Skip to main content

Featured Post

TChandra - Transportation EPs Music Album Reviews

Perhaps familiar from being sampled by the Avalanches, this New York tween was an inspiring underground star in the early 1980s, a reputation confirmed by this archival collection.
When the Avalanches returned in 2016 after an absence of nearly two decades, a sampled koan lurked at the heart of “Subways,” their swooning comeback: “You walk on the subway/It moves around.” The voice belongs to Chandra Oppenheim, a veteran of the New York downtown scene who attended New York Dolls shows, rubbed elbows with Madonna, opened for Laurie Anderson, played the Mudd Club, staged performance art pieces at the Kitchen, and performed with her band on “Captain Kangaroo.” Not bad for a tween: Chandra was just 12 when she and her band of the same name cut “Subways” and three other songs for a now-coveted 1980 EP.



Elephone S8 Review

Elephone S8 Review
Scramble 2017 Scramble 2017 Scramble 2017 Scramble 2017 Scramble 2017 Scramble 2017
  • $262.94
As fans of the Elephone S7 we were excited to see how the S8 shapes up - and then disappointed when we realised how much of a departure it is from its predecessor. But our disappointment didn't last long, because the Elephone S8 offers some decent hardware at a mid-range price.

The Elephone S8 is a Chinese phone, and as such must be imported to the UK from a site such as GearBest, which supplied our handset for review. At the time of writing it costs £192.01/$262.94/€216.89, though prices can fluctuate on a daily basis.

If you decide to take the plunge, there are some things you should note about buying Chinese phones. Naturally delivery times will be longer (though there is a free shipping option), but your rights are also different when buying outside Europe, which is handy to know should your product arrive faulty.

Import duty is payable, which is 20 percent of the value on the shipping paperwork plus an admin fee of around £11 - remember to factor this into your budget.

Chinese phones are typically a lot cheaper than those we buy in UK High Street stores and online, but you must buy them SIM-free and then add a SIM-only contract. These work out significantly cheaper in the long run, but you must have the money to buy the phone up front.

Whereas the Elephone S7 was a compact smartphone with a 5.2- or 5.5in screen, tiny bezels and a 7.6mm-thick chassis, the Elephone P8 is a huge beast with a 6in screen, weighing in at 180g with an 8mm body. It's not so much Elephone S7 Mk II as it is Mi Mix Mk II, but it hasn't pulled off the design as successfully as did Xiaomi with its original Mi Mix.

It has minimal bezels at the top and left and right sides, but the chunky chin adds to the height. This is necessary given that the chin houses the selfie camera - a setup copied from the Mi Mix, and one we don't especially like as it requires you to turn the phone upside down to take a selfie. This doesn't work well with apps like Snapchat, and it means the Elephone S8 will not unlock using an iris scanner as the S7 did.

Whereas today's full-screen phones adopt an 18:9 aspect ratio (or thereabouts), allowing for a taller screen rather than one that is larger in all dimensions, the Elephone S8 has a 16:9 aspect ratio which makes it feel much wider.

Elephone has swapped the plastic rear panel on the Elephone S7 from one that looked like glass to one that actually is glass, here protected by Gorilla Glass 4. It's worth pointing out, though, that Gorilla Glass is not indestructable and, unfortunately, our review sample arrived with a crack in the bottom left corner.

The rear panel is curved at all four edges, which goes some way to making this enormous smartphone feel a bit more manageable in the hand. We would have been more impressed if the transition between metal frame and glass rear wasn't so obvious, however, and there is a clear ridge as you swipe your finger across the surface.

The rear itself is prone to fingerprints and not completely flush either, with the square 21Mp camera jutting out at the top. Fortunately this is large enough that it doesn't cause the Elephone to be unstable or rock when used on a flat surface, but it's not an especially attractive design.

We've been fairly critical of the design so far, but the Elephone S8 does have some finer points. The screen, for example, is a Quad-HD 16:9 display with excellent clarity, sufficient brightness and vibrant colours. Viewing angles are also strong. 

More importantly, its size makes it an ideal tool for enjoying media and playing casual games, or whatever else you want to do on this phone. 
Below the screen is a physical home button with integrated fingerprint scanner, which functions as a three-in-one key. You tap once to go back, twice to go home, and long-press to open the multitasking menu. It's fairly intuitive once you've got the hang of it, though you can also display a navigation bar onscreen if you find it easier.

