Huawei Mate eight examine

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With a new year will come new modifications and we’re shifting our evaluate procedure commencing with this Huawei Mate 8 evaluate. Now, selected handsets will be reviewed by not one particular, but two individuals, with the intention of bringing you two distinct sights on that smartphone. The article and video clip will be by distinct reviewers, offering a coherent however goal opinion on the smartphone.

This evaluate has been written by Nirave Gondhia with the video clip evaluate (earlier mentioned) by Joshua Vergara. Be sure to verify out YouTube as very well, where by you can observe the video clip in 4K!

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The rise of Chinese makers above the earlier two many years manufactured it inevitable that Google would inevitably opt for one particular of them to make its flagship handset and final year noticed Huawei crew up with the lookup huge on the Nexus 6P flagship. Sporting an all-metallic style and design, pure Android experience and lightning rapidly fingerprint sensor – not to point out the best smartphone camera of 2015 – the Nexus 6P has, rightly, been a good results.

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See also: Nexus 6P evaluateone hundred ten


Like LG and Samsung prior to it, many envisioned the good results of the Nexus flagship to affect Huawei’s have flagship units that adopted and at CES 2016, the Mate 8 – which was released in China final thirty day period – was last but not least given its world-wide debut. Prior to CES, there experienced been many rumours that Huawei would use the Nexus 6P as a springboard for a push into the US market and although the honor 5X is launching stateside, the Mate 8 is nowhere to be seen.

Huawei has always manufactured great components and the Mate 8 appears to be no distinct but has the Chinese corporation learnt anything at all from operating closely with Google and in distinct, is its UX any closer to inventory Android? How does the Mate 8 compare to earlier Huawei flagships? Let’s acquire a glance: hit the jump and be part of me for the written Mate 8 evaluate and be sure to verify out Josh’s video clip evaluate earlier mentioned.


Here’s the vital Huawei Mate 8 specs:

Huawei Mate 8
Exhibit 6.-inch IPS-NEO Lcd screen
1920 x 1080, 368ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Processor Quad-main two.3GHz Cortex-A72 + quad-main 1.8GHz Cortex A53 HiSilicon Kirin 950
GPU Mali-T880 MP4
RAM three/4GB, depending on storage option
Storage 32/sixty four/128GB
MicroSD Indeed, up to 128GB
Digicam 16MP rear camera, OIS, period detection auto target
8MP front camera
Software package Android 6. Marshmallow
Emotion UI 4.
Battery 4000mAh, non-removable
Proportions 157.1 x eighty.6 x 7.9mm


Style and design

Looking at Huawei’s listing of earlier flagships these kinds of as the Mate S, Mate 7 and P8, there’s one particular thing that is very clear: Coupled with the Nexus 6P, it’s very clear Huawei understands specifically what high quality components is and although the Mate 8 does have a several tweaks, the style and design language hasn’t altered all that significantly because the Mate 7.

That currently being claimed, Huawei has one particular of the strongest style and design languages in the business and although a lack of considerable improve operates the hazard of it starting to be stale, the corporation isn’t there just however. While the Mate 8 style and design is a lot more than satisfactory, we would like to see the corporation show us the following phase of its style and design language in long term flagship units.

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The metallic end is most absolutely high quality in the hand and the precise curves and gradient of the rear supply the handset with its ergonomic experience. The Mate 8 is a massive unit like every single Mate smartphone – the Mate S apart – prior to it but it is almost certainly the smallest 6-inch smartphone on the market, many thanks to impressively tiny bezels all-around the screen. Huawei is recognized for its skill to produce massive shows crammed inside a smaller sized-than-envisioned system and the Mate 8 is no distinct.

At 7.9mm thick, the Mate 8 is not the slimmest smartphone on the market but the symmetrical style and design and slightly curved rear necessarily mean it feels significantly slimmer in the hand. The in-hand experience is even more enhanced by the 185-gram weight and the Mate 8 does experience reassuringly reliable in everyday utilization.

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The backside of the cell phone is where by Huawei’s style and design language used to stand out from the competition courting again as significantly as 2013 and the Mate 7, Huawei has dabbled in metallic on its flagship units and at the time, the corporation (along with HTC) was main the pack. Nonetheless, because then, metallic has become the new plastic and practically all organizations are now making an attempt to incorporate metallic in their flagships. When Huawei is no lengthier special in this, its style and design language isn’t stale just however but as pointed out, we’d like to see a several modifications to differentiate its long term flagships.

