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Huawei Mate 8 Smartphone Review

Andreas Osthoff, Tanja Hinum, 02/17/2016

Fast and enduring. Huawei wants to enter the high-end competition with a 6-inch display and a brand-new SoC. We put the Mate 8 through our lab tests to see if this is a success.

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For the original German review, see here.

The Mate 8 from the Chinese manufacturer is the successor to the Ascend Mate 7. Equipped with modern components and priced at 599 Euros (~$667), the Mate 8 is currently Huawei's flagship device, at least until the new P9 is launched. The highlight of the 6-inch smartphone is the Kirin 950 SoC, which already uses ARM's new Cortex-A72 cores. Besides a higher performance, they also promise improved efficiency. You also get 3 GB RAM as well as 32 GB internal storage that can be expanded via microSD-card. At the back is a 16 MP camera with a sensor provided by Sony.

Huawei also reached a high-end price and there are many rivals in this segment. The list includes the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+Google Nexus 6PApple iPhone 6S PlusMicrosoft Lumia 950 XLAsus ZenFone 2 Deluxe and also the Motorola Moto X Style.

Huawei Mate 8 (Mate Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
Display
6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, capacitive, IPS-NEO, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 24.7 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Audio, Card Reader: microSD up to 128 GB, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Ambient light sensor, fingerprint, G-sensor, Compass, HALL sensor, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Barometer, USB-OTG, WiFi-Direct
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), UMTS (850/900/1900/2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 6 (FDD: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B6/B7/B8/B12/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26, TDD: B38/B39/B40), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.9 x 157.1 x 80.6 ( = 0.31 x 6.19 x 3.17 in)
Battery
4000 mAh Lithium-Ion, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 42 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 28 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 636 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 614 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 16 MPix f/2.0, OIS, Autofocus, Dual-Tone-flash, 1080p video (60 fps)
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix f/2.4
Additional features
Speakers: Mono, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, Power adapter, USB cable, Headphones, Quick-start guide, safety information, EMUI 4.0, Phone Manager, HiCare, FM radio, Google-Apps, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
185 g ( = 6.53 oz / 0.41 pounds), Power Supply: 70 g ( = 2.47 oz / 0.15 pounds)
Price
599 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The chassis of the Huawei Mate 8 was just slightly changed compared to the predecessor and is still made of aluminum. The areas above and below the display are once again very thin, so the device is still comparatively compact despite the 6-inch screen. This is also noticeable when you compare the size with the other rivals. The Mate 8 is the widest device, but the iPhone 6S Plus, for example, is even a millimeter longer despite the smaller panel. The back is slightly curved and still feels good in the hand with a thickness of 7.9 mm, but the camera is slightly protruding. However, you cannot operate the Mate 8 with just one hand.

The stability of the aluminum case is excellent. Only excessive pressure on the screen will result in ripples, but you cannot twist the device and there is no creaking. The physical buttons at the right side are a bit wobbly and it slightly affects the tactile feeling. Our review unit is silver, but Huawei also offers the smartphone in gray and gold. All in all, the smartphone leaves a very noble impression and does not have to hide behind the rivals.

Connectivity

The SoC Kirin 950 inside the Mate 8 is a very modern chip provided by HiSilicon, which is currently one of the fastest mobile SoCs. It is supported by 3 GB RAM and the graphics are handled by a Mali-T880 MP4 GPU from ARM. The Mate 8 is also equipped with an i5-coprocessor that handles things like voice recognition, low-power MP3 playback and location services. The internal storage has a capacity of 32 GB and can be expanded by up to 128 GB via microSD-card. Memory cards can be used like internal storage in Android 6.0, so it is no problem to transfer apps to the additional storage. The card tray can either be used with two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM in combination with one microSD, but no Micro-SIM. At the bottom is the Micro-USB 2.0 port for data transfers and charging; it also supports USB-OTG for the attachment of external storage drives or input devices, respectively. The transfer of media files is possible via Wi-Fi Direct, while connections with other devices can be established via Bluetooth 4.2 as well as NFC. An FM radio is also available and can be used in combination with a headset. At the center of the back is a fingerprint scanner. It can store up to five individual fingerprints and works very quickly and also reliably. Because of its position, however, you will always have to lift the smartphone.

