Notebookcheck

Huawei G8 (GX8) Smartphone Review

Andreas Kilian (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/08/2016

High-end feeling. With the G8, Huawei has launched a mid-range model on the market that already meets premium-range standards with its very high-quality build. Our report clarifies what compromises have to be made compared with other top models.

Huawei G8

For the original German review, see here.

Last year, Huawei launched a particularly high-quality built smartphone with a 5.5-inch display on the market with its Mate S. Its price was also situated in the premium sector. The new G8 mid-range model has some identical features, such as the primary camera or the memory configuration as well as 32 GB of storage and 3 GB of RAM that are always on board. However, differences are found in the utilized panel technology and installed SoC among other things. Buyers who opt for the G8 - also GX8 on some markets - can choose between gold, gray and silver casing colors. A dual-SIM model is also available.

Our silver review sample ("Mystic Champagne") features a dual-SIM slot and currently costs around 330 Euros (~$376). The G8 has some strong opponents in this price range, such as the brand new Honor 5X and the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)Motorola's Moto X Play and OnePlus' 2 could also impress our testers with their good overall package. Outside the Android world, a look at Microsoft's Lumia 950 could be worthwhile, although it is slightly more expensive, starting at a street price of 450 Euros (~$513).

Huawei G8 (G Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 401 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 20.7 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headset jack, Card Reader: micro-SD (max. 128 GB), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity sensor, DLNA, USB OTG, dual-nano SIM (1 combined with micro-SD slot)
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, 2G (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), 3G (900/2100 MHz), LTE Cat.4 (800/900/1800/2100/2600 MHz, 50 Mbit/s upload, 150 Mbit/s download), SAR body: 0.87 W/kg, SAR head: 1.18 W/kg, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.5 x 152 x 76.5 ( = 0.3 x 5.98 x 3.01 in)
Battery
11 Wh, 3000 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix (auto focus f/2.0, 1080p videos @30 FPS)
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix (fix focus f/2.4, 720p videos @30 FPS)
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker lower edge, Keyboard: virtual, power supply, USB cable, headset, slot tool, EMUI 3.1, VMALL, designs, magnifier, mirror, phone manager, FM radio, Facebook, Twitter, WPS Office, To-doist, Gameloft gaming bundle, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
169 g ( = 5.96 oz / 0.37 pounds), Power Supply: 51 g ( = 1.8 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
400 EUR

 

Case

Huawei's G8 features a metal bezel that encloses a large part of the back and the sides. The components' impeccable fitting and the 2.5D glass that covers the entire front give the handset an extremely high-quality feel. Plastic elements are only seen on the back's upper and lower areas with a pleasant, non-slip texture.

The G8 resists warping attempts; only strong pressure on the touchscreen causes minor wave formation on the panel.

The review sample's dimensions and weight are similar to other smartphones with a 5.5-inch screen. Only Samsung's Galaxy A5 and Microsoft's Lumia 950, equipped with 5.2-inch screens, are more compact. Our review sample did not meet the casing’s height of 7.5 millimeters (~0.3 in) that Huawei specifies. We measured an average of 8 millimeters (~3.1 in) plus another millimeter in the camera's area. However, subjectively, this does not ruin the slim impression.

Huawei G8: Front with micro-SD /SIM slot
Huawei G8: Front with micro-SD /SIM slot
Huawei G8: Front
Huawei G8: Buttons
Huawei G8: Rear
Huawei G8: Closeup

Connectivity

For a mid-range handset, the connectivity of Huawei's G8 is very impressive. The smartphone has a decent 32 GB of storage, 3 GB of RAM and a micro-SD/nano-SIM slot combo. Applications can be moved to the memory card when one is inserted. The manufacturer has even remembered to install a notification LED. It is situated on the right of the earpiece. The conventional micro-USB port supports USB OTG, and wireless connections are possible via Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. In addition, DLNA and "MultiScreen" are present for streaming media. The latter is presumably Miracast. However, a video signal could not be transmitted during the test with an Amazon Fire Stick.

