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The Elephone P8 Mini turned out to be an incredibly solid phone for its price, and we see the full size Elephone P8 take a step up in terms of specifications, performance, and price.

Elephone P8 Review

Specifications wise, Elephone seems to have stuffed quite a few standout specs here, 6GB of RAM, 21MP back camera, 16MP front camera. It is accompanied by the Helio P25 processor and a moderately sized 3600mAh battery, let’s see how good a job Elephone has done.

6GB RAM, 21MP Camera

Elephone P8 Specifications

Processor Helio P25 Octa Core
Display 5.5″ in-cell FHD Display
RAM 6GB
Storage 64 eMMC
Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat
Cameras 21MP/16MP
Battery 3600mAh
Physical Dimensions 186g, 15.39 x 7.55 x 0.95 cm

Big thanks to Elephone for providing this review unit. You can buy one here.

Elephone P8 Hardware

It has become common at this price point for Chinese phones to have great build quality, and the Elephone P8 is no exception. The body is finely machined, well crafted, and has some heft to it. My favourite thing about the body is the inclusion of the alert slider, a hardware key to move your phone into silent mode is truly reassuring, probably one of the reasons why Apple is one of the only companies to include one on every single phone they have produced. Elephone claims a 0.9mm side bezel which technically is true, but measured to the outside casing of the phone and it comes in a lot closer to 3mm, not thin by any means.I do have a couple of minor complaints, well I think it clocks in a lot closer to numerous. So first, the SIM tray can be heard rattling if you move the phone too fast, and while a hefty phone can add to a high quality feel, it’s a bit too heavy in my books. Next, the phone is also very thick considering what’s inside the phone, I would understand if it was packing a massive battery, but it isn’t. They can’t even use the excuse of the high megapixel camera because the module is sticking out!There are also no capacitive buttons beside the home button, a perfect example of wasted space as those areas do nothing. It also utilizes a microUSB port instead of a USB-C port also. The last pet peeve of mine is the protrusion of the camera module on the back. It doesn’t have a metal lip protecting the lens, and so you have to be extra careful when placing the phone on a surface.

Large, quite large

Elephone P8 Display

A 1080p screen graces the front of the phone and while it definitely looks good for an LCD, it still pales (literally) in comparison to an AMOLED which easily show off vivid and saturated colours. That being said, the LCD display here shows off some very nice colours for an LCD, not many people will find items to complain about. Max brightness makes it relatively easy to see in direct sunlight. Touch response is responsive, but the screen has a tendency to mistake scrolls for taps, resulting in quite a few mistaps along the way. I don’t know if this is a hardware or software issue (I hope its software for our sakes) but I hope Elephone can find a way to fix it.

Elephone P8 Audio

Audio quality here is about average, and volume is as well. There isn’t anything particular spectacular or horrible about the speakers here.

Elephone P8 Battery

The 3600mAh battery is confusing. I obtained 3 hours of screen on time one day and then 8 hours the next. Both these days consisted of very heavy Youtube playback, so not light use by any means. However, battery life has started to stabilize in the direction of the 8 hours of screen on time, so I do believe that battery life should be good. That being said, take this section with a grain of salt.

EDIT (August 08, 2017): Battery life seems to have settled in a lot better, I’m getting a consistent 6 hours of screen on time pretty easily with this phone. I occasionally hit 7 hours, but that’s cutting it pretty close.

Good battery life

Elephone P8 Software

Android 7.0 is optimized moderately well on this device, with the stock launcher feeling very smooth, Google Launcher less so. What I’m impressed with is how well they optimized the performance on the Elephone P8. Launching apps on the Elephone P8 is significantly faster than the UMiDiGi Z1 Pro which features the same processor and RAM. In fact, the Elephone P8 can battle effectively against the Redmi Note 4’s Snapdragon 625 in terms of performance, losing only slightly.With 6GB of RAM, multitasking is not even a question, but 6GB of RAM is also completely overkill. I never went past 4GB, with my normal use barely breaching 3GB. However I will say one thing, turn off memory optimization! This setting causes the phone to automatically clear the RAM every time the screen goes off, the fact that this setting even exists on this phone baffles me. Gaming works fine, I could play every intense game except for Modern Combat, the game here was slightly laggy. The fingerprint sensor is moderately fast and accurate, enough for normal use but eating the dust of the Oneplus 5.

Elephone P8 Connectivity

Reception is great, 4G connectivity is quite fast, eating through my data quicker than I would have liked. WiFi reception is OK, but too many walls or doors between the phone and the router and WiFi speeds slow to a crawl. Bluetooth works mostly fine, for some strange reason the volume keys cannot control the volume on my Bluetooth headsets, you have to do it manually. GPS reception is great though, very accurate though it took longer than usual to get the first lock.

