Notebookcheck

Huawei P8 Smartphone First Impressions

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/24/2015

Très chic! We took a first glance at the Chinese manufacturer's flagship. Huawei's P lineup has always been slim, but rarely so classy. The P8 makes a positive first impression with a lot of aluminum and glass. The camera has also been reworked to quite some extent. Find out more in the following report.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team!

Currently wanted: 
German-English-Translator - Details here

For the original German preview, see here.

According to the spec sheet, Huawei's P8 does not have as much to offer as its big high-end rivals from Samsung, Apple, Sony or LG. It primarily seems to be the Kirin 930 processor that is relatively slow compared with other top-of-the-line devices.

However, the looks feature a premium design, and high-quality materials are utilized. The new camera and stronger battery also make a good first impression. The P8 will be available in both a mainstream and premium version. While the former relies on the Kirin 930 and has 16 GB of flash memory, the stronger model sports 64 GB of ROM and the somewhat faster Kirin 935. We are testing the lower-priced model for 499 Euros (~$542). Buyers who want a bit more will have to pony up an additional 100 Euros (~$108).

Huawei P8 (P8 Series)
Graphics adapter
ARM Mali-T628 MP4, Core: 600 MHz, OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenCL 1.1, DirectX 11
Memory
3072 MB 
, LPDDR3
Display
5.2 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, capacitive rich-touchscreen, IPS-NEO, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 9.65 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combo headphone and microphone jack, Card Reader: Micro SD max. 128 GB (SD, SDHC, SDXC), Sensors: proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, accelerometer, Hall sensor, position and G-Sensor, pedometer, digital compass, GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Wifi-Direct, Miracast, OTG, DLNA, NFC (certification: Visa, Mastercard, AMEX)
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, dual-nano SIM, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1700, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 4 (800, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz (FDD); 1900, 2300, 2500 and 2600 MHz (TDD))
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 6.4 x 144.9 x 71.8 ( = 0.25 x 5.7 x 2.83 in)
Battery
Lithium-Polymer, 2680 mAh, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 10.3 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 13.8 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 424 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 480 h
Operating System
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Camera
Webcam: 8 MP (fix-focus, f/2.4, 1080p videos @ 27 fps), primary: 13 MP (OIS, auto-focus, dual-LED flash, WRGB, 1080p videos @ 30 fps)
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard: virtual, headset, power supply, USB cable, quick start guide, EMUI 3.1, designs, WPS Office, magnifier, mirror, director mode, phone manager, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
147 g ( = 5.19 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 50 g ( = 1.76 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
499 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

First Impressions

Huawei's P8 is only slightly bigger than the former Ascend P7. Its height has even been reduced slightly and is now just 6.4 millimeters. Thus, it is the thinnest smartphone among the premium devices and is even slimmer than Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge (7.0 mm) or the iPhone 6 (7.1 mm). Both contenders are a bit thicker when the protruding camera is counted to their height. The P8 does not have this problem because its camera closes flush with the casing. The review sample is also really pleasant to hold, and it is quite light at 144 grams.

In terms of communication configuration, there will be different versions available with dual and single SIM LTE. Regardless of the version, only LTE Cat. 4 will be installed although the Kirin 930 would support the Cat. 6 version. The P8 also lags behind its contenders in Wi-Fi. The IEEE 802.11 b/g/n standards are supported, and thus the smartphone only transmits in the 2.4 GHz band. The 5.0 GHz bandwidth is actually standard in the mid-range now, not to mention ac Wi-Fi. The connectivity is otherwise state-of-the-art and does not give reason for complaint.

The battery in Huawei's P8 is still non-removable, and it is not intended for the user to replace. The storage can be expanded by up to 128 GB via a micro-SD. Buyers who opt for the dual-SIM version will find a combo slot and will have to decide whether it is to be used as a SIM or memory-card slot.

Camera

The megapixel count in Huawei's P8 has not been revised compared with the precursor. It adds up to 13 MP in both devices. However, the new lens can utilize an optical image stabilizer. Furthermore, it has been optimized for taking particularly good shots in low-light conditions. That also functioned quite well until now, and we are surprised about how well the Chinese company's in-house development fares.

Multiple new features, such as the director mode or light painting, supplement that. Both modes are very easy to use. The fact that the real image is displayed on the screen instead of simply replacing the viewfinder is especially noteworthy.

