Huawei Mate 8 Review! Chinese Power House!

Discussion in 'Android News' started by DroidModderX, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. DroidModderX

    DroidModderX Super Moderator
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    [​IMG]

    There are some heavy weights in the world of smartphone manufacturing. At the current moment Samsung out of Korea seems to be king with LG also out of Korea following right behind. The American public has been very weary of Chinese products. It has kind of been our culture over the years to shun those products "Made in China". Over the past few years a few Chinese OEMs have grabbed a percentage of the smartphone market positioning themselves to really make a move in this space. Huawei has achieved a level of consumer awareness in the US with the release of the Nexus 6P and the Honor 5X. These are a few of my favorite devices, the 6P on the high end and the Honor 5X on the budget end. Is Huawei's Flagship as big of a success as these devices? This is my full review of the Huawei Mate 8!

    Build and Design:

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    If you like the design of the Huawei Mate 7 you will love the design of the Mate 8. Not much has really changed. The phone features a metal unibody design. The materials used here seem to be of great quality as the aluminum back didn't scratch during my time with the device. As you might remember the Honor 5X was made of a lower grade aluminum and scratched pretty easily. This is not the case with the Mate 8. The metal on the back has a matte finish, while the sides of the device are brushed metal. This phone is pretty bulky which lends to the premium feel of the device. It definitely doesn't feel cheap. The device has tapered rounded edges which make it feel like you are holding a much thinner device even though it is 7.9mm at its thinnest point. The Mate 8 is available in Grey, Silver, and Gold each of which looks pretty stunning!

    [​IMG]

    The volume rocker can be found on the right side of the phone just above the perfectly placed power button. The buttons are nice and tacky and the power button is textured which helps you to differentiate it from the volume rocker. The 3.5 mm headphone jack can be found on the top of the phone which is ok. I prefer the headphone jack on the bottom since it is more natural for me to place my phone in my pocket upside down. This is just my personal preference though. The micro usb port for charging is located in the center of two speaker grills which actually only cover one speaker. There are two sharp looking screws on the bottom added for aesthetics. The left side of the device houses the dual sim / micro sd hybrid card tray. The phone is a hefty 185g, but is well balanced and is a pleasure to hold. Overall I am loving the design of this phone!

    Display:

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    The Mate 8 features a best in class 6" IPS-NEO LCD Display with a resolution of 1080x1920 which is wrapped in just about no bezel. Yes that means that this flagship is full 1080p, but not 2k. If you are used to a QHD display you will definitely notice a difference. This is however an amazing full HD display! The pixel density is only 368 ppi, but you won't be seeing any pixels on this screen. The display gets plenty bright and colors are vivid. The FHD resolution makes text and images easier to see which is a plus. With a QHD display things would be smaller, but more would fit on the screen.

    The IPS display is easy to see in direct sunlight without having to crank up the brightness. Viewing angels are great and images and video look pretty amazing on this screen. As far as 1080p displays go this is one of the best I have seen. Also keep in mind that this display will save on battery.

    Hardware and Performance:

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    The fingerprint scanner on the Mate 8 is just as fast and accurate as the one on my Nexus 6P. In the time I had with the device it never missed my fingerprint. It is fast enough to wake and unlock your phone before you even get it out of your pocket. Unfortunately the Mate 8 scanner doesn't include the gestures that we saw on the Honor 5X which means that you can't swipe the fingerprint to bring up the notification panel, or program different digits to launch different apps which is kind of a bummer.

    [​IMG]

    The phone includes dual sim support, a micro sd card reader, nfc, and a single speaker. The speaker does get plenty loud but is very tinny and doesn't produce high quality sound. You will become good friends with your headphones.

    This phone is a performance power house! The included Octa-core Kirin 950 Processor and 3GB of Ram keep everything running nice and smoothly. Launching apps on the Mate 8 is a breeze. The phone multitasks well without having to reload apps when they are recalled. I can't seem to bog down this device no matter what I throw at it. Also I have not noticed any overheating even when playing games for a few hours. In my time with the Mate 8 I experienced no lag or stutters everything was super snappy. The review unit that I received came with 32GB of storage, and I had about 23GB of space that was usable.

