First look at the Huawei Mate 8 phablet

Huawei has turned on the vacuum cleaner mode when they collect the best from the market, rethink and refine these ideas for themselves by releasing their products. I wrote and thought that this could be said about any company, be it Apple, Samsung, HTC or anyone else. Everyone takes other people's ideas and rethinks them, creating something of their own. The meaning of what I wanted to say is lost, and therefore it is better to explain it with a concrete example. So, Mate 8 can be considered a complete continuation of the seventh model, the same design, the same case materials, the quality of packaging. You look at the back of the device from afar and you don’t understand exactly which Mate is in front of you, you can distinguish it by color and a number of signs. This is what the Mate 7 looks like.

And this is what the back of the new Mate 8 looks like.

It's hard to be surprised that the models are similar, but we must remember that the Mate 7 was often said to be based on the HTC Max design. But if we look inside the device, we will see that many software chips and “finds” are clearly borrowed from Samsung. This is another reading of a flagship device that is not for everyone, the phablet, which should, on the one hand, give maximum technical characteristics, on the other hand, offer the convenience of everyday work and a long life cycle. Huawei is one of the few vertically integrated corporations, which means that it independently develops the processor and technical solutions for its smartphones, in Mate 8 this is fully manifested. But since Huawei plays the role of a catch-up in relation to the market leaders, it cannot be said that these solutions are exceptional. Good, noticeably different from the mass, but not at the level of the flagships of other companies.

Huawei has a long way to go to the top, the company has ambitions to become number one in the world, even if it takes time. And to become number one, you need to increase the audience of those who buy Huawei products, knowing that technically they are as saturated as possible. It is for this audience that the Mate 8 was released, although it is inferior in many respects to the same Note5 / EDGE +, but it wins in several aspects. It is curious how Huawei's reading of the phablet differs from other companies whose solutions are clearly used in this product. It is the difference in approaches that has created an interesting and unusual device, which has every chance of becoming in demand for a certain audience, albeit not a mass one. But the Mate line never had the goal of becoming a mass product, it is aimed at a small layer of amateurs, like all phablets in general. Let's see what the company has done in this device and how it works.

Design, dimensions, controls

Let's start with the fact that there are two versions of this device, for one and two SIM-cards. The technical characteristics show the difference in the supported ranges, it is not gigantic. In most markets, a dual-SIM model will be available, with four body colors for it, while for single-SIM only silver and gray cases.

At the presentation, the company was very proud that for the first time a Mocha Gold color phone appeared on the market, no one had ever released such a color before. It seems to me that the subject of pride here is sucked out of your finger.

The case is made of metal, the paint is matte, it easily leaves marks from other items in the pockets of clothes, they are also easily erased if you rub the case. But handprints on such a surface are not visible, it is non-marking. If we talk about the fact that the case can be scratched, then this is not so easy to do. Over time, the device will retain its appearance and will not look bad. Nosky - this is the word I want to apply to him.

The dimensions of the phone are 157.1x80.6x7.9 mm, weight - 185 grams. This is a phablet, so the size and weight of the Bmw Cars in Kubwa is to be expected, although they are larger than the best examples. On the other hand, here the screen is 6 inches, which is almost the upper limit, further growth of the diagonal will make it difficult to use the device.

Compared to Samsung Galaxy Note 5

I'm used to phablets, I constantly use two - EDGE + / Note 5, they fit a little better in my hand, in Mate 8 the width is just a little more than it would be comfortable for my hand, and I have a big one. That is, for most, the device will be too wide.

In the upper and lower parts of the case there are plastic inserts in the main color, antennas are hidden behind them. In my commercial and absolutely new device, one of the inserts had a small defect, it was pressed in, it was not even. This is a minus of the assembly, but this happens in the first batches, I am sure that a small number of people will be able to face this in practice. It did not cause irritation in me, but for many people even such trifles in devices of this class are considered a problem of the world order, a matter of perception.

The controls and connectors are placed like this. On the bottom end there is one of the three microphones, as well as a microUSB connector (why not Type C?), two speaker grilles, one of them is fake, since the speaker is presented in a single copy. On the right side there is a volume rocker and an on/off button. On the other hand, there is a slot for SIM cards, they are in the nanoSIM format, instead of one of the cards, you can install a memory card.

A 3.5 mm headphone jack is located on the top end. Above the screen you can see the light sensor, proximity, front camera. The screen itself is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 4, the milky color of the plastic and small roundings along the edges are a sign of the last year.

There is a fingerprint sensor on the back surface, this arrangement is unusual, but you quickly get used to it. It would be more convenient if the sensor was on the central button (but it is not here) or on the side, as in Sony phones. This arrangement is perhaps the most unfortunate, but many people get used to it. The only problem here is the massive case and the fact that you have to reach for the button.