The place Josh and I absolutely concur is which color Mate 8 to get Josh has the Silver edition although I have the place grey but both equally of us concur that the Mocca brown Mate 8 is the edition you really should check out to get. Neither the Silver nor the Area Gray are poor color alternatives but the Mocca color is rather special and this will help it to stand out from the myriad of other metallic-clad smartphones on the market.


Beneath the camera on the rear, we have a function that Huawei has become superb in offering: the fingerprint sensor. From the square sensor in the Mate 7 to the gesture-enabled Honor 7, the ultra rapidly sensor on the again of the Nexus 6P and now, the scanner in the Mate 8, it’s very clear that Huawei understands fingerprint scanners and the Mate 8 is no distinct. When it doesn’t have all the gestures discovered in the Honor 7 and Mate S, its absolutely up there with the best fingerprint sensors on the market.

Over-all, the Mate 8 proceeds Huawei’s remarkable style and design language and the style and design is absolutely one particular of our favorite factors on the cell phone. It may perhaps have a 6-inch screen but Huawei’s ground breaking style and design signifies the cell phone feels significantly smaller sized than you’d assume.

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In January final year, we sat down with Huawei’s executives in China and in the course of the class of numerous conversations, one particular topic that kept creeping up was screen resolution and whether or not Huawei would inevitably present QHD resolution (and earlier mentioned) on its flagship units. At the time, the remedy was a resounding no but rapidly ahead to the latter component of the year and the Huawei-manufactured Nexus 6P grew to become the 1st Huawei-manufactured smartphone to present QHD resolution.

Less than two months later on, Huawei unveiled the Mate 8 and, regardless of all the rumours and leaks suggesting a QHD screen was in the operates, Huawei selected to stick with its guns and opted for Comprehensive Hd resolution. Commonly this would not be an issue but the Mate 8 was intended to arrive with terrific aplomb onto the market and a 6-inch Comprehensive Hd panel definitely does – at minimum on paper – stretch the boundaries of whether or not the screen is great ample.

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In true utilization, the JDI-NEO screen technological know-how surely will help to pick up some of the shortfall from not having QHD resolution and although the Mate 8 sporting activities what is almost certainly the best 6-inch 1080p screen on the market, it is just Comprehensive Hd resolution. For the spec-lovers among you, this translates to a density of 368 pixels per inch, which is reduced than the Galaxy Be aware 5 and most other similarly sized units.

I personally uncover that although FHD resolution is a lot more than satisfactory, I would have preferred QHD, specifically given the price of the Mate 8 and its position as a high quality flagship. When Josh agrees with this, he does stage out that FHD signifies all the things is a small simpler to see than with QHD resolution and the Mate 8 is ideal for individuals who want a even larger screen for simpler reading through, rather than to have a lot more place to screen articles.


What about in immediate light-weight? Huawei hasn’t always been the best smartphone to use in immediate sunlight but the Mate 8 is absolutely one particular of the company’s superior tries. In immediate sunlight (or even incandescent or tungsten lights), it’s easy ample to see what is on the screen as lengthy as the brightness is set to entire and auto brightness is turned off.

Over-all, Comprehensive Hd may perhaps not supply a terrific experience on paper but the Mate 8 screen is surely a lot more than satisfactory in authentic environment utilization and if you’re an individual who prefers a even larger screen so you can see items a lot more obviously, this is absolutely the smartphone for you. Nonetheless, if you’re a tech aficionado, you may perhaps uncover that you miss out on QHD resolution after applying the Mate 8 for any substantial interval of time but the battery lifestyle discounts of opting for FHD a lot more than make up for any shortcomings in the screen department.

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Software package

The most contentious component of Huawei smartphones is – and has been for many generations – the company’s EMUI interface which polarises most users. When some uncover it easy to modify to, some others surely do not and this is where by the corporation has normally been lambasted in earlier critiques.

Getting worked with Google on inventory Android for the Nexus 6P, there was hope that we’d last but not least see Huawei choose for a a lot more westernised interface as component of EMUI 4 but has the corporation completed so or are they however striving to pressure a Chinese-motivated interface on a Western market? Additionally, are some of the bugs from Lollipop last but not least fixed in their 1st Marshmallow unit and can EMUI aid Huawei contend towards other OEMs in Western marketplaces? Let us uncover out.


