Huawei has unveiled its latest flagship phone, the Ascend P8, in London.
On the front of the phone is what Huawei describes as a “frameless” 5.2-inch screen, which means that like the Ascend Mate 7 before it, it has an extremely slim bezel. The Full HD display takes up around 78 percent of the phone’s front, meaning very little space has been wasted. Under the hood is an octa-core chipset using 64-bit processors, which should deliver some decent power and speed.
Huawei is well known for producing supremely slim flagship devices and the Ascend P8 is n different. Its metal unibody is only 6.4mm thick. Despite this, it has managed to ensure that the 13-megapixel camera on the back of the phone sits flush with the rear.
It will be interesting to see whether using a camera module this slim will affect photo quality at all. Both Samsung and Apple made the call with their latest premium phones to sacrifice a little sleekness to ensure their cameras were the best on the market — and it paid off.
As well as boasting 13 megapixels, the rear camera also has optical image stabilisation to keep your pictures sharp and free of blur. Huawei also promises excellent results in low light and a double-colour temperature flash to keep illumination looking natural and not blindingly white.
Other features of the camera include a time-lapse function that allows you to create a video from your photographs and drop in your own soundtrack. Huawei has also provided a “director mode” for movie making. This basically means you’ll be able to switch between the front and rear cameras in real time as you’re shooting.
More intriguing is the inclusion of a “light painting” feature. This lets you sketch light tracks in the air to create playful night shots.
We went hands-on with the P8 at its London launch and found it to be an extremely attractive, extremely premium-feeling phone. It’s rectangular design is nothing extraordinary, but it’s solid, slim and easy to operate with one hand. We’ll have to wait until our full review to test its features in full, but it definitely feels like the most impressive Huawei phone yet.
The phone comes with a minimum of 16GB of in-built storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card of up to 128GB. It will be available in four colours — black, white, grey and gold — and it will cost 499 euros (£358).
Ascend P8 Max
Huawei also unveiled a larger version of its new flagship at the London launch event, the P8 Max. With a 6.8-inch display that covers 83 percent of the front of the phone, the P8 is undeniably humungous. We haven’t seen a phablet of these proportions for some time now, and presumed the trend had died a death. Not so, it seems. For such an enormous device, the P8 Max is extraordinarily thin at only 6.8mm thin.
We also had some brief hands-on time with this larger phone and, as expected, found it preposterously ungainly. Huawei claims it’s small enough to still fit into a pocket — we must presume the company’s designers wear clown pants. It does however retain all else of what is lovely about the P8 — smooth corners, good looks and soft-touch aluminium.
The Max will start at 549 euros (£394) for the 32GB version.