Huawei Mate 8 Review: Examining ARM's Cortex-A72 And HiSilicon's Kirin 950

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Mate 8 Battery Life And Summary

To get a feel for how the Mate 8’s battery life compares to other phones, we ran it through our standard tests which offer best and worst-case scenarios. The first test, AnTuTu's Battery Test, is a high-load benchmark that aims to drain the battery of a device as quickly as possible, setting the display brightness to high and cranking up workloads for the processor, graphics core, and memory.

Huawei Mate 8 Battery Life Testing
Heavy Load And Light Workload Testing

Mate 8 AnTuTu Battery Test

Here the 4000 mAh battery of the Mate 8, along with its efficient Kirin 950 SoC, shows strong battery life in this worst case scenario, heavy workload test. Competing with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6+ and Galaxy Note 5, with their lower power AMOLED displays and low power big-little octal-core processing engines in the Exynos 7420, is a tall order but the Mate 8 nips at their heels.

To offer a "best-case scenario" result, we also ran HotHardware's web browsing test, where we cycle a web page every few minutes with screen brightness set to 50% and Wi-Fi enabled. All other radios such as Bluetooth, NFC and the GPS are turned off and the phone is forced to keep the display on for the entire test. Phones are then monitored for up-time duration.
Mate 8 Web Browsing Battery Test

In this light duty test, the Mate 8's large 6-inch IPS display is probably its most limiting factor, but that didn't hold the smartphone back from capturing the top spot with the longest battery life we've seen from a handset yet. The field is tightly coupled here in the top four slots, but the Mate 8 held roughly a 20 minute advantage over all contenders. We managed to pull down nearly 11 and a half hours of connected web browsing up-time with the Mate 8’s display set to 50% brightness. Hard core road warriors, this is your phone.

Huawei Mate 8 Final Thoughts And Our Rating

The Huawei Mate 8 was a breath of fresh air for us in a number of areas. First, though you might be fooled by its more mainstream 1080p resolution, its display is actually quite impressive, offering great vibrance, brightness and color accuracy. Also, the Mate 8 handled very well, always feeling snappy no matter what we threw at it, evening taking top honors in some of our CPU-centric benchmarks, though offering only mid-level graphics performance. Overall though, in conjunction with its absolutely killer battery life, the Huawei Mate 8 and its ARM Cortex A72-strapped Kirin 950 processor offered a pretty great Android user experience.
Huawei Mate 8 Lock Screen 2

Huawei Mate 8 Powering Off

Further, the Huawei Mate 8 is configured nicely and built really well, with its chamfered edges and brushed aluminum finish. It's a large phone for larger-than-average hands perhaps, but it doesn't specifically feel weighty at 6.5 ounces or so. If we were to encapsulate the Huawei Mate 8 in a couple of words those would have to be "well-balanced." Just about everything about this new Android flagship from Huawei feels well-setup and premium.

If you’re OK with its 6-inch phablet form factor, about the only downsides to the Mate 8 might be its price and availability. You can find the unlocked 32GB version at Amazon currently for $630 and $728 for the 64GB variant. Those are premium prices of course and locating a local etailer or reseller might be a challenge as well. If you decide to pick one up, make sure to keep a lookout for Chinese variants of the phone, so you don't get stuck with an incompatible AC adapter and language options out of the box that need to changed to even setup the device.

All told, the Mate 8 is a very capable and powerful smartphone that offers great performance, an excellent mobile computing experience, and fantastic battery life. ARM's Cortex A72 is likely to get a bit more play in future SoC design efforts with major OEMs we're sure as well; and the Kirin 950 here is a mobile platform to be reckoned with.
approved hh
 hot not
  • Excellent general performance
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Great display
  • Good build quality
  • Some unique software features
  • Competent camera
  • Spotty availability
  • Pricey
  • Midrange graphics
  • No app tray in EMUI 4.0

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