Mid-range smartphones

Premium feel and refined look at a bargain

The P8's display has a lower pixel count which helps extend battery life.
The P8's display has a lower pixel count which helps extend battery life.PHOTO: HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES

HUAWEI P8
$699

With its solid metallic body and refined look, the Huawei P8 feels as premium as flagship phones from LG, Samsung or Sony.

Like almost all the smartphones in this round-up, the P8 has a full-HD display with fewer pixels than the quad-HD screens on flagship phones. But you would be hard-pressed to distinguish individual pixels on the P8's screen.

The lower pixel count helps to extend the phone's battery life, which is sorely needed because of the P8's relatively small 2,680mAh non-removable battery. As it is, heavy users may find the P8 unable to last an entire day of use.

Huawei has tweaked the underlying Android Lollipop operating system with its own Emotion UI interface. It has some nice tweaks, such as fancy camera modes that let you take images with slow shutter speeds. There is also a setting to change the display's colour temperature to suit your preference.

At times, the interface feels like it has been inspired by Apple's iOS, what with its lack of an app drawer.

At $699, the P8 is one of the more expensive phones here, but it is still a bargain compared with the high-end models from bigger players.

Vincent Chang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2016, with the headline 'Premium feel and refined look at a bargain'. Print Edition | Subscribe