Chinese smartphone maker Huawei, which has quietly become the third-largest on the planet, has a new flagship to show off. Two of them, in fact: the 5.2-inch Huawei P8 and the absolutely enormous 6.8-inch P8max. Both have been announced for a launch in "more than 30 countries," including China, Columbia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, UAE, and the United Kingdom. As usual, Huawei doesn't seem interested in selling its high-end offerings in the United States.

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The P8 (minus Huawei's previous Ascend branding) is a looker, no doubt about it. Between the minimalist 6.4mm-thin aluminum body and the steel-covered back, it gives Sony a run for its money when it comes to industrial design... even if it does borrow a few notes from the iPhone 5. The bezels are so tiny that it crams a screen the same size and resolution (1080p) as the Galaxy S5 in a considerably smaller body. Underneath the screen is a Huawei-designed Kirin 930 octa-core processor with 64-bit architecture. We'd tell you the RAM and storage options, but the PR team seems to be woefully incompetent - there aren't any official numbers for those. We do know that the P8 will use a 2640mAh battery (impressive for such a thin phone) and a dual-SIM LTE radio.

Aside from the aesthetics, Huawei's biggest selling point for the P8 is the camera. The company claims that the four-color sensor (red, green, blue, white) enhances brightness by nearly a third compared to other 13MP cameras, and it also features optical image stabilization. The front-facing cam is an 8MP shooter. Software is barely mentioned, but we're guessing that Huawei's skin sits on top of Android 5.0.

The P8 will start at €499 when it launches... sometime, with custom-made accessories including an e-ink add-on rear cover available.

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Perhaps more interesting is the P8max. This gigantic "phone" has most of the same features, but stretches the screen out to 6.8 inches. Though it's only slightly thicker at 6.8mm, the P8max uses a 4360mAh battery, which reaches into the territory of small tablets... though I suppose that shouldn't be surprising. Oddly, the P8max uses a more conventional all-aluminum body without the steel accents - perhaps it would have been too heavy otherwise.

In terms of specs, the P8max is almost identical to its smaller sibling. Same 5+13MP camera setup, same software build, same 1080p resolution... which is odd, because a QHD panel would have been a real advantage on a phone this size. Perhaps the relatively low price, €549 for the base model, has something to do with it.

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, you can comb through the rambling press releases below or check out Huawei's two-hour announcement presentation. The action starts about 36 minutes in.

Huawei has posted specifications for the P8 and P8max on the updated consumer sites. Here's the good stuff:

Huawei P8

  • Dimensions: 144.9x72.1x6.4mm
  • Processor: Hisilicon Kirin 930, 8-core 64bit, 2.0GHz
  • Screen: 5.2", 1920x1080
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage 16GB (no MicroSD card slot)
  • Battery: 2680mAh
  • Camera: 13MP rear with optical image stabilization, 8MP front-facing
  • Software: Android 5.0 + Huawei Emotion UI 3.1

The P8 includes an insane amount of GSM and LTE bands plus a second SIM card slot.

GRA_L09:
TDD LTE:B40
FDD LTE:B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B18/B19/B20/B25/B26/B28
UMTS: 800(B6,Japan)/800(B19,Japan)/850/900/1700/1900/2100MHz
GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Support NFC

GRA_UL00:
TDD LTE: B38/B39/B40/B41 (2555MHz~2655MHz)
FDD LTE:B1/B3/B4/B7
UMTS: 850/900/1700/1900/2100MHz(B8/B5/B4/B2/B1)
GSM : Main card: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Second card:850/900/1800/1900MHz

The P8max includes most of the same specifications, but there are some key differences beyond that giant screen. The storage in particular is quadrupled, and the bigger phone includes a MicroSD card slot.