Software

Huawei covers the preloaded Android 5.1 operating system with its own EMUI 3.1 user interface - an update to Android 6.0 is in the works. Compared with Google's untouched operating system, the G8 lacks an app drawer and therefore, all installed apps appear on the home screen. Other modifications affect customizing looks via design templates and the integrated phone manger. Users who miss the option of setting rights for apps can download this feature via Huawei's app "PM Plus" from the Play Store. Some third-party apps - Facebook, Twitter, WPS Office, To-doist and various Gameloft games - are preloaded ex-factory, but they can be completely uninstalled when not wanted.

We discovered a small bug when we changed to the overview of frequently opened apps: It was sometimes empty, but reopening it correctly displayed thumbnails of the apps.

Home screen
Preloaded apps
Notifications
Quick settings
Overview of frequently used apps
Phone manager
Launcher options
Software version
Stagefright Detector

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Communication & GPS 

GPS in a supermarket
GPS in a supermarket
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors

As in the more expensive Huawei Mate S, the G8 supports only the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n standards, and thus 5 GHZ networks cannot be used. A maximum gross data rate of 72 Mbit/s was achieved in the test with an Asus RT-AC56U router. The excellent reception compensated slightly for the relatively mediocre outcome. Bluetooth 4.0 is also available for near-field communication.

Both nano-SIM slots support LTE (Cat. 4: max. 50 Mbit/s upload, 150 Mbit/download), 3G and 2G networks. Which of the two slots is to be preferred for mobile data traffic can be selected in the settings. Reception in the urban T-Mobile network was impeccable.

The integrated GPS module located us quickly both outdoors and inside a ground-level supermarket. It also made a good impression in comparison with Garmin's Edge 500 GPS bike computer. Although the smartphone did not scan our position as frequently, which led to minor inaccuracies in the traced route, the deviation between the devices was less than one percent in total - an outstanding outcome.

Garmin Edge 500 - route
Garmin Edge 500 - route
Garmin Edge 500 - underpass
Garmin Edge 500 - underpass
Garmin Edge 500 - turning point
Garmin Edge 500 - turning point
Huawei G8 - route
Huawei G8 - route
Huawei G8 - underpass
Huawei G8 - underpass
Huawei G8 - turning point
Huawei G8 - turning point
Phone app: Keypad
Phone app: Keypad
Phone app: Contacts
Phone app: Contacts

Telephone & Call Quality

The clearly arranged phone app enables accessing saved contacts, a chronologically ordered call list, directly accessing received text and MMS messages, as well as the mandatory keypad function.

The audio quality during calls was satisfactory, but not as crystal clear as in some premium models. The earpiece's high maximum volume and the good hands-free speaker are all the more pleasing. The voice always sounded natural and static-free on the contact's side - praise for the installed microphones. However, the sound deteriorates at both ends when using the provided headset.

Cameras & Multimedia

Front-facing camera - photo in artificial light (click for original)
Front-facing camera - photo in artificial light (click for original)
Primary camera - photo in artificial light (click for original)
Primary camera - photo in artificial light (click for original)
Primary camera - photo with flash (click for original)
Primary camera - photo with flash (click for original)

The primary camera in Huawei's G8 has a resolution of 13 megapixels and an aperture of f/2.0. An optical image stabilizer effectively prevents blurred photos. The picture quality is very good. Subjectively, they appeal with decent image dynamics, rich colors and useable low-light quality. However, when recording our ColorChecker chart, consistently bright and rather over-saturated colors were noticeable. Even though higher-resolution lenses exist in the premium range, the review sample shines with an almost homogeneous sharpness over the entire image section - a superb performance. The fast auto focus, diverse live effect filters and ultra-snapshot mode adds to the fun of using the camera.

It is therefore not very surprising that the front-facing 5 megapixel webcam loses out in the comparison: The photos taken with the primary camera are considerably sharper, especially in good light, and the dynamics range of the webcam's photos is visibly lower. The differences fade increasingly in poorly illuminated rooms, though.

While the primary camera records Full HD videos that impress with decent, but not outstanding sharpness, only 720p videos can be recorded with the webcam. They show considerably less object detail and are noticeably pixelated at the edges of the recorded objects. It is too bad that the primary camera's auto focus does not function while recording videos, making it necessary to focus manually via touchscreen input. The natural sounding audio track is noticed favorably. Movie makers should take care not to touch either microphone because that leads to ugly interference noises.