Prior to Lollipop, Huawei’s EMUI was cleanse, very simple and rather easy-to-use but the introduction of Material Style and design in Lollipop resulted in the corporation striving to revamp its interface to match Google’s new style and design rules. Unfortunately, it mainly unsuccessful in this endeavor but with EMUI 4. bringing Marshmallow to Huawei units, are we last but not least given an interface that hasn’t been intended with China in intellect? In quick, the remedy is: no.

This is one particular of the most significant issues with the Mate 8 and one particular that I personally uncover is rather tricky to conquer. For as great as the components is, the software program is definitely inadequate and it practically feels like Huawei has taken a step again in this department above the earlier year. From the 1st build of EMUI three final year, bugs these kinds of as the notification bar currently being tricky to read many thanks to odd color alternatives have existed and although we have seen the corporation mainly fix these in the EMUI v3.1 discovered functioning on the new Honor 5X, the Mate 8 however has evident bugs in the software program.


Just one of the most polarising factors of EMUI is the lack of an application-drawer and although Huawei has surely manufactured the property screen management a lot more than satisfactory, not having an application drawer is probable to detract from the experience for many Western consumers. In simple fact, like earlier Huawei smartphones, installing a launcher is almost certainly one particular of the 1st items you will uncover on your own carrying out. Unfortunately, even when you do install a new launcher, the notification menu textual content bug however persists, so if you use Gmail specifically, you can assume to be opening the application or relying on a widget a lot more than you do on other units.

Search earlier these evident difficulties and the story isn’t significantly superior Huawei has taken the tactic of many other OEMs and sought to include attributes applying its have interface but has unsuccessful in its implementation. Some of the new attributes that Huawei has sought to involve are an improved knuckle feeling experience – together with the attract a letter to start an application function that was present on the Mate S – currently being equipped to find your cell phone by voice regulate and launching two windows at the same time.


The knuckle feeling function was 1st released early final year and at the time, we claimed it essential a whole lot of perform to be certainly handy. A number of months later on, it however demands a whole lot of perform and although it rather worked on the Mate S, I have personally been unable to properly acquire a screenshot or start an application at minimum after. For Josh, it has worked a several times but we both equally concur that it’s a function that Huawei could as very well eliminate as, in theory, it’s intended to make items more rapidly to start but you practically have to punch your cell phone in buy to make the function perform. Voice regulate is an additional location that Huawei has been dabbling in above the earlier year and all over again, the corporation has a whole lot of perform to do in this location but at minimum it is usable.

It is not all damaging as a few of attributes in EMUI are rather handy specifically for reviewers and individuals who have to show some others how to do one thing on a cell phone, crafted-in help for screen recording – which is activated by double tapping the screen applying your knuckle – is terrific and operates definitely very well. EMUI also delivers a whole lot of regulate above the experience and allows you customise many attributes and although this is terrific to have, the sheer volume of controls in the general UI actually would make it extremely tricky to use in general.

When a whole lot of thought has gone into the performance and style and design, the software program looks to have been rushed out the doorway and both equally Josh and I are unhappy that operating with Google on the 6P hasn’t sent a a lot more refined user experience. With a whole lot of persistence and time, you can make EMUI perform specifically how you want it to but the issue for Huawei is that most individuals will give up on EMUI lengthy before then.

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Huawei isn’t recognized for together with exceptional cameras in its smartphones but above the earlier year, we have absolutely seen them strengthen significantly in this department. From the new attributes released in the P8 to the outstanding Honor 7 camera and then the Nexus 6P – which experienced the best smartphone camera of 2015 – there was a whole lot of hope that the Mate 8 could establish to be Huawei’s best however. Geared up with a new Sony sensor, does the Mate 8 produce in the camera department? In a word: rarely.

The specs listing reads that the Mate 8 provides a 16MP camera with f/two. aperture for superior lower light-weight illustrations or photos, Optical Graphic Stabilisation for considerably less noisy photos and .1 next period detection autofocus and these attributes mainly live up to their components billing. The issue for Huawei having said that is that its camera processing fails to make the most of this components and even the existence of OIS doesn’t seem to reduce some blur in photos captured.



When the Mate 8 does struggle with abject camera processing, Huawei warrants credit score for some of the attributes they’ve additional. Amongst the many camera modes is the skill to seize tremendous night photos (which will take awesome lower light-weight photos), light-weight painting (which is an outstanding method to seize light-weight trails from autos or to aid you be definitely resourceful in lower light-weight) and Experienced method, which provides a plethora of options for the budding photographer.

