back to article Huawei Mate 20 Lite: A business mobe aimed at millennials? Er, OK then

"Who are Honor people?" a Huawei executive asked a few years ago, before answering his own question: "They try and wear a flower in their own hair. They are young people." But now Huawei people can be Honor people too! "It's all about the selfie," a spokesperson told us, introducing the Huawei Mate 20 Lite at a preview in …

  1. big_D Silver badge

    Why the surprise?

    This is the successor to the Mate 10 Lite, so it is only logical that it would come out, although I had expected the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro to come out first...

    I bought my wife the Hauwei P-Smart in January, which had a metal body. I got the Mate 10 Pro and, to be honest, the P-Smart feels more "high end" than the Mate 10 Pro in the hand. I'll be interested to see what the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro bring to the table.

  2. James 51

    I remember looking at Acatel some years ago for a phone. One model had a good screen and CPU. The other had the expandable memory, dual sim and removable battery. Both were the same price (can't remember exactly but about £120 if memory serves). They didn't do one model with all those features together though. Pity, they would have been on to a winner if they had.

  3. goldcd

    Whenever I see these "overly diverse" SKU options

    I just have that shuddering feeling that "They're never going to support all of these for updates.."

    No fan of Apple, but at least they've got their range right - "Here are the models - choose a model, size, memory - and we'll see you again next year"

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Whenever I see these "overly diverse" SKU options

      On the other hand, I have a Mate 10 Pro and P20, my wife has a P-Smart and all of them get regular updates (at the moment)... Just got the Android August Upates OTA on the 10 Pro this morning. The p20 got its update last week.

    2. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Whenever I see these "overly diverse" SKU options

      "I just have that shuddering feeling that "They're never going to support all of these for updates..""

      That's an odd feeling to get when seeing a bunch of virtually identical phones. If anything, that makes it much easier to support them.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Whenever I see these "overly diverse" SKU options

        That's an odd feeling to get when seeing a bunch of virtually identical phones. If anything, that makes it much easier to support them.

        Not really. They may look the same but if the SoCs are difference then they're different. Same applies to Apple of course, but they're more subtle about it: the next version IOS will support older devices, but they may just run shit. And, according to a mate of mine who's had an I-Phone for years, you're likely to be forced to update IOS by the next version of whichever app you're using.

        That said: don't expect to rely on Huawei or anyone else freely providing updates any time soon, though anything that runs Android >= 8 should be a lot easier to update. Guess we'll find out over the next couple of years.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Whenever I see these "overly diverse" SKU options

          That's logic. You and I have logic, but phone makers don't. I was resetting some old phones for a friend's business a few weeks ago and was presented with about six phones that I thought were identical. Instead, they represented at least three different LG brands. Fine, so the black and white ones weren't the same model, but there were two different types of black phones that seemed the same to me from all respects. By the way, none at all had the same OS version/security patch. 4.4.4, 5.0.0, and 5.0.2 were all listed, along with security patch dates ranging from 2015 to January 2017.

          In terms of buying a device, the many options preferred by some companies irritate me. Sure, the long list of models ensures that there probably is one that's nicely priced and includes whatever specs I'm after, but the length of the list, as well as the inability of any web listing to stop repeating them, means I'm not likely to find it. For example, try to collate a list of all the mid-range windows laptops from dell, HP, lenovo, etc. into a single database that can be searched. When, for example, someone asks me for a machine on which they intend to run windows, and I just need to find one with an I3/I5, probably 8GB memory, traditional ports, and reasonable storage, there can still be too many options for me to find the one that is best priced. I can find something meeting those specs almost instantly, but it's likely to cost almost twice as much as it should. Eventually, I find one and recommend it, only to have to start again a year later when someone says "You know computers, right? Could you help me find one to..."

        2. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: Whenever I see these "overly diverse" SKU options

          "They may look the same but if the SoCs are difference then they're different."

          Which is why I specifically said "virtually identical phones" and not "phones that look a bit similar on the outside". The entire point of the article being that they are, in fact, virtually identical.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Whenever I see these "overly diverse" SKU options

      Which of course is utter horseshit, as Huawei have plenty of devices on the Android Enterprise programme, which promises at least 1 major OS update, and 3 years of security updates, all delivered within 90 days of release by Google.

