Elephone S8 Review - China Phablet with 2K Display

by 13. February 2018
The Elephone S8 is a so-called "tri-bezel-less" smartphone, with focus on the high-resolution display. Although the trend has recently started towards the 18: 9 display, the manufacturer has equipped the S8 with a well-established 16: 9 panel. As the smartphone suggests, more in this review.



Elephone S8


Processor and memory
CPU: MediaTek Helio X25
GPU: Mali-T880
Internal memory: 64GB (eMMC5.1)
Memory extension: no

Display diagonal: 6 inches
Display resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels
Screen Protector: Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Multitouch: 5 fingers

Main Camera: 21 Megapixel Sony IMX220
* Aperture f / 2.0
* Autofocus
* Dual Tone LED Flash
Front camera: 8 megapixel Sony IMX219

Dual SIM: Yes
SIM size: Nano SIM

GSM: B2 / B3 / B5 / B8
WCDMA: B1 / B8
FDD-LTE: B1 / B3 / B7 / B20
TDD-LTE: B38 / B40

WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth: 4.0
GPS: Yes

* Proximity Sensor
* Accelerometer
* Ambient light sensor
* E-Compass
* Fingerprint Sensor

Battery: 4.000 mAh
Fast charging function: PE +
Connection: USB-C

Operating system: Android 7.1.1
Size: 15.2 8.7 x x 0.86 mm
Weight: 195g

What's in the box

1x Elephone S8
1x silicone case
1x charger
1x USB-C Charging Cable
1x USB-C to 3.5 mm jack adapter
1x SIM needle
1x user manual

Foreword: Elephone S8

In the past few months, it was about the Chinese smartphone producer "Elephone" rather quiet. After the very successful and convincing Elephone P9000, the success of the manufacturer in the ever-changing smartphone market largely disappeared. With the Elephone S8 Elephone tries to regain a foothold and presents a, at least on the data sheet convincing, hardware technology well equipped smartphone in the tri-bezel-less designthat does not follow the 18: 9 trend right now and continues on a conventional display with 16: 9 aspect ratio puts.

Packaging of the Elephone S8

Design, workmanship and delivery

The Elephone S8 is a smartphone in the so-called tri-bezel-less design. Of the Term "bezel-less"Samsung, for example "Edge-less" called a smartphone with particularly narrow transitions between the display and the edge of the case. Under the name as "Tri-bezel-less" So you understand a smartphone that has such small distances to 3 pages. The most well-known smartphone of this kind is that Xiaomi Mi Mix 2.

With lateral distances (Bezel) from 2.3 mm and at an upper distance of 4 mm, the bezels are much lower than in many other China "tri-bezel-less" smartphones. The overall dimension of the smartphone 152 x 80.7 x 8.6 mm. Das Weight is 195 g.

Side view of the S8 smartphone

The Elephone S8 is constructed as follows:

The front makes that high-resolution 2K display in the format 16: 9. Due to the design are the front camera and an additional Softlight below the display. Also below the display is a capacitive and multi-functional home button with integrated Fingerprint scanner, There are no more capacitive control buttons for smartphone control. Also, a notification LED is not available. The ear cup and proximity sensor are located above the display.

Front view of the Elephone S8

The metal case frame is equipped on the right with a volume rocker and a power button. Eye-catching is the purple-shimmering surface of the power button. On the opposite side is the SIM slotwhich can be equipped with two nano SIM cards. The frame top forms a single microphone. The underside of the frame is centered with a USB-C socket and each side with the speaker (mono) and a microphone equipped. Elephone dispenses with an 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The smartphone is available with blue, black or red (limited), in piano lacquer look glossy case back. The back is not removable and consists of "3D Curved Lumia Glass"that feels very like plastic. Above is the clearly outstanding main camera with laterally adjacent Dual tone LED flash, In the lower third of the back is the printed manufacturer logo, which fits perfectly to the design of the smartphone.

Rear of the S8 smartphone

The processing of the Elephone S8 is still acceptable. The side buttons sit neatly in the case frame and have a good pressure point. Positive is the structured surface of the power button. The housing frame and the back are firmly connected without large gaps. In general, the smartphone has an extremely high quality due to the matt black metal frame. A criticism is the slightly creaky back. Especially below the main camera, the back feels hollow, giving way to pressure.

The What's in the box includes the smartphone, a matching silicone protective case, an EU-compatible charger, a USB-C cable, a USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter cable, a SIM needle and a multilingual user manual. A screen protector is already applied ex works.

