Introduction


Getting noticed in the smartphone space is increasingly getting tough, especially in the Android space, now that the Samsung Galaxy S6 has set the bar for everyone else. Last year, Huawei managed to pique our interest with the Ascend P7, its flagship phone that showed to us all that the company is capable of delivering a quality performing smartphone in a premium package – while also retaining a pretty svelte chassis. Staying relevant is key to long term growth, so knowing that, the company is hoping that its latest effort is enough to remain competitive.

With the announcement of its latest flagship handset, Huawei has shed the Ascend moniker, choosing instead to go with a direct approach by merely naming it the P8. From the looks of it, Huawei has been cognizant to improve the P8 in several key areas, like its specs and design, allowing it to keep pace with what the competition has announced thus far. However, even with all the diligent work put in by the company to keep it in contention, is it enough to actually rise above and reach the same level of prestige that’s attached to the devices we get from Apple and Samsung?

The package contains:

  • Huawei P8
  • Wall charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Stereo headphones
  • SIM removal tool

Design

Look ma, no hump! Not only is the camera flush, but the Huawei P8 features a premium design with a svelte chassis.

Aesthetically, the P8 looks closely similar to its predecessor in the Ascend P7, so the same tradition to offering a premium design carries on with this. Sporting a hard lined design, one that’s uniformly flat both on the front and back, there’s clearly an edgy look to the entire package – accentuated further by its beveled edges. What’s most profound, though, is the premium touch that we get from the design with its new glass and metal design.

Going with this type of materials, it incrementally gives the phone a sturdier feeling construction than its predecessor, but at the same time, too, it gives it a substantial feel in the hand to make us know it’s solid. Technically, it’s longer, wider, and heavier than the Ascend P7, but the company was able to shave off just a smidgen off the phone to reach a profile thinness of 6.4mm, which eclipses the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 in the process. What’s even more impressive, though, is that there’s no hump near or around the rear camera – making it completely flush, a rare achievement of late, it seems!

Holding the P8, however, there’s a subtle sharp feel due to those beveled edges around its trim. It’s not as bad as some other handsets, but it’s still noticeable nonetheless. The achievements are commendable on so many levels! Its premium design, svelte chassis, and uniformly flush surfaces, all point to the obvious that Huawei is more than capable of coming up with good designs.

In keeping true to the design language of its predecessor, the P8 features the same set of ports and buttons around its trim – even in the same locations as before too! These include the 3.5mm headphone jack and noise cancelling mic on its top edge, the power button, volume controls, microSD slot, and SIM slot on its right, and the microUSB port, microphone, and speaker along the bottom side of the phone. Looking intently more on its bottom edge, we can’t help but to draw comparisons to the iPhone 6, seeing that the microUSB charging port is flanked by screws.

Again, we have to applaud Huawei for keeping the P8’s surfaces flush – while also being accompanied with a premium finish. When it’s laid flat on either side, there’s no odd section that’s raised due to the camera lens sticking out. It’s almost mind-boggling, but it’s rare nowadays to find phones that have uniformly flush surfaces like the P8, so we really appreciate that one particular design trait. Of course, that may be at the expense of camera quality...


Huawei P8

Huawei P8

Dimensions

5.7 x 2.84 x 0.25 inches

144.9 x 72.1 x 6.4 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

Dimensions

5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 inches

144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Sony Xperia Z3+

Sony Xperia Z3+

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.83 x 0.27 inches

146.3 x 71.9 x 6.9 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

Huawei P8

Huawei P8

Dimensions

5.7 x 2.84 x 0.25 inches

144.9 x 72.1 x 6.4 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

Dimensions

5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38 inches

144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Dimensions

5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 inches

143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm

Weight

4.87 oz (138 g)

Sony Xperia Z3+

Sony Xperia Z3+

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.83 x 0.27 inches

146.3 x 71.9 x 6.9 mm

Weight

5.08 oz (144 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

The display sports several improvements over its predecessor, but it’s still far from the class leading qualities of other displays.

In an age where quad-HD screens are increasingly becoming the standard for most flagships, Huawei has chosen to instead outfit the P8 with a 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 JDI IPS-Neo display. Of course, 1080p resolution is more than effective on a 5.2-inch sized screen, allowing for strong details for both near and far viewing.

Paying our attention to this evolved IPS-LCD based panel, Japan Display’s IPS-Neo technology delivers the goods in giving this new display some respectable qualities like blacks that are truly black, making for a nicely contrasty look.

