Review Roundup: Huawei P8
PC Pro80%
Android Authority88%
Pocket-lint70%
Trusted Reviews80%
Androidpit90%
Phone Arena85%
Pros
  • Beautiful construction
  • Good battery life
  • Fast and cheap
Cons
  • Iffy software
  • Dull 1080p video
82%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0%

Huawei made some interesting decisions over the last six months. Firstly they said they would be dropping their horrendous (and toxic) Ascend branding, and secondly they declared that they were like, totally over the low end of the market, and would shift their business to fight with the likes of Samsung and Apple. It was an interesting move, especially considering that Huawei weren’t exactly known for producing the kind of high end, aspirational mobile phone you’d need to battle with those companies. All eyes were on the oft-rumoured P8 to become that technological unicorn that Huawei so desperately needed, then, and that’s just what it did.

The P8, as it turns out, is something of a monster. With a 5.2″ 1080p screen packed into a tiny body, a 13MP camera, Kirin 935 CPU, 3GB of RAM and much, much more in a body just 6.4mm thick, it’s a total spec monster. It’s also rather handsomely designed, but that’s just our opinion; what did the critics think? Read on as we find out what the professionals thought of Huawei’s £350 flagship.

PC Pro:

The Huawei P8 finds itself in an awkward position. On the one hand it isn’t a match for the very best smartphones we’ve seen. The S6 is secure on its throne at the very top, and the HTC One M9, Sony Xperia Z3, Nexus 6 and iPhone 6 are all better phones, with superior battery life and graphics performance in particular.

On the other hand, it isn’t quite cheap enough to get our wholehearted recommendation, especially with its disappointing battery life. The P8 is certainly an interesting proposition, especially if you value great camera quality above all else, but we recommend you investigate options such as Samsung Galaxy S5, which is cheaper SIM-free, or the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which can be had for around £420, before you take the plunge.

Android Authority:

For the most part, Huawei has really hit it out of the park with its latest offering, despite some very minor software bugs. The design is elegant and well crafted, the camera performance exceeds expectations, and packs the right specifications under the hood to go toe to toe with the best of the Android world, all at quite a reasonable price. Huawei may have ditched the Ascend branding this year, but the P8 is certainly a capable smartphone that can hold its own against the competition.

Pocket-lint:

Oh Huawei, so near yet oh so far. The P8 has glimmers of brilliance that are marred by sub-par software and, in some scenarios, processor and battery limitations due to heat dissipation. And when an outsider needs to impress right across the board to make a strong mark, that’s just not going to cut it.

But there are plenty of good moments. From the slim design, tiny bezel, equally slender price point, and decent 5.2-inch display, the P8 has its notable calling cards. Champion of them all, though, is the latest camera which really does live up to the flagship standard. If you’re not a phone geek or a brand snob then you’ll notice few issues with the P8.

As flagship devices go the P8 has promise, but in a year that we’ve already described as a curious one for smartphones it simply fails to stir the pot and, ultimately, descends beneath many of its current competitors. Our score would be higher if not for so many software bugs – when that changes so too will our assessment.

Trusted Reviews:

Should you buy the P8? Don’t rule it out. Sure, it lacks big name prestige, but it’s much cheaper than phones it matches and sometimes surpasses, and what you lose in recognition you gain in owning a phone few people will know. They’ll certainly notice it when they see it – it looks great.

Moreover, the P8 has all of the features a flagship phone should have, including a great screen, fast processor and a good 13-megapixel main camera. A larger 3,000mAh battery would make it a no brainer, but its battery life is still a match for more storied rivals.

All this comes at a price similar to last year’s flagships such as the LG G3 and HTC M8, super mid-range phones like the Samsung Galaxy A5 and Sony M4 Aqua and compact versions of flagships. Yet, on specs and performance alone, it rivals some of this year’s biggest flagship phones, including the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9. It’s a powerful argument in the P8’s favour and certainly puts it among the best smartphones and best android phones of 2015.

This could be the best value phone you’ll see this year. If it gets the attention it deserves then you’ll hear the Huawei name a lot more in future.

Android Pit:

We like how Huawei is looking to make the P8 carve out its own identity among flagship smartphones. With some interesting networking capabilities, a hybrid SIM/microSD slot, and a super-thin aluminum chassis to differentiate itself from its aluminum rivals, we think that the P8 is one to watch.

While we weren’t blown away by the quality of the 13MP camera, it does a good job of making up for this by having some excellent features to play around with. The Huawei P8 falls just short of a five-star review due to its camera and UI that isn’t always intuitive, but it’s still a top choice for those wanting legitimate flagship specs at a much lower price point than similarly powerful phones.

Phone Arena:

Seriously, the P8 is an all-around contender that impresses with its premium and meticulous design, amazing still image performance, and competitive price point. The latter point is arguably notable, especially when it’s tagged with a 499 euro (~$530) sticker price for the base 16GB model, which undercuts the competition by a bit – showing that there’s value in this aggressively priced model. Even though there is still no official word regarding availability here in the US, its outright cost is still something to think about.

Thinking deeply about premium looking smartphones, the pricing of the P8 really comes off as reasonable, having in mind the few limitations it imposes on its users. While it’s mostly a well rounded product, some shortcomings in the performance and camera areas keep it from reaching that state of greatness we typically associate with the top dogs in the industry. Nevertheless, the Huawei P8 is poised to be a viable force that can threaten the fragile uncertainty that clouds many other contenders in the space.

 

Looking to buy a P8? Look no further than our guide.

About The Author

Editor in Chief

Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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