Like the opening of a “Star Wars” film, you should almost expect this review to begin “The Clone Wars continue”, the words travelling up the side of the screen with cinematic fanfare, because that’s one of the first impressions the Huawei P8 offers.
With the P8, Huawei has dropped the “Ascend” moniker we’ve previously seen from the “P” range of handsets, what we’ve come to know as the “performance” line.
These devices are meant to represent the best of the best for Huawei, or close to it, with the right amount of tech thrown into a body that is super thin and meant for people who like to keep the phone close to their person, with sexy looks thrown in for good measure, too.
In the P8, you’ll be treated to some of that, but when you take a look at the design, it’s hard not to make the comparisons.
And so, the Clone Wars continue…
Like the Oppo R7, Huawei’s P8 takes its design cues from that of the iPhone 5, borrowing the design, flattening it, and stretching it out some, with a two-tone metal body, which on our review unit was white and a sort of silvery gold.
It’s both a comfortable design if not a tad confusing because if looks so much like an iPhone, though the metal does make it feel like you’re holding something of substance compared to yet another plastic box. Further, the 6.4mm thickness just barely undercuts that of the iPhone 6, which this is so trying to be.
Buttons are missed out on most of this handset, with the face pretty much just one piece of glass and a near edge-to-edge screen, while the back is mostly metal with a hint of glass near the camera, which is flush with the phone.
And really, this does look like an iPhone 5 made new again, adding to the fight of the clones.
Get those lightsabers ready, it’s time to turn this one on.
Switch the P8 on using the metal power button on the right just under the volume rocker and you’ll find a fairly bright and very clear Full HD 5.2 inch display staring back at you, revealing a version of Android that is a little different to what you usually see on devices running the Google operating system.
We’ll get into why this is both good and bad shortly, but the P8 relies on a skin to Android that has iOS-like properties and design, which Huawei calls “EmotionUI”. It’s similar in ways to Oppo’s own ColorOS, and feels catered for people who aren’t sure they want to move too far from the look and feel of an iPhone, but don’t necessarily want to pay Apple for the privilege.