Huawei P8max

  • Dimensions: 182.7x93x6.8mm
  • Processor: Hisilicon Kirin 930, 8-core
  • Screen: 6.8", 1920x1080
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Storage: 64GB plus MicroSD
  • Battery: 4360
  • Camera: 13MP rear with optical image stabilization, 5MP front-facing
  • Software: Android 5.0 + Huawei Emotion UI 3.1

Press Release

London, 15 April 2015 – Today at the legendary Old Billingsgate, London’s renowned arts and fashion venue, Huawei Consumer Business Group unveiled the Huawei P8 smartphone, a perfect blend of technology, sleek styling, usability and revolutionary low light camera features. The Huawei P8 is the culmination of the P series’ rich heritage of style and functionality, and is once again redefining the smartphone market with easy-to-use features that amaze and inspire consumers.

The Huawei P8 takes beauty to the next level, striking a flawless balance of artistry and creativity. Based on a deep understanding of human-machine design, the Huawei P8 delivers a new level of usability for applications impacting everyday life – at work and at play. With craftsmanship that pushes the bounds of possibility and new revolutionary light painting modes, the Huawei P8 provides consumers with an inspiration for creativity.

Redefining Style, Beauty and Technology

Introduced in 2012, the Huawei P series has redefined style. The P1 marked the debut of Huawei’s journey, taking the stage with a new ethos based on beauty. The P2 built on the momentum of the P1, breaking new boundaries of processing speed; the P6 brought out a new and elegant sleekness; and the ultimate craftsmanship of the P7 stunned the market.

The Huawei P8 design is deeply rooted in literary tradition, combining elements of ancient manuscripts, illuminated books and the essence of sunlight in stained glass library windows. It is inspired by the best of human design from different cultures across the centuries and embodies the human spirit of exploration and beauty.

The design details of the Huawei P8 evoke the pages, bindings and hardcovers of traditional books. The one-piece aluminum body with the diamond shape blasting craftsmanship highlights the texture of the metal. The phone comes with four elegant color options: silver, gold, black and grey. The devices come in a translucent package and the unboxing experience is like taking a book from the shelf.

Highlights of Design and Technology

  • Continuing the minimalist design of previous generations in the P series, the Huawei P8 embodies the ultimate in elegance, craftsmanship and durability. Highlights include:
  • The nano-injection molding process results in an industry-leading seamless tight junction connecting a 1.5mm thin plastic bar with one of the industry’s largest screens.
  • The phone is 6.4mm thin, with dual SIM cards, and works seamlessly with a 4G network (where the service is available).
  • The triple-layer shark-gill design enhances the reliability and robustness of the device.
  • Inside, the new Kirin 930 64-bit Octa-Core chipset boosts performance by approximately 20 percent compared with other phones with similar levels of battery life.
  • The body’s sleek back cover is constructed of steel, for reinforced structural rigidity.

Craft Best-in-Class User Experiences

The Huawei P8 is designed to have a natural connection to human nature, providing solutions to common pain points and meeting consumers’ needs – both simple and complex.

The Huawei P8 has a revolutionary touch screen experience that is innate to consumers. Double-tapping a knuckle captures a full-length screen shot, while drawing a circle on the screen quickly captures content. Additionally, the “search phone by voice” function allows users to call out to their misplaced smartphone, which will respond through its speaker to identify.

Unique power management creates a bridge between the Huawei P8’s slim design, power efficiently and stunning performance. The device contains a 2680mAh battery and with Kirin 930 Octa-Core 64-bit chipset, delivering outstanding performance that outpaces the smartphone market by 20 percent.

The Huawei P8 brings innovative and much-needed features to voice and sound. In loud environments users can increase volume up to 58 percent above normal level. In a windy environment, the smartphone can eliminate 90 percent of the sound of wind when using a headset or earphones with a single mic. Additionally, super hands-free functionality supports hands-free speaker calls within a radius range of 2 meters, while a built-in independent audio decoder chipset enables music volume to double while maintaining the same high quality.

