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Huawei P8 vs P8 Max: What’s the difference?

P8 vs P8 Max? Do you go phablet or Huawei’s 5.2-inch smartphone? Here’s how the specs compare

After a long and somewhat confusing press conference, Huawei officially unveiled not one but two new smartphones.

First was the P8 and alongside the Ascend P7 successor was the P8 Max. This is bascially Huawei’s answer to phablets like the Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

With both launching in the next couple of months, we compare the specs to see what you are missing out if you go for the P8 Max instead of the P8 and vice versa.

Big screens all round

Both phones have impressive screens but come in very different sizes. The P8 has a 5.2-inch Full HD JDI display, which is by no means small. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen so the standard P8 isn’t far off.

On the other hand, you have the P8 Max – because ‘Plus’ is already a dated term now that HTC is using it too. Measuring a huge 6.8-inches, the P8 Max is officially a phablet but Huawei has decided to keep its IPS LCD screen Full HD rather than bumping up the resolution.

The major difference here is screen real estate. a 5.2-inch phone is big, but there’s tablets you can buy that have almost the same size screen as the P8 Max.

Making the most of the extra space

One of the best things about the larger phone is that with the phone’s Customized UI enabling split-screen capabilities, you can have two separate apps running on the same screen simultaneously.

We found this incredibly handy on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and it was also one of our favourite features on the Samsung Galaxy S6. It makes it significantly easier to multi-task and be productive. One great example of when split-screening on a mobile works really well, is when typing an email and checking a fact or reference online. It’s possible to have both internet and email applications open and use them both so you don’t have to jump between windows.

The size of the P8 Max’s large screen means that both windows should be relatively easy to use. It could almost be like having two iPhone 5 handsets side-by-side.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Ascend Mate 7 review

Fitting your phone in your pocket

The P8 Max is obviously going to be a struggle to fit in trouser pockets, that’s a given. It’s probably the reason why Richard Yu kept his in the inside pocket of his jacket throughout the launch announcement. It makes for a massive phone and will also look out of place when you’re using it in public.

But despite it’s obvious size, Huawei has managed to squeeze the P8 Max’s large screen inside a relatively thin metal body that measures 6.8mm. That’s the same thickness as the sleek Samsung Galaxy S6, making it the slimmest phablet on the market. To give you an idea of how it measures up, the iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1mm and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is 8.5mm thick.

Both phones share the same high end design, with aluminum metal and Gorilla Glass 4 construction, but the standard P8 features more familiar dimensions, and is only 6.4mm thick.

All about the battery life

Beyond the obvious, the most significant difference between the P8 and P8 Max is the battery. We’re not talking about a paltry 50mAh like the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge here. The Huawei P8 has a non-removable 2,600mAh battery, one that’s arguably a bit smaller than we’d have liked. While the Max version is packing a mega 4,360mAh battery.

Huawei claims that the larger of the two should be able to give you over 15 hours of stored video playback. We don’t have a stated rating for the standard P8 we imagine it may not be quite as impressive.

The P8 Max’s battery on ‘normal’ usage should last over two days.

Storage, sims, colours and other things

Both units have expandable storage up to 128GB via MicroSD, which may give them an edge over people considering Samsung’s new flagships. As for internal storage, the standard P8 comes in 16GB and 64GB sizes. The 16GB version is available in two colours, Titanium Grey and (hold back the laughter) Mystic Champagne.

The 64GB phones also come in Titanium Grey and Prestige Gold. There’s no 16GB version of the P8 Max, only 32GB and 64GB, it’s also dual sim only, while the standard P8 will offer both dual and single sim options. Huawei’s P8 will be available in 30 countries from launch, one month later it will be released worldwide along with the P8 Max, available in a limited number of countries.

Early verdict

Huawei has announced two potentially great devices that mark the first major attempt by the Chinese company to make inroads in the UK and Europe. The price in Euros suggests that the balance between specs and price will be very compelling for a lot of people seeing Huawei phones for the first time.

The P8 will likely suit more people, given that it’s a manageable size, but for people who want the extra productivity benefits of split windows the P8 Max is big enough to be a phone and tablet in one. Plus, it has a huge battery. It’s a tough call, but we’d say because of that extreme jump up in size with the P8 Max, the P8 looks the safer bet.

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