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Huawei's Mate 8 looks to continue success of Nexus 6P

By James Lu - on 8 Mar 2016, 6:10pm

Huawei's Mate 8 looks to continue success of Nexus 6P

Riding on the success of its recent Nexus 6P partnership with Google, Huawei has just launched a new flagship phablet, the Mate 8. The 6-inch device sports a Full HD display, a full-metal build, and boasts a massive 4,000mAh battery that can be used to charge other devices.

The Mate 8 is the successor to last year’s Mate 7 and is the first smartphone to be powered by Huawei's new octa-core Kirin 950 processor, which Huawei claims offers 100% more CPU power, 125% better GPU performance and 70% more power efficiency than its predecessor, the Kirin 925. Notably, the Kirin 950 uses an ARM Mali-T880 GPU, which is the same GPU found in Samsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

The Mate 8 has a 6-inch display, but is impressively compact, and has roughly the same dimensions as Apple's 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus - it's 3mm wider, but 1mm shorter. The phone has a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixels resolution, giving it 368ppi. Inside the Mate 8, Huawei has packed in a 4,000mAh capacity battery. Huawei claims that the Mate 8 will last up to two days of normal use, or about one and a half days of heavy use. In fact, Huawei is so confident in the Mate 8's long battery life, there's a reverse charging option where you can use your Mate 8 to supply power to other devices via its USB port.

On the back of the phone, the Mate 8 has a 16-megapixel camera module with an f/2.0 aperture, 27mm focal length lens, which is paired with Sony's new IMX298 BSI CMOS sensor. The camera has tai-axis Optical Image Stabilisation, dual-tone LED flash, and Phase Detection/Continuous Autofocus. Below the camera module, you'll find a circular fingerprint scanner that appears to be the same one we saw in the Nexus 6P. On the front, there's an 8-megapixel f/2.4 selfie camera.

Thanks to Huawei's close partnership with Google, the Mate 8 is one of the first phones shipping with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. Having said that, Huawei has skinned the OS with its own EMUI 4.0, which makes some pretty drastic changes, including the removal of the app drawer. Huawei's EMUI 4.0 interface also includes some of its own improvements, including a split-screen dual window mode and Huawei's unique Knuckle Sense technology, which lets you use your knuckle to launch a variety of shortcuts and functions, for example, you can double tap the screen with your knuckle to take a screenshot.

Knuckle Sense 2.0 menu on the Mate 8

Two versions of the Mate 8 will be available worldwide, a standard model with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, and a premium edition, which will be the only model available in Singapore, which comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The premium edition also include dual 4G LTE nano-SIM card trays, with the second tray doubling up as a microSD card slot, compatible with cards up to 128GB, while the 3GB variant is single SIM only.

The Huawei Mate 8 Premium (4GB/64GB storage/dual SIM) will be launching in Singapore on 10th March in Champagne Gold for S$888. For a limited period after launch, Huawei will also be bundling the Mate 8 with a Huawei B0 smartwatch worth S$129. The Mate 8 will be available from all three telcos, Lazada, and Huawei's flagship store at Plaza Singapura.


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