Huawei has been on a tear the past year. The smartphone maker recently rose to third in the world, with close to 10 per cent of the world using a Huawei smartphone. Fast Company slotted the Chinese firm in 13th place in its 2016 List of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies. It also made quite the buzz in the tech world after announcing its upcoming partnership with Leica (although Bruce Lee, vice president of the handset product division, remained tight-lipped about the details when we quizzed him about it).

And the Huawei Mate 8, its latest and probably glitziest iteration in its flagship series, managed to move two million units in China within the first 50 days of the launch.

Singapore will be welcoming the Huawei Mate 8 to her shores on 10 March at the auspicious retail price of $888. We were at the launch of the smartphone and managed to fiddle around with it for a while. Here are the three key takeaways.

First Look: Huawei Mate 8-am_il_v1001_i_30c65d58ee531563700971d0135863d717_baf13227e9ed6ecd75a9b42704e67de734

1. Battery life
The Huawei Mate 8 is packing a monstrous 4,000mAh battery. To put that into perspective, its other major competitors come nowhere close to its incredible longevity. Huawei claims that a normal user will be able to get 2.36 days of use from one complete charge. In an age when a charging cable is de rigueur in our bags, having the confidence that our smartphone can last for such a long time is a wonderful feeling to have. And it frees up space in our bags too.

2. An In-house Processor
Huawei feels a bit like a Swiss watchmaker. The mark of a top-notch horological brand is having its own manufacture to create in-house movements. As for Huawei, the company has been engineering and developing its own processing chips for a while but its past attempts were plagued by performance issues. It’s safe to say that its latest Kirin 950 chipset is perhaps one of the best in the industry. Learning from its previous mistakes, Huawei has created a powerful chipset that makes using the smartphone a breezy lag-free process.

3. Emphasis on Design
With an all-around aluminium case and chamfered edges, the Huawei Mate 8 is a beautiful piece of work. The little details, such as the oversized camera lens and the sandblasted back that’s quite the treat for your fingers, sets this apart from its competitors. And if you like your smartphones big, you’ll be glad to know that the Mate 8 manages to fit in a 6-inch screen by shrinking the bezel to an impressively thin 1.7mm.

There are a few gimmicky features that probably won’t see much use. The Knuckle Gestures, a system that allows you to launch certain apps depending on the signs your knuckles trace on the screen, is one of those.

Barring those, however, the Huawei Mate 8 is a legitimate contender in the crowded Android market. Depending on what you’re looking for when you’re shopping for a smartphone, we highly recommend you put the Huawei Mate 8 as one of your options.

Click here to discover more of the Huawei Mate 8.

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First Look: Huawei Mate 8
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