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Huawei Mate 8 Hands-on, First Impressions: This Needs To Be In The PH ASAP

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We (briefly) go hands-on with the Mate 8!

One of the great things about visiting other countries like Hong Kong and China is that you’re able to see and touch many gadgets that you wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s exactly what happened when we went sightseeing last weekend in Shenzen, where we ran into Huawei’s newest flagship phablet, the Mate 8. Now the Mate 8 hasn’t been officially released in the Philippines yet, which is a shame, because it’s definitely one of the nicest phones Huawei’s managed to release so far.

Huawei Mate 8 specs

  • Kirin 950 octa-core processor (4 x 2.3GHz, 4 x 1.8GHz) with i5 coprocessor
  • 3GB/4GB of RAM
  • 6-inch full HD display, 2.5D curved diamond cut glass,  1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB/64GB/128GB internal storage
  • 16-megapixel Sony IMX298 rear cam with f/2.0 aperture and 3-axis OIS
  • 8-megapixel Sony IMX179 front cam with f/2.4 aperture
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow, EMUI

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Initial impressions: Almost as big as the Mate 7, but considerably thinner

Huawei showed the world that they could do metal phones properly with their Mate 7 in 2014, and since then they’ve just gotten better at making ’em. The Mate 8 is big, beautiful and more importantly – thin, something that you want to have in a phone that has a 6-inch display.

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You’d think that a phone as big as the Mate 8 would be unmanageable, but in truth it’s anything but. The bezels are nice and thin, which makes the device feel smaller than it actually is – it’s actually 1mm shorter than Apple’s iPhone 6S Plus, if you can believe that.

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The phone has shades of the Mate S design wise with the round camera module, but that’s to be expected. There’s a fingerprint scanner on the back which is fast becoming standard on mid to high end phones from the brand. Disappointingly the phone only sports a full HD resolution, which is weird since their own Nexus 6P features a QHD panel. Nevertheless, the Mate 8’s display looks crisp, bright and sharp.

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The phone uses a 16-megapixel Sony IMX298 rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and 3-axis OIS, which should be able to provide excellent snaps. The 3-axis OIS is something that was desperately missing from the otherwise excellent Nexus 6P, and we’re glad that Huawei included that particular feature with the camera of their newest flagship.

Inside the Mate 8 runs Huawei’s own Kirin 950 octa-core processor paired with 3GB or 4GB of RAM, depending on your choice. While we couldn’t get AnTuTu to run in the Mate 8 that we held (it was in a store, and it didn’t have Google Play Services installed because China), other sites have already managed to benchmark the Mate 8. Suffice to say that it’s a monster, easily beating the performance (at least in synthetic benchmarks) of other devices. The phone uses Android 6 Marshmallow with EMUI on top, and navigating through the phone felt quick, fast and snappy, to say the least.

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So that’s it! Huawei PH will probably bring this to our country sooner rather than later, and we’ll tell you guys if we hear anything definite.

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.

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4 Comments

  1. nice article.you should write an article on your travel to Shenzen, (travel, visa process, cost) I know a lot of gadget heads would like to consider if the travel cost will be offset by the savings if they buy stuff from there.

  2. How good are Kirin chipsets? The specs on paper seems great but with so many choices and brands available now Huawei needs to price this competitively to really capture the market.

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