Huawei unveils Ascend P8 and P8 Max smartphones

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Manufacturer’s ‘best” additions to its premium handset portfolio to date unveiled at lavish event in London

Huawei has today (April 14) unveiled its latest and “best” Ascend smartphones – the Ascend P8 and Ascend P8 Max.

The new flagship devices were showcased during a lavish press conference in London beside the Thames in front of close to 1,000 media representatives from around the world – some from as far away as its home market of China.

Ascend P8
The Ascend P8 is Huawei’s “best yet”

P8

The ‘premium’ 6.4mm thick P8 handset (pictured right), unveiled by Huawei chief Richard Yu (pictured main), was described as the best yet from the manufacturer and one that takes Huawei to next level with technology and “unmistakable” design.

Features

Features include a 5.2 inch touchscreen, octa-core processor and a 13 megapixel rear camera with ‘anti shake technology’ and a DSLR level imaging processor.

The camera also includes a number of new features, including ‘fast face detection’ and auto scene recognition technology, which Yu said takes four pictures at once and combines them for “the best” quality photo.

Other new features include:

– A new “knuckle gesture” technology allowing you to use your knuckle on the touchscreen rather than just your finger;

The Ascend P8 is just 6.4mm thick
The Ascend P8 is just 6.4mm thick

– An ‘app power consumption firewall’ providing an extra 2.3 days of standby time to the battery. Yu claimed the P8 battery will last 1.5 days with “normal usage” or one day for “heavy users”.

– Voice+ technology which reduces background noise cancellation by increasing volume by 58 per cent. Wind noise reduction is also cut by 90 per cent, Yu claims;

– ‘Super hands free’, providing “crystal clear” conference calling provided within two meters of the phone;

– Voice awake up+ function also, using remote voice capture technology, allowing you to call out for your phone, such as “hi buddy, where are you” (as demonstrated on stage) and it will respond “hi buddy, I’m over here”;

-Huawei’s WiFi+ technology which finds the strongest available hotspot and open WiFi connection  for the user, rather than the closest.

Yu also claimed the device will connect to a network three times faster than before by using ‘Intelligent Roaming+’ technology.

Dual Sim

Two versions will be available, one of which is dual nano-SIM 4G compatible. It will be available in silver, gold, black and grey.

More than 500 global media awaited the announcements
More than 500 global media awaited the announcements

The goal of Huawei P8 is to become the most user-friendly smartphone for consumers globally” said Yu. “Through in-depth market research, Huawei has addressed the most pressing pain points for premium smartphone users today.

“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.”

Built on success

The device follows the Ascend P7, which launched in Paris almost a year ago – where Yu boldly claimed Huawei could compete with Apple and Samsung for market leadership.

Huawei was, at that time, the third largest manufacturer in the world by sales, but has since dropped down to fourth, despite sales numbers increasing to 75 million in 2014 up from 52 a year earlier. It expects to ship 100 million this year, the firm exclusively revealed to Mobile News in Barcelona last month.

The original P1 was launched in Vegas in 2011 with P6 unveiled in London in 2013.

Ascend P8 Max
The Ascend P8 Max is thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus

P8 Max

The Ascend P8 Max (pictured right) includes the same features as the P8 but includes a larger 6.4 inch screen and is marginally thicker at 6.8mm, that’s compared to the Apple iPhone 6 Plus at 7.1mm.

It also includes a larger battery, providing 2.3 days of “standard” usage or 1.4 days with “heavy usage.” This Huawei claimed compares to 1.5 days of heavy usage on an iPhone 6 Plus and 1.29 days on the Samsung Galaxy Note.

It also has “industry leading” screen to body ration of 83 per cent, compared to 73 percent on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus and 80 per cent on the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Prices / availability 

Both devices will initially be available in 30 countries, including the UK, with Carphone Warehouse the first to confirm stock of both models.

Sim free prices for the P8 will start at €499 for the16GB model and €599 for the 32GB. The P8 Max costs €549 for the 32GB model and €649 for the 64GB version.

P series success

Global sales of the Ascend P6, which was released in 2013, have totalled five million units in 60 countries will the Ascend P7 has surpassed four million sales across more than 100 countries in just six months.

Huawei said the success of these two smartphones indicates a strong demand for the Ascend P8.

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