Apart from the aforementioned roughness, I have no complaints about the build quality. There is nothing special here, many companies have mastered this level today. But the packaging is very nice, a black box, an envelope inside for instructions and a bumper. Unfortunately, they overlooked a bit here, during transportation, the charger and headphones rub against the black box, paint appears on them. It can be erased, but when you open the boxes for the first time, you don't understand why your new headphones are dirty.


The question of what matrix is ​​used in Mate 8 was carefully avoided during the presentation, and then on the sidelines they somehow swallowed the answer, trying not to talk about it. It turned out that there is no AMOLED here, just a regular IPS screen from Japan Displays, an updated version of what we saw almost two years ago in the Mate 7. The resolution is only FullHD at 6 inches (368 ppi), although there was a QHD screen would be appropriate. Let me remind you that the matrix in Mate 7 at that time caused extremely positive reviews, but the years go by, and the new generation of AMOLED noticeably wins both in color reproduction and in resolution, minimum and maximum screen brightness.

It turns out that the display in Mate 8 is average. He is good, but he can not boast of something unusual. I often lacked the maximum brightness on the street.

In the settings it is possible to adjust the color temperature, change the font size. Everything is standard and nothing out of the ordinary. The automatic brightness control is a bit muted, I missed it. There is a mode of operation with gloves.


The built-in Li-Pol battery has a capacity of 4000 mAh. During the presentation, Huawei spoke about some cosmic results of the device’s operation, in their opinion, it can play video up to 17 hours, but it works for 2-odd days.

Can't you find any contradiction here? The phone can play video for 17 hours, which is one of the most energy-intensive tasks that can be, but it only lasts 2.3 days. This surprised me during the presentation, and therefore I tried to see how much a fully charged phone can actually work when playing HD video in MX Player. The result disappointed me, a little less than 7 hours.

This is very little for a battery of this capacity, apparently, screen consumption affects, I can’t find another explanation. Surprisingly, with moderate use, the device lives for about two days (3.5 hours of screen operation, Wi-Fi data transfer). Unfortunately, I did not see any huge achievements in this aspect and, moreover, I want to note that it is better to lower the processor frequency in the settings, since this will not affect the system performance, there are no visual differences, but the operating time will increase by 10 -15 percent.

The kit includes “fast charging”, they talked a lot about it at the presentation, but in fact it is a little more stupid than that of competitors, since it can only charge in two modes - initial at 9V / 2A and subsequent 5V / 2A. With all other manufacturers, the voltage and amperage vary in a wider range, which allows for more flexible and faster charging of the battery.

The Mate 8 takes 150 minutes to fully charge the battery, but it takes about 45-50 minutes to charge it to 50 percent.


This is something to be proud of, Huawei has added support for most of the world's LTE networks, the device is omnivorous and will work everywhere, see the Specifications section to see which bands are supported. The device has NFC. The antenna for Wi-Fi is dual-band, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac is supported. In addition to traditional GPS support, there is also GLONASS, I note that, like in Mate 7, the navigation here is very good, the device quickly “sees” satellites, and a cold start takes only about a minute.

Memory, RAM, hardware platform

There are two hardware differences, the 32 GB version has 3 GB of RAM (I had such a device), the 64 GB version has 4 GB of RAM. As far as I know, there are no big performance differences.

The handset is powered by Huawei's own chipset and is the first model to use this flagship processor - HUAWEI Kirin 950 (64-bit,16nm FinFET+), Octa-core (4 x 2.3 GHz A72+ 4 x 1.8 GHz A53). For the first time, the phone uses a processor with A72 cores, that is, its performance should be at the maximum level, and this is the case in synthetic tests.

In everyday life, the device is fast in the interface, you will not see any slowdowns or anything like that. But it is impossible to say that it is somehow or in some way faster than the same Note5 / EDGE +, everything is approximately on the same level.

To solve the problem of overheating, DX19 material is used, it effectively dissipates heat.

I've run the phone in different modes and I can say that it really does not heat up as much as its predecessor, the improvement is immediately noticeable here.


The main camera is built on a module from Sony (IMX298), its resolution is 16 megapixels. The performance of the camera is not the most outstanding by today's standards, but improved shooting in the dark. Surprisingly, there is no 4K video recording that others have mastered for a couple of years, only FullHD.

Look at sample shots and compare them with EDGE +, I like the speed of work, the quality of the camera on Samsung more. In most cases, the Mate 8 camera loses, and in real life it is less convenient both in terms of interface and settings.

Huawei Mate 8 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

Here are some more photos and videos from the Mate 8 test.

Program features

The device is built on Android 6.0, but uses its own EMUI 4.0 shell, the version has grown compared to previous devices. There aren't many visual differences, but there are gestures, like tapping the screen with your knuckles to trigger certain functions. The fingerprint was assigned not only to unlock the device, but also access to additional features. With the software update over the air, it will be possible to take screenshots to the entire height of the page, including its invisible part (surprise, and where did we see this?).

But overall, it's typical Android with not many changes.