Review: Huawei P8 smartphone

, posted: 9-Jun-2015 16:16

A week ago today, I was up in Singapore for the South Pacific region launch of Huawei’s new flagship smartphone, the Huawei P8. There were 15 of us in total in the media group, with a mix of journalists from the main outlets and a few well known identities from NZ’s Twitter tech space.

Huawei aren’t known for their top of the line smartphones, and this phone was designed to change all that. I’ve been using the P8 for a week now, and I’m a fan.


It is a beautiful phone. Manufactured from one piece of aluminium, it has a 5.2” screen (supposedly the biggest screen-to-body ratio in its class at 71.4%), running 1080x1920. It supports two SIM cards, with the second SIM port doubling as the microSD port. On-board storage is 16GB, with 3GB of RAM. Battery is good size at 2680 mAh. The packaging is amazing and is well engineered with the phone placed on its side rather than on its back.

It runs Android Lollipop, with Huawei making modifications to the interface. After being with a Samsung phone for so long, I don’t mind the changes. One big feature is the power consumption warnings which tell you when an app(s) is using too much power, and I’m finding the battery life is incredible because of this. I do miss having the hardware button in the bottom centre, but you can customise the software buttons and their ordering, exactly to your preferences.

The camera is flush with the back of the phone (it makes a big difference) and is a respectable 13MP, with the front facing one being 5MP. The image stabilisation works very well, and it takes great low light photos if you have a steady hand or a tripod at the ready. Director mode allows you to record video from the phone as well as up to three other P8 phones or other Android devices using WiFi direct. It also has a variety of long exposure features which make are a little gimmicky but would be load of fun with the kids.

That’s all the good stuff, but what are the negatives? I find the aluminium slippery to hold and probably need a case to prevent an accidental drop. The second SIM is a nice feature, but with only 16GB on board, I’m using it for my SD card, meaning I can’t use it for overseas for a local SIM. Some will find the lower res screen and lack of 4K support deal breakers, but the resolution of the phone is more than sufficient for me.

At the event, Huawei announced 160 collection points across the six countries in the South Pacific (free pickup/delivery to them) as well as two free protective screen replacements within the first 12 months should you require them. That should keep the social media sphere happy.

Huawei are investing a lot in this region. Their marketing spend in 2015 will be 67% higher than the previous year (aiming for 113% in 2019) – this was shown with their big presences at the major airports, retail and sponsorship of some well-known sports teams, mainly in Australia. To keep up, their workforce is exploding to a massive 1,417 people this year, compared with 155 in just 2013.

Launching here in NZ in July, it’ll be available through Spark, 2Degrees and other various outlets. NZ pricing wasn’t announced, however in Singapore it launched at $699, a steal when compared to the existing incumbents.

On a side note, I also had a chance to get my hands on the new Huawei watch and sports band, which should give the Moto 360 and the LG Watch R some good competition.

3 News presenter Emma Brannam was also on the trip with us, her report is available here.

My thanks to Huawei for their hospitality and inviting me on this trip.



Disclaimer: My flights, accommodation and other travel expenses were all covered by Huawei, as well as I received a Huawei P8 to keep.

Growing your business with technology

, posted: 9-Jun-2015 01:15

1234 I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Xero about my thoughts around growing your business using technology and social media.

It’s very cafe orientated, but I think the concepts apply to all businesses.  You can head over to Xero’s blog to read all about it.

Keeping your Google password safe

, posted: 30-Apr-2015 16:24

Phishing attacks really are the worst.  They are a page that looks exactly like a legitimate login page you are familiar with (such as Google, Facebook, Twitter etc) but behind the scenes they are actually sending your email address and password to a third party.  With these details they can cause all sorts of havoc.

Today Google has announced Password Alert which is a Chrome extension that will warn you if you enter your details into a site that isn’t one theirs.  Everyone can slip up if you’re not paying close attention, so this app should help keep your login details safe.

I highly recommend this if you are a Google + Chrome user.  I have seen far too many client’s details being compromised from a moment’s inattention.

Your Xero invoices paid using SagePay

, posted: 6-Mar-2015 18:30

sagepay-xeroWe’ve just launched a product called HostedPay which allows you to setup SagePay as a payment service in Xero. This means your customers can pay your Xero invoices with SagePay.

When payment has been successfully made in SagePay, the details of the payment are automatically entered into Xero, making bank reconciliation really easy.

More info is available on the HostedPay site.  We’re offering a 30 day free trial so you really have nothing to lose.

POLi and no-mans land liability

, posted: 17-Feb-2015 11:35

On one side we have POLi, the payment processor that wraps around your browser as you login to your online banking, and watches as you make a direct credit payment to a merchant.  The benefit to you as a consumer is there is no credit card surcharge payable for the merchant, so they pass this benefit onto you.

On the other side, we have the big banks: Kiwibank, BNZ, ASB, ANZ and Westpac.  Four of the five big boys don’t recommend using POLi.  Uncompetitive practices from the bank? As much as I hate to do it, I’m siding with the banks on this one.

Ever since I became aware of POLi, the concept made me very uncomfortable, but I can see why it’s alluring.

As a merchant, if you want to accept credit cards, you will be hit with a surcharge, no way around it.  Based on volume and risk, I think a fair average would be 2%. If you can offer direct credit to customers, there is no surcharge, so 100% of the money paid is yours. The issue with direct credit is customers are notoriously bad at actually doing it, and/or including the right reference, so reconciliation is a nightmare later on.

POLi fixes this.  It “holds the hand” of the customer, watches as the login to their online banking, forwards them to the right page, puts in the right references, and confirms that they actually make payment.  It’s like you’re sitting next to them, guiding them the whole way through.

I think, any system that has the potential of collecting your online banking credentials is a very bad idea.  I’m not the only one: read what Kiwibank think from an article in yesterday’s Herald:

"In relation to a provider such as POLi, we have concerns with the process they follow to complete their payments.

"Fundamentally, their process is to obtain customer information [access numbers and passwords] and make the payment via their own systems.

"This increases the risk to our clients and to Kiwibank as we are unable to ensure that the customer information has been handled with the appropriate level of security."

The article goes on to quote BNZ saying they would stand behind customers in the event of fraud, however giving your online banking credentials would be a breach of their terms and conditions.

POLi then push it back on the banks saying:

… transactions were processed on banks' systems and therefore it would be a bank's responsibility to reimburse the customer if fraud were to occur.

What happens if POLi is collecting your login details and they have a data breach? It’s through no fault of your own that your accounts are being drained.  Surely you could hit POLi up about it?

"Our [POLi’s] terms and conditions clearly state that we do not provide consumer protection"

If your credentials were compromised you are potentially looking at being stuck in no-mans land.  Your bank says “not our fault, you gave out your banking username/password, read our T&Cs”. POLi then point the finger at the banks as they haven’t done their job properly.

My suggestion: pay with credit card, and take the surcharge on the chin. It’s well worth the protections it gives you, plus you are staying well within your banks T&Cs. Win, win.

nate's profile


I'm Nate Dunn, and I work for 3Bit, own Tuihana Cafe, and am a moderator here at Geekzone.

Use Autotask and Xero? Sync data between them with My Accounting Toolbox.

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The views and opinions represented on this blog are personal and belong solely to the blogger and do not represent in anyway those of 3Bit Solutions Limited or any other company.

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