Huawei has been knocking on the door of the premium smartphone market and with the release of the P8 it’s going to be difficult to turn it away.
If someone was to hand you a P8 and ask you to guess it’s price, there’s a good chance that you wouldn’t be winning this edition of The Price is Right. It takes design cues from premium smartphones like Apple’s iPhone 6 and Sony’s Xperia range, but Huawei has added its own distinctive style too.
The front of the device is kept completely clean with no branding, home button, or speaker grills tarnishing its appearance. It has tapered edges, which curve around to meet a completely flat rear. Despite its impressive camera, there’s no unsightly bulge to be found.
Huawei’s P8 features a 5.2-inch display. It may not be a Quad screen, but it’s still one of the best Full HD screens we’ve seen on a phone. It’s big, it’s bright, and the picture quality is excellent. It packs in slightly fewer pixels-per-inch (ppi) than its smaller screened predecessor at 424ppi, but the difference is negligible.
Of course, beauty means nothing if it can’t back it up. The Huawei P8 is powered by a 64-bit Kirin 930/935 Octa-core chipset and 3GB RAM. This ensures that it’s quick and responsive, yet also quite moderate in terms of battery consumption.
Huawei promised around 1.5 days of normal-intensity use and a full day of heavy usage. We found that the P8 lived up to those promises, which is certainly an appealing selling point. It was certainly novel not to be under pressure to charge our device every day.
At the official launch, Huawei spent a great deal of time talking about the P8’s camera. After spending some time with the handset, it’s easy to see why. It has a 13 megapixel rear-facing sensor and an impressive 8 megapixel camera on the front. But it’s the software and functionality it offers that’s fun to play around with.
The P8 offers shooting modes like time-lapse, full panoramic mode, and 'Light painting'. The latter lets you capture the trails of car lights, street lights, and even stars. What a phone can offer for selfies seems to be just as important nowadays. You may be pleased to hear that the P8 offers Huawei's trademark 'Face Beauty' mode, which can recognise the phone owners face and can “beautify” it based on chosen settings.
There’s also director mode, which lets you connect up to four smartphones to record video and create a multi-angled video effortlessly. It’s an interesting mode to play around with; now you just need to convince a few friends to get on-board.
The Huawei P8 has some other novel features too. You should never lose your handset again underneath a chair cushion. Instead of using another phone to ring yourself, you can simply say “Hi buddy” to wake it up, followed by “Where are you?” to get it to respond. It’s not something you’ll use often, but it’s nice to have that option.
Huawei may not have the reputation of other premium smartphone manufacturers in the west, but the P8 could go a long way towards making sure people know of it. The P8 is a great handset with some novel features, a generous battery life, and a more budget-friendly price tag than some of its competitors. Keep an eye out for it.