Huawei P8 and P8 Max smartphones focus on picture quality

This seems to be the year of premium flagships: the Huawei P8 is the latest flagship to drop plastic for metal. It has a one-piece aluminium body (shaped by diamonds, no less), and is 6.4mm thick.

On the front you get a 5.2in IPS screen with Full HD 1080p resolution.

Unibody designs mean there’s no way to remove the back to change the battery, but there are removeable trays on the side for a microSD card (up to 128GB) and two SIM cards. Huawei is targeting the jetsetting crowd who may need multiple SIMs.

What Huawei really wants to shout about is the P8’s camera: a 13-megapixel sensor with image optical image stabilisation and dual-colour flash.

It wouldn’t be a launch without somebody saying “world’s first”, and Huawei is boasting the world’s first RGBW (red, green, blue, white) sensor. This is supposed to enhance brightness and reduce low-light picture noise.

An independent DSLR-level image signal processor promises fast scene and face detection, with better auto-exposure than standard RGB sensors.

The camera’s party trick is "light painting", which lets you paint light trails in photos. Passing cars will now appear as streams of light, while moving water will look silky smooth.

There is also a "director mode", which lets you film video from multiple angles using four connected Huawei P8s. The front camera, meanwhile, has an 8MP sensor.

Powering all of this is Huawei’s own 64-bit, 2GHz octa-core Kirin 930 CPU, along with 3GB of RAM. A 2690mAh battery promises to keep things going for 1.5 days of normal use, or a full day of hammering.

For power users wanting a bit more, Huawei proposes the P8 Max. This is the big brother, adding a 6.8in Full HD screen and a 4360mAh battery. At 6.8mm thick, it is currently the thinnest large-screen phone on the market.

Prices? The standard P8 with 16GB of internal storage will come to €500 (£360), and is available in silver or champagne. There is also a premium P8, with 64GB storage, available in gold or black for €600 (£430). The standard P8 Max (32GB storage) will cost €549 (£394), while the premium P8 Max (64GB) goes for €649 (£465).

MORE: Read our Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review

Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.