If you’re thinking it’s a little weird of Huawei to take the wraps off its newest flagship phone on Turkey Day, even though the Mate 8 is headed to China first, fret not, as a CES 2016 introduction in Las Vegas should follow.
Then, the massive aluminum powerhouse will go on sale worldwide “starting from Q1 2016”, which is probably when we’ll find out exactly what the Western world is supposed to get. In Huawei’s homeland, a “standard” Full HD Mate 8 edition is available, sans mention of Force Touch functionality or very many palpable upgrades compared to the 5.5-inch Mate S.
We’re guessing a pressure-sensitive Quad HD display is the least we can hope for in the US and Europe, alongside a beastly new Kirin 950 chipset that also graces the Chinese Huawei Mate 8. Built on 16nm architecture, this makes use of four 2.3GHz Cortex A72 cores and four 1.8GHz A53s, with a Mali-T880 MP4 GPU part of the deal too, and an i5 coprocessor advertised as the “most powerful currently available.”
It’s hard to forecast if all that will be enough to fend off the Exynos 8890 silicon of the Samsung Galaxy S7, but it should keep Huawei in the high-end, high-stakes Android race. Speaking of, the Mate 8 runs EMUI 4.0 out the box, which is a fancy way of calling a generally unintrusive fork of Marshmallow.
Constructed out of “aerospace-grade aluminum”, the 6-incher delivers an “optimal design effect”, also thanks to “unique” 2.5D curved diamond cut glass. Based chiefly on rumors and assumptions, the top-shelf phablet likely features 16 and 8MP cameras, a 4,000 mAh battery, at least 3GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage space, with microSD expansion capabilities. And yes, what you see beneath the main photographic unit is a circular fingerprint scanner.
No official info on pricing, but the latest word around town is Europeans will be charged roughly €580 ($615) in the spring. Hopefully, with Quad HD screen resolution, and 4 gigs of memory.