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Huawei P8 launched, boasts better camera than iPhone 6 Plus

Huawei has unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Huawei P8, which packs a slender all-metal frame and apparently a better camera than the iPhone 6 Plus. And it can also tell your knuckle from your fingertip…

The talking point of last year’s Huawei Ascend P7 phone was its sleek, slender design (and that insanely sharp 8-megapixel selfie cam), and this year Huawei has followed up with the spangly new Huawei P8, which ditches the ‘Ascend’ bit but concentrates just as much on good looks. But Huawei also reckons the all-new camera takes Apple’s phone optics for a ride.

Huawei P8 design

‘Absolute flatness’ was how Huawei described the Huawei P8’s design, so expect zero lumpy bits along the slender, 6.4mm full metal aluminum body – no jutting camera lenses or other eyesores. But while the P8’s edges are nice and straight, the corners are curvy to make it a comfortable fit in the hand. It’s also ‘spill resistant’, but not full-on water resistant, so don’t drop it in your shandy.

You can grab the Huawei P8 in champagne, gold, grey and black. And there will be a cool e-ink cover available at launch, which copies the YotaPhone’s idea of using a low-powered second screen to check your notifications and save battery power.

Random interesting fact: Huawei spends 810 minutes constructing the metal unibody frame of every P8 phone!

Huawei P8 specs

A 5.2-inch ‘NEO’ display takes up an impressive 78.3% of the phone’s front panel, thanks to the tiny bezels surrounding it. The P8’s screen itself is Full HD and apparently drains less power than previous models, to help conserve battery power.

The P8 is powered by a 64-bit octa-core processor (4x2GHz and 4×1.5GHz cores) that’s 80% faster than last year’s Ascend P7. Apparently the processor is smart enough to figure out what you’re doing and scale down the power it’s sapping, so the P8 will – if Huawei’s claims are accurate – last for a whopping 2.3 days, although that’s just standby time. Still, Huawei reckons we’ll get 1.5 days of standard use and a full 24 hours even if we hammer it, so we’re looking forward to checking it out in our real-life tests.

Huawei P8 features

Android Lollipop is on board and Huawei has once again produced loads of different themes so you can fully customise how the P8 looks. And there’s a load of extra features packed in too…

Most interesting is the ‘knuckle mode’ which, if we understand correctly, means that the phone can distinguish whether you’re scraping your fingertip or your knuckle across the screen. You can therefore do different things using your knuckle, such as highlight some text in a web browser instead of scrolling through the page.

The Huawei P8 also supports quick charge, just like Samsung’s Galaxy S6, so you should hopefully get a full charge in an hour and a half. We’ll be testing this out in our full review. And Huawei also reckons that the all-metal body and updated antenna means 50% less dropped calls than previous phones, while 4G support means nippy browsing.

Then there’s Huawei’s Wi-Fi+ feature, which can find the best possible Wi-Fi hotspot for you. So if you have two Wi-Fi hotspots at home, or multiple choices in your office, the phone can apparently select which one will give you the fastest performance. Similarly, the P8 can connect to mobile networks super-quick with Roaming+, which is good news for the lucky few who dodge around the world on business or for jollies.

Random interesting fact: Huawei apparently means Young Tiger in Chinese!

Huawei P8 camera

Now for even more interesting features, and some seriously big boasts.

The P8’s camera features OIS compensation for hand shake to take better, sharper photos, especially in low light. Huawei also told us that the P8 packs the world’s first 4-colour 13-megapixel RGBW imaging sensor, plus a DSLR-level Image Signalling Processor – which in normal speak means less noise in low light photos and brighter shots when contrast is wonky, thanks to the way the phone processes the images.

We were shown photos taken with the P8 compared with the iPhone 6 Plus and the Huawei ones of course looked sharper and clearer in low light. Once again we’ll be fully testing this in real world conditions to see if Huawei’s claims ring true.

And good news if you fancy having your head flattened or your eyes blown up to terrifying anime proportions, as Huawei’s ‘Beauty’ mode makes a return.

Huawei P8 UK price and release date

Huawei’s P8 will be hitting the UK soon from 499 Euros. We’ve got our review unit so we’ll be reviewing it soon. However, that wasn’t all the excitement for today, as Huawei also revealed the new crazy-big 6.8-inch Huawei P8 Max, a phablet version of the P8…

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