With the release of the Huawei Mate S, the company introduced their new flagship. Hidden within the announcement was the relatively less exciting news from them that they had a more affordable version in the form of the Huawei G8, also known as the Huawei RIO. At extremely decent specs, and about 2/3rd the price, this phone packs in a lot of punch at a very reasonable cost. The looks are all there, the feel is premium, and the camera is great. The numbers match up too. If you aren’t excited yet, I have one magic word for you: battery (life!).
- 90% Metal body
- 5.5″ FHD screen, protected with Sapphire Lens, 1920 x 1080
- Qualcomm, 1.5GHz + 1.2 GHz 8-core processor
- 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM
- 13MP AF Rear Camera, 5MP Front Camera
- Dual Antenna gives you better connectivity
- 3000mAh battery (higher than the Mate S)
- Android 5.0.1, EMUI 3.1
- 152mm x 76.5mm x 7.5mm, 167grams
- Available in Champagne/Golden, Gray and Silver
Let’s start with the battery then. If there is one thing this phone has seriously impressed me with, it has been battery life. For example, lets take today. It was one of those procrastinaty kind of days, where I had to wait for a lot of things between things at work, and this meant I turned to my phone over and over again, to pass time, or just to check emails or look up notes at work. All in all, a busy day for a phone. I unplugged it before I left home. It is around 10pm at night. Battery left? 50%. Yes. Not a paltry 10 or 20%, or 30% which I would normally be happy with, but an actual 50%, with a fairly busy usage through out the day.
Cannot believe it? You better. In fact, even when I used the Dual SIM mode, even then it would only drop to about 40% after a reasonably full and busy day.
Needless to say, I have been very impressed.
Lets look at the camera. I managed to take this phone with me on holiday, and was able to take a whole range of photos in all kinds of light conditions. Once again, the camera has been very impressive. In fact, I took my DSLR with me on this holiday, which isn’t common for me any more. A few dark shots with this and the DSLR, and I stopped carrying it around. This worked, and worked well.
Let’s start with a shot that was done in absolute pitch dark. This was a dinner in the Bedouin mountains, and the only source of light was a candle in the plastic bottle and that fire there. The idea is that you are in the middle of the desert, so you can see as many stars as possible. We saw 4 shooting stars in a couple of hours!
Now look at the shot. See how well the light has been captured, and how it all just looks amazing. I had to take this shot a few times, but even then, fairly impressed with it.
Here is an effort to capture an action shot, with a bit of zoom coming into play as well. Once again, you can see that the image has been captured and looks great. Lighting is good, colours are good, and the action has been caught. Unlike the last image, this one didn’t allow me too many attempts!
This one is a night shot, in Oxford. A vast range of colours and light conditions have been caught fairly well here.
Again one with the sun in the background, and some dusty mountains in the distance. A good capture, even if I say so myself!
Food doesn’t look too bad either! Also, if you’re ever in Egypt, order what they call ‘sandwich’. It is amazing!
Another night shot. This one could have done with a tripod, but still good.
And some good old fashioned scenery photos. Once again, notice the mountains in the back.
It does not feature the time lapse or the manual mode on the camera though, and I did miss that feature, but otherwise, the camera delivers very well!
Much like rest of the Huawei family (apart from the Nexus 6p) this runs on EMUI 3.1, which brings it own quirks to the mix. Unlike usual Android, you have no app drawer, and interesting setups for how battery and power is handled by apps. For example, you have to go and enable what apps you want to allow to run in the background, otherwise every time the screen goes dark, your apps get cut off. Result? You may not get all the notifications because your apps may not have been running in the background. I have owned and played with a fair few EMUI devices now, and always go and enable the whole shebang as soon as I can. I suggest you do the same.
Once again, much like the Huawei Mate S, this offers the same finger print sense technology, and boy is it fast. And boy does it work well. It may be a gimmick if you’re not really that bothered about security (you should be, though), but even then it is very impressive.
Once you have installed your apps and set them all to work as you want, the phone is ready to get kicking and going. With an 8 core processor, and 3GB of RAM, it is hardly a surprise that this is an amazingly efficient and responsive phone. I haven’t found any major sluggishness, and while I have managed to get Chrome to misbehave as a result of playing a few videos at the same time, it hasn’t really been a massive problem. In fact, if you want a quick and fast premium looking phone, get this one and save all your moolah!
Look and feel
I normally go for look and feel as I start a review, but this one is good to end on. Why? Because you already know it is a great phone under the hood, and it is a great phone over the hood too. A shiny glossy and metallic finish means there is no chance of anybody thinking this is a cheap phone. It looks good, and feels good. Only issue, and I am being picky here, is that it can be a bit slippery.
More information on the Huawei G8 can be found at the Huawei website:
If you haven’t gathered by now, let me make it clear. I absolutely love this phone. If I had to change one thing, I would put vanilla Android on it, but even without that experience, it is a great phone and definitely worth your top dollar.