When Car method benefits in considerably less-than-remarkable photos, the sheer quantity of controls in Experienced method, coupled with the way modifications are reflected in the viewfinder prior to you press seize, signifies you can acquire some definitely pleasant photos if you’re inclined to commit time to do so. I personally assume you really should use Experienced method at all times on the Mate 8 and although Josh agrees that it’s a terrific method, he does elevate the legitimate stage that most individuals will not bother. This signifies that in auto method, the Mate 8 camera does unquestionably absolutely nothing to impress you.

sdr hdr

No HDR (left) vs HDR (appropriate)

As great as the options that Huawei has included are, there are some that are most absolutely disappointing. For instance, turning HDR method on benefits in practically no advancements to the photo (as you can see earlier mentioned) and this is not satisfactory on any smartphone, allow by yourself one particular that carries these kinds of a massive price tag.

In spite of currently being driven by Huawei’s have newest processor, there is however no help for 4K video clip recording. Indeed, the Mate 8 does allow you seize Comprehensive Hd video clip at sixty frames per next, which is not one thing that is typical on smartphones, but the lack of 4K recording on an ultra high quality flagship in 2016 in inexcusable.

Here’s some illustrations or photos we have captured on the Mate 8 – do allow us know what you assume of the Mate 8 camera in the reviews below.


There is no covering up the simple fact that although the Mate 8 camera does have some terrific components, it is severely missing in the camera department with Josh and I both equally agreeing the camera is mediocre at best. Like the software program, the camera on the Mate 8 definitely detracts away from the in general smartphone experience and sadly, it is poor ample that it may perhaps forfend you even purchasing the Mate 8.

Overall performance

Just one of the motives the Mate 8 is lengthy-awaited is the chipset less than the hood, with Huawei last but not least bringing its lengthy-awaited Kirin 950 SoC to the market. Arguably the vital challenger to the 2016 chipsets from Qualcomm and Samsung – the Snapdragon 820 and Exynos 8890 respectively – the Kirin 950 is envisioned to set the benchmark for performance this year and from our tests, it absolutely delivers on this.

Huawei HiSilicon Kirin

As we covered in the course of our podcasts at CES, this is one particular extremely powerful smartphone and we’re however to uncover a way to actually slow it down. While the Mate 8 versions we have arrive with just 3GB RAM (with all-around 1.3GB free of charge when absolutely nothing is functioning in the history), the Kirin 950 would make it seem like there are numerous gigabytes of RAM offered to use and absolutely sets the benchmark for what flagship performance really should be like this year.

When switching involving apps, loading new apps or even functioning games, the Mate 8 reveals zero signal of lag and if you’re after a non-inventory handset that has the performance of a inventory Android smartphone, the Mate 8 absolutely ticks this box. The Mali-T880 GPU last but not least delivers an experience that looks to be on par with the Adreno GPU used in other processors (despite the fact that this will only certainly become clear after handsets applying these other 2016 processors are released in the coming months) and solves a massive issue with earlier Huawei units, which was the graphics performance.

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If smartphones were about uncooked performance, the Mate 8 would surely direct the recent crop but as we know it’s about a lot more than just performance, so what about the relaxation of the components? Other notable attributes involve dual SIM help by default in every single variant – which right away offers the Mate 8 an edge above other flagships that have individual variants with Dual SIM help – a microSD card slot (which will take up the next SIM slot) and an NFC chipset.

All of these perform as very well as you’d assume and just like earlier Huawei smartphones, the existence of metallic has no impression on community trustworthiness with Huawei’s substantial experience in antennae heralding terrific sign and community performance in its newest flagship smartphone. Just one location that is a allow down is the bottom-mounted speaker which is regular at best and although it is louder than earlier Huawei smartphones with system to the seem, it is absolutely missing in general when compared to other flagship units and even the Nexus 6P.

Over-all, the components on the Mate 8 is practically near to ideal, as is the performance, and apart from a several difficulties with the speaker, there’s extremely small that Huawei could have completed to make it superior. Without question, this is one particular of the principal motives you really should get the Mate 8 and this is reflected in our rankings, with the Mate 8 coming ever so near to scoring a ideal ten in this section.

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If there’s one particular function that manufactured Huawei’s Mate vary stand out from the relaxation, it was the battery, with the Mate 7 proving to be a battery behemoth that extremely several – if any – smartphones came near to. The Nexus 6P ongoing this trend and Doze Method in Marshmallow proved to be the welcome fix that Android needed for superior standby time but does the Mate 8 proceed in this vein?

