UPDATE: The Huawei Mate 8 is now official in Malaysia. Priced at RM2,099 (Standard) and RM2,399 (Premium).
Those at Las Vegas were lucky enough to see Huawei’s latest 6-inch phablet in the flesh at the company’s CES announcement; previously only released in its native China. And Western markets should be paying attention to the Mate 8 now since the Chinese manufacturer has already put its name out there with the Nexus 6P.
But the Mate 8 isn’t a Nexus, there’s not a lot of “stock” on its EMUI skin, despite running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. The overlaid skin also has a UI that’s comparable to iOS.
Putting Huawei devices in a tough spot – top of the line hardware but with software that is “different” – a little too different for some.
Looking at what it has under the hood, you’re compelled to believe that this is a flagship. Carrying a home-grown Kirin 950 SoC, this was one of the first devices to equip itself with the aforementioned Octa-core processor.
Four cores are clocked at 2.3GHz while the other four run at 1.8GHz. Quoting Huawei on its Kirin 950 chipset, they’ve said that the “i5” coprocessor manages power efficiency better and also makes it capable of speech recognition.
Together with its main systems, it’ll release (internationally) in two variants: 3GB RAM or 4GB RAM. Seemingly, there’s no information on what the storage specifications are but based on the China release, it’ll likely be 32GB and 64GB respectively.
The resolution on this 6-inch beast is a letdown, to be honest. For a screen that big, Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution doesn’t cut it. And once you notice it has a huge 4,000 mAh, you’ll be even more peeved; giving them no excuse to up the resolution, as battery life wouldn’t be a factor.
On the outside, it’s the same all-metal design that we’ve (recently) seen Huawei put out. Its front will feature 2.5D curved glass around the display and on the top, an 8-megapixel front camera takes care of all those selfie shots.
Moving to the back, there’s a 16-megapixel Sony IMX298 lens, as well as a rounded fingerprint sensor. As we talked about earlier, it’ll have a big battery but even while being rated 4,000 mAh, Huawei claims a 30-minute charge delivers a full-day of use.
Albeit a centrepiece of Huawei’s conference at CES, there was no word on when it’ll hit US stores, if at all.
But here’s the plot twist, it’ll be arriving in Malaysia during the first wave launch in four colour options, Champagne Gold, Moonlight Silver, Space Grey and Mocha Brown. Huawei failed to give a date to this “first wave launch”.
As per presentation, Huawei was quoted that the Mate 8 will arrive in 30 countries; you can find a full list at Android Headlines.
Looking at Chinese prices, the phablet could make an RM 1k price jump to:
3,199 RMB (RM 2,118) – 3GB/32GB
3,699 RMB (RM 2,474) – 4GB/64GB
So there’s that to consider if Malaysians were already eager to pick it up.
Alternatively, these were the European pricings:
€599 (RM 2,818) – 3GB/32GB
€699 (RM 3,290) – 4GB/64GB