Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Bucket Tech: Huawei Mate 8 - Review

A few weeks ago I received something rather cool in the post, Huawei sent me, what I feel is their flagship business phone to review, the Mate 8. Following from it's predecessors, the Mate 7 and Mate S, the 8 had a lot to live up to and after attending the launch in Joburg in April I was keen to put to see how the phone compared to my lifestyle. At the launch they spoke of how the phone was "the pinnacle of style" and I have to admit, everything from the box the actual phone comes in to the device itself, really looks on point. Generally with a phone of this nature, you would want to get a protective cover on it almost immediately but the phone looks so damn good you might be doing it an injustice by covering it up!

Even thought he market has become conducive to consumers changing their phones quite regularly, in most cases people don't even wait for their contracts to expire before they change their device, with the average person keeping their's for just over a year before they want a later model. Hence manufacturers had to keep up with the demand by releasing devices on a yearly basis. That doesn't mean they neglect the quality of their device, the Mate range has probably been the most robust series of phones I've tested. It can withstand most bumps and falls, I didn't deliberately test this but there was more than one occasion where the phone escaped the clutch of my butter fingers and it ended up with hardly a mark to show for it. So you know you're getting a premium product.

Display & Dimensions
The size is rather large compared to your normal phone (157.1 x 80.6 x 7.9mm) due to the display screen size (6.0inch) but it doesn't feel cumbersome in your hand. The new improved finger print scanner works perfectly for this phone allowing you to unlock the device in a matter of milliseconds and it can support more than one finger. The display is something to marvel at, with a 78% body to screen ratio and full HD picture courtesy of its IPS-NEO LCD with 16M colours, it makes anything you look at stunning. I watched a few videos on youtube in 4K and the quality was amazing. The protection comes in the form of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which is still one of the best out there. 

While I didn't expect this feature to be the star, it totally shone through and made me go crazy over it, so much so I ended up borrowing a tripod! Why you ask? Well with the Mate 8, Huawei launched their professional camera setting as well as a few others like Super Night shot and added a few favourites from their older models like light trails and slow mo video which is captured by the 16 MP lens with dual LED flash. The professional setting enables the user to manually select and choose the right settings given the conditions and light in the picture you wanting to take. While it may look cool, you also need to know what you're doing but if you have time to fool around with it you can figure out how to take some really awesome pictures which require no filter if you're going to post them to Instagram. 


Another feature which I had to try was the Super Night shot, basically a long exposure shot which captures as much light in the dark as possible allowing you to photograph stars and if you're lucky, some of the Milkyway! Yup, it is possible but again, you got to know how to work the settings, from how much light you want to allow to how long you want to lens to capture for. It's not rocket science but it takes some fiddling to get used to and you can capture some stunning shots of the night sky from it. 

Being a phone that is aimed at your business man, they don't muck about when it came to selecting processors and CPU's for the Mate 8. It comes with the HiSilicon Kirin 950 chipset with a Quad-core 2.3GHz Cortex-A72 + quad-core 1.8GHz Cortex A53. RAM differs from the model you have with the 32GB receiving 3GB RAM and the 64GB getting 4GB RAM. It has the latest version of Android's Marshmallow with the user interface completely customisable for your preference. Other features include acelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer and compass. 

Much was said about this phones battery, with a claim of 2 days of use without needing a charge and if you like me are constantly on your phone, I was keen to see how it will stand. It comes with a non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery which can give you up to 528 hours on standby using 3G and up to 98 hours music play. My use is a mixture of using the camera, tons of social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram all of which are constantly receiving notifications and whats a phone without Whatsapp? oh and I did make a receive the odd phone call. Much to my disappointment the phone didn't last the full two days but I must say I was still left impressed because it lasted more than an entire day with me using it. Normally any other phone won't see 8 hours before I need to plug it in for a charge so this is a massive breakthrough in battery technology. 

If you're the type of person that runs their life from their phone, whether you're a suited up businessman or one that's constantly on the road, this is the perfect phone for you. Fast enough to deal with any app or document that it comes across as well as giving you a battery that lasts with you worrying about charging points or carrying battery boosters. The other features are just an added bonus for you to play around with when you have some spare time. The phone is available in four colours, Champagne Gold, Moonlight Silver, Space Gray and Mocha Brown, and the 64GB version will have a dual SIM option. 

*all pictures taken by the Huawei Mate 8 are the original with no filters or editing done.

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