Huawei Mate 8 – Battery, speakers and call quality
Tucked inside that big metal body is a large 4,000 mAh battery, that’s a substantial number when you consider there isn’t a power draining quad-HD display at work here.
With general use the Huawei Mate 8 offers superior battery life than most competing phablets. A day of generally heavy use – multiple email accounts, messaging and the usual phone activity – left me with 49% come midnight, and thanks to Marshmallow’s Doze feature it only loses about 3-5% on average over night.
An hour long episode of Making a Murderer on Netflix will eat through about 8%, while streaming a whole Match of the Day on BBC iPlayer takes the battery from 81% to 70%. That’s a pretty impressive showing and certainly on-par with the great battery life I found on the Moto X Force.
Related: What is USB-C?
Unlike the Nexus 6P, Huawei has decided against replacing the more common microUSB with the snazzier and reversible USB-C port. For now that’s fine, but USB-C will be seen on a load of phones this year and it could leave the Mate 8 trailing behind.
Predictably there’s no wireless Qi support, but fast-charging is supported and you can jump from a dead battery to 50% full in about 40 minutes. a full charge takes between 80-90 minutes.
I’m less impressed by the lack of front-facing speakers, with the meagre bottom firing versions pumping out dull sounding, pretty flat audio. I guess though that the addition of front speakers would have made this a ridiculously tall phone.
One particularly neat trick is the voice recorder app, which captures audio from the array of mics positioned around the phone. Call quality is great too, especially from the speakerphone.
Should I buy the Huawei Mate 8?
The Mate 8 is a nice looking phone with great battery life and strong performance. But, it’s seriously let down by awful software and an
inconsistent camera. Personally, if you’ve got £430 to spend and you want a large screened Android phone I wouldn’t go for the Mate 8.
Nexus 6P pricing starts at £449 and it is a much, much better phone. If you search about online you can find the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 for a similar price. There’s also the Moto X Style (£329) which is another great pick.
Huawei helped make the best phone of 2015, but it’s got a lot of work to do if it wants to do a similar thing in 2016.
Good battery and a sleek design aren’t enough to recommend this over the far superior competition
Score in detail
Battery Life 8
Calls & Sound 9
Screen Quality 7