Huawei P8 vs Taiwan – Tech Focused Travel

by Nicole on August 25, 2015

The Huawei P8 is a no comprises flagship Smartphone with all day battery life and a camera with some insane DSLR like features. Nicole Scott takes you on an adventure around Taiwan kicking it off with Typhoon Soudelor followed by Voodoo Donuts, R&D Cocktail Lab and a quick jaunt to the beach. Get ready for to see Taipei like a local while using some of the coolest camera features on this pocket friendly handset.


Before we dive into the sightseeing let’s take a look at today’s weapon of choice. The Huawei P8 is 5.2 inches with a 1080p display with a Kirin 930 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16/64GB of storage with a MicroSD card slot for expansion. Under the hood we’ve got 2600mAh battery that spec-hounds will tell you shouldn’t last the day but it get me through my day no problem. It’s a flagship Smartphone that has what it takes to go toe to toe with any other device on the market, but what has me hooked is the camera. This 13MP shooter comes with some crazy features, Light painting lets you capture tail light trails, lights graffiti, silky water and star track which is the craziest. The thought of taking photos of stars moving in the nights sky is something I never thought you could do with a Smartphone camera. I’ve been dying to try it out, but every time I’ve had a clear sky the moon has been full, to get this to work you need the new moon and a clear sky. When I finally get one you bet I’ll do a special post on making that magic happen.

Taiwan is no stranger to Typhoons, in fact most people look forward to them in hopes that they’ll get the day off or a Typhoon day. Taiwan gets a few dozen a season so the island is rarely caught off guard. Typhoon Soudelor was a Super Typhoon which was as strong as hurricane Katrina. I kick off your journey in the city I’ve called home for the past 6 years.

Side Note: All pictures are taken with the Huawei P8

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Chang Kai Shek Memorial hall is a great place to see just how quickly the clouds move as the typhoon approaches. There are a few tricks that you’re going to need to know if you want to take the best photo or video. Using a tripod gives you the flexibility to set up anywhere, you can pick up a smartphone mount and mini tripod from most dollar stores. My Tripod is a more expensive but well worth it, Three Legs, but that’s because this is my full time job. If you don’t have a tripod you should find somewhere to perch your phone to that it’s stable, keeping the phone steady is key to a good photo.

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5MP front facing camera is great for selfies

The Taipei 101 is the world’s second tallest building, and during the Typhoon the stabilization balls had swung 1 meter to keep the building straight. The 101 was built to look like bamboo and the stabilization balls allow it to move with the wind.

Night time

Smartphones traditionally don’t take good night shots, Super night takes AMAZING pictures at night, but you need a tripod to keep the phone steady. It takes a series of photos and stitches them together allowing for no noise and high detail. Here is a night time shot moments before the rain started.

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Tail Light Trails are another fun DSLR trick that Huawei has done a great job of implementing. Set up your tripod and you can see real time how the light trails form, this lets you stop the photo when you think you’ve got the perfect effect.

After the typhoon passed I was back to exploring the city and my first stop was Voodoo Donuts, this Portland chain has made it Taipei. The city has grown up so much over the past few years, international cuisine hasn’t always been…authentic, but Voodoo is delivering the exact same donuts with the same high quality (and I the prices are even a little cheaper over here!). I went for the chocolate coconut donut and it was too sweet for breakfast … but really … that didn’t stop me from inhaling it. As luck would have it I’ve actually visited the original Voodoo in Portland, but it was a wee bit later in the evening, so everything tasted magical, a trick I may have to remember for my next visit.


Next on my hit list was R&D Cocktail Lab, I had to make sure that my local haunt weathered the storm. R&D is a craft cocktail bar, they have no menu, you order by flavor profile or in my case wordless interpretive dance. Lucky for anyone who watched the video it was International Baiju day. Baiju is made from Sorghum and rice and I wanted a martini to that I could understand what this traditionally arsenic like liquor could bring to a modern cocktail.

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The P8 does a great job of taking photos in low light, even if you don’t use the the Super Night feature. The detail on the side of the glass superb for a smartphone, and the 1.5 oz of gin in that cocktail had absolutely no bearing on that decision.

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The final feature that I want to hit on is Silky Water, which I took to task on the East Coast of Taiwan near Taitung. I have been preaching tripod, tripod, tripod this whole article, but acutely didn’t have my tripod with me on the beach. I took this shot by holding my breath and trying to stay really, really still. I won’t lie, with out the tripod it’s a little frustrating, it took my about 8 tries to get this photo…hey I just would have been sun tanning, at least I was doing something somewhat productive with my time!

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If you want to learn more about Taiwan’s East Coast, we actually have a travel show called Out of the Box which we take a road trip showing off technology and Taiwan’s stunning scenery.