Huawei P8 review

A slick, svelte smartphone that tries to give the big boys a run for their money

Huawei P8 review
Huawei P8 review

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Battery life

Battery life is a hot topic in the smartphone world and Huawei makes some bold claims about how long the P8 can last on a single charge.

The 2600mAh battery is locked inside the aluminium body and can't be swapped out, but Huawei reckons the P8 will go for a day and a half with normal usage.

It also says power users should see a full day of use from the P8 too, although in reality these claims don't ring true.

With "normal usage" I found the Huawei P8 could see out a day pretty easily, usually ending up in the low teens by the time it came to plugging it in at night. There certainly wasn't enough left in the tank to get another half a day of use though.

Huawei P8 review

Power users may find themselves dashing for a charger come late afternoon/early evening, and I found a couple of hours of heavy gaming took its toll on the P8's battery.

It falls in line with the current flock of flagship smartphones, with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 also struggling to see out more than a day on a single charge.

Huawei has included a handy power consumption monitor on the P8, highlighting battery intensive apps running in the background - allowing you to shut them down and save some juice.

You can fine tune the settings to force particular apps to either stay on or be switched off when the phone is laying idle - again helping you to get the most from the P8's battery.

Huawei P8 review

A smart power saving mode automatically adjusts processor power and performance to even out battery a little more than the standard mode. There's also an ultra power saving mode which strips down the Android OS to a basic six tile, black and white affair, providing access to basic applications only to help you eke out the last drops of life.


The entry level Huawei P8 only comes with 16GB of internal storage, which is pretty low for a flagship these days as we're used to seeing 32GB and upwards now. Only around 10.5GB of that is actually available to you as well, making it even more disappointing.

There is a microSD card slot on the side allowing you to build on the internal offering by up to 128GB - but I'd still like to have seen more built in.

Thankfully Huawei also offers a 64GB version of the P8, but that comes at an additional cost and it's currently not clear which markets this variant will be available in.

The 5.2-inch full HD display is handy for video playback, and the P8 comes with a dedicated video application allowing you to locate your moving pictures easily.

Tap a video and you'll get a basic player, with play/pause, scrub and chapter skip control. It's all very unfussy, making it easy to use and the P8 is generally comfortable to hold.

The placement of the speaker at the base of the handset means your hand may be covering it, requiring you to shift your grip of the P8. While it can kick out a decent volume, the quality still isn't as good as a pair of headphones.

Huawei P8 review

Head over to the music app and it's another simple affair with songs organised by title, artist and album - plus there's the option to create playlists.

Sound quality through a decent set of headphones is pleasing, and the internal speaker can fill a room with sound - although there's no bass to speak off.

Huawei P8 review

As I've already mentioned in this review gaming on the P8 is generally pretty good, but the more demanding games do push the handset's octa-processor to its limits.

I noticed some load time and game play lag with Family Guy and Real Racing 3, but other titles such as Commute ran without issue.

The Huawei P8 does heat up a bit after around 15 minutes of gaming, but temperatures are kept to warm, rather than hot - which is good news.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.