Huawei Mate 8 launched with kickass specs, gorgeous body

Sneaky, sneaky Huawei. The comapany has today announced the launch of its new 6.0-inch flagship phablet, the Huawei Mate 8, which it dubs the “most advanced flaship smartphone” in its history.

While this might be the case, there is a school of thought that believes larger phablet smartphones are slowly thinning in popularity. But that doesn’t seem to be Huawei’s thinking at all.

On the exterior front, Huawei has definitely made the phone a lot more visually appealing than the Mate 7, sharing a similar design language with the Huawei Mate S and the P8 smartphones.

The fingerprint reader is retained below the camera in true Mate series fashion, with the device itself benefiting from an even thinner profile and reduced bezel size. Overall, it’s gorgeous on paper, something I didn’t quite get with the Huawei Mate S.

Read more: Huawei Mate S hands-on preview: middle child syndrome

Ultimately, the internals match the phone’s sparked up exterior as well, with a HiSilicon Kirin 950 chipset (which boasts new ARM Cortex A72 cores) forming the brains of the phone, partnered with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage. That version will fetch a cool US$700 though — more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

The 6.0-inch screen is retained, and remains a 1920×1080 display. The Huawei Mate 8 also features a Sony-made 16MP camera at the rear, and an 8MP selfie camera at the back, and retains its large (but slightly smaller than the Mate 7’s) 4000mAh battery.

It will ship with Android Marshmallow natively and EMUI 4.0 as the overlying skin.

All in all, it’s a massively impressive device on paper but pricing will begin at US$480 for the 3GB of RAM/32GB storage variant, which is extremely competitive as well. Currently, there’s no device availability announcements, so we’re not too sure when it will arrive in South Africa. The chances are pretty good that it will though.

Andy Walker, former editor


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