      You really shouldn't judge all Android based on 1 crappy vendor...

      https://androidenterprisepartners.withgoogle.com/devices/

      The Huawei devices currently on the list are:

      Mate 10

      Mate 10 Pro

      P Smart

      P20

      P20 Pro

      P20 Lite

      Mediapad M5 8.4

      Mediapad M5 Pro

      Mediapad M5 10.8

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Huawei has scared Samsung

    into reviewing their mid range phones and to even go as far as introducing new features on their mid-range rather than on their Galaxy S devices.

    Interesting times ahead for devices in this market segment but I have to ask if this is a precursor to Samsung dropping out of the premium phone buisness as apparently the S9 has not been selling that well.

    1. James 51

      Re: Huawei has scared Samsung

      Given that I was able to get an S9 for less than sim free price on contract, I'd say it's a good time to get a bargin.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Huawei has scared Samsung

      FUD: Samsung's premium sales are holding up fine, the mid-range has been a bloodbath for a while but Samsung is well-represented with the A, J, K and blends of their flagships, missing some top-end stuff but fine for most people otherwise.

      But the key element in the article maybe in the enthusiasm from the networks who may be seeing a general turn away from the most expensive phones by their customers.

  5. _LC_ Silver badge
    Alert

    castrated

    Unfortunately, this one is castrated. It can only film videos in [email protected] Huawei has other models in a similar price region, which do 4K.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: castrated

      It can only film videos in [email protected]

      And that really matters? On a phone?

      1. _LC_ Silver badge

        Re: castrated

        > And that really matters? On a phone?

        Yes, it does. 4K usually gets turned into 1080 on post-processing. 1080 is usually only good for 720. Hence, it makes for a lot better quality when filming in 4K.

        Besides, they 'artificially' castrate it. Newer chipsets from Huawei would all be able to handle 4K. It's a feature that you really have and they just turn it off to annoy you.

        If you argue that this is too much for instafuck and the like, then you may as well argue that spending 300+ bucks is way to much for it. You can easily get away with a phone around 100 bucks having pretty much everything, without anything being 'too good'. ;-)

        1. iron Silver badge

          Re: castrated

          I can count the number of times I've recorded video on my current phone on zero fingers. I can count the number of times I've recorded video on any phone in the last 10 years on one or two fingers. 4k is something I absolutely do not need.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: castrated

            It's surprising to me that the two phones compared in the article described the other as good if you don't want photos. I understand that the camera on this one is better, but the one on the other is a 16 megapixel sensor, which, assuming it's not connected to some terrible imaging unit, should be fine for a lot of people who don't intend to go into phone photography. I figure that it will be just fine for people who like to take photos to send to others, given they used to do so with 5 megapixel cameras and didn't seem to have a problem with it then.

          2. _LC_ Silver badge

            Re: castrated

            Good for you. Buy a vacuum cleaner and use the broom.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: castrated

            4k is something I absolutely do not need.

            Me neither. But we're not narcissistic millennials.

          4. Gene Cash Silver badge

            Re: castrated

            > I can count the number of times I've recorded video on my current phone on zero fingers

            I can count the number of times I've made a phone call on my current phone on zero fingers.

            > Which is why sales of GoPros have fallen off a cliff?

            That's probably more to do with the fact that the current GoPros, and especially the associated app you need to use them, are shite. Expensive shite.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: castrated

          If you argue that this is too much for instafuck and the like, then you may as well argue that spending 300+ bucks is way to much for it.

          If you want to film in 4K & post process to get good video, buy a proper video camera. It'll cost a lot more than $300.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: castrated

        And that really matters? On a phone?

        Generally, no. But for example, drones are increasingly being used for aerial photography in TV productions (to great effect in things like "Whitehouse and Mortimer Gone Fishing") and the drones are designed to carry phones. What other kind of highly portable 4K camera can you think of?

        1. DropBear Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: castrated

          There's something horribly wrong with using "TV productions" and "mobile phone for a camera" in the same sentence without also using "DO NOT". Everyone else with a drone just uses a GoPro or one of the eleventy billion equally tiny clones that may or may not be GoPro shaped at all.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: castrated

            Everyone else with a drone just uses a GoPro…

            Which is why sales of GoPros have fallen off a cliff? The phones have much better economies of scale. Nowadays you only find them where you can't put a phone.

