Huawei P8 review

Huawei has chained the announcements at a breakneck pace since the start of the year. In April, it even lifted the veil on the new flagship of its range, and more specifically on the insolent P8 . He has been with me for a little over a week now, so the time has come to take stock of the operation.

This article follows on from my handling of July 26, but it will go a little further and it will focus in particular on the terminal screen, its performance, its autonomy, its photo sensor or even its overlay.

Huawei P8 Review

The box of the P8 is rather pretty to look at. And yes, it does.

Be careful, however, because it will not be completely exhaustive either and it will probably ignore a few odds and ends. The idea is not to go through every detail and every function, but rather to offer you a complete overview.

And as usual, if you have any questions, or even reviews, the comments are there for you.

Technical characteristics

This is not necessarily the most exciting part, but the best part is probably to start by briefly recalling the technical sheet of the phone.

As mentioned above, the Huawei P8 is positioned on the high end and it is therefore supposed to be able to compete with all the other flagships on the market.

It thus embeds a 5.2-inch IPS-NEO screen capable of displaying Full HD 1080p (1920 × 1080) type definition, for a pixel density of around 424 ppi. No QHD, then, but that shouldn't come as a big surprise to you considering the manufacturer's policy.

Huawei also opted for a Kirin 930 processor made up of eight cores clocked at 2 GHz, with 3 GB of RAM behind.

The storage space does not go beyond 16 GB but it will be perfectly possible to expand it through a micro SD card. There, we can even reach 128 GB.

On the photo side, the P8 can count on a 13 million pixel RBGW sensor provided by Sony and on an 8 million pixel front camera.

Added to the list are WiFi 802.11 b / g / n, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and a 2,680 mAh battery. No wireless charging and no fast charging either.

It's a shame, of course, but we must not lose sight of the fact that the P8 is offered from 499 euros without subscription, and therefore without operator subsidy. It therefore costs between 200 and 250 euros cheaper than most high-end phones on the market.

Huawei P8 Review 1

This is packaging.

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The accessories are grouped together in a special compartment.

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The P8 is one of the thinnest phones on the market.

Packaging, Design & Ergonomics

Huawei has taken great care in the packaging and the P8 thus rests in a minimalist black case. No visuals, no legal notices, no features, it is extremely stripped down and it has a lot of charm.

After removing the top cover of the box, we will come across a hard plastic cover. The terminal rests below, placed in profile, between two compartments housing the documentation and accessories.

The P8 comes with a sync cable, a power adapter and a hands-free kit roughly reminiscent of EarPods. It works well but it is far from equaling my urBeats, especially in terms of bass reproduction.

Now let's move on to the terminal.

First of all, it impresses with its finesse. Its hull does not exceed 6.4 mm and it does better than most of its competitors in this area. Huawei has also given it a metal frame and a brushed aluminum shell. It is extremely soft to the touch.

The manufacturer has placed a plastic tab at the bottom and a glass piece at the top to allow the various incoming and outgoing signals to pass. They blend into the background and are quickly forgotten.

The P8 has no front buttons. However, it will be possible to purchase a special protective film to add invisible sensitive buttons at the top and bottom. I did not have the opportunity to test it, unfortunately.

The ergonomics are quite traditional. The physical buttons are all located on the right edge. The same goes for the hatches giving access to the Nano SIM card and the micro SD card. There is nothing on the left edge, however.

The headphone jack is integrated at the top edge. The connector and the speakers are placed on the other side.

The terminal is rather compact (144.9 x 72.1 x 6.4 mm) and it does not exceed 144 grams. I found it to be well balanced. He is quickly forgotten.

Nothing to say about its resistance to shocks and deformations. He's spent quite a bit of time in my pocket and he still looks the same.

Either way, the finishes of the P8 are exceptional, and they have nothing to envy to other high-end terminals on the market. We immediately feel that we are in the presence of a product placed on the top of the basket.

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The “champagne” version of the P8 is beautiful.

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The phone is well balanced.

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The ergonomics are traditional, but efficient.

Screen, Processor & Autonomy

The P8 is equipped with a 5.2-inch IPS-NEO panel and is able to display a definition in Full HD and therefore in 1080p. He is also entitled to a glass treated with Gorilla Glass 3.

The pixel density exceeds 420 ppi and is more than sufficient for most purposes. Huawei has chosen not to switch to QHD. The good side of the thing is that this screen will be less power hungry.

Not much to say about the quality of the panel. The viewing angles are good and it renders colors well. I didn't notice any afterglow either, not even in the fastest games.

However, it sins by its brightness and it will be necessary to push it to the maximum so that it remains readable in direct sunlight. Well, that's assuming the weather is nice, of course.

Under the hood, we find a Kirin 930 consisting of four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5 GHz and four Cortex-A53e cores clocked at 2 GHz. They are coupled with a MAli-T628 MP4 GPU and 3 GB of RAM.

This is a pretty decent setup. On AnTuTu, the terminal obtains an average score of 49,865 points. It therefore comes far behind the Galaxy S6.

In fact, it is capable of running most of the games available on the Play Store and it has no particular problem with videos, locally or through dedicated solutions like Plex or even Netflix.