Test picture section (center)
Test picture section (center)
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Test picture (click for original)
Test picture (click for original)

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories

In addition to the mandatory leaflets (quick-start guide, warranty conditions), the smartphone is shipped with a 5-watt charger (1A, 5V) as well as its cable and an in-ear headset. A View Flip Cover is available in gold, white and black as original accessories.

Warranty

Huawei includes a two-year warranty on its smartphone. However, this is limited to 6 months for battery and power supply and 3 months for the included headset.

Input Devices & Handling

The Swype keyboard known from other Huawei models was enabled by default. It provides various customization options and allows swipe inputting. Users who prefer Google's standard keyboard can easily switch to it in the settings. Inputting was always accurate on the touchscreen protected by Gorilla Glass 3.

The physical keys made an extremely high-quality impression. They have a clear pressure point and a firm fit. The integrated fingerprint scanner on the rear is also very reliable and comfortable to use with the index finger. Beyond that, it can also be used to open and close the notification bar or shoot photos by enabling camera app via a swipe gesture - a handy function especially for selfies. In contrast to the Mate S, the fingerprint scanner cannot be used for scrolling through the gallery.

The mid-range SoC is noticed unfavorably sometimes in terms of subjective performance. The G8 buyer is occasionally confronted with slightly jerky animations or short lags in the operating system. However, since they are within limits, the everyday performance should be absolutely satisfactory for most users.

Huawei Swype keyboard landscape mode
Huawei Swype keyboard landscape mode
Huawei Swype keyboard portrait mode
Huawei Swype keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

The 5.5-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels in the G8 has a high pixel density of 401 PPI. Thus, no annoying pixel structures are visible even at close range.

The screen of the review sample lags behind the technically related Honor 5X with a brightness of 468 cd/m² and contrast of 1064:1. This result does not change in the measurement with equally distributed bright and dark areas on the screen (average picture level/APL50). We measured a maximum of 452 cd/m² when the brightness sensor was enabled. However, the screen can collect plus point with its very homogeneous brightness distribution and non-existent PWM flickering.

470
cd/m²
463
cd/m²
448
cd/m²
453
cd/m²
468
cd/m²
458
cd/m²
439
cd/m²
454
cd/m²
446
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 470 cd/m² Average: 455.4 cd/m² Minimum: 8.37 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 468 cd/m²
Contrast: 1064:1 (Black: 0.44 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.41 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 7.79 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.29
Huawei G8
1920x1080 px 5.5'' (IPS)
Honor 5X
1920x1080 px 5.5'' (IPS)
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
1920x1080 px 5.2'' (AMOLED)
Motorola Moto X Play
1920x1080 px 5.5'' (IPS)
OnePlus 2
1920x1080 px 5.5'' (IPS)
Microsoft Lumia 950
2560x1440 px 5.2'' (AMOLED)
Screen
16%
31%
25%
22%
12%
Brightness middle
468
535
14%
378
-19%
641
37%
451
-4%
292
-38%
Brightness
455
521
15%
380
-16%
620
36%
446
-2%
298
-35%
Brightness Distribution
93
85
-9%
91
-2%
93
0%
90
-3%
92
-1%
Black Level *
0.44
0.43
2%
0.4
9%
0.3
32%
Contrast
1064
1244
17%
1603
51%
1503
41%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.41
4.88
24%
1.95
70%
5.37
16%
3.84
40%
2.48
61%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.02
8.66
28%
3.09
74%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.79
5.2
33%
1.86
76%
6.01
23%
3.97
49%
1.97
75%
Gamma
2.29 96%
2.26 97%
2.13 103%
2.44 90%
2.46 89%
2.06 107%
CCT
8651 75%
7766 84%
6376 102%
7806 83%
7283 89%
6640 98%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
58.07
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
90.14

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8777 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
24 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 32 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
42 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 27 ms rise
↘ 15 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 54 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.2 ms).

In terms of color accuracy, the panel installed in Huawei's G8 can only partially impress. Although some smartphones have an even bigger deviation from the reference color space, the rivals in the comparison all do a better job. In addition, white surfaces have a visible bluish-green tint due to the high color temperature of 8651 K (ideal: 6500 K).

