Huawei unveiled its newest flagship smartphone today at its CES press conference, showing off some new and improved hardware mixed with Huawei's own software skin over Android.
The sleek-looking Huawei Mate 8 has a large, 6-inch HD display coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 4. For comparison's sake: its display is slightly larger than the one on the iPhone 6 Plus. The Mate 8 is the first smartphone to run the newest chip in Huawei's own processing line, a Kirin 950 octa-core processor that's supposed to boost CPU power 100 percent and GPU performance 125 percent from previous phone models.
The Mate 8's camera specs are very respectable — a 16-megapixel rear camera with an all new Sony IMX298 sensor and an 8-megapixel front camera (with a "beauty algorithm" for "taking the perfect selfie"). It shoots 1080p HD video.
But the most interesting features are likely its improved battery life and fingerprint scanning capabilities. It has a 4,000mAh battery, with a two-day claim and up to 70 percent more power efficiency. It also charges super quickly; Huawei says 30 minutes of charging will give users a full day's use.
And, while fingerprint scanning isn't new for Huawei phones, the company says the new sensor in the Mate 8 improves the identification capabilities by 10 percent and that the speed for fingerprint unlocking is 100 times faster.
The Mate 8 will ship running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, but early reviewers are already noting that the Mate 8 still has Huawei's own EMUI skin over it, which applies some weird customizations to the whole Android experience. The new Mate 8 will cost 599 euros ($643 USD) for a Mate 8 with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, and 699 euros ($750 USD) for the 4GB + 64GB variant. It comes in champagne gold, moonlight silver, space gray, and mocha brown. It will initially be available in 30 countries throughout western Europe, UAE, Mexico, and Australia. Huawei hasn't said whether it will come to the US.
Huawei, a brand that few people in the Western world had even heard of five years ago, is now the third-biggest smartphone marker in the world, with a 9.7 percent share of the global market. However, Huawei's success here in the US has still been limited because most American carriers don't sell its phones.