Top: microphone, 3.5 mm audio
Top: microphone, 3.5 mm audio
Right: power button, volume rocker
Right: power button, volume rocker
Left: combined SIM- & microSD-slot
Left: combined SIM- & microSD-slot
Bottom: microphone, Micro-USB 2.0, speaker
Bottom: microphone, Micro-USB 2.0, speaker

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Software

The operating system is the new Android 6 Marshmallow with Huawei’s user interface Emoticon UI (EMUI) 4.0. It waives an app drawer and will list the apps on the home screens. It is also possible to create folders in order to prevent chaos. The overall handling is very intuitive and also very smooth. Huawei waives unnecessary bloatware and just installs some tools besides the usual Google apps. This list includes the Phone Manager, for example, which grants access to several features and can be used to optimize the smartphone (RAM, battery). Huawei does not include its own browser and uses Chrome 47 instead.

Preloaded software 1/2
Preloaded software 1/2
Preloaded software 2/2
Preloaded software 2/2
Setup fingerprint scanner
Setup fingerprint scanner
Display modes
Display modes
Phone Manager
Phone Manager

Communication & GPS 

The Huawei Mate 8 can be equipped with two Nano-SIM-cards, but only one of the slots supports mobile data connections via UMTS/LTE. We listed the frequencies in the spec box at the top of this article. The LTE modem supports the Cat. 6 standard with transfer rates of up to 300 Mbps (downstream) and 50 Mbps (upstream), respectively, at least if the provider supports that. The second SIM-slot on the other hand can only be used for calls in the GSM network. Many rivals offer more in this respect. The Wi-Fi module supports all the common standards including the fast 802.11 ac in 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. The signal quality was always very good during our review period, both in local as well as mobile networks (T-Mobile).

GPS Test indoors (close to a window)
GPS Test indoors (close to a window)
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors

Besides GPS and the Russian GLONASS, you can also use the Chinese BeiDou to localize the Huawei Mate 8. The device will already find some satellites inside a building, but the location is only possible close to a window. The initial sat fix takes about 20 seconds, but the accuracy is not very good in this case at 16-24 meters. The process is faster outdoors and the accuracy is improved to 8 meters, but some of the comparison devices perform better.

We also check the accuracy on a bicycle ride and compare the results with the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500. You can quickly see that the Mate 8 does not locate the position as often, which results in some shortcuts. The overall distance is therefore 300 meters shorter. This is still a good result and there should not be any problem when you use it for navigation in a car.

Huawei Mate 8: complete
Huawei Mate 8: complete
Huawei Mate 8: crossing
Huawei Mate 8: crossing
Huawei Mate 8: shore
Huawei Mate 8: shore
Garmin Edge 500: complete
Garmin Edge 500: complete
Garmin Edge 500: crossing
Garmin Edge 500: crossing
Garmin Edge 500: shore
Garmin Edge 500: shore

Telephone & Voice Quality

We already know the Phone app from other Huawei devices. The app is very simple and offers direct access to contacts and favorites besides a numbers pad. A harassment filter also allows blocking calls and messages from unwanted contacts. We did not experience any issues like static or dropouts during calls, but wind noise is not filtered very well by the microphone. The voice of the call partner also tends to distort rather quickly when you use the hands-free feature.

Cameras & Multimedia

Picture with the front camera
Picture with the front camera
Picture with the rear camera
Picture with the rear camera

At the front of the Huawei Mate 8 is an 8 MP camera. It takes pictures at up to 3264x2448 pixels (4:3). The quality of the sensor cannot convince us, because the results are blurry and many details are lost, even under good lighting conditions. Our comparison between the front and main camera does show a good brightness for the front sensor but also a noticeable quality difference.

The camera app is already familiar from other Huawei devices. It is easy to use and offers different picture modes, but the settings are not directly accessible. There is also a mode called Document Scanner, which can directly process data from business cards, for instance. However, this did not work very well during our tests. The different picture modes and settings for pictures and videos are available in the following screenshots.

At the back is a 16 MP sensor provided by Sony that takes pictures at up to 4608x3456 pixels (4:3). The results can convince with good colors in particular, but the sharpness falls slightly behind the rivals. This is noticeable in scene 1 and scene 2 when you look at the bushes and branches, which can be tricky to differentiate. You can also clearly see the content in low-light situations (scene 3), but the sharpness once again falls behind the comparison devices. We also noticed an occasional delay during focusing, but the speed was still good in general. The rear sensor is supported by a dual-tone LED flash, which works well and brightens up the picture at short distances.