Considering the user habits as well as upcoming trends, the Huawei P8 provides a comprehensive line-up of solutions:

  • For 4G SIM card users, the device features dual 4G SIM card support with two flexible card slots.
  • Once the Huawei P8 has identified and connected with a Bluetooth device such as the Huawei TalkBand B2, the phone can be remotely unlocked without entering a password.
  • With network roaming performance optimized for 4G, the Huawei P8 connects with network roaming services approximately three times faster than average phone models.
  • Additionally, with an optional E-ink screen on the back of the phone, the metal back cover can switch to an eBook in just seconds.

“The goal of Huawei P8 is to become the most user-friendly smartphone for consumers globally” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, “Through in-depth market research, Huawei has addressed the most pressing pain points for premium smartphone users today. Huawei seamlessly combines the best elements of style and durability in this device, delivering a revolutionary user experience – especially in terms of camera capabilities and network connectivity. Building on the outstanding market performance of Huawei’s P series, we fully believe the Huawei P8 will become one of the most popular smartphones of 2015.”

Best-in-Class Smartphone with Light Painting Camera

The Huawei P8 introduces a new philosophy for camera design leveraging a combination of hardware, software and proprietary algorithms to help users capture beautiful photographs, even in the worst lighting conditions. Features include:

  • Industry-leading Optical Image Stabilizer technology up to 1.2°, enabling high-quality photos and videos, and managing camera shake so images are consistently sharp.
  • The world’s first four-color RGBW sensor enhances brightness by 32 percent in high contrast lighting situations, reduces it by 78 percent in low light environments. DSLR-level independent image processor enabling noise reduction when shooting and intelligent detection of a high-contrast lighting environment.
  • Four professional quality low-light shooting modes giving users access to a virtual photo and video studio to capture artistic inspirations.

For example, the Light Painting mode, one of the four professional quality low-light shooting modes, leverages the Huawei P8’s manual camera shutter to capture broad swaths of light. Light Painting mode can capture a rolling ferris wheel at night, showing the circular streams of light in an artistic photo. Users can also “light paint” their own freehand pictures using a small torchlight in the dark. Another industry first low light technology is the light check and preview mode. By giving users a preview of what the shot will look like, the device makes it easier to experiment creatively with light sources in the dark.

The Huawei P8’s Director mode is the industry’s first professional-level video capture function on a smartphone. It allows consumers to direct and control up to three other Android phones when shooting a video scene from four angles simultaneously, while also synchronize video clip editing.

The Huawei P8 also introduces a powerful new Selfie mode, which allows preset image enhancement settings to capture and customize everyone’s unique beauty, enabling even more people to get in on the fun.

Setting New Standards for Mobile Connectivity

During the process of researching and listening to the needs of elite smartphone users, Huawei has addressed emerging pain points around dropped calls and signal degradation. Building on Huawei’s DNA of world-class communications technology, the Huawei P8 has re-defined the industry benchmark for seamless network connectivity.

The Huawei P8 has re-defined the industry benchmark for seamless network connectivity through proprietary Signal+ technology. The compact and powerful dual-antenna design plus rapid switching technology allows the smartphone to instantly switch between antennas, ensuring a continuous strong network connection. Additionally, the devices’ Signal+ enhances the call connection rate, even when users are travelling on a train at a speed of up to 300 kilometers per hour.

For consumers who travel by air, it takes quite a bit of time to connect when landing at an airport; the Huawei P8 increases the speed of connecting to a roaming network. Based on international roaming test data from more than 20 countries and regions across Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and North America with network roaming performance optimized for 4G, the Huawei P8 synchronizes with network roaming services approximately three times faster than an average phone.

Huawei’s extremely stylish P series has achieved great success around the world. Global sales of the Huawei P6 have totaled 5 million units in 60 countries and the Huawei P7 surpassed 4 million sales across more than 100 countries in just six months. The success of the Huawei P6 and P7 indicates a strong potential demand for the Huawei P8.

There are two versions of the Huawei P8; the standard device for €499 and the premium version for €599. It will initially be available in more than 30 countries including China, Columbia, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, UAE and the United Kingdom.

