Huawei Goes Premium With Metal Body

After it was accidentally leaked last month (China’s MIIT Reveals Huawei Flagship), Huawei’s new Ascend P8 flagship smartphone has been revealed at an event in London.

As the MIIT announced, the phone has a 5.2″ display with 1920 x 1080 resolution. It also features a 2GHz octa-core Kirin 930 CPU from Hisilicon, with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.

There was also, of course, information that we had not seen before. For instance, the phone will have a full metal unibody chassis (6.4mm thick), rather than the toughened glass of the Ascend P7. The ‘completely flat’ design and chamfered edges are said to make the phone easy to hold, despite its size.

Huawei was keen to emphasise some of the more unusual features of the phone. Double-tapping a knuckle on the display will take a screenshot, whole drawing a circle will save the specified content. A useful new addition is the ‘Search phone by voice’ function – users can call out to their lost smartphone and it will respond through its speakers.

On the topic of speakers, sound can be increased to almost 60% above the normal level in noisy environments. When using headsets or earphones with a single microphone outdoors, the P8 can cut out up to 90% of the wind noise. The phone also supports hands-free speaker calls within a 2m radius.

In terms of the camera, the Ascend P8 has ‘the world’s first’ RGBW sensor, which boosts performance in low light conditions. An independent image processor was described as ‘DSLR-level’.

The Ascend P8 is a 4G model, wih dual SIM slots. It has dual antennas and can switch between them ‘instantly’, says Huawei, eliminating signal loss. It is also faster to connect to a roaming network.

An optional cover for the phone features an E Ink display on the rear. Users can send content to this display via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

A 6.8″ phablet model will also be available. The Ascend P8 Max is largely identical to the P8, but with a larger battery (4,360mAh).

Huawei did not share a launch date for the phones, but said that they would be launched in more than 30 countries worldwide. The P8 will cost €420 and the P8 Max will cost €500, ex VAT.