Videos can be recorded in Full-HD (1920x1080 pixels) at 60 fps, but 4K videos are not possible. Huawei also offers an image stabilizer, but it is not available in FHD 60 fps, only in FHD 30 fps and below. It is quite interesting that the 60 fps recordings are noticeably darker in a direct comparison, but they offer the best results in good lighting conditions. You should select FHD 30 fps in low-light situations though, otherwise many details are too dark or not visible at all.

Picture modes
Picture modes
Settings pictures 1/2
Settings pictures 1/2
Settings pictures 2/2
Settings pictures 2/2
Settings videos
Settings videos
Light painting
Light painting

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

Color Accuracy & Sharpness

We also take a picture of the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport and the test chart under controlled lighting conditions to evaluate the color accuracy and the sharpness. The pictures are not edited afterwards (manual white balance, for example).

We displayed the original colors of the ColorChecker Passport in the lower part of each patch. You can immediately notice that the colors of the Mate 8 are too dark or rich, respectively. This means there are deviations for almost every color in a direct comparison, but the subjective color reproduction is very convenient. The picture of our test chart benefits from the high resolution. We can only see small blurs in the section from the center, but the sharpness drops a bit towards the edges.

Screenshot of ColorChecker colors: Original colors are displayed in the lower half of every field.
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors: Original colors are displayed in the lower half of every field.
Section from the test chart (center)
Section from the test chart (center)

Accessories

Besides the usual accessories like a modular 10-Watt power adapter, USB cable, headset, quick-start guide as well as warranty information, the box of the Huawei Mate also includes a transparent cover that snaps onto the back of the device.   

Warranty

The warranty period for the smartphone is 24 months.

Input Devices & Handling

The default keyboard is "Huawei Swype" which convinces with fast inputs. It also offers all the common features like word predictions, swipe inputs and automatic corrections. The individual keys are conveniently sized in landscape mode in particular, even though there is not much left of the actual display content in this case. It is obviously also possible to use the standard Android keyboard or an alternative model from the Play Store. 

The handling of the operating system is always smooth and all inputs are always executed without delays. The large touchscreen offers very good gliding capabilities and also accepts inputs in the peripheral areas. The Android buttons are implemented as on-screen buttons and occupy a part of the screen; you can only use 1794x1080 pixels from the actual 1920x1080 pixels in the browser, for instance.

Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

Similar to the predecessor Ascend Mate 7, Huawei once again uses a 6-inch screen for the new Mate 8. It is based on the NEO-IPS technology and has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. Some rivals already use higher resolutions, but the pixel density of 367 PPI still ensures a sharp picture where you cannot see individual pixels.

The maximum luminance on a pure white background is very good at 527 cd/m². We also measure the luminance with evenly distributed bright and dark surfaces (APL50), where the result is a bit lower at 467 cd/m². The brightness cannot be further increased with the light sensor. The black value of 0.35 cd/m² (APL50 0.37 cd/m²) is typical for an IPS display and results in an excellent contrast ratio of almost 1500:1. The Mate 8 can surpass its LCD-based rivals, while the rivals with an AMOLED panel often have a lower luminance but can usually compensate for this deficit with the theoretically infinite contrast ratio.

509
cd/m²
496
cd/m²
500
cd/m²
519
cd/m²
514
cd/m²
524
cd/m²
527
cd/m²
514
cd/m²
515
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 527 cd/m² Average: 513.1 cd/m² Minimum: 8.43 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 514 cd/m²
Contrast: 1469:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.08 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 5.49 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
99.84% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 79.95% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.08
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
8%
15%
0%
6%
-27%
-6%
Brightness middle
514
335.7
-35%
363
-29%
583
13%
297
-42%
425
-17%
538
5%
Brightness
513
332
-35%
365
-29%
560
9%
297
-42%
395
-23%
528
3%
Brightness Distribution
94
89
-5%
90
-4%
91
-3%
93
-1%
88
-6%
92
-2%
Black Level *
0.35
0.46
-31%
0.5
-43%
0.66
-89%
Contrast
1469
1267
-14%
850
-42%
815
-45%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.08
2.33
54%
2.34
54%
3.55
30%
2.67
47%
7.05
-39%
2.63
48%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.28
3.98
52%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.49
2.15
61%
1.03
81%
3.88
29%
2.81
49%
6.38
-16%
3.24
41%
Gamma
2.08 106%
2.15 102%
2.23 99%
2.2 100%
2.08 106%
1.63 135%
2.17 101%
CCT
7254 90%
6184 105%
6429 101%
7280 89%
6379 102%
6776 96%
6906 94%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
79.95
59.05
-26%
66.31
-17%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.84
92.8
-7%
99.79
0%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: ColorChecker
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN: Saturation Sweeps

