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Huawei P8 Max Hands-on, First Impressions: Supersized Phablet

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We go hands-on with the P8 Max!

Huawei’s Singapore launch yesterday was missing one rather huge phone – the P8 Max. The omission wasn’t by accident, as Huawei decided at the last minute not to launch the P8 Max as of yet in the region, which bummed us out a little bit. Thankfully, we found working units of the massive phablet at their booth in CommunicAsia, and spent a few minutes handling the company’s latest behemoth.

Huawei P8 Max Specs

  • 2.2GHz Kirin 935 64-bit octa-core processor
  • Mali-T628 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 6.8-inch full HD display, Gorilla Glass 3 protection 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 16/64GB of storage
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM, dual LTE
  • WiFI, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, NFC
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, Emotion UI
  • 4360mAh battery

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Initial impressions: Big and gorgeous, but not for people with small hands

To call the P8 Max a little big is the understatement of the century. There’s no doubt about it – this thing was HUGE. We have larger than average digits, but we had a little bit of trouble just trying to hold the phone one handed. While one handed operation is possible, the P8 Max is made to be held by both hands.

The P8 Max shares the same design elements of its smaller brother, the P8. The P8 Max uses an aluminum unibody that has the same chamfered sides and premium build, albeit in a much bigger scale. The biggest issue we can see with the design of the P8 Max is related to how big it is – since it’s such a huge phone, the back of the unibody aluminum chassis looks too bare, with nothing to break up the monotonous, flat design of the phone.

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What’s surprising about the P8 Max is that it’s not really that big of a phone, considering its screen size. It’s barely larger than Sony’s Z Ultra which has a smaller, 6.4-inch display. In fact its physical dimensions are downright reasonable for a phone of its stature: 6.8mm thickness, 74.1% screen to body ratio, plus the bezels are pretty slim, even by Huawei’s standards.

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The P8 Max makes use of such a big screen by having a multi-window mode that’s similar to the Note series of smartphones by Samsung. Having two windows open on the 6.8-inch display isn’t a problem with the P8 Max and multi-taskers will find the feature a god send.

Speaking of bezels, there’s barely any on the P8 Max, though we’re slightly let down by the full HD resolution on the massive 6.8-inch display. Huawei probably went with the lower resolution display to keep costs down and to make the P8 Max’s battery last longer, though we have a feeling that the massive 4360mAh battery will be able to last quite a while even with a QHD display.

Interally, the P8 Max has an even faster Kirin 935 processor compared to the Kirin 930 on the smaller P8. We didn’t get to benchmark the P8 Max, though it’s safe to assume that the Kirin 935 processor would yield better results than the slower 930 which already impressed us with its massive AnTuTu score.

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Just like the P8, the P8 Max also has the improved camera performance and unique low-light and light painting modes in its 13-megapixel rear camera, along with the improved OIS, four colour RGBW imaging sensor and DSLR quality image signal processing.

Ultimately, we see the P8 Max as a niche device – it’s just way too big to be used by the average person, and requires both hands to operate properly. Huawei has not set a price for the P8 Max as of yet, nor any news of its availability.

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.

2 Comments

  1. Nice review mga sir, waiting na ulet til December haha! ganda na sana nung Honor 6 considering the price and specs tapos biglang may ganito 😀 anyway I find a mistake on 7th paragraph “Interally” is that supposed to be “Internally”? 🙂

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