Videos are still recorded in Full HD. Ultra HD or HFR are not supported.

Display

Huawei has also only modified details in the screen. The screen's diagonal has increased slightly to 5.2-inches. The resolution is still 1920x1080 pixels, which equals an aspect ratio of 16:9 and 424 ppi. The reproduced content is thus razor sharp.

Huawei uses an IPS-Neo screen for the first time in the P8, and it is awesome. Although the maximum brightness does not set new standards, the black level is just supreme for an LC screen at only 0.28 cd/m². That makes an astronomical brightness possible, which only AMOLED screens can presently surpass. We remain curious as to how it will fare in the detailed color accuracy test.

Independent journalism is made possible by advertising. We show the least amount of ads whenever possible but we intentionally show more ads when an adblocker is used. Please, switch off ad blockers and support us!

431
cd/m²
442
cd/m²
439
cd/m²
422
cd/m²
453
cd/m²
444
cd/m²
419
cd/m²
444
cd/m²
458
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 458 cd/m² Average: 439.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 453 cd/m²
Contrast: 1618:1 (Black: 0.28 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.7 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 5.03 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
72.04% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.27
Huawei P8
Mali-T628 MP4, Kirin 930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Huawei Ascend P7
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
OnePlus One
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 64 GB eMMC Flash
HTC One M9
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
Screen
-36%
-14%
-49%
-34%
-18%
14%
Brightness middle
453
464
2%
519
15%
417
-8%
423
-7%
474
5%
343
-24%
Brightness
439
470
7%
496
13%
395
-10%
408
-7%
458
4%
338
-23%
Brightness Distribution
91
92
1%
90
-1%
89
-2%
83
-9%
85
-7%
94
3%
Black Level *
0.28
0.92
-229%
0.62
-121%
0.96
-243%
0.54
-93%
0.4
-43%
Contrast
1618
504
-69%
837
-48%
434
-73%
783
-52%
1185
-27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.7
4.18
11%
3.67
22%
5.67
-21%
5.56
-18%
6.32
-34%
2.2
53%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.03
3.71
26%
3.78
25%
5.66
-13%
7.55
-50%
6.36
-26%
2.37
53%
Gamma
2.27 97%
2.48 89%
2.42 91%
2.53 87%
2.33 94%
2.43 91%
2.41 91%
CCT
7439 87%
6441 101%
7327 89%
7741 84%
7624 85%
8218 79%
6425 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
72.04
59
-18%
58.81
-18%
87.77
22%

* ... smaller is better

Performance

Huawei's P8 is powered by the in-house HiSilicon Kirin 930 alongside 3 GB of working memory. The SoC supports the available 64-bit architecture of the preloaded Google Android 5.0 Lollipop and uses an ARM Mali-T628 MP4 for graphics calculations.

The processor offers two quad-cores (4x Cortex A57 and 4x Cortex A53) that are built in 16 nanometers and operate in the big-LITTLE concept. Since it clocks with up to 2.0 GHz, it should be on par with Samsung's Exynos 7420 in the Galaxy S6 Edge or the Snapdragon 810 in One's M9.

Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei P8
3458 Points ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
5619 Points ∼15% +62%
HTC One M9
3835 Points ∼10% +11%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei P8
864 Points ∼18%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1503 Points ∼31% +74%
HTC One M9
1275 Points ∼26% +48%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei P8
45927 Points ∼57%
LG G3
36792 Points ∼46% -20%
OnePlus One
47123 Points ∼58% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
72094 Points ∼89% +57%
HTC One M9
55374 Points ∼69% +21%
Sony Xperia Z3
42125 Points ∼52% -8%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
50360 Points ∼62% +10%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei P8
10 fps ∼0%
Huawei Ascend P7
12.3 fps ∼0% +23%
LG G3
26.7 fps ∼0% +167%
OnePlus One
28 fps ∼0% +180%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
53 fps ∼0% +430%
HTC One M9
49 fps ∼0% +390%
Sony Xperia Z3
27.5 fps ∼0% +175%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
44.8 fps ∼0% +348%
Nokia Lumia 930
15 fps ∼0% +50%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei P8
11 fps ∼0%
Huawei Ascend P7
12.4 fps ∼0% +13%
LG G3
20.2 fps ∼1% +84%
OnePlus One
29 fps ∼1% +164%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
32 fps ∼1% +191%
HTC One M9
50 fps ∼1% +355%
Sony Xperia Z3
29.4 fps ∼1% +167%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
52.4 fps ∼2% +376%
Nokia Lumia 930
20 fps ∼1% +82%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei P8
5.5 fps ∼0%
LG G3
11.3 fps ∼0% +105%
OnePlus One
12 fps ∼0% +118%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
25 fps ∼0% +355%
HTC One M9
23 fps ∼0% +318%
Sony Xperia Z3
11.8 fps ∼0% +115%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
18.8 fps ∼0% +242%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei P8
5.8 fps ∼0%
LG G3
7.3 fps ∼0% +26%
OnePlus One
12 fps ∼0% +107%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
15 fps ∼0% +159%
HTC One M9
24 fps ∼1% +314%
Sony Xperia Z3
12.6 fps ∼0% +117%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
30.6 fps ∼1% +428%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Huawei P8
694 Points ∼34%
LG G3
635 Points ∼31% -9%
OnePlus One
661 Points ∼32% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
778 Points ∼38% +12%
HTC One M9
789 Points ∼39% +14%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
1092 Points ∼54% +57%
Nokia Lumia 930
579 Points ∼28% -17%
Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei P8
882 Points ∼3%
LG G3
2530 Points ∼9% +187%
OnePlus One
2382 Points ∼8% +170%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
2489 Points ∼9% +182%
HTC One M9
3210 Points ∼11% +264%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
2389 Points ∼8% +171%
Nokia Lumia 930
1233 Points ∼4% +40%
Memory (sort by value)
Huawei P8
1216 Points ∼19%
LG G3
610 Points ∼10% -50%
OnePlus One
587 Points ∼9% -52%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1426 Points ∼23% +17%
HTC One M9
933 Points ∼15% -23%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
536 Points ∼9% -56%
Nokia Lumia 930
1500 Points ∼24% +23%
System (sort by value)
Huawei P8
1860 Points ∼11%
LG G3
1387 Points ∼8% -25%
OnePlus One
1768 Points ∼11% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
3989 Points ∼24% +114%
HTC One M9
1672 Points ∼10% -10%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
2038 Points ∼12% +10%
Nokia Lumia 930
1296 Points ∼8% -30%
Overall (sort by value)
Huawei P8
1085 Points ∼13%
LG G3
1080 Points ∼13% 0%
OnePlus One
1131 Points ∼13% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1821 Points ∼22% +68%
HTC One M9
1410 Points ∼17% +30%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
1299 Points ∼15% +20%
Nokia Lumia 930
1085 Points ∼13% 0%
WebXPRT 2013
Offline Notes (sort by value)
Huawei P8
1355.4 ms * ∼28%
Huawei Ascend P7
1394.4 ms * ∼29% -3%
LG G3
1227 ms * ∼26% +9%
LG G3
1124.3 ms * ∼23% +17%
OnePlus One
1799 ms * ∼38% -33%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
929.4 ms * ∼19% +31%
HTC One M9
1132.1 ms * ∼24% +16%
Sony Xperia Z3
1192 ms * ∼25% +12%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
499 ms * ∼10% +63%
Nokia Lumia 930
1226 ms * ∼26% +10%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
Huawei P8
1223.7 ms * ∼33%
Huawei Ascend P7
1509.7 ms * ∼40% -23%
LG G3
1183 ms * ∼32% +3%
LG G3
1078.1 ms * ∼29% +12%
OnePlus One
1488.1 ms * ∼40% -22%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
648.5 ms * ∼17% +47%
HTC One M9
1087.6 ms * ∼29% +11%
Sony Xperia Z3
1103 ms * ∼29% +10%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
338 ms * ∼9% +72%
Nokia Lumia 930
1189 ms * ∼32% +3%
Face Detection (sort by value)
Huawei P8
2145 ms * ∼18%
Huawei Ascend P7
4339.9 ms * ∼36% -102%
LG G3
2277 ms * ∼19% -6%
LG G3
1785 ms * ∼15% +17%
OnePlus One
2123.9 ms * ∼18% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
830.5 ms * ∼7% +61%
HTC One M9
2237.3 ms * ∼18% -4%
Sony Xperia Z3
7831 ms * ∼65% -265%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
1463.2 ms * ∼12% +32%
Nokia Lumia 930
2515 ms * ∼21% -17%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
Huawei P8
1432.4 ms * ∼16%
Huawei Ascend P7
821.4 ms * ∼9% +43%
LG G3
1202 ms * ∼13% +16%
LG G3
1106.7 ms * ∼12% +23%
OnePlus One
945.7 ms * ∼11% +34%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
371.8 ms * ∼4% +74%
HTC One M9
1585.1 ms * ∼18% -11%
Sony Xperia Z3
875 ms * ∼10% +39%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
904.7 ms * ∼10% +37%
Nokia Lumia 930
1004 ms * ∼11% +30%
Overall Score (sort by value)
Huawei P8
276 Points ∼12%
Huawei Ascend P7
252 Points ∼11% -9%
LG G3
314 Points ∼14% +14%
LG G3
313 Points ∼14% +13%
OnePlus One
273 Points ∼12% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
634 Points ∼28% +130%
HTC One M9
287 Points ∼13% +4%
Sony Xperia Z3
345 Points ∼15% +25%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
604 Points ∼27% +119%
Nokia Lumia 930
300 Points ∼13% +9%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei P8
4084 Points ∼8%
Huawei Ascend P7
2775 Points ∼6% -32%
LG G3
4345 Points ∼9% +6%
LG G3
3892 Points ∼8% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
8650 Points ∼17% +112%
HTC One M9
6493 Points ∼13% +59%
Sony Xperia Z3
5339 Points ∼11% +31%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
7276 Points ∼15% +78%
Nokia Lumia 930
2737 Points ∼5% -33%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei P8
1163.6 ms * ∼13%
Huawei Ascend P7
1042.7 ms * ∼11% +10%
LG G3
900 ms * ∼10% +23%
LG G3
629.3 ms * ∼7% +46%
OnePlus One
2180.1 ms * ∼24% -87%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
347.1 ms * ∼4% +70%
HTC One M9
839.7 ms * ∼9% +28%
Sony Xperia Z3
827.5 ms * ∼9% +29%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
347.4 ms * ∼4% +70%
Nokia Lumia 930
534 ms * ∼6% +54%