What's in the box


The display comes from Sharp, owns one Diagonal of 6 inches and is from Type IPS, The resolution of the panel is high resolution 2560 1440 x pixels, from which one Dot density of 489 PPI results. Just following the 18: 9 trend, Elephone has become a conventional one Aspect ratio of 16: 9 decided. In contrast to many other tri-bezel-less smartphones with 18: 9 display, the smartphone is wider overall and thus looks a little more clunky, at the same time spares an ugly black edges, because many apps and videos are not yet on the 18: 9 aspect ratio adjusted.

The Displays Used But it is not only razor-sharp, the display also convinces with a high-contrast image with a strong but not too rich color reproduction. For individual color adjustment is within the display settings "Miravision" to select. With the help of MiraVision, the contrast, the saturation, the image brightness, but also the sharpness and color temperature can be adjusted as desired and stored in profiles.

The Viewing angles leaves no wish unfulfilled. No matter how the display rotates or tilts, the image is barely visibly affected. The maximal display brightness is about 330 cd / m², In strong sunshine or direct light, readability is impaired. Unfortunately, the automatic brightness adjustment reacts strongly delayed.

The Touchscreen detects up to 5 simultaneous inputs. The accuracy of the touch screen is not objectionable. So-called Ghost Touches, ie a touch registration, without the touchscreen was actually touched, did not occur during the test phase. The display is protected by scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 4.


In the choice of processor Elephone decides for the now hardly used MediaTek Helio X25, This processor has been adopted by many Chinese smartphone manufacturers more energy efficient MediaTek Helio P25 replaced.

The MediaTek Helio X25 is a beginning 2016 presented and produced in the 20 nm process Deca-Core (10) processor, The processor is made up of a total 3 clusters together, in one High Performance Cluster with 2 Cortex-A72 (2.5 GHz) cores, one Performance Cluster with 4 Cortex-A53 (2 GHz) cores and one Power Saving cluster with 4 Cortex-A53 cores (1.55 GHz). The composition takes place after the ARM big.LITTLE architecture. GPU the system-on-chip is one Mali-T880. storage facilities of the Elephone S8 amounts to one 4GB LPDDR3 memory and one 64GB eMMC5.1 Flash Memory, A memory expansion by means of a MicroSD memory card is not provided!

In everyday life, the smartphone convinces by a satisfactory performance. Apps start as delay-free as possible and also the remaining memory available for apps is sufficient for a smooth multitasking. The Memory clock speeds is at average 4941 MB / s, The speed of the internal eMMC5.1 flash memory is one Write speed of 135.55 MB / s and a Read speed of 180.32 MB / s.

With Mobile Games The S8 smartphone copes well. However, this also shows that the Helio X25 extremely energy hungry is and produces a huge waste heat. After an hour of playing not only the battery is clearly in the basement, even the smartphone is with about 43 ° C comparatively warm. Also notable, but not uncommon for a MediaTek Helio X25 is the clear power reduction already after a short time under full load. Here, a more energy-efficient Helio P25 is clearly ahead!

User Interface

The smartphone is delivered with Android 7.1.1, which is largely on Stock Android oriented. Except for individual additional settings, such as the gesture control, the task manager or MiraVision, there is little difference to Stock Android. Disturbing third-party apps are not noticeable on the device. It takes some getting used to the navigation via the multifunctional home button. With a touch you get back one page. With two touches you will be brought back to the home screen. Unfortunately, a page is jumped back. If you hold down the key, the task switcher opens.

The stability of the system is not to be criticized. Although individual crashes can occur, serious software errors did not come to light during the test phase. An update to Android 8 Oreo is in the offing. More details, the manufacturer has not yet announced. First Custom ROMs, such as the "Eragon ROM", are already available for the still quite new Elephone S8.


The camera equipment amounts to a backside Main camera with 21 megapixel Sony IMX220 image sensor, a f / 2.0 aperture, and a supportive dual-tone LED flash. The front camera solve with 8 Megapixel and bet on one Sony IMX219 image sensor.

main camera

Especially China smartphones are not known to shine in terms of the recording quality of their cameras. Also, the Elephone S8 is not an exception here and cuts off both in terms of photo and video recording quality only mediocre. The images taken with the main camera are traversed with a clearly visible image noise in good as well as in low light conditions. Typical for such a small sensor, with high resolution.

One of the main drawbacks of the main camera is the Blur to the picture edges out. In addition to a part significant loss of detail and an extremely low dynamic range, Also the Color rendering less convincing. Although colors are fairly accurate, the pictures are less playful than boring. With increasingly poor lighting conditions, the image noise also increases and in general the camera becomes extremely sluggish. The result is mostly shaky images. Of the Autofocus works as far as accurate, but requires much longer than the average for focusing (up to 4 seconds!). What the preinstalled Camera app Missing is a manual recording mode. Although you can make settings for the ISO, white balance and exposure within the settings, a quick access, as with most camera apps with manual recording mode, this is not possible. Generally the scope of the camera app is in need of improvement.

