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[Review] Huawei Mate 8

Huawei Mate 8 1

Huawei phones have never been one of the top choices for me when I look for a new smartphone that fits my needs around work and fun, however, the Huawei Mate 8 has certainly made me give Huawei a second chance in my books. 

One of the first things I noticed with the Huawei Mate 8 is how fast it transitions from each page, and each tap of the finger. This was helped by me activating Developer Options, then changing the animation scales to their quickest time. Switching apps by then was lightning quick. The Mate 8 is the first Huawei phone that doesn’t lag when switching between screens or take a good two seconds to open the camera app, as the newer Huawei P9 does.

Huawei Mate 8 Graphics

The Mate 8 is considered to be a phablet because of its huge 6.0-inch IPS-NEO LCD touchscreen display. Going from the iPhone 6s to the Mate 8 is certainly a big jump in terms of screen size. Nevertheless, I was very impressed with how much screen real estate I managed to get on the Mate 8. In fact, the full HD 1080 by 1920 pixel display and its excellent colours even in bright sunlight, made viewing media on the Mate 8 a pleasurable experience.

The Mate 8 comes with a quad-core 2.3 GHz Cortex-A72 processor, and another quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 processor, hence the impressive speed on the phone. The GPU is a Mali-T880 MP4.

My model of the Mate 8 (NXT-L09) had a 32GB storage with 3GB of RAM. The NXT-L29 model on the other hand can have the same spec as the NXT-L09, or can upgrade to the 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. Both models come with the ability to expand storage to 256GB via a microSD card.

Huawei Mate 8 Camera

For the camera, the mate 8 has a 16MP camera with an aperture of f/2.0 to let enough light in to capture great pictures. OIS is also included as a feature. The quality of the pictures were so good that when I was out at a public attraction site, a couple of people even complimented the camera quality and asked what phone this was, to which I replied with a huge grin on my face, the Huawei Mate 8.

Huawei Mate 8 Camera Example 2
Example pictures from the Mate 8 camera.

Huawei Mate 8 Camera Example 1

For video, there is no 4K recording option unfortunately, which would have paired with the excellent full HD display. Instead the Mate 8 offers [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]

Selfie lovers can also rejoice because the front facing camera has an 8MP camera and can take 1080p video as well. Selfies look great on the 6-inch IPS display!

Huawei Mate 8 Rear

The most recent phones from Huawei such as the Mate 8 and the P9, have fingerprint sensors located on the back of the phone, generally under the camera. This is so that when you take your phone out of your pocket, your natural hand/finger position is already close to the fingerprint scanner so you can unlock your phone with just one hand. Most of the time this works well, however, when you slot your phone back into your pocket after it’s been turned off in the one-handed position, you may find that you have accidentally unlocked it again.

Huawei Mate 8 BatteryHuawei Mate 8 Battery Life

One of the most impressive implementation on the Huawei Mate 8 was its battery life. The 4000mAh battery was able to sufficiently power my day’s usage, from around 7am to bed time, at around 10PM, with left over juice! It has one of the most impressive On-Screen time of around 6 hours 44 minutes in one full charge!

Huawei Mate 8 Lock Screen

Huawei Mate 8 Home Screen
Google Now launcher


Skins on top of the natural Android skin such as the Emotion UI, made by different phone manufacturers don’t usually tickle my fancy, so whenever I get a new Android phone, I download the Google Now launcher which I have been familiar with since the inception of my LG/Google Nexus 5.

Overall, I have been very impressed with the Huawei Mate 8 smartphone. This phone has really set the benchmark with all future Huawei phones, and right now, in my opinion, the Huawei P9 doesn’t live up to the benchmark set by the Mate 8. The Mate 8 will be a very hard contender in the search to my next, best smartphone.

The Huawei Mate 8 retails for around $1000 and can be purchased from leading retailers nationwide.

For more information please visit http://consumer.huawei.com/minisite/nz/mate8/index.htm