Honor 20i teardown images surface, lacks NFC in China

Xiaomi-Redmi, OPPO-Realme – the tradition of spawning another offshoot to cater a different segment of the target market is a very common story among Chinese smartphone makers. Indian OEM Micromax tried to follow the same path by launching YU, but failed miserably.

YU Yureka, the first phone from the child company of Micromax

Huawei, being the largest Android smartphone maker in China, took this clever market strategy long ago and created Honor as a subsidiary. Unlike the parent company, the Honor brand is mostly targeted towards budget conscious buyers.

There are a handful of subtle differences between two entities. The Honor branded phones are usually sold globally, and they come with Magic UI – a lightweight fork of Huawei’s Emotion UI skin.

Honor View 20 is getting Magic UI OTA update

The Chinese smartphone OEMs are known for their convoluted naming schemes and Huawei/Honor is not an exception. They often rebrand their existing products and sell it under different names across separate market regions.

For example, the Indian Honor 7X was sold in the USA as Honor Mate SE.

Honor 7X/Huawei Mate SE

Thanks to leakster Roland Quandt, we came to know about the Honor 20 Lite in details a couple of days ago.

The Honor 20 Lite is equipped with HiSilicon Kirin 710 octacore SoC, a 6.21 inches LCD panel (with a half-circular notch) and a 32 MP selfie camera.

The choice of the SoC is kind of surprising, as this aging 14 nm SoC with four high-end cores (clocked at 2.2 GHz) and another four power-saving cores (clocked at 1.7 GHz) is being used since mid-2018.

As a matter of fact, 2018’s Honor 10 Lite featured the same SoC. The internals between two phones are mostly unchanged, while the successor packs better cameras.

Kirin 710 was used on Honor 10 Lite

The choice of NFC depends on target regions. Huawei decided to include NFC in the European models of Honor 10 Lite, but the Asian variants lacked it. The limited applications of NFC in Asian markets made the decision.

Honor 20 Lite does feature NFC and the phone is available in Russia with the name of Honor 10i.

Wait, there’s more to come!

To make things further complicated, Huawei launched Honor 20i in China yesterday (April 17).

If you are thinking it as a successor to Honor 10i (which is basically Honor 20 Lite), then you’re completely wrong. Upon checking the official specifications and release videos, it is evident that Honor 20i is nothing but the non-NFC variant of Honor 10i/Honor 20 Lite.

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A member of Huawei China forums has got their hands on the Honor 20i and decided to do a quick teardown.


After removing the SIM tray, hot air gun needs to be used to get rid of the glue. Huawei engineers did not use any kind of mechanical lock and/or screw for attaching the back panel.

Click/Tap to zoom

The fingerprint module is a tricky one, and you need to take extra care of it while removing the cover from the top of the motherboard.

After detaching the fragile connectors, the main motherboard can be pulled out.

Click/Tap to zoom

The metal covers on top of the SoC and memory modules are neat. They also applied thermal crease to cool down the processor. The triple camera modules and the SIM/sdcard hybrid slot can also be seen.

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The back camera triplet (24 MP, f/1.8, PDAF, 8 MP, f/2.4, 13mm ultrawide, 2 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor) and 32 MP front camera sensor can be seen in the following image.

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The dedicated graphite plated cooling stickers are clearly visible on the back cover.


Interested readers can take a look at the full step-by-step disassembly guide by visiting the original thread. The final output of the teardown is as follows:

Click/Tap to zoom

FYI, Honor 10 Lite, Honor 20 Lite/Honor 10i and the Honor 20i are sharing a common device codename (‘HRY’). Thus you’re basically looking at a year old phone with upgraded camera and new polish – nothing else.

If NFC is a dealbreaker for you, stay away from the Honor 20i at this moment. Perhaps you should opt for phones from different OEMs with a more capable SoC under the same budget.

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Kingshuk De

I came from a mixed background of Statistics and Computer Science. My research domains included embedded computer systems, mobile computing and delay tolerant networks in post-disaster scenarios. Apart from tinkering with gadgets or building hackintosh, I like to hop on various subreddits and forums like MyDigitalLife and XDA.