From today you will be able to get your hands on the latest business-oriented smartphone from Huawei, the Android-powered Mate 8.

Members of the press and special VIP guests were invited to a swanky event in Johannesburg on Thursday for the debut of the handset on South African shores.

Speaking to a Huawei representative at the event revealed that this particular smartphone is aimed at the business person looking for a premium experience without having to compromise on features such as battery life, storage capacity and performance.

So what sort of performance are we looking at with the Mate 8?

Well, for starters, Mate 8 is the first Huawei handset to feature the HiSilicon Kirin 950 chipset. The CPU is a quad-core 2.3GHz Cortex-A72 paired with another quad-core Cortex A53 running at a clock speed of 1.8GHz, while 3GB of RAM is fitted to the system as well.

Thankfully, storage is covered by 32GBs of internal capacity with expansion up to 128GB made possible through a microSD card slot, far better than the 16GB we saw in the Mate 7.

Both a dual- and single-SIM version will be made available in South Africa, though we should point out that if you plan to use a microSD card in the dual-SIM version, you will lose a SIM slot.

The display harks back to the Mate 7 and is still a large 6-inch, Full HD (1080 x 1920) affair, only now the display to body ratio is nearly 80%. As Charlene Munilall, General Manager of Huawei Consumer Business explains it, “…it’s like having the benefits of a large display without having to use a bulky phone”.

Huawei also claims to have improved the fingerprint scanner below the rear camera to be 100% faster than that of its predecessor, the Mate 7.

Speaking of which, the rear camera sensor has been given a bump from 13MP to 16MP, which includes an f/2.0 aperture, optical image stabilisation and phase-detection for better images while you’re moving.

The secondary, front-facing camera is a new 8MP snapper with an f/2.4 aperture.

The battery however, is the star of the show. At 4 000mAh, Huawei claims that with “normal use” (the definition of which was unclear) users will be able to get over two days of use.

Once the battery is drained, Huawei’s new fast-charging technology has been claimed to give users a full day of use from one 30 minute charge. Again, what is meant by a full day of use was not expressly stated, but we’re interested to put these claims to the test once we get our hands on the phone later this month.

As to pricing, the Mate 8 is likely only going to appeal to the well-heeled business person: buying the handset outright will set you back R12 999, while getting the phone on a 24-month contract through Vodacom will start at R579pm. Other networks start pricing the Mate 8 R599 per month.

[Source – Huawei]


Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.