    The 4000mah battery and Marshmallow's doze mean that you won't be running out of juice before the end of your day. I was regularly able to get about 5 hours of SOT with the phone, and wrapped up my days with 20-30% battery life left. Quick charging means that you can add 37% battery life in 30 minutes.

    Camera:

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    This is a flagship built by the guys who built the 6P so it would be fair to expect the same type of camera experience in the Mate 8 right? Unfortunately the Mate 8 camera is not quite on par with the 6P camera. Don't get me wrong this phone is capable of taking some pretty incredible pictures, but when in auto made colors are mostly washed out and pictures turn out overexposed when there is any natural light. The 16mp f2.0 sensor means that you can get some pretty excellent low light images with little to no grain or noise.

    To make the best use of this camera there is a pro mode which includes custom settings like iso, white balance, and more. I was able to get much better images by changing these settings. HDR mode on the other hand brings pretty much no difference to the images.

    Videos shot with the rear camera are just OK. The video camera is capable of taking video up to 1080p 60fps. Colors are vivid in videos, but white balance changes can be a bit jarring, and the same overexposing issues occur. Even with the Optical image stabilization video can be a bit shaky.

    The front facing camera is great for selfies, but that is about all.

    Software:

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    The Mate 8 ships with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with the EMUI overlay. EMUI has not been one of my favorite skins in the past mainly because it is so heavy and bloated it generally slows things down. Here it actually works pretty well. The phone is powerful enough to carry EMUI without any hiccups! EMUI does not include an app drawer and the notification panel has a unique look and feel too. As far as extra apps and bloat there isn't really a whole lot of that. In this situation I am not mad with the EMUI.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion:

    Overall I have really enjoyed my time with the Huawei Mate 8. It has a killer design, excellent 1080p display, great fingerprint scanner, incredible battery life, and fast charging. The only downsides I really found with this phone was the mediocre camera. My hopes are that Huawei will continue to find themselves in the middle of the American radar. Maybe we will eventually see Huawei flagships release in the US!

    Pricing and Availability here




     
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  2. DroidModderX

    DroidModderX Super Moderator
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  3. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    Nice job DMX
     
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  4. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    Personally, I think the Mate 8 is overpriced. The Xiaomi MI5 has better specs and a much lower price.. Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 1.26.13 PM.png
     
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  5. bkdodger

    bkdodger Super Moderator
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    Very nice review DMX


    6s Plus
     
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  6. johnomaz

    johnomaz Silver Member

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    FOr me, $699 is a lot for a device lacking in the camera and display area. 1080p. Yes, I know I've said countless times that 1080p on a phone is more than enough, but when all other phones are coming with 2K or 4K screens, its hard to compare it now. Battery life has improved with those screens and not seeing visible pixels, well, my eyes have gotten spoiled.

    My issue with Chinese products, especially when they are smart phones that hold every facet of your online existence within them...I'm not 100% sure data isn't being sent back to a server in China and then being viewed for whatever purposes. Lenova is one of those companies that did just that with their spam riddled laptops. Google, Microsoft, Apple...they all do the same but ya...they aren't China. I'd need some guarantees that data isn't being sent back to China.
     
  7. PereDroid

    PereDroid DF News Team Reporter

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    I just pay no attention to these Chinese phones. Does VZW sell them? Will they run on VZW? Guessing not.
    Where does one even buy these phones?!?
     
  8. boidsonly

    boidsonly Active Member

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    I'm thinking $399 and not a penny more, given the passe' specs.
     
  9. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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  10. wicked

    wicked Administrator
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    Thanks Shane!
     
  11. PereDroid

    PereDroid DF News Team Reporter

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    +1: Good Review.

    I did take a second to look at Huwaie's site. You can order from them. Of course, not one phone works on VZW or Sprint.

    Hate that about VZW...
     
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  12. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    I find that silly though. The Nexus 6P works on all US carriers and gave them much more name recognition in the States. Funny that they wouldn't capitalize on that more.
     
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