BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 03: A logo sits illuminated outside the Huawei pavilion during the second day of the Mobile World Congress 2015 at the Fira Gran Via complex on March 3, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. The annual Mobile World Congress hosts some of the wold's largest communication companies, with many unveiling their latest phones and wearables gadgets. (Photo : David Ramos/Getty Images)
Could Huawei's new handset seriously give Apple and Samsung a run for their money in the smartphone stakes?
The company has made its presence in the Western markets more resonant lately. The release of the 6-inch Mate 8 is just one of its bids to solidify its presence further in the US. However, does it truly measure up?
"The massive phablet sports an elegant all-metal body and a 6-inch screen, though you'd never know it from looking at it next to an iPhone 6S Plus," Digital Trends observed. "With high-end specs and a bevy of smart extra features, the Mate 8 is good enough to take on Samsung's Note 5, the LG V10, and just about any other flagship phone from 2015."
However, according to the tech news source, its flaw is the "Asian-flavored user interface renders Android unrecognizable and is sure to delay updates" - a common denominator among Chinese-made smartphones.
Meanwhile, The Verge compared the Mate 8 to a "Nexus 6P running a busted iOS," warning also that users may not like it as much as the Huawei-made 6P.
Apparently, the phablet uses its own skin, called the Emotion UI or EMUI, which The Verge said "does its utmost to make you feel like you're using an iPhone but drastically fails at taste."
However, it did concede the unit is "competent and premium," although not exactly a standout.
Further, Phone Arena said that the phone is "worthy of attention" as it appears to be "without any weaknesses, or at least not any that we could notice during our brief hands-on experience with the device."
The Mate 8 is powered by an octa-core chip called the Kirin 950, which has "four 2.3GHz Cortex-A72 cores and four 1.8GHz Cortex-A53 cores doing the heavy lifting and lightweight tasks respectively."
"A Mali T880 GPU handles the graphics," Phone Arena added.
It's worth noting that the Mate 8 will come in 2 variants - one has 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage while the other has 4GB RAM and 64GB of memory space. Both units have microSD slots, which means storage can be expanded.
The rear camera has "a 16MP Sony IMX298 sensor with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection auto-focus, and 3-axis optical image stabilization." The selfie camera is an 8MP snapper that has a Sony IMX179 sensor, as well as an f/2.4 lens aperture.
You'll be pleased to know the handset comes with a 4000mAh battery, allowing "17 hours of HD video, 98 hours of music playback, 20 hours of 4G browsing, or 28 hours of 3G calling on a single charge," Phone Arena said.
The 32GB model may cost about $600+ while the 64GB unit may cost $100 more than the former.
Right now, the Mate 8 isn't available in the US yet and it is not known whether it will arrive in America. That depends on the carriers and other business-related factors.