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Under the enclosed metallic-system is a 4000mAh non-removable battery that supports rapidly charging and the potential is one particular of the highest on the market. The Mate 7 experienced a 4100mAh battery (in system that was similarly sized) although the Nexus 6P is driven by a 3450mAh unit and at minimum on paper, the Mate 8 really should direct the battery stakes however all over again. As we have discovered in the earlier having said that, a massive battery doesn’t automatically necessarily mean terrific battery lifestyle, so is the Mate 8 the battery behemoth you need to have in your pocket? In a word: Indeed.

The massive potential coupled with Huawei’s have optimisations in its chipset all combine to produce exceptional battery lifestyle and in general battery lifestyle depends on which of Huawei’s included modes you use.

For instance: if you use the Clever method (which is regular day-to-day utilization), you can assume to get two days’ value of in general battery lifestyle with all-around 7 hours’ Monitor-on-Time (SoT) although if you want brute energy, the Overall performance method really should allow you use the entire package and however get a entire days’ utilization with all-around 4.5 hrs SoT.

huawei mate 8 battery screenshots aa (3 of 3)For the times when you are functioning lower, Huawei claims you can charge the Mate 8 for fifty percent an hour to get a entire days’ utilization and in our tests, immediate charging looks to include all-around 35% in fifty percent an hour (it greater from 15% to 50%). Nonetheless, although the existence of immediate charging is surely welcome, the Mate 8 doesn’t help Brief Charge two. so you will need to have to use the included charger in the box to get the more quickly charging speeds. On the topic of charging, the Mate 8 also doesn’t help wi-fi charging which is surely not a deal breaker but one thing to continue to keep in intellect if this is critical to you.

The Nexus 6P and the Mate 7 prior to it are both equally outstanding for battery lifestyle and with its new flagship, Huawei looks to have ongoing this trend. When we spoke to Huawei final January, we were told the corporation was keeping away from higher-than-FHD resolution as it didn’t want to impression on the battery lifestyle and although we would have preferred to have seen QHD resolution on the Mate 8, there’s no question it would have impacted on the battery lifestyle. As it stands, the Mate 8 is location the benchmark for the battery lifestyle you can assume from a 2016 flagship and it continues to be to be seen whether or not its competition can actually contend towards this.

Last Thoughts

There you have it – Huawei’s newest flagship ticks a whole lot of the appropriate boxes but some of its gremlins from the earlier however continue being we have always recognized that Huawei’s components is amazing but the most surprising thing about the Mate 8 has to be just how inadequately optimised the software program actually is. Indeed, it’s a lot more than satisfactory if you’re inclined to modify to it, but with so many flagship units to opt for from, EMUI v4. may perhaps establish to be a step as well significantly for many consumers.

The performance and battery – although currently being amazing – are not ample to detract away from the inadequate software program and camera experience.

Previous Nexus makers have used their partnership with Google as a springboard onto even larger and higher good results, glance no even more than LG, who have manufactured numerous Nexus units in the earlier and obtained significantly higher recognition for it, but for Huawei, the Mate 8 isn’t the smartphone to do this. Nonetheless, as the improvement procedure for a smartphone can acquire numerous months, we’re inclined to give Huawei the advantage of the question and wait right until the following flagship to see the authentic added benefits of working with Google.

So really should you get the Mate 8? Truthfully, I would uncover it tricky to propose the Mate 8 as the performance and battery – although currently being amazing – are not ample to detract away from the inadequate software program and camera experience. That currently being claimed, it is however one particular of the nicest smartphones on the market and feels unquestionably terrific in the hand.

Josh experienced comparable feelings, stating that

The performance and energy (battery) of the Mate 8 just barely cover up the flaws of a unit we however like.

Indeed, the Huawei Mate 8 is an outstanding smartphone and, for the most component, it does rank very well among the recent crop of flagship units but the several flaws it has are significant and although in earlier units Huawei could get away with some of these, we’d have envisioned a superior camera and software program experience from its newest flagship. With all that currently being claimed, if you’re inclined to customise the interface and do not intellect the camera, the Mate 8 is absolutely value a closer glance.

What do you assume of the Huawei Mate 8 and do you plan to get one particular? Allow us know your feelings in the reviews below and do not forget about to verify out all of our Mate 8 coverage.

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