Thanks to the rumor mills, we knew Huawei’s flagship – the Mate 8 was on the cards and will be succeeding the last year’s Mate 7. The new Huawei Mate 8 has been a great improvisation from the Mate 7, be it the hardware or the looks. The Mate 8 is fitted with a 6-inch display and a large 4000mAh battery pack to justify the latter.
Under the hood lies the company’s HiSilicon Kirin 950 SoC which dotes the big.LITTLE architecture and has 4x Cortex A53 clocked up to 1.8GHz serving as high efficiency cores and the remaining 4x Cortex A72 cores serving as high performance cores clocked at a much higher 2.3GHz. The Mate 7 was a device known for its efficiency and the Mate 8 seems to have overtaken its predecessor with 30% more battery life promised by the new SoC, not to mention the 4000mAh battery pack.
The graphics alley is managed by the Mali T880MP4 at 900MHz, which is a bit out of place when we consider the fact that it usually falls in the mid-range performance bracket especially when we compare it against the upcoming flagships next year. Plus, the burden of driving a 6-inch FHD display might further burden the GPU.
Huawei Mate 8 comes with fast charging that will charge up to 2A at 9V and can charge up to 37% in 30 minutes which is not bad especially once we consider the battery size. On the connectivity front, the device is equipped with the Cat 6 Balong LTE modem and Huawei has also upgraded their Wi-Fi module which now includes 802.11ac and 5GHz support.
The Mate 8 looks sleek and the metal finish adds up to the elegant outlook of the flagship. The edges have gotten thinner and the front glass comes with 2.5D edges, likewise the thinned out bezel ensure that the phone doesn’t look unnecessarily bulky, something that phablet sized phones usually end up looking like.
The imaging front is yet another arena wherein Huawei has impressed us, it comes equipped with a new IMX298 16-Megapixel sensor module from Sony. The sensor boasts of 1.12nm pixels, F/2.0 aperture lens, Optical Image Stabilization. The only qualm about the imaging is the that the Mate 8 doesn’t support native 4k recording and instead is limited to the 1080p, the front camera shapes up in the form of a 8-Megapixel sensor.
Huawei Mate 8 will most probably be offered in two variants, one with 3GB RAM and 32GB of Storage while the other with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of Storage, if you need to bump up the memory further you can do so by using the hybrid MicroSD card slot. The phone will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow alongside the new Emotion UI 4.0. The device will be made available in the Chinese market from Q1 2016 and the western markets will get the device post the CES. The 32GB, 64GB and the 128GB variant’s will cost an USD equivalent of $469, $578 and $688 respectively.