        2. YARR

          Huawei to hell

          and the drones are designed to carry phones

          which drones are designed to carry phones? You'd need a large drone (probably >1kg) to carry the weight of a mobile phone. Why shift all the extra weight when an action camera is smaller, lighter and has a bigger lens (more light = good for fast motion) ? Drones frequently crash or fly away, which is most undesirable for an expensive phone with your data on it.

          The reason GoPro sales have fallen is because many people don't need to upgrade them, cheaper 4K action cameras are improving, and newer drones tend to have cameras integrated. Small cameras make the drones lighter and more portable.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: castrated

      Warning, Apple Owner that spunked £1000 on a phone, and needs to find a use case for 60FPS 4K video.

  6. FatGerman

    Too much choice

    Does it look like they're just using a scattergun approach to see what sells? Or is this the future - a bewildering array of almost identical kit that requires you to spend far more time than most people care to spend on making a choice? It's only a bloody appliance, just give me one at each price point and I'll decide how much I want to spend. I have friends who have Huwaei phones and like them, but all of them are pissed off after a while when another friend gets an almost identical one that looks "better" in some way for the same price. Not for me, I'm happy to let Apple tell me what features I get. Never use most of them anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too much choice

      I wonder about the extent to which these are aimed at different markets around the world, depending on carrier and channel agreements. I'm reminded of the same situation with HP inkjet printers which had a truly bewildering model range - but looking at the different distributors and countries where they sold, there were commercial, not technical, reasons.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too much choice

      It’s almost as if Nokia has come back from the dead! In their later years (proper Nokia, that is, before the Elopocalypse) they had a truly bewilderingly large range of phones on sale at any given time...

  7. SkippyBing Silver badge

    Decision Matrix

    Could someone just drop all the headline features of the various models into a spreadsheet so we can filter by the feature we're interested in?

    And then probably a pivot table because they're always fun...

    1. PerlyKing Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Decision Matrix

      Try GSM Arena's phone finder https://www.gsmarena.com/search.php3?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Decision Matrix

      FTR the phone that meets your requirements probably won't be sold on the UK high street. But it will be available from the real market places ie China and India.

  8. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Does it have to be for narcissistic millennials only?

    Why the discrimination against narcissistic Gen-Xers and boomers? Most of them probably got it from their parents after all.

    Given that the oldest of the "millennial" Gen-Ys are now in their mid 30s, why shouldn't some of them want a "business" oriented phone?

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Does it have to be for narcissistic millennials only?

      Depending on who's definition you use, us millennials started being born in 1980, which means some of us are hitting 38 this year.

      I'd like to pretend that means I'm still in my mid-thirties, but my increasingly unpleasant hangovers are putting the lie to that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does it have to be for narcissistic millennials only?

        Millennials tend to be defined as anyone who has entered adulthood since the beginning of the millennium.

        Which, given the age millennials appear to enter adulthood, would mean anyone born after 1965.

  9. Pete 2

    New phone review

    octo-core bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz gigabytes bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz megapixels bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz milliamp-hours bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz X-inch screen bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz form factor bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz standby time bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz dual SIM bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz notch bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (no) headphone jack bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Shiny!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New phone review

      Yeah, they're tedious aren't they.

      Anyone would think El Reg has run out of news...

  10. imanidiot Silver badge

    And yet...

    I'll stick to my rather more cheap Doogee Mix.

    6GB RAM, 64 GB ROM, decent processor, decent enough camera for the occasional snap, guaranteed no ongoing support from the manufacturer to fuck it up (They've already lost interest in it), only a very basic Android skin with NO added fluff. Cost me 150 euros shipped from China, would be about 132 now (looked yesterday because I've dropped it and the screen's now got a crack in it. Replacement display assembly is about 70 bucks with basically no warranty, might as well replace the whole thing for that money.)

    Many more people are realizing we're getting royally shafted on the lower and mid range phones by the bigger manufacturers on the basis of some nebulous claims of "support" and "warranty" that never actually exists anyway. I for one will just continue buying something that works for what I need.

