The "1-Minute" Review
- Too big for one-handed use
- EMUI 4.0 heavily modifies Android
- Lower resolution display than competition
Huawei has built a solid reputation for high-quality devices at competitive prices. With the Mate 8, Huawei looks to tackle the competitive phablet market. But does this monster of a metal phone offer enough value to warrant toting it around?
Reviews are out and we’re bringing you everything you need to know in this Informr phone summary!
One of the first things mentioned by reviewers is the sheer size of the phone. Yet, apart from one-handed usage, most were very pleased with the all-metal design of the Mate 8. The Inquirer said, “the smartphone's matte metal body provides a premium feel and a reassuring solidity. It's curved at the back and the chamfered edges mean that, while most will still struggle to operate it comfortably with one hand, it sits nicely in the palm.”
You’ll find a round fingerprint scanner tucked into the upper-middle of the phone’s back. Reviewers loved both the placement and performance of the scanner. Pocket Lint says, “It's the scanner's rear positioning that makes it particularly standout. It's just a really natural placement for a device of this size; the fact it's recessed makes it easy for a finger to slip into place.”
Coming around front, you’re greeted with a 6-inch 1080p IPS panel. The Gorilla Glass 4 should avoid scratches well, but many reviewers noted some smudging and fingerprint issues. Otherwise, the screen performs well, with PocketLint noting, “Pushed to maximum brightness and there's plenty of output from the Mate 8. However, its auto brightness can seem a little conservative in some situations.”
Huawei chose to power the phone with their own eight-core 2.3Ghz Kirin 950 processor. Depending on the model, you’ll find 3 or 4GB of RAM to handle larger apps or multitasking. Performance reviews are undeniably positive with PC Advisor UK saying, “the Kirin 950 delivers is in spades.” Phandroid agreed, declaring, “All you need to know about this processor is it screams. This is without a doubt the fastest phone I have ever used.”
To ensure you can make the most of the big screen and powerful processor, Huawei offers models with 32, 64 and 128GB of internal storage. Should you need more space, you can use the microSD slot. However, doing so disables the dual-SIM capabilities of the phone.
The 4000mAh battery in the Mate 8 blew reviewers away. Pocket Lint noted, “The 4,000mAh cell on board the Mate 8 has lasted out for well beyond a day, almost without exception. And we're talking under proper use: we don't faff around uninstalling Facebook, WhatsApp and whatnot.” Fast charging with the built-in charger offers a 37% charge in 30 minutes for quick top-offs when needed.
The one area that most reviewers questioned is the software on the Mate 8. While it runs Android Marshmallow 6.0, Huawei’s Emotion UI 4.0 leaves it almost unrecognizable. SlashGear notes, “Pure Android fans will also lament the lack of an app drawer, or a clean implementation of Material Design. Another lasting annoyance associated with Emui were its constant notifications concerning the amount of power being used by background apps and services.” Reviews agreed that the UI is the biggest reason buyers might not like the phone.
If you don’t mind having to hold a massive phone to take pictures, reviews on both the 16MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing lens are positive. SlashGear notes, “You'll likely be ecstatic with the quality of the photos taken by the device.” Phandroid backs this up, saying, “Photos come out with a lot of detail, but lighting can be a bit iffy. The front facing camera is just as solid as the rear one.”
Overall, as long as you know you’re getting a large phone, reviews for the Mate 8 are great. Phandroid summed up opinions well in their verdict, saying, “The software will ultimately determine if the phone is right for you. EMUI is an acquired taste. You’ll either learn to love it or despise it more every day. The good news is there’s really nothing else to complain about.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
Huawei released the Mate 8 on January 25, 2016.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Huawei Mate 8 user manual here.
Huawei backs up the Mate 8 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Mate 8 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Huawei support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Huawei's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.