The Honor Magic 4 Lite looks impressive. With a sizable 6.81-inch display, it’s bordering on being a (just about) pocket-sized tablet. The sleek black exterior might be plasticky, but it feels good in your hands, giving you the impression it’s a premium-priced device for less.
That’s almost the trend for the Honor Magic 4 Lite. It offers a lot to like and ticks many of the most important boxes, while costing a reasonable £319 (around $390 / AU$565).
However, it also misses the mark a few times, meaning this isn’t a hidden gem of a bargain. As with most phones at this sort of price, you’ll need to compromise and focus on what is most important for you.
Still, the Honor Magic 4 Lite looks the part. The black exterior of our review unit exudes class and as soon as you set it up, you’ll appreciate the speedy performance – courtesy of the Snapdragon 695 5G chipset.
The 6.81-inch display seems immensely promising with a 1080 x 2388 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, but it’s an LCD panel and it shows, offering some poor viewing angles at times, particularly when outdoors.
Continuing that trend of looking the part but not fully delivering, the camera setup is similarly impressive looking yet underwhelming in performance. On the back, the three lenses are arranged in a circle, offering a main 48MP sensor, a 2MP depth camera, and a 2MP macro snapper. Up front is a 16MP selfie camera taking up a tiny cut-out at the top of the screen.
In all cases, photos are fairly clear but colors aren’t always accurate. You’ll need to make some necessary adjustments here and there to get the best out of the Honor Magic 4 Lite. Don’t count on seeing anything spectacular from the macro lens or depth lens either, which, at this price, isn’t surprising.
Where things fare better for the Honor Magic 4 Lite is with its battery life. A 4,800mAh battery means this is a phone that will easily last you all day long – and a bit further too, depending on usage. The phone also comes with a 66W charger, so recharging is speedy, proving extra useful.
The Honor Magic 4 Lite comes with Android 11 out of the box with Honor promising Android 12 soon. However even Android 12 won’t be the latest possible Android version for much longer, meaning this won’t be the phone for anyone after the latest tech.
However, at this price, the Magic 4 Lite still offers some useful goods. While it’s far from a must-have compared to competitors like the Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC, a large screen, decent performance, and excellent battery life could be enough to sway some users.
Honor Magic 4 Lite: price and availability
- Available now in the UK and Europe
- Retails at £319 (roughly $390 / AU$565)
- Three color choices
The Honor Magic 4 Lite is available for sale in the UK and Europe. Available direct from Honor as well as third-party retailers, it typically sells for £319 / around €360 – which amounts to roughly $390 / AU$565, but at the time of writing, it’s already discounted if purchased direct from Honor.
That price the sees it sit roughly between the Samsung Galaxy A53 and the Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC – two phones which are likely to be major competitors.
The Honor Magic 4 Lite is available in three different color choices: Midnight Black, Titanium Silver, and Ocean Blue.
The standard version of the phone offers 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM; an 8GB RAM version also exists.
Honor Magic 4 Lite: design
- Plastic body
- No IP rating
- Large but fairly thin
The Honor Magic 4 Lite looks hefty. Thanks to its 6.81-inch display, it looks like it should be bulkier than it actually is. Instead, measurements of 166 x 75.8 x 8mm mean this is a fairly slender device for a phone. Weighing 189g, it’s not too heavy either.
We had the Midnight Black model to review, and while it’s not exciting to look at, it does exude some class. That’s despite the plasticky-feeling finish that is kind of hard to grip. For this reason, we’d recommend a case to keep it from slipping out of your fingers.
On the back of the phone is the three-lens camera system arranged in a circular layout. It’s a touch smarter looking than having the array of lenses to the side. The rest of the back remains understated with a simple Honor logo.
On the front, the selfie camera lens is a small, subtle hole-punch on the top and middle of the screen. The right of the phone has the volume rocker and power button, while at the bottom, the SIM card slot and USB-C port reside.
Simplicity is the name of the game here with the Honor Magic 4 Lite. The company doesn’t go overboard here, keeping the phone small and fairly basic. This may be why the phone feels pretty sleek in your hand. Those with smaller hands may find themselves needing to stretch to use it with one hand though.