The platform is also quite responsive. The only times the phone has struggled a little is with multitasking. If you open too many applications, then it will lose a lot of responsiveness. The good thing about it is that it will be enough to press the dedicated button to close all running programs in an instant.

Huawei has integrated a 2,680 mAh battery into its terminal. It's not huge but the P8 makes up for it with its screen and processor. So it's true, it's not the most autonomous phone in its category, but it can last ten hours without too much effort, and for mixed use (video, emails, social networks, games) .

By playing with energy savers and being careful, you can achieve another day and a day and a half on a single charge. It's my personal best, anyway, but I had to deactivate 4G to achieve this result.

The P8 is not the most powerful or the most autonomous phone on the market, that's a fact, and its screen lacks a bit of pep compared to that of the S6 and S6 Edge, but it still does. with all the honors. We must not lose sight of the fact that we are talking here about a telephone which is offered, in its basic version, below the symbolic bar of 500 euros.

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And no, rest assured, it won't bend when it's in your pocket.

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The terminal is very light in the hand.

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The finishes of the P8 are extremely neat.

Photos & Videos

Huawei has equipped the P8 with a sensor with a definition of 13 million pixels, with stabilized optics capable of opening at f / 2.0.

It's not bad but this sensor has another particularity: it is of the RGBW type. What does it mean ? Quite simply, it will not be satisfied with capturing red, green and blue. In the margin, we will also find white photosites without a colored filter.

It doesn't look like much but it also means that they will be sensitive to the whole spectrum and they will also offer better image quality in low light by reducing the phenomenon of electronic noise.

On paper, it's obviously very promising, but how does it work in practice?

The P8 is capable of obtaining very beautiful photos, it is undeniable. The autofocus is precise, the focus is fast and it is obviously very comfortable in bright light, with beautiful dynamics and more than correct color reproduction. Small flat on the dive however, which is not marked enough for my taste.

It does less well when the light is lacking, however. The RGBW sensor is far from eliminating all the noise, unfortunately.

Huawei has made great efforts on the mobile application. The P8's camera is both comprehensive and accessible. It only takes a few well-felt sweeps to change the mode and there are quite a few tools designed for “ light painting” .

On the other hand, in terms of settings, the manufacturer could have gone further. Apart from the sensitivity and the white balance, unfortunately we will not be able to adjust much. The LG G4 goes much further in this area.

On the video side, you should know that the P8 is not entitled to 4K. It is thus satisfied with 1080p but it is more than sufficient in most cases and its stabilizer is also very effective. It does as well as that of the S6 Edge.

There is also a special mode to capture a scene from multiple phones connected to each other but I haven't had the opportunity to test it so I can't tell you much more about it. Sorry!

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The lock screen displays the usual information.

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It is possible to bring up shortcuts thanks to its vertical swipe from bottom to top.

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Emotion UI might not appeal to purists, but it's still easy to access.

Overlay & Functions

The Huawei P8 is powered by Lollipop 5.0 and Emotion UI, in version 3.1. It is in line with the previous versions, with an interface that is very reminiscent of… iOS.

The lock screen, for starters, will display the usual information and just swipe up from the bottom to reveal shortcuts pointing to tools or media player controls.

No double tap to wake the phone, however, and it is sorely lacking.

The home screens are still there and they can accept shortcuts or widgets, as desired. Huawei has chosen to remove the drawer and all the installed applications will be automatically added to the last home screen, one after the other.

Then again, it's very hard not to think about Apple's mobile platform.

The action center is both clear and readable. It is structured around two separate tabs. The one on the left lists the alerts generated by the applications, the one on the right displays the quick settings.

The visuals are refined and neat, with many transparency effects. I really like.

Just like on iOS, just drag the screen down (from the middle) to display the internal search engine. Below, we will also find the list of the last applications launched.

Multitasking just displays thumbnails on a grid. As indicated above, it is not necessarily the most responsive and that's a shame.

On the practical side, there are several energy savers and a well thought-out capture tool. Just double knock on the phone glass with the knuckle of your finger to capture what is displayed on the screen. To go faster, we can also surround the elements that interest us, always with the articulation.

Emotion UI also supports themes. There is something for everyone and you will be spoiled for choice since there are dozens of them.

So of course, this overcoat will probably not please purists, but it is still well thought out and we quickly find its marks.

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The action center is clean and readable.

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The quick shortcuts are all grouped together in this tab.

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The research is accompanied by the latest applications launched.

Conclusion

The P8 is a great surprise and I had a great time with it.

It is beautiful, it runs well and its sensor is doing it with all the honors. Nothing to say about the functions either. Emotion UI may not be perfect, but at least it has the merit of being accessible and easy to use.

Be careful though because the terminal is not perfect for all that. Its screen is not very bright and its autonomy leaves a little to be desired. Even if it means choosing, I would have preferred a phone a little thicker, and with a bigger battery.

Now, we must not lose sight of the fact that the P8 is offered from 499 euros. And that casually, it's a hell of an asset.

Do I recommend it? Yes, without hesitation. It is even a very nice alternative to the main flagships on the market.

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