ColorChecker (sRGB)
ColorChecker (sRGB)
Grayscale (sRGB)
Grayscale (sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (sRGB)
Colorspace (sRGB)
Colorspace (sRGB)

The review sample would visibly benefit from a somewhat stronger backlight outdoors. However, most content is still fairly legible even in direct sunlight. Naturally, it looks better in the shade: Unconditional use is possible here.

Display in direct sunlight
Display in direct sunlight
Display in direct sunlight with reflections
Display in direct sunlight with reflections
Display in the shade
Display in the shade

The IPS panel ensures good viewing angle stability. Colors do not distort even in flat viewing angles. However, a general brightness loss and a clear IPS glow effect (brightening of dark image areas) become evident.

Viewing angles from left ...
Viewing angles from left ...
... and right
... and right

Performance

Huawei's G8 is equipped with a Snapdragon 616 SoC that has eight Cortex A53 cores. Four of these clock at a maximum of 1.5 GHz and the other four at up to 1.2 GHz. Unlike Qualcomm's high-end chip, the processor does not have the high-performance Cortex A57 cores. An Adreno 405 GPU is integrated for video output, that also supports modern standards such as OpenGL ES 3.1. However, both GFXBench and 3DMark refused to perform the corresponding benchmarks in the test.

Compared with the competing models, the review sample's bad outcome in the browser benchmark is noticed unfavorably. The smartphone always ends up in the last place. We repeated the tests using the preloaded Chrome browser for test purposes, but the results were even worse. Subjectively, the performance when opening websites is sufficient for routine use, although a break for loading has to sometimes be accepted.

The G8 delivers roughly the expected results in the graphic benchmarks and in Geekbench 3, but it is far from reaching the level of OnePlus' 2 equipped with the premium Snapdragon 810 SoC.

The eMMC storage incorporated in the review sample can show its strength, particularly in sequential data writing. It accomplishes second place behind the overall stronger OnePlus. The installed storage can at most offer average performance in all other tests. Huawei's G8 even comes in last when writing smaller files.

We tested the micro-SD slot's speed with our Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 (THN-M401S0640E2) reference card (UHS-I Class 3, max. read: 95 MB/s, max. write: 80 MB/s). The results in sequential read and write of 30.64 MB/s and 21.91 MB/s are below average.

Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
2938 Points ∼8%
Honor 5X
3047 Points ∼8% +4%
Motorola Moto X Play
2558 Points ∼7% -13%
OnePlus 2
4804 Points ∼13% +64%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
663 Points ∼13%
Honor 5X
698 Points ∼14% +5%
Motorola Moto X Play
717 Points ∼15% +8%
OnePlus 2
1140 Points ∼23% +72%
AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
35102 Points ∼15%
Honor 5X
37152 Points ∼16% +6%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
41676 Points ∼18% +19%
Motorola Moto X Play
36800 Points ∼16% +5%
OnePlus 2
65936 Points ∼28% +88%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Huawei G8
533 Points ∼31%
Honor 5X
9 Points ∼1% -98%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
741 Points ∼43% +39%
Motorola Moto X Play
710 Points ∼41% +33%
OnePlus 2
923 Points ∼53% +73%
Microsoft Lumia 950
655 Points ∼38% +23%
Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei G8
765 Points ∼5%
Honor 5X
763 Points ∼5% 0%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
488 Points ∼3% -36%
Motorola Moto X Play
785 Points ∼5% +3%
OnePlus 2
2631 Points ∼17% +244%
Microsoft Lumia 950
1437 Points ∼9% +88%
Memory (sort by value)
Huawei G8
784 Points ∼16%
Honor 5X
787 Points ∼16% 0%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
554 Points ∼12% -29%
Motorola Moto X Play
595 Points ∼12% -24%
OnePlus 2
1297 Points ∼27% +65%
Microsoft Lumia 950
1640 Points ∼34% +109%
System (sort by value)
Huawei G8
1303 Points ∼11%
Honor 5X
1378 Points ∼11% +6%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
2153 Points ∼18% +65%
Motorola Moto X Play
1177 Points ∼10% -10%
OnePlus 2
2536 Points ∼21% +95%
Microsoft Lumia 950
1096 Points ∼9% -16%
Overall (sort by value)
Huawei G8
803 Points ∼13%
Honor 5X
297 Points ∼5% -63%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
810 Points ∼13% +1%
Motorola Moto X Play
701 Points ∼11% -13%
OnePlus 2
1681 Points ∼28% +109%
Microsoft Lumia 950
1140 Points ∼19% +42%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
3547 Points ∼34%
Honor 5X
3794 Points ∼36% +7%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
4008 Points ∼38% +13%
Motorola Moto X Play
3589 Points ∼34% +1%
OnePlus 2
4282 Points ∼41% +21%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
2950 Points ∼6%
Honor 5X
3595 Points ∼7% +22%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
3611 Points ∼7% +22%
Motorola Moto X Play
3764 Points ∼8% +28%
OnePlus 2
6955 Points ∼14% +136%
Microsoft Lumia 950
6990 Points ∼14% +137%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
14725.1 ms * ∼25%
Honor 5X
12510 ms * ∼21% +15%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
11887 ms * ∼20% +19%
Motorola Moto X Play
11694 ms * ∼20% +21%
OnePlus 2
6585.3 ms * ∼11% +55%
Microsoft Lumia 950
6913.5 ms * ∼12% +53%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
14.6 Points ∼4%
Honor 5X
21.92 Points ∼7% +50%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
22 Points ∼7% +51%
Motorola Moto X Play
24.51 Points ∼7% +68%
OnePlus 2
44.286 Points ∼13% +203%
Microsoft Lumia 950
24.525 Points ∼7% +68%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei G8
14 fps ∼1%
Honor 5X
14 fps ∼1% 0%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
14 fps ∼1% 0%
Motorola Moto X Play
15 fps ∼1% +7%
OnePlus 2
48 fps ∼3% +243%
Microsoft Lumia 950
21.82 fps ∼1% +56%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei G8
15 fps ∼3%
Honor 5X
14 fps ∼3% -7%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
14 fps ∼3% -7%
Motorola Moto X Play
15 fps ∼3% 0%
OnePlus 2
47 fps ∼10% +213%
Microsoft Lumia 950
13.73 fps ∼3% -8%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei G8
5.6 fps ∼1%
Honor 5X
5.4 fps ∼1% -4%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
3.8 fps ∼1% -32%
Motorola Moto X Play
5.8 fps ∼1% +4%
OnePlus 2
23 fps ∼4% +311%
Microsoft Lumia 950
12.3 fps ∼2% +120%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei G8
6 fps ∼2%
Honor 5X
5.9 fps ∼2% -2%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
3.8 fps ∼1% -37%
Motorola Moto X Play
6.2 fps ∼2% +3%
OnePlus 2
23 fps ∼6% +283%
Microsoft Lumia 950
6.76 fps ∼2% +13%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Huawei G8
7550 Points ∼10%
Honor 5X
8174 Points ∼10% +8%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
9495 Points ∼12% +26%
Motorola Moto X Play
6839 Points ∼9% -9%
OnePlus 2
10985 Points ∼14% +45%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
7880 Points ∼2%
Honor 5X
7764 Points ∼2% -1%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
7542 Points ∼2% -4%
Motorola Moto X Play
7796 Points ∼2% -1%
OnePlus 2
31858 Points ∼7% +304%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
7804 Points ∼4%
Honor 5X
7852 Points ∼4% +1%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
7903 Points ∼4% +1%
Motorola Moto X Play
7561 Points ∼4% -3%
OnePlus 2
22400 Points ∼11% +187%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
Huawei G8
7654 Points ∼10%
Honor 5X
8445 Points ∼11% +10%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
9808 Points ∼13% +28%
Motorola Moto X Play
6841 Points ∼9% -11%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei G8
5025 Points ∼1%
Honor 5X
5056 Points ∼1% +1%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
4451 Points ∼1% -11%
Motorola Moto X Play
5082 Points ∼1% +1%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Huawei G8
5440 Points ∼3%
Honor 5X
5551 Points ∼3% +2%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
5066 Points ∼3% -7%
Motorola Moto X Play
5390 Points ∼3% -1%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei G8
8.93 MB/s ∼5%
Honor 5X
10 MB/s ∼6% +12%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
11.2 MB/s ∼7% +25%
Motorola Moto X Play
16 MB/s ∼10% +79%
OnePlus 2
13.94 MB/s ∼8% +56%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei G8
16.47 MB/s ∼10%
Honor 5X
17 MB/s ∼10% +3%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
22.9 MB/s ∼13% +39%
Motorola Moto X Play
16 MB/s ∼9% -3%
OnePlus 2
21.87 MB/s ∼13% +33%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei G8
115.2 MB/s ∼50%
Honor 5X
78 MB/s ∼34% -32%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
60.4 MB/s ∼26% -48%
Motorola Moto X Play
75 MB/s ∼33% -35%
OnePlus 2
125.51 MB/s ∼55% +9%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei G8
143.11 MB/s ∼16%
Honor 5X
144 MB/s ∼16% +1%
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
209.4 MB/s ∼23% +46%
Motorola Moto X Play
139 MB/s ∼16% -3%
OnePlus 2
234.21 MB/s ∼26% +64%