London, 15 April 2015 – Two years ago Huawei launched the legendary P6 in London, the first in a series of smart, beautiful devices; today the company returns to London to unveil its two latest P Series smartphones – the user-friendly Huawei P8 and the Huawei P8max. The Huawei P8max builds on the beauty of the P8 design and features a larger 6.8-inch screen, longer battery life and a unique camera with light tracing for any environment. It also inherits the elegant ID design and extraordinary light painting capabilities of the P series devices. Together, these features deliver more fun to consumers through Huawei’s new large screen smartphones.

The 16:9 smartphone provides a better feel for consumers. Additionally, the large 4360 mAh battery features Huawei’s power saving technology and power consumption management technology that ensures outstanding battery life. With this battery, consumers can watch downloaded video for over 15 consecutive hours. The front and rear cameras of Huawei P8max use a 5+13 mega pixel combination and the rear camera is equipped with a professional-grade Image Signal Processor (similar to the technology found in DSLR cameras) and dual-tone flash to bring out true color in night photos. Additionally, Light Painting and Director mode filming provide users with more creative instruments at their fingertips.

Bigger Screen, Bigger Battery and “Bigger” Dreams

The Huawei P8max uses a 6.8-inch high definition JDI screen that is the largest in-cell FHD screen in the world. The 16:9 screen enables the device to be slimmer, with a better feel and easier to carry. The smartphone supports landscape mode, which enables consumers to view and read on the phone, while color enhancement technology enables a better visual experience.

The Huawei P8max has a 6.8-inch large screen and is equipped with a 4360mAh large battery – all contained in a super slim 6.8 mm body. It is there for your long-time recreational needs, enabling over 10 hours of video streaming with Huawei’s power saving management technology.

Unique Photo-Taking Functions for More Creativity

The Huawei P8max uses a combination of 5+13 mega pixel front and rear cameras. The rear camera Image Signal Processor, with a 13 mega pixel Optical Image Stabilization provides better night view photo-taking. The Huawei P8max’s optical image stablization technology reduces the aperture time 2-3 grades, which ensures brighter and clearer pictures. Additionally, the dual-tone flash effectively brings back true color and creates vivid pictures in dark and dim lighting.

The Huawei P8max offers consumers with the best instrument for art through a light painting function and video filming function that reduces later editing. It also has face-enhancing, Selfie, Pano, and Lapse modes for photo-taking. The large screen of the Huawei P8max enables consumers to create and enjoy the freedom of creating art.

Unlike light painting functions on ordinary phones, the Huawei P8max provides real time preview display and hand controlled aperture of a picture. The device has an Optical Image Stabilization function on the rear camera, which enables great pictures even without a tripod, and the unique Director mode enables consumers to share what they have just filmed. The smartphone can also form a filming group with three other phones, and by switching different views, consumers can make a blockbuster without having to edit.

A New Design Esthetic

The biggest characteristic of the Huawei P8max is the non-cut back of the smartphone with a metal ratio of 94 percent. The entire body of the device is cut from an aerospace grade aluminum block.

The Huawei P8max uses an industry-leading heat dissipation solution to avoid overheating. The smartphone uses the same DX19 high thermal conductivity alloy that’s found in some luxury automobiles; the thermal conductivity coefficient is nine times higher than that of stainless steel, and 3.8 times higher than aluminum – the magnesium alloy used in most phones.

Outstanding Commercial Apps, such as Wireless Projector BlueTooth Printing

The Huawei P8max is equipped with functions such as Blue Tooth Printing, Wireless Projection, and GPS for commercial use, all of which work together to maximize productivity. The Huawei P8max helps users more easily handle e-mails, edit documents and complete other office tasks. The P8max also offers an optional innovative perforated leather cover with see-through dots that enables the user to view incoming calls and alerts without opening the cover, avoiding the fingerprints and smudges of traditional clear covers. The leather cover also supports standby mode, making it the perfect match for P8max.

There are two versions of the Huawei P8max; the standard device for €549 and the premium version for €649. It will be available in more than 30 countries.