This year has already graced us with a slew of quality devices from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei, including the Nexus 6P, the Mate S, and the P8. Now it has revealed the equally impressive, and really quite large, Mate 8, the sequel to last year’s Mate 7.
Updated on 1-5-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added in news of the Mate 8’s official launch in 30 more countries. The U.S. is not among them — yet.
Pricing and Availability
The Mate 8 initially launched China, but at CES 2016, Huawei announced the global launch of the Mate 8 in 30 more countries. Unfortunately, despite many rumors that the phablet would hit the U.S. market, Huawei didn’t say a peep about it.
Related: Huawei Mate 8 review
The new countries include Spain, Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and Australia — to name a few. The Mate 8 will cost 600 euros for the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage capacity model and 700 euros for 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage. You can get it in four colors now: champagne gold, moonlight silver, space gray, and mocha brown.
According to an earlier report from the Wall Street Journal, Huawei will get serious in the U.S. in 2016. The publication’s sources said the Mate 8, and Huawei’s spin-off Honor brand could arrive in the States after CES. The head of the mobile division, He Gang, said he expects great things from the Mate 8 in terms of sales, somewhere close to one million units each month. This is still unconfirmed by Huawei, and so far, we’ve hard no mention of the Mate 8 reaching the States.
Related: Check out our review of the Nexus 6P
In China the Mate 8 is available in champagne gold, moonlight silver, space gray, and mocha brown, too. The handset’s sold in four variants, with the base 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage model going for CNY 2,999 ($470). Meanwhile, the 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage variant is CNY 3,699 ($580). If you want to keep the same amount of RAM but want double the internal storage, you’ll need to fork over CNY 4,399 ($690). Finally, the exclusive champagne edition is an eye-searing CNY 6,888 ($1,075). Keep in mind that these are all off-contract prices.
Much like with the Mate 7 before it, the most striking aspect of the Mate 8 is its gargantuan 6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution display. As big as the screen may be, however, Huawei made sure to equally emphasize the Mate 8’s ergonomics, which is why the relatively high 83 percent screen-to-body ratio makes sure to make the phone is easier to handle than you might think.
Also an improvement from the Mate 7 is the Mate 8’s internals, with the octa-core 2.3GHz Kirin 950 processor the star of the show. Offering a 100 percent performance boost over the Kirin 930 processor found in the Mate 7, the Kirin 950 brings with it an i5 co-processor, which will handle speech recognition, reduced location-based power consumption, and low-power MP3 consumption, among other tasks a typical processor would normally need to handle.
Elsewhere, the Mate 8 retains the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor found on the Mate 7, though it’s now a circular design rather than the square design of yore. In addition, the Mate 8 seems to incorporate more aluminum into its DNA, with the 2.5D curved glass front panel making sure those side swipes feel more natural. The Mate 8 runs Huawei’s EMUI 4.0, the company’s own flavor of Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Huawei has added a 16-megapixel camera on the back of the Mate 8, with optical image stabilization and dual-LED flash. The front camera is an 8-megapixel shooter, capable of the same 1080p resolution photos as the rear camera, but does not feature OIS technology.