• Display: 6-inch 1080 x 1920 IPS-NEO LCD
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.3 GHz Cortex-A72 + quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex A53
  • GPU: Mali-T880 MP4
  • Memory: 3GB
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, WiFi Direct, LTE
  • Storage: 16GB eMMC Flash expandable with microSD
  • Operating System: Android 5.0.2
  • Camera: 16MP (rear), 8MP (front)
  • Dimensions: 157.1 x 80.6 x 7.9 mm
  • Weight: 185 g
  • Pros:
  • Battery life
  • Quick charging
  • Fast fingerprint sensor
  • Cons:
  • Camera
  • Benchmark Results
  • 3DMark Icestorm Unlimited: 19,276 points
  • PC Mark Work: 7,318 points
  • Antutu: 92,160 points

Our New Best Mate

When Huawei announced its Mate 8 smartphone earlier this year, we were a little perplexed. After all, the brand had just launched its Mate S not long ago, so how different can it be? Turns out the answer is ‘‘a lot.”

However, before we go into all that makes the Mate 8 different compared to its smaller counterpart, we do want to point out that the two devices look mostly similar. In fact, the Mate 8 would be mistaken for the Mate S if it wasn’t noticeably larger. The bottom facing speakers, as well as the placements for buttons and components are the same here. But Huawei did change the fingerprint sensor’s design, which is now circular and also more accurate.

Internally, this smartphone runs on the Kirin 950 SoC, allowing it to deliver up to twice the CPU and GPU performance of its predecessors. The Mate 8’s 6-inch display is large for a device of its size, owing to how thin the bezel is. Its brightness and contrast levels are decent, though it could definitely do better in colour output department. All in all, it’s an average display without much to shout about.

The Kirin 950 is built on a smaller 16nm FinFet process, which means it’s more power efficient than previous Huawei devices. This combines with its 4,000 mAh battery for an incredibly long battery life. Even with heavy usage – YouTube, constant internet browsing, and gaming – we found that a full charge can easily last an entire day and then some. The phone also comes with a Quick Charge adapter, capable of providing the device with enough battery to last up to a day, depending on the user’s power usage.

Besides that, the phone is really efficient in switching signals when you’re on the go. We tested this by taking the LRT and found that we didn’t experience much of the usual drop to data signals, but rather the transition of signals between towers was almost seamless.

Huawei still has room to improve when it comes to the camera, as the Mate 8 demonstrates. It’s not bad by any means, as it comes with plenty of features like Smart OIS, manual mode, and more. However, it’s not great either. With daylight, we got decent results with it. But when indoors or if it’s dark, pictures tend to have some noise and don’t have a lot of detail. Also, objects will have blurry edges or look grainy when the lighting isn’t ideal.

CHIP CONCLUDE: Huawei devices continue to impress, but this time it’s really the battery life of the Mate 8 that takes the cake. This is a device you’ll want to consider if you don’t like having to charge your phone constantly

(previously published in issue May 2016)

Huawei Mate 8