Huawei’s new mid-range smartphone, the Huawei P8 Lite 2017, is going to be available in the United Kingdom next week from February 1st. The device will be on sale from Vodafone retail stores priced at £185 for prepaid customers, or from £16 a month on a traditional two year plan. This is a little less than expected as the device was released at a price of €239 ($250), when released in Germany at around the same time, approximately £203. For the money, the Huawei P8 Lite 2017 offers compelling specifications and represents a significant upgrade to the original 2015 Huawei P8. It’s also an improvement to the Huawei P9 Lite, which was released last year.
By the numbers, the Huawei P8 Lite 2017 is based around a 5.2-inch, 1080p resolution display and under this, there’s a Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 655 chipset, which is a big.LITTLE chipset clocked at up to 2.1 GHz for the high performance cluster. This System-on-Chip is backed up by 3 GB of RAM and the device has 16 GB of internal storage, but comes with a microSD slot that supports cards of up to 128 GB. There’s an 8-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video calling and a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera. In line with many new devices today, the Huawei P8 Lite 2017 ships with a fingerprint scanner. Things are kept powered up by a 3,000 mAh rechargeable battery but perhaps more importantly, the device runs Android 7.0 Nougat under the Huawei EMUI 5.0 custom user interface.
Huawei has been on something of a charm offensive for the last few years and has been pushing into Western markets, but unfortunately the EMUI custom skin is not to Western tastes and has traditionally been Huawei’s weakness. The Chinese manufacturer has gradually been toning down the software interface with each new generation, thanks to Huawei’s experience with the Nexus product family (in the shape of the Nexus 6P) and customer feedback. Still, the P8 Lite 2017 has very respectable hardware and a great mid-range price. We are also expecting another new device from the Chinese manufacturer, the Huawei P10 Lite, in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see the specifications of this device and how it will be priced compared with the existing P9 Lite and the new P8 Lite 2017.