Software & UI6.8
Honor 9 Lite runs the latest Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box with their own customised Emotion UI (EMUI) 8 on top. It was perhaps the only praiseworthy thing I could find as far as the software was concerned. I’m not saying custom UI is bad or this custom UI is better than something else and vice versa. In fact, I was having this discussion with my colleague Ameya the other day. As the matter of fact, justifying or perhaps what’s better about certain UI in the first place itself seems difficult. Everybody has their own preferences, and people don’t always greet changes with open arms.
Myself being a Xiaomi user over the last few years, I’m pretty much familiar with how MIUI works. Then I decided to experience some stock Android experience. That’s how I ended up with Google Pixel 2. Finally, what I’ve come to realise after switching to Huawei’s EMUI that no matter what, running back and forth between different user interfaces is always a tedious job. My experience with EMUI wasn’t quite delightful. Perhaps it would have been a different case altogether had it been a switch from Xiaomi’s MIUI.
The UI seemed cluttered and it felt as if I’m trapped under Android’s open ecosystem with some close gates blocking my way out. First things first, missing app drawer for searching through installed apps was highly disappointing. Second, there were several pre-installed apps and games, eating into my storage space. Third, there was nothing much to be excited about, at least visually. But since it runs Android Oreo, you’ll find features i.e., configuring from notification panel itself or notification dots that notifies users with a dot on the app icon in case of a new, pending notification.
My review unit had 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage to offer. Upon setting up the handset for the first time, it turned out around 13GB storage was already consumed by bloatware and the OS itself. Setting up the device was fairly simple. All I had to do was follow the on-screen instruction. Then it prompted me to set up and sign into Huawei ID to access some more Huawei services. Some of the features that I liked were Navigation dock under Settings > Smart assistance > System navigation and simple mode, which offers minimalistic interface.