Legend

 
Huawei P8 HiSilicon Kirin 930, ARM Mali-T628 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Ascend P7 HiSilicon Kirin 910T, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG G3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus One Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Samsung Exynos 7420 Octa, ARM Mali-T760 MP8, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
HTC One M9 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6 Plus Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia Lumia 930 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Max. Load
 31.5 °C
89 F
34.2 °C
94 F
34.7 °C
94 F
 
 30.9 °C
88 F
32.4 °C
90 F
35.7 °C
96 F
 
 30.5 °C
87 F
30.3 °C
87 F
32 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 35.7 °C = 96 F
Average: 32.5 °C = 91 F
30.7 °C
87 F
31.3 °C
88 F
31.1 °C
88 F
30.3 °C
87 F
30.5 °C
87 F
30.7 °C
87 F
29.6 °C
85 F
29.8 °C
86 F
29.5 °C
85 F
Maximum: 31.3 °C = 88 F
Average: 30.4 °C = 87 F
Power Supply (max.)  34 °C = 93 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.5 °C / 91 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 35.7 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 31.3 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.6 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Energy Management & Battery Runtime

The power consumption of Huawei's P8 is only marginally higher than that of the precursor. However, the slightly bigger battery should enable identical battery runtimes. Huawei states a runtime of over two days in moderate use.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.7 / 2 / 2.1 Watt
Load midlight 4.9 / 7.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 870

Preliminary Verdict

In review: Huawei P8. Review sample courtesy of Huawei.
In review: Huawei P8. Review sample courtesy of Huawei.

Huawei seems to have developed a round product with its P8. The design is attractive, and it is based on a mix of high-quality materials. The high-contrast screen has an outstanding black level. Furthermore, the camera delivers pretty good pictures and is also very fast.

It is nice to see that Huawei maintains virtues like the option of expanding the storage. Only the communication interfaces are a bit meager. We would have wished for LTE Cat. 6 and ac Wi-Fi in a premium-range smartphone.

Huawei's P8 feels like a flagship smartphone, and it also looks like one. Differences only become apparent in the technical details. Although they might even go unnoticed in everyday use, they will prevent the device from reaching the top ranks. Regardless of that, Huawei's P8 offers a first-rate price-performance ratio.

Pricecompare

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Huawei P8 Smartphone First Impressions
Daniel Schmidt, 2015-04-24 (Update: 2018-05-15)