Huawei G8 hands-on – polished all-metal looks, midrange price
Along the brand new Mate S, Huawei showed us its brand-new midranger – the G8. Boasting a glass panel with arched sides and an overall oval look, the handset is easy on the eye and pleasant to the touch. With a large display, generous battery, fingerprint scanner, and good-looking on paper hardware, the Huawei G8 seems like it may be a pretty good midrange device. We had some time with the handset to gather some hands-on impressions. Let's dive a bit deeper!
phone has a much less aggressive shape than the modern rectangle-shaped smartphone. This is all supplemented by the slightly arched back, which allows for an easier hold, and the 2.5D glass on its front. There was no compromise with the materials, as the phone's back and frame are made out of cool-feeling metal.
When the display is off, the G8 appears to be a nigh-bezelless handset, but once you turn it on, it becomes apparent that there is quite a frame around the display – it's just well hidden when the lights aren't on. All in all, the handset's screen-to-body ratio is not too impressive, which means that its 5.5” screen translates to a larger body – one that some may find bulky.
The 5.5” diagonal shows that this phone is definitely targeted at those looking for a phablet – a smartphone that works well as a media-consumption device. With a 1080 x 1920 resolution, the display ends up having a 400 PPI density, which makes for some sharp images – rest assured, small text and details are perfectly visible. The colors seem nicely tamed, nothing seems to pop out as being too aggressive at first sight.
Huwei's Emotion UI, plastered on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop is what makes an appearance here. It's a fairly simple interface, which lacks an app drawer and has adopted a search function a-la iOS's Spotlight to help users find their way, should they lose an app or function. The drop-down notifications drawer is also not the most streamlined, as it won't give us access to quick-toggles and settings unless we specifically select a “Shortcuts” tab within the drawer. Pulling down with two fingers, a-la KitKat, doesn't work as a shortcut here, so we had to wonder - “What gives?”
Processor and Memory
The Huawei G8 has an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 humming under its hood – reportedly, the same SoC as the Snapdragon 615, but a bit better at managing battery life. In our experience with the latter, the processor can keep up a good pace, so long as the manufacturer doesn't throw a bucketload of UI features and background processes at it.
Additionally, the handset is equipped with the generous 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, which can be expanded via microSD of up to 64 GB.
The phone's main snapper packs the hefty 13 MP resolution, whereas the selfie cam has a 5 MP sensor. At first look, the photos are satisfactory, but, of course, we can't cast a final verdict without taking the handset for a test drive.
The camera's app looks all too familiar, as it has also borrowed some iOS influence. Fancy modes, such as manual mode or slow-motion are not present here. There's a beauty mode, time lapse, food mode, video, and some filters that you can apply to photos pre-shot.
Priced at €399 (around $450), the Huawei G8 is a good buy, or at least at first sight. We'd still like to spend some time testing its camera, tormenting its hardware, and generally keep tabs on how well the UI is doing in the long run. So, verdict – if you are soon going to be in the market for a premium-looking phablet that doesn't destroy your wallet, make sure you get a good look at the G8.