Camera & Battery Life
There are various ways to open the camera app in addition to tapping the camera icon from the main screen. If the phone is off, you can press the volume down key twice to open the camera app and immediately snap a picture. You can also slide up from the camera icon on the lock screen to unlock the phone and open the camera. Finally, you can access the camera from the Gallery by swiping down from a picture.
In the camera controls menu, you’ll find the following options: Panorama, HDR, Audio Note, Best Photo, All-focus, Watermark, and Settings. Oddly enough, these controls don’t rotate when you change the orientation of the phone. Some of the other camera controls and settings will change orientation with the phone.
Using the All-focus option, you can change the focus on a different area of the photo after capturing it. As you can see in the photos of the ambulance and tow truck below, the feature works pretty well and lets you save multiple versions of the same image using different focal points.
In the Settings option you can change the resolution of a photo, enable location tagging, enable Capture Smiles (to take photos automatically when smiles are detected), enable Object Tracking, turn on burst shot, adjust ISO or white balance, and much more. In addition to the camera controls menu, another menu lets you change the color of a photo. Options include Aqua, Posterize, Solarize, Sepia, Negative, Mono, and Sketch grey.
We were pleased with the quality of our test images. Images captured both outside in good sunlight as well as indoors using incandescent lighting and window lighting were clear and crisp. Overall image quality is excellent, particularly for a mid-tier phone.
You’ll find a fixed 2200 mAh battery inside the P8 lite. This is a lower capacity cell than the batteries we’ve seen in other smartphones. For example, the Asus ZenFone 2 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Galaxy Note5 have 3000 mAh batteries. As we saw in the ZenFone 2 review however, longevity isn’t tied to the capacity of the cell alone so we held off any judgement of the P8 lite’s battery until we could run 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 workload for the processor, graphics core and memory.
As you can see from the chart above, the P8 lite’s battery couldn’t hold up as well as other phones under the high load and returned a score that puts the P8 lite at the bottom of the chart.
To offer a "best-case scenario" result, we ran our own HotHardware web browsing test where we cycle a page ever few minutes with screen brightness set to 50% and Wi-Fi enabled. All other radios such as Bluetooth, NFC and geo-location are turned off and the phone is forced to keep the display on for the entire test. Phones are then monitored for uptime duration.
In this test, the P8 lite fairs better than it did in the high-load test but still finds itself in the lower half of the chart. The phone lasted for 8 hours and 11 minutes before caving in and shutting down. Keep in mind Huawei includes a power saving feature in the Settings menu of the phone which can help extend battery life.
In our real-world testing, the P8 lite made it through a few days on standby and light use and had about 66% battery life remaining. Heavy-use periods drained the battery more quickly, as is typically the case.