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Huawei G8 Review

The Good

  • Premium materials

The Bad

  • Chunky proportions

Huawei G8 Hands-On Review at IFA 2015: Despite taking up mere moments in Huawei’s expansive IFA presentation, the new G8 is actually a compelling device up close.

Design

Huawei dedicated the majority of its IFA preview event to the stylish new Mate S and its gorgeous Android Wear-based watch, but the same premium polish has also been applied to the new Huawei G8 too.

G8 design

Its bezels and lines might not be quite as precise as its launch partner’s, but the G8 does pack a nice all-metal body (Huawei claims 90% of the bodywork is metal) that feels sturdy in the hand. Like the Mate S it boasts a finely textured finish, precise metal hardware keys along its sides and subtle rounding along the edges of the back for a comfortable feel in the hand.

Below the rear-facing camera is also a fingerprint sensor, which promises to be twice as responsive and accurate to use over older Huawei devices with the same feature. In practice it can register even light touches and gestures are supported too.

Screen

The 5.5-inch Full HD display doesn’t appear to have the best overall brightness, but the colours and contrast seem wholly usable for most interactions and media playback, even if the white balance felt a little off in our initial encounter.

G8 screen

Swiping over the display, you’ll notice the pillowed 2.5D glass. It feels nice under finger, but Huawei also claims it helps reduce scrapes and scratches.

OS

Similarly to the Mate S, the Android 5.1 Lollipop-based experience is natural enough to swipe around. Emotion UI 3.1, which runs on top takes a little getting used to coming from more traditional builds of Android, with a dual-tab notifications panel at the top and no apps drawer to speak of whatsoever, but it works.

Flexibility and customisability are key here, with a ton of alternative themes to choose from and support for gestures via the aforementioned rear fingerprint sensor, for pulling down the notifications pane or snapping a selfie.

Performance

An oddity in Huawei’s current smartphone crop, the G8 doesn’t side of HiSilicon’s Kirin processors and instead relies on Qualcomm’s 615 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. On paper this places it in direct rivalry with Motorola’s recently released Moto X Play, so it’ll be interesting to see how they face off against one another.

G8 performance

There are also dual SIM slots, with active 4G connectivity from both at the same time, 32GB of inbuilt storage and a capacious 3000mAh battery, which should tide most users over for a full day of swiping, tapping and snapping as well.

Camera

It seems Huawei is working hard in boosting the imaging prowess its phones are capable of and as such, both of the company’s IFA launch devices pack a new RGBW sensor for better colour reproduction. The rear camera shoots at a 13-megapixel resolution, albeit without the OIS system of the Mate S and in practice is feels fast and appeared to deal with the heavy event lighting fairly well.

G8 camera

There’s also a front-facing 5-megapixel camera, which can be fired off using the rear fingerprint sensor and naturally selfie fans will appreciate the phone’s beauty and foodie modes too.

Verdict

It’s not quite as elegant to look at as its launch partner the Mate S, but the Huawei G8 still packs of lot of the same premium features for considerably less money.

€399 buys you a dual SIM 4G smartphone will an all-metal body (in dark silver, white or gold), a solid pair of cameras, large battery, a respected processor and the latest available build of Android. It’s in a tough space with some notable competition, but after this initial encounter, there’s certainly potential for a great smartphone here.

G8 verdict

The Huawei G8 is set to arrive later this month in a number of markets including the UK and will be on sale through Huawei’s online retail portal, vMall.

Specification

Screen size5.5-inches
Screen resolutionFull HD (1920x1080)
Weight167 grams
OSAndroid 5.1 Lollipop
Rear Camera13-megapixel
Front camera5-megapixel
Processor1.5GHz/1.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615
Memory3GB RAM
Storage32GB
4G LTEYes
Bonus featuresDual SIM, fingerprint sensor

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