Elephone P8 Camera

The camera here is one of the most confusing cameras I’ve tested, now don’t take that in a bad way, the camera is a very interesting mix of good and bad.Let’s start with the good; the rear facing 21MP camera is very capable of taking some great photos. Photos have great colour saturation, detail on photos is through the roof where Elephone is concerned, but almost on par with the Redmi Note 4X which is no small feat. In fact, there are certain ideal situations where I do see the Elephone P8’s photos blow past the Note 4X overall which is an incredible achievement for Elephone.

In addition, the HDR mode here is one of the most well implemented HDR modes I’ve seen, easily topping the likes of Ulefone, UMiDigi, Vernee, etc. HDR mode on these chinese phones usually washes out a photo when turned on, leaving the HDR mode mostly useless. However, Elephone has improved vastly in this area. Elephone’s HDR engine actually took a slightly dark photo and improved it very significantly, giving this photo below a very dramatic look and feel while retaining the colour saturation on each area of the photo. It seems like Elephone has taken a large step in terms of its camera software. Now for the bad. HDR mode still washes out photos sometimes, it washes them out a lot less than other phone manufacturers, but it washes out some of them nonetheless.I also found that more often than not pictures were very slightly out of focus, not noticeable on a phone sized screen, but much more so on a 24” computer screen. With all this being said, these slightly out of focus photos are more than useable on social media. The third and final issue with the rear camera is its tendency to oversaturate colours on occasion. Every few photos or so, the camera takes photos with such bright and saturated colours that would put Instagram’s filters to shame. The weird thing is that they don’t actually look horrible this way. Yes, I personally prefer the colours in my photos a bit more down to earth, but I must say that these sorts of photos definitely appeal to a certain segment of users.Low light is still not Elephone’s strong suit. Pictures start coming out soft in poorly lit indoor situations, and noise completely takes over at night or in basements.The front facing camera is a lot more conventional. It is a 16MP snapper with a Samsung sensor and this camera takes rather average photos both in terms of colour reproduction and detail. It is also not a capable low light shooter either.

The rear facing camera is capable of shooting in 4K, but the results aren’t great. 4K video retains good colour saturation but not so with detail. I found the video to look like an interpolated and oversharpened 1080p recording instead of a 4K video recording. You should treat any 4K footage as if it’s a 1080p video.

Elephone P8 Camera Gallery

Elephone P8 Verdict

This phone is definitely a little confusing. While Elephone has made great strides where it counts (performance optimization, camera and HDR software), it has also made quite a few small missteps, often in the same area where those large forward strides took place. If we compare any phone to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, it almost automatically loses in terms of price to performance, the Elephone P8 included.

However, compare it to other phones with similar specifications and we find that the fight is a lot fairer; the Elephone P8 offers infinitely more value than the UMiDigi Z1 Pro. Where it struggles is against the new onslaught of bezelless phones. While I have yet to test one, the Doogee Mix and Maze Alpha offer similar specifications for the same or less money, with the added benefit of being bezelless.

Giving this phone a score was actually incredibly difficult when there is so much good intermingled with bad. I tried my best to separate those two and figure out what score it rightfully deserves, but read the review for a full picture.

Forward where it counts

Elephone P8 Video Review

 

Elephone P8 Gallery

  • Build Quality - 75%
    75
  • Display - 89%
    89
  • Audio - 65%
    65
  • Battery Life - 70%
    70
  • Software & Performance - 80%
    80
  • Connectivity - 67%
    67
  • Camera - 73%
    73
74.1 %

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Tech Lover. Youtuber. Reviewer of phones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches etc. Gamer. PC only. Martial Artist. Star Wars Nerd. Current Main Drivers: Xiaomi Redmi 3, Xiaomi Mipad 2, and Jumper EZBook Air.
  • Paulo Miranda

    Elephone, a bad brand since the beginning.
    This is just one more bad product, with no professional support…
    Elephone, never…

    • LOL. They stay struggling to get it right after so many years. *sighs*

      • You are mostly correct, what I was trying to say with the camera was that Elephone has improved their camera above their competitors like Ulefone, UMi etc.

        • My problem with them has always been battery life optimization. I’ve never seen a review where they got it right 🙁

          • Let’s see if my continued use sees the battery life stabilize, keep an eye on the review

      • Muhammad Yasir

        they are stupid brand

    • ValeriyVK

      Dear, i have p9000 and S7 – it’s very good devices, work fine, maybe you tryed old models on the start of company, but now they produce really good smartphones.

      • Muhammad Yasir

        you have too much cash to throw away … go buy Meizu, Xiaomi or even Vivo if you feel rich !

        elephone is a disappointment !

        • mf1gt3r

          That’s true.

    • Didi

      You’re right

  • mf1gt3r

    Overall I guess it’s safe to say that this is a good* phone. Nice detailed review by the way.

