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Huawei P8 smartphone review – sleek design and a handy camera

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Huawei latest P8 smartphone continues the Chinese company’s upward trend of devices that are challenging the major brands as the value alternative without compromising quality or features.

The P8 has a 5.2-inch full high definition screen with a pixel density of 424ppi (pixels per inch) along with a 13-megapixel camera and 8-megapixel front camera.

On the design side, the P8 looks like a premium device.

It is made from a metal unibody which offers strength despite being just 6.4mm thick.

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That strength goes all the way to the screen with Huawei offering a 12-month free screen replacement if it is shattered.

That screen is made of Gorilla Glass and is also covered with a screen protector.

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The P8 has curved edges that the company says was inspired by the shape of a leatherbound handcrafted book binding.

We were impressed by the solid build quality and how thin the smartphone felt in our hand

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The design, while striking, does look a lot like the iPhone 6 with similar markings on the side and a similar look and feel.

On the side are two pop-out trays – one for a nano sim and the other for a microSD card to expand the onboard 16GB of memory.

Running Android 5.0 operating system, the P8 also has impressive specs under the hood starting with the Kirin octa-core 64-bit processor and 3GB RAM.

On top of the Android OS is Huawei’s own Emotion UI (user interface) 3.1 that adds a clean look and feel as well as grouping useful apps together in a folder including a calculator, a voice recorder, FM radio and a torch.

The 13-megapixel camera certainly holds its own and it takes crisp accurate images thanks to its four-colour RGBW sensor and its OIS (optical image stabilisation).

Shots with the P8
Shots with the P8
Shots with the P8
Shots with the P8
Shots with the P8
Shots with the P8

Shooting in low light was something we were impressed with on the P8 that lets more light in through the lens to the sensor.

Also helpful was the dual tone flash that helps you keep true colours even when using the flash in a low light situation.

It also has an 8-megapixel selfie camera and even a beauty mode so you can remove all of your blemishes, smooth out your skin, thin your face and enlarge your eyes.

It also has a light painting option to create some cool effects along with a time lapse function.

A selfie taken with the P8 - one with and without Beauty mode - can you tell the difference?
A selfie taken with the P8 – one with and without Beauty mode – can you tell the difference?

The onboard 2680mAh battery powered us through an entire day – but only just.

By the early evening we were looking to recharge the P8 so if you have a night out planned after work  – you better bring your charger.

VERDICT

The Huawei P8 is an impressive smartphone that offers the design and build quality of the top shelf brands but it is only slightly cheaper at $699.

The problem with only being slightly cheaper than an iPhone or a Samsung, LG, Sony or HTC device is that people may want to pay the extra couple of hundred dollars to buy a device from one of those leading or better known brands.

The Huawei P8 represents good value at its present price point but would have been far more attractive and would have draw customers away from those other brands if it was priced at around $500 or less.