The subjective picture impression is convincing, but we also check the accuracy of the panel with a spectrophotometer and the professional software CalMAN. The average DeltaE-deviation compared to the sRGB reference is pretty high at 5.08 for the colors and 5.49 for the grayscale (target smaller than 3). Only the Asus ZenFone 2 Deluxe is even worse, but all the other devices perform much better. The color temperature of 7254 K (ideal: 6500 K) is also slightly too cool and we can also see a slight blue cast, but it is hardly a problem in practice. It is possible to adjust the color temperature via lever in the settings. Huawei advertises color-space coverage of 95% (NTSC), but our measurements only determine 92% for this standard. sRGB is almost covered completely (99.84%) and AdobeRGB by 80%.

sRGB-coverage: 99.84%
sRGB-coverage: 99.84%
NTSC-coverage: 92.07%
NTSC-coverage: 92.07%
AdobeRGB-coverage: 79.95%
AdobeRGB-coverage: 79.95%

Thanks to the good luminance and the excellent contrast ratio, it is no problem to use the smartphone outdoors. You can even see the display content very well on bright days. Similar to every other device with a glossy screen, you should pay attention to light sources and avoid direct sunlight.

In the sun with reflections
In the sun with reflections
In the sun without reflections
In the sun without reflections

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
38 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 9.2 ms rise
↘ 28.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 95 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
44 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 25 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. » 64 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

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: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8773 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The IPS-NEO technology is based on the regular IPS technology but is supposed to enable deeper blacks from wide viewing angles. The viewing-angle stability is very good in practice and a brightness drop is limited to very extreme angles. However, reflections will probably be the bigger issue in these scenarios.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The SoC of the Huawei Mate 8 has the designation Kirin 950 and is provided by Huawei’s subsidiary HiSilicon. The highlight of the 64-bit chip is the new Cortex-A72 core from ARM, which is manufactured in a new 16-nm process. Besides a higher performance, it also promises improved efficiency. The four Cortex-A72 cores (up to 2.3 GHz) work in a big.LITTLE configuration with four Cortex-A53 cores (up to 1.8 GHz). Huawei also implements a so called i5-coprocessor. Our review model is equipped with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage, but there is also a version with 4 GB RAM/64 GB storage.

The processor performs very well in the benchmarks and can beat the Android competition including the fast Exynos 7420 of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+. Our Kirin 950 is only beaten by the Apple A9 inside the Apple iPhone 6S Plus in the single-core tests.

