Huawei P8 Lite Review

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 25, 2015
Mobile Computing

The Huawei P8 Lite is a mid-range phone that stays true to the overall style of Huawei's high-end P8 smartphone.

The unlocked device is priced at $249 in the US and at €249 in Europe. Included in the package is the phone, a micro USB cable, a wall charger, 3.5mm headset, and a quick start guide.

Please note that the specs of the device may differ based on the region it is offered in. The P8 Lite may run Android 4.4 or 5.0, and may be powered by an 8 core HiSilicon's Kirin 620 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC.

The version examined during this review is the HiSilicon's Kirin 620 version running Android 5.0.

huawei p8 lite

Notable Specs

  • Dimensions: 143 x 70.6 x 7.7 mm
  • Weight: 131g
  • Display: 5.0" 1280x720 IPS LCD
  • Memory: 2 Gigabyte LPDDR3 Ram
  • Storage: 16 Gigabyte NAND, support for MicroSDXC with up to 128 GB capacity
  • Battery: 2200 mAh
  • Cameras: 13MP rear facing, 5MP front facing
  • Connectivity: 2G / 3G / 4G LTE, 802.11b/g/n
  • OS: Android 5.0, Emotion UI 3.1

The P8 Lite's front looks remarkably similar to Huawei's flagship phone P8 even though it is made of plastic and not metal. The sides look different though and remind me of a sandwich as they feature two outer layers that use the same color as the phone's front and back (white in this case), and a different color in the middle that makes the middle part look like metal.

The power and volume buttons, as well as both SIM/microSD slots are on the right. You need a special opener for both slots which you find attached to the the package the phone shipped with. You may use both slots for SIM cards or use one of the slots to expand the device's storage instead.

You find the headphone connector at the top and the micro USB connector and dual audio speakers at the bottom of the device. The back side uses matte plastic that is lightly texturized with a subtle horizontal pattern.

The build quality is good and the phone itself has a good feel to it when you hold it in your hand. I'm not a fan of the sandwich design on the other hand especially since the middle part sticks out slightly. It would have been better in my opinion if Huawei would have mimicked the sides of the P8 instead as it features the same color as front and back all the way around.

The P8 Lite ships with a 5" 720p IPS LCD display with Gorilla Glass 3. While many mid-range phones ship with a display resolution of 720p, some manufactures have squeezed in 1080p panels instead in recent time.

The quality of the display is not as good as it could be unfortunately. Anandtech ran a full display test when they reviewed the P8 Lite and came to the conclusion that the device's display is "fairly disappointing" even though it is "decently sharp". This may or may not be a deciding factor depending on how you want to use the device.

While you may not notice that much or at all, for instance if you are upgrading from a last generation mid-range or low-range phone, better quality displays are available at this price range.

The overall performance of the device is quite good. There is no notable lag when you navigate the home screen, applications open quickly and everything responds well to touch input.

While you cannot expect flagship performance, it is doing quite well thanks to its 2 Gigabyte of RAM and SoC.

The battery of the P8 Lite looks underpowered for a device of its class as battery life is quite short while charging takes longer than it should when using the stock charger. Depending on how you use the device, you may notice that it won't last a full day without charging.

The camera on the other hand is quite good for a mid-range device thanks to Huawei's excellent photo processing and the camera's own capabilities. The P8 Lite records video at a maximum resolution of 1080p at 30 frames per second.

Closing Words

The P8 Lite is an interesting device that does many things right. Its all-plastic chassis feels sturdy and well designed, the photo quality is really good and all day to day tasks are carried out quickly thanks to its processor and RAM it ships with.

The device's Achilles' heels are its battery life and display which are both not as good as they could be especially when compared to devices of the same price-range.

The phone would be an easy recommendation if Huawei would have set its price to $199 or even below that, and if you can grab it for that price, you probably should.

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  1. SharOo said on October 13, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    im using this phone it’s a good one and i like it & im using lollipop 5.0 but is there any possibility that Huawei will update it more to mashmellow 6.0 ?

    1. Dan said on October 14, 2015 at 12:53 am

      Not likely. I’ve read elsewhere that Huawei rarely upgrades its Android version from one major version to another (4.x to 5.x). At most, it may upgrade the OS to 5.1, but that is still unlikely too.

  2. Joe said on September 19, 2015 at 4:08 am

    I was worried about battery life but I routinely get 2 or 3 days per charge on my P8 Lite. That’s thanks largely to “ultra battery mode,” which turns everything off except calling and texting. One button lets you switch into that mode when you don’t need data, WiFi etc.

  3. Finnen said on August 26, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Was thinking about buying it but eventually I decided to pay some more and choose other device from Huawei – Honor 6. I’m happy that I did that, the smartphone works like a charm, it’s super fast and I cannot notice any lag. I went from Xperia SP, which was a complete disaster. Feels like someone lifted a curse from me :)

    @Dan It’s weird that full version of P8 has such problems with games like Fallout Shelter. I’m playing it on my Honor 6 and it works without any lag and opens quite fast (it was faster than my friend’s HTC Desire 820).

    1. Dan said on August 26, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      I did some further tinkering and found out that it came at the lowest power setting (endurance mode) out of the box. I have no idea why they would cripple it for new users. When I adjusted it for performance, it finally played Fallout Shelter well (PvZ2 improved as well but still not smooth playing). Now that it has resolved most of my issues, I recant my earlier review. I blame it on my unfamiliarity with the device (I just got it last week).

      I had an Xperia L before, and it is indeed underpowered and, more importantly, had low RAM. Comparing it to a more powerful Android device is like night and day. I was thinking of getting the Honor 6 Plus (because of its awesome two-camera gimmick), but decided on the P8 because of its flagship specs. Plus it looks like a better-designed iToy.

      (BTW, I also read elsewhere that Huawei Honor 6 (and Plus) might be stuck on 4.4.2 and won’t get Lollipop. That also helped me decide to get the P8 instead.)

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on August 26, 2015 at 12:20 pm

      I liked it a lot during tests but the screen is too large for my taste. I don’t want a 5″+ device.

  4. Dan said on August 25, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    I have the Huawei P8 version. With most apps it works like a charm, but on gaming its weak-ish HiSilicon SoC and GPU is having problems with the load. It can do fairly simple games like Angry Birds but if you play PvZ2 or Fallout Shelter, the lag is notable and annoying. It is a flagship phone that looks and feels like a flagship, but on games it may not be too different than midrangers like the Zenfone 2 or the Alcatel Idon 3.

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