Finally, don’t count on taking the Honor Magic 4 Lite anywhere near water since it has no IP rating. There’s no wireless charging or microSD support either.
Honor Magic 4 Lite: display
- 6.81-inch LCD display
- 1080 x 2388 resolution
- 120Hz refresh rate
The Honor Magic 4 Lite gives and takes away in equal measures. It has a large screen with a decent resolution. Best of all is its high refresh rate, which is great when scrolling through content with speed.
However, it has an LCD screen, which means that it could look better. Colors and blacks aren’t as vibrant as we’d like and worst of all, viewing angles are pretty poor.
When we used the Honor Magic 4 Lite outdoors under direct sunlight, we had trouble seeing anything on the screen clearly.. The display looked fairly washed out and we couldn’t make out the images on screen.
It’s not the worst display to look at when outdoors, but it feels like the Honor Magic 4 Lite could’ve been better than it is.
Honor Magic 4 Lite: cameras
- 48MP + 2MP + 2MP rear camera
- 16MP selfie camera
- Reasonable photos after some tweaking
The Honor Magic 4 Lite offers a lot of different features for photographers but none of them work particularly well. It has three lenses on the back, including its main 48MP camera, a 2MP depth lens, and a 2MP macro lens. It’s best to expect nothing of the macro lens but that’s fairly standard for phones in this price range.
It’s the main camera that disappoints us the most. While the 48MP lens takes fairly detailed shots, the color range is all over the place. We took photos of a bush that produced images that were hideously overexposed.
Then we switched over to photographing a nearby lighthouse, but those photos ended up showcasing a lighthouse facing near-apocalyptic weather conditions – when it was merely overcast.
It’s possible to make some manual adjustments and work through the modes on the Honor Magic 4 Lite to find something that works better, but it still means this is far from an easy camera to snap with.
Night mode fares slightly better in certain scenarios but it takes time to fully capture the shot well, which might not always be practical.
The selfie camera does an okay job but requires a fairly steady hand to avoid blurry captures. The bokeh and beauty modes at least help with sprucing up the imagery a tad.
Honor Magic 4 Lite: camera samples
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Honor Magic 4 Lite: performance and specs
- Powered by Snapdragon 695 5G
- 128GB of storage
- Fast performance
The Honor Magic 4 Lite is a fairly speedy phone to use. In our Geekbench 5 tests, it achieved a single-core score of 669 with a multi-core score of 1,875. Elsewhere, its compute score came in at 1,373.
In daily use, the Honor Magic 4 Lite performs fairly well. It’s quick to react to your touches, whether you’re unlocking it via face recognition or the fingerprint reader built into the power button. Also, playing games like Call of Duty Mobile proved fairly speedy too. Combined with 5G connectivity, you’ll appreciate getting more done faster.
The downside? The Honor Magic 4 Lite comes with Android 11 rather than Android 12. It has Honor’s Magic UI overlaid on top of Android 11 but that doesn’t matter because you’ll be left wondering where Android 12 has gone. The phone also comes with a handful of Honor apps preinstalled that you’ll probably never ever open.
Android 11 runs smoothly here but who wants an old operating system on their new phone when there’s a new one out there?
Honor Magic 4 Lite: battery life
- 4,800mAh battery
- Fast charging
- No wireless charging
The Honor Magic 4 Lite will last you the whole day; for many users, the battery will probably hold up for longer. On a busy day, count on a recharge by the end of the day. On lighter days, you’ll be fine without a charge for a couple of days.
Refreshingly, the Honor Magic 4 Lite comes with a 66W Honor SuperCharge adapter so it recharges fast. Count on nearly 80% of battery life in about half an hour with a full charge easily taking under an hour.
There’s no wireless charging support here but with the super-fast wired charging speed, you’ll probably prefer to plug it in anyway.
Should you buy the Honor Magic 4 Lite?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
If our Honor Magic 4 Lite review has left you wondering about other options, here are some alternative phones which you might want to consider.
First reviewed: July 2022