- the look of the device
- the price
We don’t like
- the absence of a USB-C port
- only 16 GB of storage space
- the appearance too dirty
This new model offers some nice surprises, starting with its performance and autonomy. The price of the device is also one of its best assets. On the other hand, we really regret that Huawei has not integrated a USB-C port, nor made any effort on storage space. It is imperative to buy a microSD card to feel a little less cramped.
While Huawei marketed last May a ” P9 Lite ” (we had tested here), the manufacturer is now returning to the ” P8 Lite ” released two years ago and offers us a 2017edition. It’s getting a bit complicated, but the fact that Huawei is marketing a P8 Lite 2017 edition is the most natural explanation in the world: in France, the brand’s two biggest successes are the P9 and… the P8 Lite first of its name!
But then, what changes have been made to this new version of the brand’s flagship smartphone? Is it a quick facelift or a total rejuvenation treatment?
Rare are the months when the couple Huawei / Honor does not bring us a new smartphone: Huawei Nova, Huawei P8 Lite 2017, Huawei P10, Huawei P10 Lite, Honor 6X, Honor 8 are all references launched in the last three months. The P8 Lite 2017 edition should nonetheless be a simple and clear solution for everyone: the device is intended to be an inexpensive model (less than 250 euros), with a relatively powerful processor, running on Android 7.0 and loaded with now indispensable options (fingerprint sensor, phase-detection autofocus, etc.). But does that mean we have to fall in love with this smartphone, or can we still be satisfied with the 2015 edition, which may not be that obsolete and is easily available for less than 170 euros? Answer below.
Huawei could have settled for a new processor to create this 2017 edition of its P8 Lite. This is not the case: the Chinese manufacturer has made a lot of effort in terms of the aesthetics of the device. The design of this smartphone is sober, with rounded edges and a glossy back (which nevertheless causes some dirt, but we’ll come back to that later).
Another novelty: while the old version had a 5″ screen, the 2017 version now has a 5.2″ screen. A good compromise for those who are refractory to phantoms, but who nevertheless wish to play in good conditions and consult their e-mails or web pages without constantly zooming in on a part of the screen. Finally, the P8 Lite now has a Full HD display and a resolution of 424 dpi.
On the processor side, the device benefits from a Kirin 655 processor and 3GB of RAM, a hardware configuration that can be found on the very successful Honor 6X, which we recently tested. In comparison, the P8 Lite 2015 had a Kirin 620 at the time and only 2 GB of RAM. But then, in terms of performance, what does it look like? Without being a war lightning bolt, the P8 Lite is doing very well (see captures below). We have submitted it to different benchmarking tools, and its results are quite good, without matching those of the Nova. We tested it for a good two weeks on a daily basis and only very rarely saw any slowing down. Once again, this is a good compromise for those who want to play, work or navigate on heavy pages.
The Huawei P8 Lite has one major advantage: its price. Initially priced at 249 euros, the aircraft can already be found at 190 euros, just two weeks after its release in France. When you compare its tariff to its many little “bonuses”, you can tell yourself that Huawei hasn’t robbed its users. Starting with the photo sensor. If the Huawei Nova’s sensor hadn’t seduced us, the P8 Lite’s is still a little better. It’s not a panacea yet, but for the price of the device, it’s not so bad. And yet, the “old version” P8 Lite had a 13MP rear photo sensor, while the “new version” P8 Lite’s is only 12MP. In reality, 1MP less doesn’t make much difference. In fact, the sensor in the 2017 edition now features a phase-detection autofocus. Finally, last little novelty: at the front, we take advantage of a sensor of 8 Mpx, against 5 for the old declination of the device).
We also liked that Huawei had the good idea to integrate a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device, which allows the smartphone to be locked and unlocked with a simple push. The same device can also be used on merchant sites or any other site that requires a high level of security. The sensor can store up to 5 fingerprints and reacts to a quarter turn (less than 0.5 seconds, watch in hand). On the left the P8 Lite 2017, on the right the Nova.
On the software side, we have Android 7.0 (Nougat) by default. No long overdue updates are required. We also take advantage of the EMUI 5.0 overlay created by Huawei. This little couple works wonders, and EMUI is starting to become really interesting on a daily basis. The software allows you to manage and access almost all of the device’s settings as quickly as possible. So much so that we didn’t need to reinstall the Google Now Launcher.
In its 2017 version, the device benefits from a 3000 mAh battery. In comparison, the 2015 edition only had a 2200 mAh battery. And it shows on the performance: the PCMark application for Android gave us back a 9h15 autonomy in Works 2.0 mode. A huge progress has been made on this side, since the 2015 edition only lasted… 3h50! We have already seen the great efforts that Huawei has recently made on the autonomy side with the Huawei Nova, so the trend seems to be continuing with the P8 Lite 2017.
On the storage level, only 16 GB of space is used. And even more: by default, the operating system, EMUI and already installed applications alone occupy more than 10 GB. You quickly run out of space on the device and you will have to quickly acquire a MicroSD card to feel a little more comfortable. It’s a bit of a shame, because in comparison, the Honor 6X comes with a 32 GB base.
On the connection side, it’s also a disappointment: the camera has an “old” micro USB port. The choice is all the more surprising for Huawei as the manufacturer has started to install a USB-C port on its phones, such as the Nova in particular. As a result, the charging speed of the device is lost (easily count a good three hours to recharge it, compared to a little less than two hours for the Nova).
This is one of the main black points of the camera: the slightest grip leaves big fingerprints on the screen and on the back of the shell. As a result, we spend our time trying to clean it up in every direction. The fault lies with the glossi side of the device, as mentioned above. If adding protection solves the problem, the compactness of the device is lost.