    • I believe so, the Note 4 is still the benchmark I test all 5.5″ phones by, but its a very solid phone

    • Muhammad Yasir

      no way !

      it’s a horrible phone … $220 is like a small fortune to me !

      i’d rather put in actual man hours into scouring the market for the best bang for the buck !

      • mf1gt3r

        Yasir my Man……Long time. I was looking at things from the perspective of Elephone. Basically was made comparing it to their lineup previous and present.

        • Muhammad Yasir

          mf1gt3r , long time indeed .. how you been bro ? ( i never got your name tho?)

          although, technically, i’ve been around … commenting here and there, ah well

          obviously, it’s an improvement over the previous and recent elephones (thank God it’s not the other way round :p)

          the HDR is an encouraging bit, but otherwise, it’s not ideal for a phone with so many flaws to be priced at this rate. it’d be a good phone at $150-$170 and even then, only for a naive non-power user.

          Xiaomi and Meizu are my 2 go to companies when i want to dig up the best price-performance ratio per $, they still hold that mantle in the budget and lower mid-range offerings, even in this cutthroat market !

          other companies need to learn from these two or contend with staying in relative obscurity

          • Xiaomi I understand for price to performance ratio, but Meizu? They are very expensive for the price.

            • Muhammad Yasir

              talking about the budget category only

            • Oh so no Meizu Pro 7 Plus 😀

            • Muhammad Yasir

              nope

              though i like the rear screen !

      • mf1gt3r

        I used the Redmi Note 4x and later switched to Meizu M5 Note they are both very good choices. The Meizu offers better performance per dollar given the price.

  • balcobomber25

    I haven’t been to this site in a long time, I can see not much has changed. Elephone still gets reviewed and covered more than any other brand. How much do they pay you guys each month?

    • No idea, I just review what I’m given

    • Paul

      You mean is it a paid review?? I often follow Zi on his YouTube channel as well as gizchina! I never found them doing partiality. I think he’s right Elephone should fix the minor bugs in next update.

      • balcobomber25

        That wasn’t directed at Zi, he is just a reviewer. It’s directed at the site in general.

        • Muhammad Yasir

          oh just tell Andi you’re tired of his shenanigans !

          • balcobomber25

            I just don’t come here anymore. I am sure he knows how much people are tired of the new site. Their daily visits have dropped dramatically from this time last year according to Alexa.

            • Muhammad Yasir

              ah yes … no one comments any more

              it’s beginning to sound more and more like a ghost town, i fear only me and assefa hanson visit here and the rest only flock up when there’s reviews

              i miss the days when all of us would argue and comment in EACH AND EVERY post

              sad to say … Gizchina has lost it’s pull, it’s gravity :/

              i fear i might join you in visiting this site very rarely or not at all, once i enter professional life

              i hope Andi does something about the site

    • Muhammad Yasir

      not much has changed?!

      i was ABSENT from the internet for THREE DAYS !

      stupid undersea cables … i’m back now

      how you been @balcobomber25:disqus ?

  • ValeriyVK

    Nice phone, I think the battery one of the best, camera is fine. Need to buy.

  • Paul

    No idea about the P8, received the P8 mini just few days ago, running good without any lags, camera performance is also good. Hope they will make the HDR on this like the P8 which I really liked in the above picture.

    • Not sure if Elephone will be able to improve the P8 Mini’s HDR usign the P8’s software, is probably different.

  • Mamon Das

    If the battery life gives 8 hours of screen on time, then it’s decent!! Ain’t it?

    • 8hrs screen on time is good only if it’s consistent. Unfortunately this review doesn’t say so. That is the device wasn’t used long enough to determine if the battery issue is a one time bug

    • The big problem is that the battery life doesn’t always give me 8 hours, which is strange. Keep an eye on this review to see if the battery life stabilizes

  • Steven Pearson

    Just give me a final verdict, will it be a worth buying?? Cause it doesn’t feel bad at all! Atleast in pen and paper. Should I go for it?

    • Unsolicited advice: I’d rather spend that $220 on a Xiaomi phone and be guaranteed of good hardware and updates for years

      • Seconded Steven, check out a Redmi Note 4 also

      • balcobomber25

        You don’t even need to spend $220, a RN4 can be bought for $150.

  • Eu Mesmo

    Do you think is it a good upgrade from the P7000 to P8? Most of the “negative points” you mentioned, will be solved with upgrade firmaware/other updates? Thanks and congrats for the review.

    • Definitely a good upgrade from the P7000 which is very old. However, check out the Redmi Note 4 also

  • Muhammad Yasir

    it’s a HORROR SHOW when compared to Meizu or Xiaomi, we get it

    will avoid Elephone for the next 5 years or so

  • LifelessNewt

    You had a couple of minor complaints, but for me is a huge dealbreaker. Elephone P8 in specs is a nice midrange, but has no quality in construction.

  • Andrew

    And what about the built quality?? Does it feel premium while holding in hands?