Huawei Mate 8 review



Product Huawei Mate 8
Website Huawei
Specifications 6in Full HD 1920×1080 IPS display at 368ppi, octa-core Kirin 950 chip, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, EMUI 4.0, skin, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD support up to 128GB, 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, 4,000mAh battery, 157x 81×7.9mm, 185g
Price £429 SIM-free


HUAWEI IS MAKING quite a name for itself. Many are likely to say ‘Huawei who?‘, but the company has cemented itself as the world’s third biggest smartphone maker after Apple and Samsung, and was roped in last year to build Google’s Nexus 6P smartphone.

Huawei’s latest smartphone, unlike the flagship Marshmallow handset, is a far cry from a vanilla Android device. It’s one of the first to run Google’s latest software out of the box, and Huawei has stuffed the Mate 8’s 6in screen full of custom apps and features that let the otherwise stellar handset down.  

Design
There’s no denying that the 6in display makes the Huawei Mate 8 a beast. The 157.1×80.6mm footprint makes it awkward to use one-handed, but the handset is by no means chubby at a skinny-jeans friendly 7.9mm. 

The Mate 8’s big size means you’re getting a lot of metal for your money. Like the Huawei Mate S before it, the smartphone’s matte metal body provides a premium feel and a reassuring solidity. It’s curved at the back and the chamfered edges mean that, while most will still struggle to operate it comfortably with one hand, it sits nicely in the palm. 

Huawei Mate 8 design

Beneath the rear-mounted camera is a Nexus 6P-style fingerprint sensor, which is just as capable as the scanners found on more expensive devices, such as the iPhone 6S or Galaxy S6. Unlike its competitors, the Mate 8’s sensor sits on the back of the device, which we found more natural and ergonomic to use. 

Screen
As we’ve already mentioned, the 6in display on the Huawei Mate 8 is huge. Like, really huge. Unfortunately, though, despite its size, Huawei decided to stick to a 1920×1080 Full HD resolution, as opposed to QHD or even the 4K resolution of the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium.  

Huawei Mate 8 screen

While disappointing on paper, the Huawei Mate 8’s display performed well, offering decent viewing angles thanks to the IPS panel and superb levels of brightness. It’s only when you sit the handset next to a Galaxy S6, for example, that you notice it’s somewhat lacking compared with its competitors. 

Next: Performance, software

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