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Huawei P8 Hands-on, Part 2: Shooting for Greatness

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We go hands-on, again, with the Huawei P8

Huawei’s P8 flagship is no stranger to us at Unbox. We managed to get hands-on time with the flagship a few months ago, and came away impressed but wanting to see more. Because of the limited time we had with the device, we couldn’t go in depth with a lot of the features of the phone, which centered around the camera experience. After three months, we finally got reunited with Huawei’s latest flagship during the regional launch in Singapore yesterday.

Huawei P8 specs

  • Kirin 930 octa-core processor, 2.0GHz clock speed
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.2-inch full HD display, 1920 x 1080
  • 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD
  • 13-megapixel rear camera, OIS, DSLR-level independent signal processor, , 4-color RGBW sensor
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM, Dual LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 2,680mAh battery

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Initial Impressions: a design that’s every bit as premium as flagships of other brands


Unibody metal bodies are all the rage for flagships these days, and Huawei’s latest is no exception. The P8 uses an aluminum unibody that’s only 6.4 thick, which is thinner than the iPhone 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy S6. At first glance you’ll probably see Apple’s influence in the overall design of the phone, especially in the curved metal edges of the phone and the chamfered sides. That’s not a bad thing in itself, especially since Hauwei has infused their own design language into the whole unibody build and didn’t just flat out copied Apple’s design.

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Overall the phone felt great in the hands, and you can see the quality and care that Huawei poured into the manufacturing process to make the P8. The phone feels weighty without being heavy, and the button layout (as well as the display size and screen ratios) are well thought out.

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Speaking of buttons, the volume rocker for the P8 is on the right side, along with the power button. The 3.5mm jack is located on top, while the USB port is located on the bottom. Huawei also relocated the speaker on the bottom of the phone, which is great since sound will no longer be muffled when you lay the phone flat on a table.

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The P8 sports a 5.2-inch full HD display protected by Gorilla Glass 3. While the phone doesn’t have a QHD resolution panel that its competitors have, the full HD display is more than enough and has good color reproduction all around. The bezels are mighty thin – in fact the P8 has a better screen to body ratio than the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S6 – 65.8% and 70.8% respectively versus the 78.3% on the P8. As a result, the P8 feels more like a 4.7-inch phone rather than the 5.2-inch device it really is.

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The P8 is equipped with the company’s latest Kirin 930 octa-core processor, which is a step up over their previous flagship, the Mate7. In our benchmark tests, the Kirin 930 managed to score a massive 49741, which is an impressive score and is leaps and bounds over the performance of their previous flagship, the Mate 7.

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If there’s one thing that Huawei is proud of in the P8, it’s the camera. The company has gone to great lengths to differentiate the camera experience of the P8 with the inclusion of several key technologies. Huawei says that the 13-megapixel rear camera on the P8 has one of the best optical image stabilization units in the market today. That’s combined with world’s first four colour RGBW imaging sensor and DSLR quality image signal processing. The company is also highlighting a couple of imaging tricks in the P8, including light painting mode – which allows skilled users to capture light in a unique way. Essentially the phone captures the light trail left by objects, and is usually done using long exposure shots on DSLRs and their ilk. While we found the light painting mode a nice feature, you’ll have to stabilize the phone using a tripod or a stand to be able to capture good images.

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The biggest thing that the Huawei P8 has going for it is the price – the company has priced the P8 at SGD 699, which is roughly Php 23K in our currency. If that’s the case, then the P8 is going to be a solid smartphone at 2/3rds the price of other flagships, which is just what Huawei needs to get units flying off the shelves.

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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8 Comments

  1. Sayang lang at hindi aabot sa pinas yung magandang carbon black model. Pero mura na to compared sa S6 na 42k sa mall. Add ka lang ng konti para sa microsd at naka 128gb ka na.

  2. Sir Carlo, good eve! tanong ko lang po kung ang HiSillicon Kirin na processor nito eh nagiinit po ba in a long use for example gaming? – unbox fan from saudi!

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