The graphics card ARM Mali-T880 MP4 cannot quite keep up with this performance and sometimes falls behind the Mali-T760 MP8 of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ as well as the Adreno 430. All in all, the performance is still very good and should be sufficient even for complex games in Full HD. More benchmarks for the GPU are available here.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
2898 Points ∼9%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
915 Points ∼19%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
6265 Points ∼17%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
4207 Points ∼11% -33%
Google Nexus 6P
4587 Points ∼12% -27%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
4429 Points ∼12% -29%
Motorola Moto X Style
3567 Points ∼9% -43%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
1721 Points ∼35%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
1317 Points ∼27% -23%
Google Nexus 6P
1335 Points ∼27% -22%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
2538 Points ∼52% +47%
Motorola Moto X Style
1276 Points ∼26% -26%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
5220 Points ∼51%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
7344 Points ∼56%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
5130 Points ∼39% -30%
Google Nexus 6P
4716 Points ∼36% -36%
Motorola Moto X Style
5859 Points ∼44% -20%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
2552 Points ∼61%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
1627 Points ∼39% -36%
Google Nexus 6P
1317 Points ∼31% -48%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1676 Points ∼40% -34%
Motorola Moto X Style
1345 Points ∼32% -47%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
801 Points ∼15%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
1176 Points ∼22% +47%
Google Nexus 6P
1589 Points ∼30% +98%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
2601 Points ∼48% +225%
Motorola Moto X Style
440 Points ∼8% -45%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
945 Points ∼20%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
1253 Points ∼26% +33%
Google Nexus 6P
1519 Points ∼32% +61%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
2318 Points ∼49% +145%
Motorola Moto X Style
517 Points ∼11% -45%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
2432 Points ∼59%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
1652 Points ∼40% -32%
Google Nexus 6P
1142 Points ∼28% -53%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1697 Points ∼41% -30%
Motorola Moto X Style
1339 Points ∼32% -45%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
1092 Points ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
1606 Points ∼19% +47%
Google Nexus 6P
2302 Points ∼28% +111%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
4557 Points ∼55% +317%
Motorola Moto X Style
1419 Points ∼17% +30%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
1244 Points ∼19%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
1616 Points ∼25% +30%
Google Nexus 6P
1877 Points ∼29% +51%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
3316 Points ∼51% +167%
Motorola Moto X Style
1400 Points ∼22% +13%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
15575 Points ∼20%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
16117 Points ∼20% +3%
Google Nexus 6P
14983 Points ∼19% -4%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
12854 Points ∼16% -17%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
21115 Points ∼27% +36%
Motorola Moto X Style
12767 Points ∼16% -18%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
20537 Points ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
27549 Points ∼5% +34%
Google Nexus 6P
34758 Points ∼7% +69%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
41615 Points ∼8% +103%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
20006 Points ∼4% -3%
Motorola Moto X Style
23321 Points ∼4% +14%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
19179 Points ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
23798 Points ∼11% +24%
Google Nexus 6P
26876 Points ∼13% +40%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
27795 Points ∼13% +45%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
20242 Points ∼10% +6%
Motorola Moto X Style
19702 Points ∼9% +3%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
41 fps ∼0%
Google Nexus 6P
44 fps ∼0% +7%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
78.9 fps ∼1% +92%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
27.11 fps ∼0% -34%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
30 fps ∼0% -27%
Motorola Moto X Style
34 fps ∼0% -17%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
44 fps ∼1%
Google Nexus 6P
33 fps ∼1% -25%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
59 fps ∼2% +34%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
18.75 fps ∼1% -57%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
30 fps ∼1% -32%
Motorola Moto X Style
24 fps ∼1% -45%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
18 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
18 fps ∼0% 0%
Google Nexus 6P
25 fps ∼0% +39%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
38.4 fps ∼1% +113%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
17.54 fps ∼0% -3%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
13 fps ∼0% -28%
Motorola Moto X Style
15 fps ∼0% -17%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
19 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
14 fps ∼0% -26%
Google Nexus 6P
17 fps ∼0% -11%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
38.4 fps ∼1% +102%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
11.81 fps ∼0% -38%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
12 fps ∼0% -37%
Motorola Moto X Style
9.3 fps ∼0% -51%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
10 fps ∼0%
Google Nexus 6P
16 fps ∼0% +60%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
28 fps ∼1% +180%
Motorola Moto X Style
9.9 fps ∼0% -1%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
11 fps ∼0%
Google Nexus 6P
9.5 fps ∼0% -14%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
28 fps ∼1% +155%
Motorola Moto X Style
5.6 fps ∼0% -49%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
4599 points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
4566 points ∼99% -1%
Google Nexus 6P
4332 points ∼94% -6%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
4378 points ∼95% -5%
Motorola Moto X Style
3873 points ∼84% -16%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
18831 points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
16793 points ∼89% -11%
Google Nexus 6P
10823 points ∼57% -43%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
3856 points ∼20% -80%
Motorola Moto X Style
8815 points ∼47% -53%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
1127 Points ∼55%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
993 Points ∼49% -12%
Google Nexus 6P
791 Points ∼39% -30%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1199 Points ∼59% +6%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
837 Points ∼41% -26%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
896 Points ∼44% -20%
Motorola Moto X Style
974 Points ∼48% -14%
Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
1636 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
2457 Points ∼9% +50%
Google Nexus 6P
2424 Points ∼8% +48%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
4299 Points ∼15% +163%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
2040 Points ∼7% +25%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
1411 Points ∼5% -14%
Motorola Moto X Style
1918 Points ∼7% +17%
Memory (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
2339 Points ∼37%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
1298 Points ∼21% -45%
Google Nexus 6P
1136 Points ∼18% -51%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1124 Points ∼18% -52%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
1945 Points ∼31% -17%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
1035 Points ∼16% -56%
Motorola Moto X Style
1776 Points ∼28% -24%
System (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
4064 Points ∼25%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
3321 Points ∼20% -18%
Google Nexus 6P
1798 Points ∼11% -56%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
3925 Points ∼24% -3%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
1386 Points ∼8% -66%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
1968 Points ∼12% -52%
Motorola Moto X Style
2783 Points ∼17% -32%
Overall (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
2046 Points ∼24%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
1801 Points ∼21% -12%
Google Nexus 6P
1405 Points ∼17% -31%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
2206 Points ∼26% +8%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
1465 Points ∼17% -28%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
1267 Points ∼15% -38%
Motorola Moto X Style
1743 Points ∼21% -15%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
523.8 MFLOPS ∼18%
Google Nexus 6P
262.042 MFLOPS ∼9% -50%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
1295 MFLOPS ∼44% +147%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
2956.69 MFLOPS ∼100% +464%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
415.435 MFLOPS ∼14% -21%
Motorola Moto X Style
589.744 MFLOPS ∼20% +13%
Single Thread (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
328.8 MFLOPS ∼32%
Google Nexus 6P
87.088 MFLOPS ∼9% -74%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
669 MFLOPS ∼66% +103%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
369.586 MFLOPS ∼36% +12%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
171.438 MFLOPS ∼17% -48%
Motorola Moto X Style
415.017 MFLOPS ∼41% +26%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
347 Points ∼7%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
858 Points ∼16% +147%
Motorola Moto X Style
291 Points ∼5% -16%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
16688 Points ∼38%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
9252 Points ∼21% -45%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
29659 Points ∼66%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
31743 Points ∼71% +7%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
33082 Points ∼74% +12%
Lightmark - 1920x1080 1080p (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
7.9 fps ∼20%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
11.18 fps ∼29% +42%
Epic Citadel
Ultra High Quality (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
59 fps ∼96%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
42.7 fps ∼69% -28%
High Quality (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
57.8 fps ∼95%
High Performance (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
60.1 fps ∼99%

