The Huawei P8 bets on design and the camera
It was the fourth largest smartphone maker in the world according to IDC data (the third if we separate Lenovo from Motorola) by volume, and Huawei has long wanted to be in the battle for high-end too. Now it presents its new candidate in this segment: the Huawei P8.
The new smartphone from this manufacturer presents strong credentials to achieve a place among the select group of terminals that try to gain the trust of users in this segment. By design and specifications -attentive to its camera and its autonomy- we are facing a promising competitor in that device division.
A design clearly focused on a high-end
The lines of the Huawei P8 remind us of those of the last Sony Xperia Z, with square shapes except for slightly rounded corners. Both the chassis, the frame and the rear and front casings have been made of aluminum, and Huawei boast of having achieved a unibody design and construction in aluminum.
The frames are - unlike those of its predecessor - rounded, something that will make the grip more comfortable but can also make these terminals seem a bit more slippery. Huawei will offer four different colors in this model: Mystic Champagne, Prestige Gold, Titanium Gray and Carbon Black.
The combination of those lines allows us to have a really elegant look in which the flat surfaces and the straight lines that we see in the front and back glass case are combined with those curved edges that seem to follow the trend of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and, of the latest Apple models. That design has also taken into account that section of thinness in which Huawei had already excelled in the past, and we find ourselves with a thickness of 6.4 millimeters and a weight of 144 grams.
Huawei P8 specifications
Huawei's new high-end smartphone arrives with a 5.2-inch screen with FullHD (1080p) resolution, which would confirm those statements in which the company's managers ruled out QHD resolutions. This makes it possible to take better advantage of the battery capacity and move all the elements of the screen with greater fluidity, and for many the differences with higher resolution panels are practically negligible.
The ratio of what the screen occupies in relation to the front is 78.3%, which makes that even with this diagonal the device is comparable in total size to other devices with even smaller screens such as the Galaxy S6. The upper and lower frames are contained -but that does not take away space from the front 8-megapixel sensor), while in the rear we have that 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilizer and RBGW sensor.
One of the defining characteristics of this terminal will be based on a SoC from Huawei itself. This is the Huawei Kirin 930 (there is a version with the Kirin 935 in which the GPU wins some integers), which succeeds the Kirin 910T of the Huawei Ascend P7. This development integrates a 64-bit octo core CPU (8 Cortex A-53 cores, four of them at 2.2 GHz and the other four at 1.5 GHz), an ARM Mali T628 GPU and a Cat 6 LTE modem. Other options. Too bad the especially promising Kirin 940 and 950 have not arrived on time in which the new Cortex-A72s are protagonists and also integrate features such as UFS 2.0.
See complete gallery »Huawei P8 (10 photos)
Accompanying that processor are 3 GB of RAM and 16 or 64 GB of internal storage capacity expandable through Micro SD slots. The battery has a capacity of 2,680 mAh, which given the dimensions and components of the device augurs a particularly remarkable autonomy, although this operation will have to be verified in real tests. It is surprising to see how WiFi connectivity does not support the 802.11ac standard and we are left with 802.11n, although we do have Bluetooth 4.1 + LE.
The software section of this Huawei P8 is covered with the pre-installation of Android 5.0 Lollipop, which has been integrated with a new version of Emotion UI 3.1 (also known as EMUI 3.1), the Huawei customization layer that this time focuses on try to simplify access to the different options of the device.
As in past editions, this layer has the peculiarity of supporting themes that allow the general appearance of all the visual elements to be modified quickly and which also has a section in which blocks with rectangular shapes allow displaying various data and information, slightly remembering the Blinkfeed by HTC.
The camera, greedy of light
While on the P6 they introduced selfies and macro photos at 4cm, on the P7 they introduced the group selfie and photo enhancements in low light conditions. In the case of the P8 they have tried to improve the quality of the camera in conditions of low light and high dynamic range.
To do this, they have created an ISP that compares with that presented by DSLR cameras and also integrates an optical image stabilization system that allows, among other things, to compensate for movement and vibration when taking images or videos with the 13-megapixel camera. this device. Huawei engineers have also boasted that this camera does not have any protrusion, something that does affect the cameras of the iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6 presented in recent months.
This is according to Huawei the first RGBW sensor (four colors, includes white) with that resolution in the world, which the firm indicates that it produces 32% more brightness in high-contrast situations and 78% less noise in low conditions. brightness when comparing this sensor with an RGB one in the same conditions.