Videos can with a maximum 4K resolution be included. In the video recording mode, there was no function to elicit autofocus, which is why it was possible to focus purely manually on the touch. To what extent Elephone will eliminate this error in future updates remains to be seen. The recording quality is slightly dull, but understandable.

front camera

The front camera is selfie-suitable. Nevertheless, pictures are visibly noisy especially in low light conditions, as well as the color reproduction tends to a slightly bluish veil. Getting used to is also the placement of the front camera below the display. Before any selfie, it is recommended to turn the smartphone to 180 °. A gimmick is that 3-level LED Softlight, which is also below the display. However, this does not shine too strongly, which is why hardly any visible improvements in recording quality are to be expected. The front camera also takes Videos with maximum 4K resolution on.



The Elephone S8 supports 2G, 3G and 4G cellular standards, Used to those in this country LTE tapes 3, 7 and 20 is the S8 compatible. The recently expanded by Telekom LTE 900 or band 8 is not supported. Telephony and mobile surfing are easily possible with this smartphone. The reception strength and reception quality were consistently good.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The smartphone supports the WiFi protocols 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, The connection range and connection stability as well as the data throughput are convincing, which is why the Elephone S8 is at a high mid-range level. Bluetooth is supported with version 4.0. In combination with a Bluetooth speaker and a hands-free system, there were no misfires or other disconnections.

GPS and sensors

The built-in GPS module works, measured by the MediaTek standard, quite precise. On GPS fix is found relatively quickly. When navigating through town and country, there were no major deviations that would have affected the navigation. On E-Compass is available. Other sensors are one gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer and an Ambient light sensor.

Fingerprint scanner

The Fingerprint scanner is integrated in the home button. The accuracy of the fingerprint scanner is good, but it takes a long time for the device to be unlocked.


The battery capacity will with 4.000 mAh advertised. The average Screen-on-Time is included with medium display brightness about 6 hours, Although this is not an overwhelming value for a smartphone with a comparatively large battery, one should bear in mind that an 6 2K display and an energy-hungry Helio X25 are powered here, so the runtime is quite passable.

Elephone S8 battery test

At the latest after 1 ½ days of ordinary use, the smartphone must be charged. According to Elephone, the loading is through the Quick charge function Pump Express Plus accelerated. The im Supplied charger is not a quick charger, For the test of the Pump Express Plus function, two other Pump Express compatible quick chargers were used instead. None of the chargers correctly triggered the PE + charge mode, so only 9 amperes were charged at a voltage of 1V. Usually PE + achieves a power of 15 Watt in the turbo.

The average charging time Included with the included charger 2 ½ hours, Another point of criticism is that charging often already stops at 95%. Only after a repeated plugging in the charging cable is the charging process continued.

Price Comparison

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Final Words


Great design with narrow bezel
Very good 2K display
Precise touchscreen
Powerful hardware
Clean Android OS
Good cellular behavior
Fast dual-band AC WiFi
Strong signal GPS
Adequate battery life


Crackling back
No notification LED
No 3.5 mm audio jack
Getting used to one-button navigation
Thermal Throttling
Disappointing main camera
No memory expansion
Falsely advertised PE +

First impression
User Interface
Fingerprint scanner
GPS & sensors

The Elephone S8 is a tri-bezel-less smartphone with good approaches, but that disappoints in detail. Particularly positive is the high-resolution 16: 9 display of the S8 in appearance. The color reproduction is good, the presentation high-resolution and in other respects there is nothing to complain about except the rather poor display brightness. The choice of MediaTek Helio X25 as a system-on-chip is two-edged. On the one hand, the Deca-Core processor offers excellent performance, while on the other hand energy efficiency suffers. Here, the weaker but much more efficient MediaTek Helio P25 would probably have been the better choice. Especially since the Helio X25 reduces its performance after only a short time under full load. The memory speeds are not objectionable despite LPDDR3 memory and eMMC5.1 flash memory.

One of the biggest criticisms is the camera equipment, especially the main camera, which produces a lot of noise and mostly blurred image and video recordings. There is nothing wrong with connectivity. Here the Elephone S8 convinces by a good mobile radio behavior, a signal-strong dual-band AC WLAN connection and a precise working GPS module. To criticize is the charging process. Elephone advertises the S8 with the quick-charge function Pump Express Plus, which in fact does not work properly.

Finally: Is the Elephone S8 recommended? If Elephone eliminates the criticisms mentioned here, which are mostly software-fixable, in future updates, the smartphone is definitely worth a recommendation for those who are looking for a tri-bezel-less smartphone with 16: 9 display.

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