Legend

 
Huawei G8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 MSM8939v2, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 5X Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 MSM8939v2, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 Samsung Exynos 7580 Octa, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto X Play Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Microsoft Lumia 950 Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

Since the Adreno 405 GPU has to render games in Full HD resolution in the case of Huawei's G8, graphically demanding games like "Asphalt 8" do not always run absolutely smoothly in high settings. However, nothing stands in the way of gaming fun when reducing the settings to medium. The touchscreen and accurate position sensors then do an impeccable job. We were rather surprised that the comparatively undemanding app "Angry Birds 2" occasionally caused the hardware to stutter slightly. Furthermore, the user will have to be careful not to cover the speaker situated on the side with a hand when playing without headphones.

"Asphalt 8: Airborne"
"Asphalt 8: Airborne"
"Angry Birds 2"
"Angry Birds 2"

Emissions

Temperature

Huawei's G8 heats up very homogeneously during load. We measured a maximum of 41.6 °C (~107 °F) on the front, and the back remained cooler. The temperature development is very similar to that of Honor's 5X based on the same SoC. Although the temperature increase is very noticeable, the handset never feels hot.

Unfortunately, the GFXBench battery test for checking the SoC performance during permanent load could not be performed since the program aborted the test reproducibly with an "Out of Memory" error after a few seconds.

Max. Load
 41.6 °C
107 F
38.8 °C
102 F
38.2 °C
101 F
 
 41.2 °C
106 F
38.9 °C
102 F
41.3 °C
106 F
 
 40.7 °C
105 F
38.5 °C
101 F
40 °C
104 F
 
Maximum: 41.6 °C = 107 F
Average: 39.9 °C = 104 F
37.9 °C
100 F
38.5 °C
101 F
39 °C
102 F
37.9 °C
100 F
38.7 °C
102 F
38.8 °C
102 F
37.8 °C
100 F
37.2 °C
99 F
38.5 °C
101 F
Maximum: 39 °C = 102 F
Average: 38.3 °C = 101 F
Power Supply (max.)  36.5 °C = 98 F | Room Temperature 21.9 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260

Speaker

Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics

The mono speaker in Huawei's G8 situated beside the USB port and behind a perforated grille delivers an overall average sound. Although the maximum volume of 87.9 dB(A) is quite high, the audio output is very treble-heavy. This is also evident in our Pink Noise diagram that shows that the low frequencies are clearly understated. However, we have to highlight that the casing never vibrated unpleasantly and the sound remained largely homogeneous over the entire volume spectrum.

A subliminal noise distracts when a headphone is connected to the 3.5 mm audio jack, which continues to be audible for a few seconds in the quiet moments after playback has finished. Otherwise, the sound is impeccable. The included headset sounds very muffled, so it is recommended to use a higher-quality headphone for music enjoyment.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Like the technically very similar Honor 5X, Huawei's G8 sometimes treats itself to an extra helping from the 3000 mAh battery. Even the higher-performance OnePlus 2 has considerably lower average power consumption than the review sample. Only Microsoft's Lumia 950 based on a Windows operating system has an overall higher energy requirement.