At the same time, too, the panel clearly favors a more saturated color reproduction when the display is set to the default color temperature setting, which is made more profound by how the color values fall in the color gamut chart. Even though it’s an improvement, the ~7200K color temperature of the display gives the entire panel a colder look – though, it can be adjusted in the settings. For the most part, this IPS-Neo display exhibits enough vibrancy to retain our attention.

Another improvement to the display is its brightness output, which now reaches 503 nits. Although it’s far from being the brightest, it’s still quite visible outdoors when the sun is out. Tilting the phone a little doesn’t distort the screen, but at widest angles, we can discern a slightly more washed out look. Overall, it’s a solid effort, but we wouldn’t say it’s perfect just yet.



FEATURED VIDEO

51 Comments

52. johnspan

Posts: 2; Member since: Oct 10, 2015

I have a P7 and I will certainly go for P8 after.. the phone is great, no problems, no freezes no issues... it is greatly made, easily comparable or even beating iphone or normal S6, is not as fast as iphone or top line Samsung but is such speed really needed??? and in any case it comes at more than 40% less cost... what on hell are you comparing, an $800 S6 with a less than $500 P8??? and on the customisation is next to none !!! tens of different full themes for free (you have to pay dearly in all competitors) and the UI is flexible and neat - the one-touch call feature was not embedded in any competitors! If you want high end construction, looks, smooth performance, very very good camera, great free customisation, reliability, the brand is great and comes at great vfm. If you want extreme gaming performance, well you better look elsewhere but it will cost you, the Huawai is NOT top notch for very demanding games (for normal games of course no issue)!

51. jcloko

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 09, 2015

Same question goes to me, too. I must admit that I am attracted by its price. I tested out the real phone on my hand before, suitable for my need. However, since it is China brand, I am wondering about its durability. Any previous or current users can help me out here?

48. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I really love PA playing Style ♥

47. AppleCultist

Posts: 335; Member since: Feb 18, 2015

Well, well, well... Looks like that simona troll extolling the wonders of IPS-NEO was full of crap like I thought. Samsung's displays crap all over IPS-NEO.

44. cookie_cutter

Posts: 30; Member since: Sep 03, 2014

When you purhcase this phone you better test it in stores if the performance is good enough for you. The Kirin soc has one of the worst gpu performance of any flagship soc. It is way behind the HTC M9 and samsung S6. Games keep getting complex in graphics, I have a huawei Mediapad X1 and it lags soo much in kritika. i even remove the sd card just to load the game internal storage and the gpu is just no good.

42. xaugustx

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 24, 2013

I am confused between z4 or p8. If I go for z4 I'll be satisfied and able to sleep at night. BUT! if I go for huawei, I can sleep WITH* Simona bikini babe here. SO, confused!

40. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I love that PA is always playing Style from Taylor Swift

36. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Ugly inner bezel

39. Simona unregistered

Well u obviously haven't seen black version where are no bezels visible !

41. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

It's a trick anyway

34. iLovesarcasm

Posts: 589; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

Taking too long to charge is a deal breaker for me.

33. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Higher rating than the M9? Suck T C strikes again! Lol

29. JohnK

Posts: 117; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

About SD card guys, i noticed in another video review that while browsing storage menu, this phone supports the "storage location" feature: it's used to choose between internal storage and external storage (for installing apps etc..). So basically, snap a fast 64gb UHS3 card inside and you are good to go almost like if it was a 64gb device. I know that since i'm used to chinese phones and they often give you that feature.

20. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

well if it uses qualcomm chips in its us release then the graphics will get a huge boost

26. Bondurant

Posts: 787; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

But its a mystery what Qualcomm chip they will use. The 810 has heating issues, coupled with battery and slim factor of P8, doesn't sound a good match. While S805 is outdated and its not 64bit and the CPU performance of Kirin 930 is far better than S805.

30. arch_angel

Posts: 1651; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Yeah the 810 is the best choice even with its issues

14. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Great value for money phone ruined by terrible video recording. I am surprised how awful video qulity greatly excelled by very decent camera performance. Slap dash here we go !

24. Simona unregistered

Well they probably cant set it properly.. I've seen vid samples of this phones and some of them are bad others better but it needs setting up in settings . video stabilization focusing, etc..

12. haikallp

Posts: 319; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

In my country the iphone 6 16GB was S$988 at launch. The Galaxy S6 32gb was S$998 at launch. The LG GFlex 2 is S$998 at launch too. The Ascend P8 base model is rumored to be around S$700 at launch. That is, imo a good price.