Audio is reasonably loud from the mono speaker (don't be fooled by the twin speaker grilles either side of the USB-C port), and an NX Audio Amp tat is said to ramp up the bass and tone down distortion at higher volumes. The distortion is still very much audible at max volume, however. 

A key change in the Elephone S8 is its inclusion of the Helio X25 processor, here clocked at 2.5GHz and said to be 22 percent faster than the Helio X20 used in the Elephone S7. This does not translate in our Geekbench benchmark results, however, where the S8 scored just 3898 points to the Elephone S7's 4237.

Both phones use deca-core processors, and are equipped with 4GB of RAM and 4GB of storage, though the Elephone S8 loses its support for microSD.

The larger and higher-resolution Quad-HD screen may be what held back the Elephone S8 in our graphics benchmarks, in which it also turned in scores below that of the Elephone S7.

In T-Rex, for example, the S7 managed 23fps and the S8 just 21fps. Both are playable scores, nonetheless, and either phone is capable for casual gaming.

The Elephone S8 did outperform the S7 in JetStream, however, which is a JavaScript benchmark. In this test higher scores are better, and the S8 turned in 48 points against the S7's 25.

Given the larger chassis the Elephone S8 is also able to accommodate a larger battery, boosting the S7's 3000mAh cell to a 4000mAh battery that supports PE+ fast charging. It also swaps the Micro-USB port for USB-C, though there's still no support for wireless charging (not to be expected at this price). You'll need to use the included adaptor to listen to audio, since there's no headphone jack.

In terms of connectivity the S8 covers most bases, with dual-SIM functionality and support for all UK 4G LTE bands. There's also 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS but, as before, still no NFC. This is necessary for mobile payments.


The cameras are another key change in the Elephone S8. The S7 featured a basic 13Mp f/2.2 camera with single-LED flash, and a 5Mp selfie camera at the front. The S8 is now rocking a 21Mp primary camera from Sony, plus an 8Mp selfie camera, though the camera app is just as basic as before.

As you can see from our test shots below (Auto, HDR and low light), the camera performed reasonably well in low-light, with some noise detectable but it did a great job picking out text and the different shades of black.

In daylight it performs acceptably, but there is still a lot of blurring evident, particularly toward the edges of the shot. It also takes an age to focus on a shot.

The Elephone S8 is running a reasonably plain version of Android 7.1 Nougat, complete with Google Play services. There are some preinstalled apps such as Flashlight and Notebook, but a large portion of the 64GB storage remains free to the user.

It also supports some gestures, such as double-pressing the power button to open the camera, or sliding three fingers to take a screenshot.


  • 6in Quad-HD (2560x1440) display with Gorilla Glass 4, 92.4% screen-to-body ratio
  • stock Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 2.5GHz MediaTek Helio X25 deca-core processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage, no microSD support
  • Sony 21Mp camera, dual-LED flash
  • 8Mp selfie camera
  • fingerprint scanner
  • GPS
  • 4G LTE FDD B1/B3/B7/B20
  • dual-SIM dual-standby
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 4000mAh battery
  • USB-C
  • PE+ fast charging
  • 158x80x8mm
  • 180g


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Apple iPad Pro 2018 vs Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Apple’s latest iPad Pros are a very tempting purchase, but should you stick with the tried-and-tested Surface Pro from Microsoft? We help you decide which tablet to buy.
Should I Buy The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Or Apple iPad Pro 11in (2018)? Two very competent 2-in-1s, one running Windows 10, the other iOS 12. For many this difference alone will inform the final choice, but both are top-notch tablets. 

Huawei P Smart 2019 Review

Huawei has updated its budget Android phone for 2019. It’s faster and better than before, but should you buy it? Read our review to find out.
Should I Buy The Huawei P Smart 2019?
The P Smart 2019 is a great upgrade from the 2018 model with a bigger screen and better performance. However, as with the original P Smart, Honor's version is better value.

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

LG Gram 17 Review: Hands-on

LG’s Gram 17 was on display at CES 2019 and we got our hands on the ultra-thin, ultra-light device featuring a beautiful 17-inch display
Should I Buy The LG Gram 17?
The Gram 17 is an impressive bit of kit, but it is serving more of a niche audience than it perhaps appears.
A laptop with a display any bigger than 15 is perhaps approaching a point where it struggles to be called ‘portable’ due to it’s raw size. However, if that isn’t something that bothers you, the 17-inch display is fantastic for both working and watching your favourite films or series on.
Everything else aside the Gram is a beautiful, extremely light choice of laptop that manages to pack a lot of power and utility into an incredibly slim, slick package.

Like Fan Page