Legend

 
Huawei Mate 8 HiSilicon Kirin 950, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Samsung Exynos 7420 Octa, ARM Mali-T760 MP8, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Google Nexus 6P Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6S Plus Apple A9, Apple A9 / PowerVR GT7600, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
 
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML Intel Atom Z3580, PowerVR G6430, 128 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto X Style Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash

We performed the browser tests with the preloaded Chrome 47. The results are very good in general and the Huawei Mate 8 can usually clearly beat the Android competition. Only the Apple iPhone 6S Plus is far ahead in this section, and the Lumia 950 XL is also 11% faster in SunSpider.

Sunspider
1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
460.6 ms * ∼11%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
688.5 ms * ∼17% -49%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
529.7 ms * ∼13% -15%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
223 ms * ∼6% +52%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
409.7 ms * ∼10% +11%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
930.6 ms * ∼23% -102%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
773.6 ms * ∼19% -68%
0.9.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
700.6 ms * ∼7%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
139 Points ∼17%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
95 Points ∼12% -32%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
116 Points ∼14% -17%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
190 Points ∼24% +37%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
113 Points ∼14% -19%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
110 Points ∼14% -21%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
65 Points ∼19%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
48.136 Points ∼14% -26%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
47.4 Points ∼14% -27%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
118.7 Points ∼36% +83%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
46 Points ∼14% -29%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
36.274 Points ∼11% -44%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
45 Points ∼13% -31%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3643 ms * ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
5066.7 ms * ∼9% -39%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
4193 ms * ∼7% -15%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
1743 ms * ∼3% +52%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5552.9 ms * ∼9% -52%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
6002.2 ms * ∼10% -65%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
7325 ms * ∼12% -101%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
11329 Points ∼23%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
7724 Points ∼16% -32%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
8804 Points ∼18% -22%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
15967 Points ∼32% +41%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
8059 Points ∼16% -29%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
6379 Points ∼13% -44%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
8065 Points ∼16% -29%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
11458 Points ∼59%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
8801 Points ∼45% -23%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
8622 Points ∼44% -25%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
15529 Points ∼79% +36%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
7362 Points ∼38% -36%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
7829 Points ∼40% -32%
Browsermark - 2.1 (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2478 points ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
1884 points ∼6% -24%
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
0 points ∼0% -100%
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
988 points ∼3% -60%

* ... smaller is better

Performance card reader
Performance card reader

The performance of the integrated storage is on the good level of the Nexus 6P, which is produced by Huawei as well. Only the random write performance of the Huawei Mate 8 is even better. You can use around 24 GB of the 32 GB storage for your own files and apps after the initial set-up.