13. Bondurant

Posts: 787; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

In China the P8 16gb is priced at 2888 Yuna (466$) and 64gb at 3588 Yuan (579$)

11. Ghost04

Posts: 522; Member since: May 03, 2014

PA probably reviewed the phone with some negative mind . They were like 'it was good but it wasn't good' . They praised everything and the same time they criticised all of them .

16. Chuck007

Posts: 1420; Member since: Mar 02, 2014

No, they are basically indirectly saying Huawei still has some work to do to perfect their phones to match the bug guys but are getting there.

5. Bondurant

Posts: 787; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

The review is kind of lazy on the UI. Totally wrong so many times. The theme modification of EMUI is very deep and everything from icons to dialers to notification panel, fonts, etc can be modded with the theme engine. The EMUI 3.0 also has split screen multitasking but maybe its possible not enabled on these sample devices. And EMUI has so many useful functions all over it that calling it "light and simple" is kind of untrue. Its more like simple and easy layout yet smart and full of features.

4. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Camera shots have good light but the details are less than expected. Great design but didn't like that black surrounding bezel though on the screen. Should be started from 32GB internal atleast for this price. Rest is very good.

8. Simona unregistered

Why shouldstart from 32? I have 128GB sd card ready.. And yet, I wont be paying 150 bucks more for more storage when 128gb sd cost me 50-60 nowadays

9. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

P8 is a 2015 flagship my friend and for that price it should have been 32GB, though it's just my opinion. Whoah!!! You have 128GB card ready, that's awesome. All the best for your purchases.

22. Simona unregistered

There WILL be 64GB version but that wud be stupid to buy that is am trying to explain.. They charging for 32/64 100 or over 100 more but micro sd card 64GB cost just 20 quid.. 128GB cost 50-60 bucks

23. TerryTerius unregistered

Good for you, but not everyone does that. His point was that the phone itself should have a minimum of 32 gigs, especially considering that it is starting in the price range of the M9 and S6 which both have a minimum of 32gb. Think about it this way. If Huawei truly wants to take on Samsung, Apple, or HTC then they will have to meet or exceed them in every way. If you have to look at a product and recognize that it has compromises in areas where other options in the same price range do not, it becomes harder to justify that purchase. With pretty bad video recording, sub-par low light photography, unstable gaming performance, and lower storage options... I'm not sure that a pretty design and a smooth, good looking UI is going to make up for that for most consumers. Huawei may one day make phones every bit as good as SS and Apple. But they aren't there yet.

28. Simona unregistered

But every phone is expensive at launch jeezuch ppl.. within month ot two the price will drop bout £50 down.. just needs to be patient I can buy this phone 16GB just for £400 or cheaper About vid recording .. that will be improoved in next updates don't worry ... playing gamez is just for kids .. this phone is not for kids.. You can read about S6 how battery life is just alarming bad... Huawei matched up samsung even apple.. P8 Max is on another level..

31. TerryTerius unregistered

Well, no you're wrong in that statement. For example, LG's G Series (up until this year) has always been significamtly cheaper than the Galaxy S, One and Z series of flagship's. Same thing with one plus, Huawei and Xiaomi. Actually, most companies Price their flagships significantly cheaper than the duopoly of Samsung and Apple. You have 0 proof that they're going to significantly improve video recording with an update, because that pretty much never happens with any phone. Yes, updates are pushed out that may improve image quality for different manufacturers every now and then, but it is rarely something like a drastic turnaround. The s6 gets better battery life than literally every other five inch phone from a major manufacturer), barring the Sony Z series. So no, objectively Huawei has not quite matched Samsung or Apple. Insofar as your claims of games being only for kids, don't be ridiculous. The hundreds of millions of downloads of games, wasn't all done by children. The millions of dollars game developers have raked in isn't from kids. Obviously there are literally millions of adults that play (and purchase) games on their phones. I'm not saying Huawei did a bad job with the p8. But, I literally can't think of a single reason to get this phone over an s6 (which has a better camera, better graphics performance, more available accessories, wireless charging, true multitasking and charges faster) iPhone 6, M9 or G4. It doesn't do anything that those phones already don't do, and actually does a few of them worse.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

P8
  • Display 5.2 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera)
    8 MP front
  • Hardware HiSilicon Kirin, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 2680 mAh
  • OS Android 5.0 Lollipop
    Huawei Emotion UI

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