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Huawei G8 Hands-on, First Impressions: A More Affordable Mate 7?

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We go hands-on with Huawei’s G8 smartphone

Huawei’s not pulling any punches with their new midrange G8 smartphone. When Huawei reps met with us earlier yesterday to show us their phone, they were very upfront and blunt with what they wanted to do with the G8. “It’s a direct competitor of Samsung’s Galaxy A8“, they tell me, with a grin on their face. They are convinced that their phone is better than the A8 in every way, including the most important aspect: price. At Php 17,990 the G8 is considerably more affordable than the Galaxy A8, which retails at Php 24,990. Huawei’s claim is bold, and we’ll definitely put that to the test but first, we’ll need to see if the G8 is a good phone by itself.

Huawei G8 specs

  • 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 405 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch full HD display with 2.5D glass, Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, AF, dual LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, USB OTG, Fingerprint scanner
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 with EMUI 3.1

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Initial impressions: feels like Huawei’s Mate 7, but more affordable

Huawei’s been releasing some kickass full metal smartphones in the past few months, and the G8 is just a latest in a string of metal-bodied beauties. While it’s supposed to be a mid-range device, it feels more expensive than it actually is. Looking at it dead-on from the front, we noticed it had more than a passing resemblance to their excellent Mate 7 phablet, which includes the unibody metal chassis. Because of the unibody aluminum construction, the G8 feels hefty and premium in your hands, making it feel more expensive than it actually is.

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The edges of the G8 are chamfered, and the phone uses 2.5D glass on top of the 5.5-inch full HD IPS display. The phone uses on-screen Android keys for navigation, and the display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The 5-megapixel selfie camera is located on the upper left side of the phone, flanking the earpiece. The power button and volume rocker are located on the right of the phone, with the 3.5mm jack located on top.

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The USB port is located on the bottom and is flanked by speaker holes. The hybrid SIM card slot is located on the right, and you can sacrifice one of your SIM slots for additional storage if the 32GB of space isn’t enough for you.

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Turning the phone over, you’ll see the 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, along with the fingerprint scanner. While it looks like the same fingerprint scanner found in the company’s Mate 7, it’s actually an improved version that allows you to unlock the phone in record speed. Aside from that, you can use it to bring down (and clear) your notifications when the phone is unlocked, answer phone calls and take photos.

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Despite its flagship good looks, the G8 is still a mid-ranger at heart. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor paired with 3GB of RAM. Unsurprisingly the phone scored 36438 points in AnTuTu, which is well within the normal parameters for a phone with its specs. It’s no speed demon, but it’s not a slouch either though only a full review will show if the phone really is capable of standing up to similar devices.

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That’s it for our hands-on of the G8. Huawei’s putting their money where their mouth is, and is ready to put the G8 head-to-head with the Galaxy A8. Before that happens though, we’ll need to review both phones first, then put them through the paces to see which one really is king.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

16 Comments

      1. I agree. Lakas pa ng battery drain issue. Nakacherry mobile ang kaibigan ko with mediatek. Hassle daw dahil sandali lang siya makapaglaro ng clash of clans at panay skip frames. Bumili ng z1 compact tapos ang problema niya.

    1. Ikaw Zobel puro ka katangahan. Anong matutulong ng 6753 kung FullHD naman yung screen? Kahit pa 3GB ang RAM niyan maglalag parin yan, tanga ka.

      1. Flare X, Lenovo A7000 Plus and the Meizu M2 Note all use 6753 and are all FHD. The fire-breathing Snaplizard 615 is actually more notorious than the 810 (which is already on version 2.1 i.e. third failure, err, iteration. Lelz)

        1. Yung crappy snapdragon 615 din ang nasa samsung a8. Maayos ang gaming at walang overheating. Nagkakalat ka na naman ng katangahan mo. Pag walang os update ang budget phones sinisisi mo ang mediatek. Pag nakakita ka naman ng phone na may sd 615, crap kaagad ang reklamo mo. Magkasya ka na lang sa myphone at cherry mobile mo.

    2. Hindi lang tanga si zobel bobo pa. Hindi nya napapansin na ganyn lagi nangyayari sknya dapat pugutan ng ulo yan at ipakain sa aso na may regla

  1. Battery life ang gusto kong malaman sa g8 dahil disappointing ang 4000mah ng mate 7 ko. Mas pangtapat ito sa r7 plus dahil halimaw na ang samsung a8 sa games.

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