  11. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Headphone jack

    <anecdote>

    I've hardly used the headphone jack on my phones for years – much prefer Bluetooth – and was give a reminder of what these mean at the weekend when someone spilled beer (To øl "Miss Magenta") on my S5. It's "waterproof" and survived fine except that I couldn't get any sound out of it. Took me a while to figure that the speakers were fine (notifications were still making noises) so I figured that it had to be the headphone socket: stuck a pair in, removed them and voilà: sound restored. So, while the phone did demonstrate it was indeed waterproof, it also highlighted that not all of it is. Course, things would have been fine if socket had the same kind of cover that the MHL port does…

    1. _LC_ Silver badge

      Re: Headphone jack

      Your phone just thought that there were headphones plugged in as it measured that there was a (beer) connection between the contacts.

      The jack is closed. You can fill it, but you can clean it as well. The current going out/in there is VERY low. Hence, it won't be harmed by such a 'short'. It's left "open" deliberately, because of that.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Headphone jack

        Counter-anecdote: nobody will ever sell me a phone without a traditional headphone jack just so I can tote around Yet Another Battery I Need To Keep Charged. Nope. Oh, and I use my S2 since it came out - it accompanied me on every single ride I went on, it spent as many nights in a tent as I did, and yet in spite of never having had a protective case the display is still scratch free: it's simply called "not dropping it".

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Headphone jack

          I can tote around Yet Another Battery I Need To Keep Charged.

          As long as it's micro-USB and has reasonable battery life (my Jabra Sports does > 12 hours) I don't really mind. Better than getting the cable snagged, which has happened to me almost every time I've used phones.

          And I didn't drop it, someone accidentally spilled something on it. It's not damaged and I bought it second-hand anyway. But I think this coat with the "Smug Bastard" on the back must be yours.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Headphone jack

        Your phone just thought that there were headphones plugged in as it measured that there was a (beer) connection between the contacts.

        I realise this, even if it took me a day to do so. Just wanted to a highlight one possible reason for not having one, but another argument against some stupid adapter for the USB/Lightning port.

  12. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    Headphone jacks:

    Currently the only purpose to a headphone jack on any phone that I use is to provide the FM antenna. I have several very dead button type headphones about (thanks to cats, 12 year old and shoddy build) that provide this service admirably. So I can listen to the FM radio on my phone. On a bluetooth headset.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Headphone jacks:

      The FM radio in phones is one of those things you don't need till you need it. Jackless phones don't have FM radios. An aerial can be improvised from a bit of wire stuffed into the headphone socket with a match if required. It seems expensive phones are turning into sports car lookalikes - losing functions rather than gaining them. Laptops have a single USB-C. Is someone trying to tell us something?

      Consume what we want you to consume, in the way we authorise you to do it, helot.

  13. Tommy Pock

    It's a marketing ploy employed by cereal and toothpaste makers everywhere. Bring out an armful of almost identical products, filling the shelves in the shops, increasing your brand exposure. Shelf space you occupy isn't occupied by competitor

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another "why doesn't everyone have the same requirements as me" topic

    Or put another way "my requirements are not your requirements". So? Who cares?

    How many of these boring (nothing really to do with IT) threads do we have to put up with?

    Yawn.

  15. deltamind

    Considering how they passed apple now I think they also want to visit the road to a trillion.

  16. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Have two Wawee devices - both MediaPads. T1-701u and its larger sibling.

    Still going strong despite the 701u having a cracked screen. And no bloatware to boot.

    Happy camper here.

  17. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Flame

    Forget the phone, it's Android I have problems with ...

    Almost every single issue I have with Android (and there are enough that it's an issue in itself) has resulted in viewing hundreds of "support" forums whose advice never seems to work. Mainly because they insist there's a button or a setting somewhere. And there is. On *their* version of Android.

    Case in hand. MrsPage recently wanted to send an SMS to a group of contacts about a medical support group they are in. Should have been the easiest thing in the world shouldn't it ? Just create a group for those 5 contacts, and send to group.

    It was only then that it transpired the stock *Android* contacts app does't do groups. Anymore. It used to , but the feature was removed sometime ago.

    So after finding over 20 articles telling me how I could have done it, I finally got the answer on hit 21. You need to install the *Google.Android* contacts app.

    I really have no idea how anyone could run a business with such an amateur approach to features and support.

    (As for Apple, seems their native email client doesn't do groups either...)

    I'm guessing the switch to BYOD has allowed this to happen.

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