The Huawei P8 is the best smartphone to come out of the Chinese firm to date, and it shows some very real promise that the company is heading in the right direction.

It still doesn't quite hit the same heights as the flagships its trying to compete with though, and that becomes apparent after spending some time with the P8.

Huawei P8 review

We liked

The slender, all metal body of the Huawei P8 is certainly premium in look and feel, allowing the handset to stand proudly next to the iPhone 6, HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6.

I wouldn't say it's quite as nice as these handsets, but it's up there and for that Huawei should be commended.

The full HD display is easy on the eye, the camera has a decent range of features - even if some of them are a bit gimmicky - and the price tag attached the Huawei P8 is eye catching in its own right.

We disliked

In an attempt to differentiate itself from the mobile market Huawei has added some slightly left field features in Knuckle Sense and Voice Wakeup.

On the surface you can understand the potential of these features, but I was disappointed to find just how poorly both had been implemented.

Voice wakeup isn't good enough at recognising your alert phrase over normal conversation, but at least you can turn it off. More annoying is Knuckle Sense which can't be disabled and constantly mixes up your finger and knuckle.

Considering there's an octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM stuffed inside the P8's super slim body the performance on screen doesn't make it all that clear, which is a shame.

Huawei P8 review

Verdict

The Huawei P8 has all the right ingredients for a top of the range smartphone, but something's not quite gone to plan in the baking.

Its screen, power, camera and battery life are just about on par with the high-end competition, but software quirks and interface inefficiencies hamper the overall experience of the Huawei P8.

The €499 (around £395, $580, AU$760) price tag is not to be sniffed at though, as you're getting a lot of tech for money. If Huawei can sort out some of the nagging issues with a firmware update than the P8 becomes a really attractive proposition.

As it is though it feels like a second tier device compared to Apple, Samsung, Sony and HTC - a stigma the firm is still struggling to shrug off.

First reviewed: April 2015