The Mate 10 Lite gets a few of the currently prevailing trends of the mobile space right, chief among which is the tall aspect ratio display. It has an 18:9 touchscreen with 1,080x2,160 resolution, and those are great specs for the price you're paying. The panel is still surrounded by obvious bezels, but they are smaller than what we're used to seeing from mid-rangers sporting the older 16:9 aspect ratio, so that's a plus. Yet trimming the bottom bezel meant the fingerprint sensor has to live on the back, a decision that is surely going to please some and annoy others.
The screen can be seen well in bright sunlight, and the automatic brightness is adequate for the most part. However, the lowest possible brightness setting still seems too high for our eyes when using the phone in pitch darkness.
That isn't helped by the fact that the device's Eye comfort setting is a bit weird compared to other blue light filter implementations we've seen. It is quite green, while solutions from competitors are more yellow, orange or red.
And when you turn it on, even in complete darkness, the perceived brightness of the screen remains exactly the same as before - that's different from what we've encountered on other phones, where when you apply the blue light filter the display seems to get every so slightly less bright too.
The Mate 10 Lite's software comes with a strange bug that will dim the screen somewhat when you enter certain apps. This doesn't move the brightness slider at all, it just happens and it's easiest to notice when the brightness isn't all the way up - so like the aforementioned yellow tint, you'll probably be annoyed by this more indoors than outdoors. Searching online for the issue has revealed that it isn't the only Huawei device with this problem, which has been going on for a while. In fact we have already received two software updates on the Mate 10 Lite since we got our review unit and the dimming in apps is still there.
It's not all apps, but you will encounter this when going into Chrome, Gmail, Medium, and even the built-in Dialer and Messaging apps, among others. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram aren't affected at the moment, running the latest software (B133). When you leave an app that suffers from this issue the brightness immediately goes up to the level it used to have before you entered it.
Another problem with the Mate 10 Lite's panel is an odd one that we didn't expect to encounter. It has severe contrast shifting when you're not looking at it straight-on, with the top or bottom half appearing normal while the other half would take on a rather weird, less contrasty look. This happens in all lighting conditions but it's harder to notice when you're out and about in bright natural light - it will be most obvious indoors.
All you have to do is visit a website or use an app with a white background and a lot of text (or just go into Settings), look at the phone, and then tilt it up/down somewhat. It's one of those things that are hard to unsee after you first notice it, but how disturbing it will be to you depends on your tolerance for such things.