Huawei P8 hands-on

Huawei unveiled its new high-end flagship phone, the P8, on 15 April 2015, and we were fortunate enough to get our hands on it.

The P8 is the latest in the Chinese company’s premium “P” range, improving on last year’s Ascend P7 with a bigger screen, brighter camera, and longer battery life.

We weren’t able to test the battery when using the demo phone, but we did get to try out its other features.

The word “premium” was repeated a lot during the launch, and that’s certainly the first impression the P8 makes when you pick it up.

Its golden metal body, large screen, and flush camera give it the aesthetic appeal of a high-end device.

Huawei P8 front
Huawei P8 front

The P8 feels comfortable in your hand – it’s not too heavy and the screen-to-body-ratio makes it seem like a much bigger phone than it is.

At the launch Huawei emphasised the phone’s ability to take great photographs in the dark, and that the device boasts a “world first” four-colour RGBW imaging sensor.

The 5.2-inch HD display is 424ppi, and is impressive to use. Huawei promises it will perform well in bright and low-light conditions.

An unusual feature we tried out was Knuckle sense, where you can capture a screenshot by tapping your knuckle on the screen. I was dubious, but it worked surprisingly well .

Overall, the touchscreen is responsive and I found Huawei’s Emotion UI, the user interface they skinned Android with, to be fairly intuitive.

Huawei P8 photo
Huawei P8 photo
Huawei P8 night photo
Huawei P8 night photo

Launch date, price

Huawei said the initial launch of the P8 would extend to over 30 countries, with the phone set to arrive in South Africa in June.

Expect to pay between R7,000 – R8,000 for the P8, according to local Huawei representatives.

The P8’s specifications are detailed in the table below.

Specifications Huawei P8
Dimensions 144.9 x 72.1 x 6.4 mm
Weight 144g
Operating system Android 5.0
Display 5.2″ 1080p (1080×1920)
Rear camera 13MP
Front camera 8MP
Storage, internal 16GB / 64GB
Storage, expandable microSD
Processor 2GHz octa-core Kirin 930
Battery 2,680mAh
Cellular data LTE, HSPA+
SIM type Dual, flexible
Huawei P8 launch - a quick drink before the show begins
Huawei P8 launch
Huawei P8 launch about to begin
Huawei P8 launch
Huawei P8 launch - Richard Yu presenting on stage in London
Huawei P8 launch – Richard Yu
Huawei P8 - Richard Yu Talks about the Light Painting feature
Huawei P8 – Richard Yu talks about the Light Painting feature
Huawei P8 side
Huawei P8 side
Huawei P8 rear
Huawei P8 rear

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Huawei P8 hands-on