whether you’re one of those users, read on, because below we’ve detailed this interesting, affordable smartphone in full.

Screen

There’s a 6.81-inch 1080 x 2388 screen on the Honor Magic 4 Lite, with a 120Hz refresh rate and around 385 pixels per inch.

So far, so good – that’s a big screen with a respectable resolution and about the highest refresh rate you’ll find outside of gaming phones.

But this is an LCD rather than an OLED screen, which means that colours and especially blacks don’t look as good as they do on some other panels. That said, at this sort of price it’s common to make compromises somewhere on the screen.

The Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE for example is one competitor (albeit slightly more expensive) and it has an OLED screen, but a lower 90Hz refresh rate. The same is true of the OnePlus Nord CE 5G, which costs the same amount as the Honor Magic 4 Lite. So you’ll generally have to decide whether smoothness or picture quality is more important to you – or spend more.

Having said that, there are some phones that have it all at around this price, such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G.

Design

Honor Magic Lite Colour Options

The Honor Magic 4 Lite looks a lot like the Honor Magic 4 Pro, as you might expect. Like the Pro model it has a glossy, curvy back with a big circular camera housing on it. However the back here appears to be plastic rather than glass, and the bezel below the screen is larger.

Those sorts of compromises are to be expected at this price though, and at a glance this phone certainly looks good.

It’s slim too at 8mm thick, and while the bottom bezel is larger than on the Pro model, the rest of the bezels are very small.

Aside from the understandably cheaper materials, the main negative thing to note with the Honor Magic 4 Lite’s build is that it lacks any sort of water resistance. This also isn’t surprising at the price, but it is something to be aware of.

Power

There’s a Snapdragon 695 5G chipset in the Honor Magic 4 Lite, which is a reasonably accomplished one, though this isn’t one of the areas where the phone excels – it’s in line with much of the competition here, but not particularly any better.

Still, it offers solid, generally smooth performance, helped along by 6GB of RAM. Going by benchmarks it’s actually slightly more powerful even than the OnePlus Nord CE 5G, which might sound speedier thanks to its Snapdragon 750G chipset, but in practice the 695 seems to have that beat.

Camera

Honor Magic Lite Camera

The camera is one of the Honor Magic 4 Lite’s low points, as while it has a triple-lens rear camera, only one of those lenses is particularly worthwhile.

There’s a 48MP f/1.8 main (wide) camera, a 2MP f/2.4 macro one, and a 2MP f/2.4 depth one. You can probably guess from that which the worthwhile one is.

It’s a common practice for smartphone makers to put filler lenses on cheaper handsets, but it’s a shame we couldn’t have at least got an ultrawide here. This is one area where similarly priced competitors such as the likes of the OnePlus Nord CE 5G and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G do have the Honor Magic 4 Lite beat.

Even from that main 48MP sensor, results are adequate rather than particularly good. This definitely isn’t a phone for keen mobile photographers – or videographers, as video recording tops out at 1080p and 30fps.

The 16MP selfie camera is fine for the money, but again, it’s nothing exceptional.

Features

As a budget phone, the Honor Magic 4 Lite doesn’t have much in the way of additional features to highlight, but that’s okay, since it’s priced accordingly.

There are two things to note here. One is that while it has a fingerprint scanner, it’s side mounted. This isn’t a terrible place for it, but it’s a little old fashioned in the age of under-display scanners.

The other is the operating system – this runs Android 11, which is now slightly out of date. It’s always a shame when phones launch with dated software, but you don’t miss out on too much by not having Android 12 – and we’re hopeful that newer versions will arrive through software updates eventually.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

The Honor Magic 4 Lite has a 4,800mAh battery, which is a reasonable but not massive size. Interestingly though it’s actually slightly bigger than the 4,600mAh one in the Honor Magic 4 Pro – a phone which costs three times as much.

In practice, the Magic 4 Lite’s life is actually slightly better than we’d have expected. You’ll make it through a day with ease and may even manage two if you’re frugal with your use.

More impressive still is the charging, which is very fast at 66W. That’s enough to get the battery to 81% in just 30 minutes. Some phones offer even more charging power, but few at this price do. However there’s no wireless charging.

For memory, you get 128GB of storage and no microSD card slot. That should be enough for most users, but that’s about the minimum we’d be comfortable with, especially given the lack of expansion potential.

Connectivity options include 5G – which is common but not a given at this price – as well as Bluetooth 5.1 and NFC.

Verdict

The Honor Magic 4 Lite is a great phone in a lot of ways – as long as you’re not fussed about photography, as that’s its major weak link.

There are compromises in the screen and build too, but both are reasonable for the money, while the battery life and charging speeds are genuinely great. Coupled with 5G, solid performance and a low price, the Honor Magic 4 Lite could make certain buyers very happy, just make sure you know what you want from your phone before buying this, as it doesn’t excel everywhere.

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Specifications

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm): 166 x 75.8 x 8
  • Weight (g): 189
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 4,800
  • Colours: Midnight Black, Ocean Blue
  • Screen size (inches): 6.81
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2388
  • Pixels per inch (PPI): 385
  • Processor: Snapdragon 695 5G
  • Processor make: Qualcomm
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Internal storage: 128GB
  • Expandable storage up to: N/A
  • Camera: 48MP wide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth (16MP front-facing)
  • Operating System: Android 11

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