The new technology from Huawei allows, for example, in situations with a high dynamic range, four frames are taken at the same time, which are then combined to produce a capture with as much detail as possible and which allows providing all the information that helps to obtain richer images. .
Among the innovative software functions for this camera, "light painting" stands out, which allows adding effects such as light trails that imitate those that vehicles would leave at night when using long exposure times. The immediate preview function allows us to check what photo we have taken before taking it, something "impossible on DSLRs
Another of the most striking effects was the "Director mode video", which allows you to combine clips from four different smartphones for easy multi-camera video editing. Selfies are also protagonists and the software of the P8 now offers fast face recognition (10 ms) and automatic enhancement to" beautify "people who use this function.
Huawei has made major improvements in an area that others neglect: that of connectivity. In this design, the internal construction in which this manufacturer has integrated the Huawei Signal + technology has been important, which combines two small antennas with a system that allows activating and deactivating one or the other in very short times: 32.5 microseconds compared to 2,800 microseconds from other platforms.
This allows us, among other things, not to suffer from the "Dead hold" problem, which means that as we pick up the phone, we may experience missed calls or less connectivity. According to Huawei, this option allows us to reduce the number of missed calls by 50% and improve the call connection rate by 20%, as we take the device.
Huawei Wi-Fi + allows you to automatically connect and switch WiFi or mobile network automatically to take advantage of the best wireless signal at all times. It is not necessary to manually change the WiFi signal, since this technology does it for us. Another improvement makes the connection to roaming networks with Huawei Roaming +, which allows us to reduce the time it takes to manage the connection to mobile networks on our trips. By the way: this device detects the local prefix of the country and applies it so that we can make calls to local contacts without problems.
At Huawei they have also paid attention to users of various SIM cards. To facilitate this management of different voice and data plans simultaneously. The configuration is made thanks to Dual SIM support (two nano SIMs with support for two 4G LTE cards, one of them is combined with a Micro SD slot as it was already done in the Ascend P7)
Very practical solutions for various situations
The Huawei P8 also integrates a digital sound processor that helps in environments where there is a lot of noise - or where the wind prevents communication. With this novelty it is possible to reduce by 90% that sound of the wind to improve the quality of the conversation. Related to this improvement is the new hands-free conversation mode in which the highly sensitive microphone also improves the audio quality in these situations.
Huawei engineers have also integrated other practical improvements such as a system that allows the phone to be located with the phrase "Hi buddy"(that we can configure" to later say "Where are you?"(" Where are you? ") So that the phone answers and we can find you in those frequent situations at home or the office where we are not sure where we left it.
At Huawei, they believe that the fingerprint sensors currently do not work well enough and have not integrated this type of functionality, but they do allow you to unlock the phone with accessories such as quantification bracelets through Bluetooth connectivity, as in the TalkBand B2.
Another singular novelty: a case with an electronic ink screen that allows you to read books directly on that screen without spending little battery on the device, and that also allows displaying some information such as the task list, the time or the clock. This 4.3-inch screen (the rest are frames) allows you to read perfectly even in sunlight.
A big brother in a big way: the Huawei P8 Max
Accompanying that device, this manufacturer also presented a surprise: the Huawei P8 Max, a huge phablet with a diagonal of 6.8 inches and 1080p resolution, and an impressive 4,360 mAh battery that promises almost two and a half days of autonomy with a single load.
That battery also provides a curious reverse charging system that allows the P8 Max to charge a device in turn and serve as an auxiliary external power supply, another of the practical functionalities that Huawei has taken out of its sleeve in this presentation.
In this device, the same principles are used as in the P8 in design, which allows you to enjoy a front in which most of the surface is a screen and in which that unibody aluminum construction that looks so good manners also stands out. demonstrate in the presentation. It also inherits that camera and the effects that this manufacturer has wanted to highlight in this product, as well as the hardware specifications in terms of processor, integration of the double antenna system or RAM and storage system capacities. The front camera, yes, is 5 Mpixels.
Price and availability
The Huawei P8 is available in a "standard" version with 3 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage capacity and in Titanium Gray and Mystic Champagne colors for 499 euros. The Premium version, with 64 GB of storage capacity and in Carbon Black and Prestige Gold colors will cost 599 euros.
For its part, the Huawei P8 Max will have the same two versions for 549 and 649 euros, and while in the P8 we find a version with a SIM and Dual SIM, in the case of the P8 Max there is only a Dual SIM version. The devices will be available in about 30 countries around the world initially - Spain included in that first batch, but they do not specify dates -, and in a month that availability will be global.