We also checked the performance of the card reader with our reference card from Toshiba (Exceria SD-CX32UHSI), but the results are just average at 69 MB/s read and 17.5 MB/s write. It can therefore take a bit longer than necessary, especially when you copy large files.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
15.74 MB/s ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
20.95 MB/s ∼13% +33%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
11.79 MB/s ∼7% -25%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
8.48 MB/s ∼5% -46%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
31.1 MB/s ∼19% +98%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
24.98 MB/s ∼14%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
89.91 MB/s ∼52% +260%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
20.1 MB/s ∼12% -20%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
20.68 MB/s ∼12% -17%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
26.97 MB/s ∼16% +8%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
124.78 MB/s ∼51%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
151.11 MB/s ∼61% +21%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
122.51 MB/s ∼50% -2%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
89.99 MB/s ∼37% -28%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
46.15 MB/s ∼19% -63%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
238.28 MB/s ∼27%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
382.97 MB/s ∼43% +61%
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
236.33 MB/s ∼26% -1%
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
144.47 MB/s ∼16% -39%
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
246.89 MB/s ∼28% +4%

Games

Thanks to the fast ARM Mali-T880 MP4 GPU and the large 6-inch screen, the Huawei Mate 8 is well-suited for gaming. Even complex titles like Modern Combat 5 or Asphalt 8: Airborne can be played smoothly at high details. The sensors complement the good gaming experience, only the speaker at the bottom can easily be covered when you play in landscape mode.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Modern Combat 5
Modern Combat 5

Emissions

Temperature

We can only see slightly raised temperatures while idling and it is still a very cool device in general. This will only change under load, where we can measure up to 42 °C. This is definitely noticeable when you play games.

Maximum load (front)
Maximum load (front)
Maximum load (back)
Maximum load (back)

But what about the temperatures of the components? We check the performance under sustained load with the GFXBench Battery Test. It repeats the T-Rex test 30 times and logs the performance, the battery capacity as well as the temperatures. The Mate 8 performs very well for such a powerful device. The performance starts to drop a bit after the 17th run, but only by 9% in the worst case. This means there should not be noticeable performance changes even during longer gaming sessions.

GFXBench Battery Test
GFXBench Battery Test
Max. Load
 42 °C
108 F
40 °C
104 F
38.8 °C
102 F
 
 41.9 °C
107 F
39 °C
102 F
38.7 °C
102 F
 
 39.8 °C
104 F
38.5 °C
101 F
36.1 °C
97 F
 
Maximum: 42 °C = 108 F
Average: 39.4 °C = 103 F
34.9 °C
95 F
36.3 °C
97 F
37.5 °C
100 F
34.9 °C
95 F
37 °C
99 F
37.5 °C
100 F
34.7 °C
94 F
36.1 °C
97 F
35.9 °C
97 F
Maximum: 37.5 °C = 100 F
Average: 36.1 °C = 97 F
Power Supply (max.)  30.2 °C = 86 F | Room Temperature 21.8 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39.4 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 42 °C / 108 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the bottom side is 37.5 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 34.3 °C / 94 F, ranging from 22 to 326 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.9 °C / 88 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Speaker measurements: Pink Noise
Speaker measurements: Pink Noise

At the bottom is a mono speaker, so it is not covered when you put the device on a table. It is also very loud at up to 87 dB(A), but there will be audible distortions when you exceed around 70% of the maximum volume and music won’t sound very appealing in this case. The overall sound is not very balanced due to the missing subwoofer. There are no software optimizations for the speaker, because the DTS function is only available with attached headphones. While the result sounds a bit richer with inexpensive headphones in particular, you should deactivate the software for the most natural playback. It was no problem to connect the smartphone to our Bluetooth speaker Denon Envaya Mini and there were no dropouts during the playback, either.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

We did not always use the same measurement device for our consumption measurements, so it is not possible to compare all the devices directly. The Google Nexus 6P is more frugal while idling, but 2.28 Watts for the Mate 8 is still okay. Huawei’s new smartphone is particularly frugal under load, where the average consumption is just 3.9 Watts and our measurement device only shows 4.69 Watts even under maximum load. This confirms the improved efficiency of the processor and the rivals consume at least 30% more power. The provided 10-Watt power adapter obviously has no problems with this consumption.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.07 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.85 / 2.07 / 2.28 Watt
Load midlight 3.91 / 4.69 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Power Consumption
-19%
7%
-110%
-20%
-7%
Idle Minimum *
0.85
0.83
2%
0.5
41%
2.85
-235%
1.1
-29%
0.7
18%
Idle Average *
2.07
1.09
47%
1.9
8%
2.95
-43%
2.2
-6%
2.2
-6%
Idle Maximum *
2.28
1.17
49%
2.2
4%
3.26
-43%
2.4
-5%
2.3
-1%
Load Average *
3.91
7.49
-92%
3.2
18%
8.92
-128%
4.2
-7%
3.9
-0%
Load Maximum *
4.69
9.51
-103%
6.4
-36%
9.39
-100%
7.2
-54%
6.8
-45%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

