- Performance lag during multi-tasking and intense tasks
- Mediocre battery life
- Sharp in-hand feel
While in the market for years, Huawei is still a relative unknown in countries other than China. Consumers that have heard of it likely associate the company with budget phones. Huawei hopes to change that stigma with their first attempt at a flagship phone – the P8.
As with other premium phones the P8 has a full aluminum back cover and Gorilla Glass protective layer. There are no branding or speaker grilles anywhere to be found; lending it what reviewers consider a very clean albeit generic look. What does make it stand out is its thinness. At only 0.25 inches thick, the P8 is thinner than the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy 6, making it easier for critics to handle. With that said, they did find it to feel a bit sharp in-hand though they add the contoured edges made it a bit smoother. Interestingly, while it is thinner than the competition it ends up being slightly heavier at 144 grams. The weight is not unwelcome as reviewers point out it actually gives it a good overall premium feel.
The 5.2-inch screen comes with a full HD resolution of 1080 x 1920, which translates to a superb pixel density of 424ppi. Reviewers describe it as bright, clear and easy to read in all lighting conditions though it skews a tad towards warmer color temperatures. Luckily, there is the option to adjust these temperatures in the settings menu so users can find a more natural balance. When compared to its competitors, critics found it held up relatively well in terms of color vibrancy though it loses out in other areas such as details, dark blacks and clean whites. Still, Trusted Reviews notes, "…it's a great screen all around."
While the P8 does have an octo-core processor, it isn't quite as beefed up as its rivals with its "muscle" cores clocking in at 2.0GHz and its standard ones coming in at 1.5GHz. The cores themselves were designed more for battery efficiency than speed, which was reflected in its performance. While critics generally swiped through the home screen without issue, they did notice freezes and lag once they started multi-tasking or using more intense apps. As well, some reported jerkiness when web browsing sites with a large amount of images. Battery-life is also average, lasting critics around a day of moderate use and 7 hours of heavy use. The battery is also removable so users can keep a spare charged battery on hand in case of emergencies.
The 13MP rear camera might not be able to stand up to the big names in Android in terms of resolution, but Huawei has another trick up its sleeve. They claim the P8 comes with the world's first RGBW imaging sensor. This sensor allegedly cuts out noise in low light conditions and provides better brightness and contrast. When put to the test, reviewers were impressed with the amount of detail the camera captured especially on outdoor shots. Their indoor shots, however, tended to be over-exposed and saturated in some parts. In indoor and low light shots, they were able to get clear pictures with hardly any noise due in part to its optical image stabilization technology.
Although the P8 might not completely measure up to its competitors, it still offers plenty of features at a much lower cost of entry. Still, reviewers are hesitant to fully recommend the phone. Techradar states, "The Huawei P8 has all the right ingredients for a top of the range smartphone, but something's not quite gone to plan in the baking." Anand Tech adds, "The P8 just seems to have too many compromises to be able to be considered a viable alternative to other devices at that price range…the whole device…just seems to underperform…"