They say great things come in small packages and in this case, Huawei delivers a huge device in a pretty small wrapper. The Huawei P8 Lite is the latest $250 model to hit our review spaces and it did not disappoint. With a solid set of specs, GSM LTE compatibility on both major US networks, and a form factor that fits in most hands comfortably, the P8 Lite is definitely a device that anyone considering an MVNO or T-Mobile should take a seriously long look at.
The build on the P8 Lite is nothing short of gorgeous. Holding the P8 Lite in hand felt more like holding a $500-700 premium device. The review unit we were sent was done in a beautiful white finish with smooth accents and clean lines. The buttons were all very solid and had almost no play to them. The screen was set perfectly in the body with no bulges, overhangs or gaps that were noticeable to us. The bevel-less look on the sides of the display made the phone seem much narrower than it was. Coming in at 5.63” high, 2.78” wide and .3” thick, the P8 Lite felt nice in everyone’s hands. The P8 Lite just felt sturdy and fit well.
As nice as the build of the P8 Lite was, the internals of the P8 Lite didn’t disappoint either. Powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Snapdragon 615 chipset, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.4, the P8 Lite pretty well handled everything that was thrown at it. The 2GB of RAM powered through most multitasking tests with ease and the 16GB of internal storage can be expanded via the onboard MicroSD slot. We had no issues running our 64GB Sandisk card, though the spec sheets only claim a 32GB max card size. The P8 Lite also is equipped with a 5” 780×1280 HD display and a 5MP front camera. The rear of the device features a monstrous 13MP shooter that also records full 1080p video.
Continuing on through the device, the P8 Lite features an Android skin that is fairly reminiscent of another phone out there, but we just couldn’t put our finger on what was so, familiar, about it. The EMUI v3.0 skinning of Android had a few interesting things to get used to, but once we did, it was rather painless to use. With no App drawer on the device, Apps were displayed on a horizontal additional screen instead of the typical drawer setup that most associate with Android. Again, it wasn’t a terrible experience, but it was a different one.
The EMUI skin went deep into the system settings, making finding the normal Android settings a bit difficult, but honestly, once you found them, it was easy to navigate back to them. Honestly, after about 2 days of using the EMUI skinning, it was hard to think about going back to stock Android. The EMUI skin also featured one other major attraction, especially to those new to smartphones.
Simple Mode allows users to ditch the busy EMUI home screen in favor of the ‘easy’ or in this case Simple View home screen. This took away the crazy clocks, widgets and folders that were found on the basic home screen and laid out a nice set of, what reminded us of Windows, tiles. These quick glance buttons were perfect for those with clumsy fingers or that just wanted the ultimate in clean interfaces. We saw this once before on the Ascent Mate 2 4G and liked it then as well, but the P8 Lite just seems to take it to the next level.
The last and probably one of the strongest reasons to grab a P8 Lite for yourself is the fact that Huawei not only paid attention to the build of the device and the software it runs, but they are also paying attention to the average customer out there that gets forced into carrying a personal phone and a work phone. The P8 Lite makes short work of both duties by having not just one SIM slot, but by having two SIM slots. That means no more carrying multiple devices around when you don’t want to. It’s a fairly new practice to US subscribers, but when you team something like a $20 unlimited calling plan for your personal account with that T-Mobile company plan from your business, it makes a ton of sense to have that second slot available.
Overall, Huawei really hit the mark with the P8 Lite. The $250 unlocked price tag puts the P8 Lite in the same range with other manufacturers low end devices and the P8 Lite delivers anything but a low end feel. Smooth software, a good camera and a premium quality build are just the highlights of the Huawei P8 Lite, but you really owe it to yourself to go grab one and check out just how great a $250 phone can be. Honestly, it has to be one of the best Android handsets in the under $300 range available today.
Link: Huawei P8 Lite