We can determine excellent battery runtimes thanks to the combination of the 4000-mAh battery and the low power consumption. The Huawei Mate 8 will last more than 31 hours under perfect conditions (Wi-Fi reading script, minimum brightness) and you can use it for at least 4:16 hours in the worst-case scenario (Stability Test, maximum brightness). The smartphone benefits from its efficient SoC and can clearly beat all the comparison devices; only the Nexus 6P manages a couple of minutes more.

The results with an adjusted brightness (150 cd/m²) are also excellent and can once again clearly beat the rivals. We can determine almost 14.5 hours in the Wi-Fi browsing test, which is five hours more compared to the next best competitor. The playback of an FHD video (Big Buck Bunny, H.264, Wi-Fi off) is even possible for 16 hours. The competition is once again far behind. 

Huawei also implements the Ultra-Power saver mode if these runtimes are not sufficient. It will, however, reduce the functionality to simple calling and messaging, so you should only use it in emergencies. The charging time with the provided 10-Watt PSU is around 2 hours and 20 minutes, but 70% of the capacity is available after one hour.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
31h 12min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
14h 25min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
16h 03min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 16min
Huawei Mate 8
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 950, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
Google Nexus 6P
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6S Plus
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Zenfone 2 Deluxe ZE551ML
PowerVR G6430, Z3580, 128 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto X Style
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
-26%
-29%
-26%
-42%
-51%
-42%
Reader / Idle
1872
1459
-22%
1447
-23%
1655
-12%
1078
-42%
1141
-39%
H.264
963
533
-45%
714
-26%
611
-37%
383
-60%
WiFi v1.3
865
501
-42%
375
-57%
513
-41%
369
-57%
420
-51%
400
-54%
Load
256
223
-13%
280
9%
197
-23%
179
-30%
219
-14%

Pros

+ great case
+ bright display
+ excellent performance
+ very good battery runtime
+ dual-SIM
+ memory expansion via microSD
+ fingerprint scanner
+ no bloatware

Cons

- high color deviations of the display
- bad front camera
- high price
- mediocre GPS
- slight throttling under sustained load
- speaker

Verdict

In review: Huawei Mate 8. Test model courtesy of Huawei Germany.
In review: Huawei Mate 8. Test model courtesy of Huawei Germany.

The Huawei Mate 8 left a very good impression during our review with its noble chassis and the high performance. It is quite a big device with its 6-inch display, but the handling is still comfortable thanks to the thin frame. Besides the high performance, we are also convinced by the efficiency of the new Kirin 950 SoC, because the runtimes are massive in combination with the 4000-mAh battery. You should usually be able to manage two days with one charge. The handling of Android 6.0 with Huawei’s own EMUI 4.0 software is always very smooth and the manufacturer also waives unnecessary bloatware.

So can the Mate 8 compete with other high-end devices? Not quite, because there is more potential at some points. The FHD-panel shows pretty high color deviations, you cannot record 4K videos, the GPS module could be more accurate and the dual-SIM support could be better as well, because only one of the two slots enables mobile data connections. Some of these features will probably be supported by the upcoming flagship Huawei P9, which is supposed to be released in March. The Mate 8 is still a great device. There is no reason why you should not buy it if you are looking for a noble smartphone with a huge display and long battery runtimes.

The case, the performance and the stamina of the new Huawei Mate 8 are excellent, but some rivals offer even more in respect of the features.

Huawei Mate 8 - 04/13/2016 v5
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
91%
Keyboard
75 / 75 → 100%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
57 / 60 → 95%
Weight
89%
Battery
96%
Display
87%
Games Performance
47 / 63 → 74%
Application Performance
60 / 70 → 86%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
63 / 91 → 69%
Camera
79%
Average
79%
87%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Huawei Mate 8 Smartphone Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2016-02-17 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.