Huawei today unveiled its P8 smartphone, plus a Huawei P8 max phablet. The new Huawei phones have specs to rival Apple, HTC and Samsung flagships, but come at a much lower price. Here we reveal the Huawei P8 and Huawei P8 max UK release date, price and specs. Also see: Best phones 2015 and best Android phones 2015.
Huawei P8, Huawei P8 max UK release date: When are the Huawei P8 and P8 max coming out?
The Huawei P8 and P8 max will go on sale immediately in 30 countries, including the UK. A worldwide launch will follow next month. Also see our Huawei Ascend P6 review.
It turns out that immediate launch wasn't quite the deal but we now know that the Huawei P8 will go on sale in the UK on 11 June exclusively at Carphone Warehouse until the end of the month. It will be available on the companies new network called iD as well as Vodafone, O2 and EE. See pricing below.
Huawei P8, Huawei P8 max UK price: How much do the new Huawei P8 and P8 max cost?
Both standard and premium versions of the P8 and P8 max are available and Carphone Warehouse will offer you the device from £21.50 on a 12 month contract - the first 500 customers to pre-order will get the rare opportunity of the one year contract.
The standard Huawei P8 has 16GB of storage and comes in Titanium Grey or Mystic Champagne. It costs 499 Euro (£357). The premium version has 64GB of storage and is available in Carbon Black or Prestige Gold. This model costs 599 Euro (£429).
The standard Huawei P8 max has 32GB of storage and is available in Titanium Grey and Mystic Champagne, costing 549 Euro (£393). The premium Huawei P8 max has 64GB of storage, is available in Titanium Grey and Prestige Gold, and costs 649 Euro (£465).
Huawei P8, Huawei P8 max specification: What to expect from the Huawei P8 and P8 max
Huawei's P8 is a very stylish phone, which looks set to rival the HTC One M9 with its aluminium alloy unibody chassis, precision moldered with chamfered edges to increase grip. Despite housing a 2680mAh battery with quick-charge technology and a high-quality 13Mp camera, the chassis is both incredibly slim, at 6.4mm, and entirely flat, with no protruding camera like that seen on the Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6. It's also spill-resistant.
As we expected there's a 5.2in full-HD (1920x1080) IPS-Neo panel, which has a high 1500:1 contrast ratio. This is what Huawei refers to as a Rich-Touch screen, with support for new 'Knuckle Sense' gestures. Using your knuckle you can capture the screen, draw around it to crop, then save or share the image.
Inside is 3GB of RAM and a Kirin 930 64-bit octa-core (4x 2GHz A53, 4x 1.5GHz A53) processor, which Huawei claims offers a 20 percent improvement in power efficiency.
Indeed, the Huawei P8 Max is claimed to offer 2.3 days battery life on standby, or 1.5 days with normal usage. It achieves this with a unique apps power firewall, which blocks abnormal app power usage and prevents battery life deteriorating as you download more and more third-party software. By comparison, the larger 4360mAh battery inside the P8 max can offer 2.23 days of normal usage, and still is only 6.8mm thick.
Storage is 16- or 64GB in the standard Huawei P8. Note that there are both single- and dual-SIM versions of the P8. Where supported, both SIM slots support 4G LTE, and the second can instead be used to carry up to 128GB of additional storage via microSD. With the Huawei P8 max this dual-SIM functionality comes as standard. Also see: Best dual-SIM phones and dual-SIM phones buying advice.
The rear camera is the world's first four-colour 13Mp RGBW image sensor. It also features excellent optical image stabilisation, a DSLR-level image signal processor, four-frame HDR, a light painting mode and scene recognition technology.
A Director mode lets you shoot footage on several phones and turn them into a single movie on the P8. There's also a Perfect Selfie mode for the 5Mp front camera, which lets you preset beauty modes and supports very fast face recognition. Also see: Best selfie phones 2015.
A metal chassis can cause signal problems, but Huawei has fitted the P8 with tiny antennae at both the top and bottom of the smartphone. It uses Signal + software to automatically switch between the two, resulting in 50 percent fewer dropped calls and a 20 percent increased call connection rate.
While you're on the phone you'll also benefit from a smart international dialer, using which you don't need to include country codes, a super hands-free mode for conference calls, which has can capture voices up to 2m away, and Voice +, which offers a Loud voice mode, plus background- and wind-noise cancellation.
Other connectivity extras include Wi-Fi +, which automatically finds and enables the strongest Wi-Fi hotspot or mobile data connection wherever you are, and Roaming +, which allows the Huawei P8 to connect to a new foreign network three times faster than other phones.
The Huawei P8 is sold with premium earphones and Music + technology, which comprises an Hi6402 audio DPS and Smart PA, and the phone has a single-box audio chamber.
Huawei spent some time talking about the software, including new themes (with more downloadable from the web). Should you misplace the Huawei P8 you can also call out to it "Hello Buddy, where are you?" for it to sound an "I'm here" alert even while on standby.
There's no fingerprint scanner, but you can use the Huawei TalkBand B2 or other Bluetooth devices to unlock the P8. When paired with the TalkBand, you will also feel a vibration if you walk away and leave behind your phone.
A 4.3in E Ink rear cover is available for the Huawei P8 that lets you read books even in direct sunlight without harming your eyes, and can display the time, weather and more without you waking the screen. A reange of shell and flip covers are also available to protect the Huawei P8.
The Huawei P8 max (above) shares many of these specifications with the P8, but with a few differences. This phablet has a huge 6.8in full-HD screen with Gorilla Glass 4, but despite its size Huawei says the phone is compact with a 83 percent screen-to-body ratio. This IPS panel is also said to be very easy to see in bright sunlight and the most vivid you'll find, with 95.9 percent colour saturation. In common with the P8 it has a 1500:1 contrast ratio. Also see: Best phablets 2015.
Unique to the P8 max is a split-screen mode that works in landscape mode. Much like Samsung's Multi-Window feature, it allows you to have open and use two apps at once. Even under load, though, the P8 max remains cool - Huawei makes claims of seven layers of heat conduction.
The P8 max is a little thicker than the 6.4mm P8 at 6.8mm, but still much slimmer than the iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 4. That's all the more interesting given that it houses a 4360mAh lithium-polymer battery - Huawei says it will last 2.23 days with normal usage or 1.4 days with heavy usage.
With the P8 max you can also get a magnetic leather case that can prop up the phone at any angle, and it can display notifications, weather information and more.
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2015.
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