The 5-watt power supply needs approximately 3 hours to recharge the completely depleted battery.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.12 / 0.32 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.81 / 2.02 / 2.16 Watt
Load midlight 5.4 / 7.24 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy
Huawei G8
Adreno 405, 616 MSM8939v2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Honor 5X
Adreno 405, 616 MSM8939v2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
Mali-T720 MP2, 7580 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto X Play
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
OnePlus 2
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 950
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Power Consumption
0%
19%
7%
14%
-44%
Idle Minimum *
0.81
0.87
-7%
0.96
-19%
0.9
-11%
0.6
26%
1.97
-143%
Idle Average *
2.02
2.08
-3%
1.64
19%
1.6
21%
1.7
16%
2.42
-20%
Idle Maximum *
2.16
2.22
-3%
1.71
21%
1.8
17%
1.8
17%
2.96
-37%
Load Average *
5.4
5.26
3%
2.98
45%
4.9
9%
5.7
-6%
5.94
-10%
Load Maximum *
7.24
6.34
12%
5.08
30%
7.2
1%
6
17%
7.79
-8%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Despite the same battery capacity and almost identical hardware configuration, Huawei's G8 cannot match the battery life of Honor's 5X with a maximum 8 hours and 17 minutes in the practical Wi-Fi test. However, other smartphones from this price range last as much as a third longer. Microsoft's Lumia 950 and OnePlus' 2 based on much stronger SoCs are drained sooner. We used Google's latest Chrome browser for the test since the default browser closed several times during the time measurement - a few minutes more would perhaps have been possible with it.

Some smartphone features can be restricted to consume as little energy as possible when required. Furthermore the handset automatically stops background apps that are classified as unnecessary to save energy. Programs that are to be excluded from this can be added to a list of protected apps.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 49)
8h 17min
Huawei G8
Adreno 405, 616 MSM8939v2, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Honor 5X
Adreno 405, 616 MSM8939v2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy A5 2016
Mali-T720 MP2, 7580 Octa, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto X Play
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
OnePlus 2
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 950
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
497
643
29%
626
26%
674
36%
356
-28%
250
-50%

Pros

+ superb build
+ solid casing
+ good memory configuration
+ user interface with extra features
+ very good WiFi range
+ micro-SD card slot & App2SD
+ USB OTG
+ dual-SIM support
+ fast fingerprint scanner
+ decent camera features
+ reliable touchscreen
+ high-resolution panel

Cons

- WiFi only in 2.4 GHz band
- screen with color tint
- occasional system lags
- middling performance
- weak headset
- non-removable battery

Verdict

In review: Huawei G8. Review sample courtesy of Huawei Germany.
In review: Huawei G8. Review sample courtesy of Huawei Germany.

At a first glance, Huawei's new mid-range scion impresses with appealing, high-quality build that would even fit into the premium range. Beyond that, the user does not miss out much technically. The G8 has both the memory configuration and the decent primary camera in common with the more expensive Mate S. Unfortunately, it also inherits the lack of support for 5 GHz Wi-Fi frequency bandwidths. The installed panel's high resolution and accurately functioning touchscreen is compelling in everyday use, but some users might find the color tint annoying. The smartphone gets the biggest minus point for the SoC's rather mediocre overall performance, which should hardly be a problem in everyday use, though. The many extra functions that Huawei's modified user interface involves and the reliable and quick fingerprint scanner are all the more pleasing.

The G8 is a good alternative for all buyers who find premium smartphones too expensive, but do not want to forego a big, high-resolution screen, decent camera and extensive memory configuration. On the other hand, some compromises have to be made in terms of performance.

Should 16 GB of internal storage be enough, a look at Honor's 5X from the same company might be worthwhile before buying Huawei's G8 - it offers a largely similar configuration, but is also approximately 100 Euros (~$114) cheaper. The formerly much more expensive Mate S sister model is now available for less than 400 Euros (~$456) and is also worth considering as an alternative to the review sample.

Huawei G8 - 04/18/2016 v5.1
Andreas Kilian

Chassis
90%
Keyboard
72 / 75 → 96%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
46 / 60 → 77%
Weight
91%
Battery
91%
Display
83%
Games Performance
14 / 63 → 22%
Application Performance
34 / 70 → 49%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
65 / 91 → 71%
Camera
75%
Average
73%
84%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Huawei G8 (GX8) Smartphone Review
Andreas Kilian, 2016-04- 8 (Update: 2018-05-15)