By Sam Gonzales

Is Huawei’s new flagship device competitive enough to join the big leagues? Check out this review. 

FEATURES AND PERFORMANCE (click the image to expand)


Huawei Mate 8 review



The Huawei Mate 8 boasts of a 16 MP, f/2.0, 27mm, back camera with a 1/2.8″ sensor, and an 8 MP, f/2.4, 26mm, front camera. But if you’re not into numbers, take a look at our sample photos and see for yourself.

Outdoor, natural light

The camera has lightning-fast autofocus and colour production is accurate. It takes no time to produce the photos you want. You can also see that the depth of field (background blur) is a touch shallower than other camera phones.

photo 1


While moving (albeit slowly), sunny

That fast autofocus will work for you when you want to photograph moving objects. That sharpness doesn’t sacrifice exposure, which is may also be due to the sunlight poured over the subject. Still, it does a good job balancing these and even adjusts the white balance so quickly, most will not notice it happening.

Huawei Mate 8 - photo 3

Huawei Mate 8 - photo 4

Outdoor, natural light

Sometimes though, you may have to be careful. Some objects look crisp on the display but blurry when zoomed or viewed from a different screen. Shadows and highlights do not look that far away from each other, either.

Huawei Mate 8 - photo 5

Indoor, low lighting

We run into our display problem again. At time of capturing, it all seemed so perfectly crisp on the native display but it’s clear that there is some struggle with focusing on nearer subjects.

Huawei Mate 8 - photo 6

Outdoor, night time, auto-exposure

It also does pretty well with night photography. Its auto-exposure does well in producing detailed photographs in low-light situations but the image sharpening (that happens a few seconds after the shutter button is pressed) doesn’t do the numerous leaves any favours. You win some, you lose some.


Zoomed in, manual exposure: 8: 1/50, 10: 0.03

One of the great things about the Mate 8’s camera is its ability to produce good (or at least satisfactory) photos at night because of its easy-to-manipulate zoom and exposure settings. Are they perfect? No. But does a pretty a-ok job at reducing detail and colour at this level of darkness and distance. In small screens, the blurred lines are almost negligible.

8 9 10

Selfie, “Beauty” Mode

Huawei rides on the “Beauty” mode trend a lot of Android phones have and does things a little differently. It requires to be set up before the Beauty Mode can be turned on and asks the user to modify settings (skin color, pore blurring, eye enlargement, face shape) to create a custom “perfect selfie.” I’m not sure that the Mate 8 produces my perfect selfie (as in, one I am satisfied with and willing to share on Instagram) as it’s very easy to make yourself look very edited or artificial. You can always turn this off, I guess.

There are even more “Professional” or manual settings that imitate a DSLR experience (like a lot of high-end smartphones do), but the default settings in the Automatic Mode may be enough for the typical user to produce a variety of photos in a number of situations. All-in-all, the Huawei Mate 8 has not only a reliable camera, but one that can let casual and creative users produce some form of art.

Huawei Mate 8 - selfie

Also watch the unboxing of Huawei Mate 8:

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