If you read any of my social media feeds you will have seen more than a smattering of ‘boys in blue’ this year as I am taking part in a Ramadan initiative organised by Tahir of Moti Roti called Filling the Blues. The focus of the project is to bring together homegrown food businesses and volunteers, who join together for Ramadan and distribute food and drink to the ‘boys in blue’ the term we use to cover the guys who work tirelessly throughout the year building Dubai literally brick by brick.

This year, we returned to the same spot as last year, a construction site in Tecom, close to the Media Rotana and each night one hundred weary guys patiently queue up after their shift to receive a meal.  The aim of the project isn’t about trying to fix the big issues around labourer camps, labourer rights and pay etc, it’s a token of our appreciation, a recognition of the work they do and a fantastic opportunity to meet the guys, chat to them, have a laugh with them and put a smile on their face by treating them to a few different experiences.  It’s a community event, each night (except Fridays) the site is full of different volunteers and different businesses who have donated food, drink and sometimes snacks to the guys, and no two nights are ever the same.

If you want to get involved the details are on Moti Roti’s site www.motiroti.me/fillingtheblues

Thanks to the Companies who have been involved so far including :

Careem | Moti Roti |Taqado | Appetite | Barakat Fresh & Easy | The Kebab Shop |

 | El Rincon Colombiano | Good Magazine | House of Comms

A huge thanks also to all of the volunteers who turn up every evening bearing water, juice, laban, home made drinks, fruit and snacks and goodies for the guys.

In the meantime, here’s some vidoes and photos which capture the essence of the evening and some chats with some of the guys who telly their story.

We think we are getting super quick and organised with our food distribution, each year it gets easier and easier, this year, we make it look effortlessly with this clip shot using the P8 Video and the Timelapse function :

 

 

I can’t stop taking videos of the distribution of food to these guys, the smiles on their faces speak volumes 🙂 Taken on P8 and edited with VideoShow app on P8

 

And here’s a quick interview I shot using the Video from P8 last night, excuse any hand wobble, I’ve been fasting and by Iftar things get a little shaky .. 

Advertorial : All photos and videos for this blog post have been taken and edited on the Huawei P8 a phone which has really impressed me in terms of functionality and price.  Since moving away from iPhone about four years ago, I’ve been an ardent fan of Samsung Note and Galaxy, and much as I have loved them, frankly they were becoming expensive to purchase.  The recently launched P8 is a perfect replacement, so much so that I’ve ditched my Samsung S5 and am now fully onboard with the P8.  As an avid snapper of photos, and constant social media user, any phone that I have has to be able to do both easily and I’m pleased to say that the P8 delivers.  The front facing camera is a cool 13 MegaPixal camera with an RGBW sensor (light sensor) meaning that it delivers great photos even in low light situations.  I love the ability to turn the light function on whilst taking dark photos, which I think is less intrusive than clicking with a flash and takes great night food images.  The ability to alter the ISO setting on the phone as you are focussing is also great and you can see on screen how your photo will come out.   There’s the ability to take HDR photos which is great for food shots for blogs, and plenty of cool features such as the Super Night function which takes slow shutter release photos and is great for some of our Dubai Skylines, the Watermark function is a fun feature which allows you to overlay a photo, real time with some custom watermarks eg location, temperature etc which makes for fun social media posts.  There’s much more to say about the camera but this isn’t a tech review as such there are teckkie people who write much better reviews if that’s your thing, you can read more of those by googling “P8 reviews” I will just highlight the things that I’ve used and found useful and fun as a heavy social media user and food blogger and someone who works out and about often not at home at my desk and more often than not in a coffee shop 🙂

Moving onto the video function of the camera, I’ve had some real fun using the Time Lapse facility, both with the boys in blue, at the gym to show a super fast workout, and even in restaurants showing how dishes are prepared and made, it’s a fun function which makes videos more snappy and interesting from a different perspective.  The video function is great, unfortunately my trip to Venice was cancelled, but the Panarama facility is fun and would have been great for travelling and taking scenic shots, in the meantime I’ve been taking some ‘arty’ photos of the Dubai skyline and of course the boys in blue. One of my favourite nighttime features is the ability to take interesting night photos using light trails using the light trails feature, there are a few interesting settings which I’ve played around with, the car lights one takes some great shots, in particular I use a small tripod to help keep the phone still which helps take better shots of the ever changing night traffic view from my balcony. I haven’t as yet tried the Light graffiti feature, but I’m sure this will be fun – it gives the ability to capture the light generated from sparklers etc so perhaps you can write your name and/or a message in lights – this video (a promotional P8 one) has me absolutely enthralled and I will be dashing out to buy some light wands shortly !

For fun – the selfie function is fab, not only does the phone have a 8 MegaPixel ‘selfie camera’ there is also the ability to ‘beautifi’ the photos as you click by using the beauty function, the fun doesn’t stop there, since the editing software on the phone allows you to further ‘beautifi’ your selfie – hide blemishes, brighten eyes, smooth out wrinkles, whiten teeth, slim your face – it’s all there and works well and is a somewhat fun thing to do, oh how I wish I’d had it in my Tinder days LOL.

Love filters? Then you can shoot photos and videos by applying a filter before you shoot – it’s a clever feature, shoot a photo or video in black and white, with an antique glow or plenty of other filters too, fun yet also practical and allowing you to capture a moment in a different way than usual, but with fun and serious applications.

The phone comes with Android operating system (Android 5.0) which I really like, it didn’t talk too long to set up, and I was able to download all of the apps that I had on my Galaxy quickly by using my Play Store account.  If you like maximising use of the phone, then you’ll need a few hours to sit and play with all the settings to customise the phone to what you want it to do, but ‘out of the box’ it works well too with a quick and easy setup procedure.

In terms of other functionality, the P8 pretty much does everything I need it to do, there’s nothing that I can’t do on the P8 that I could on the Galaxy – with the exception of the super power saving function which I had on the Samsung S5 which I used a lot, somehow the Huawei doesn’t quite do as well at this, but having said that it has lots of reminders to prompt you to close down power heavy apps which are running in the background – use this wisely and it can easily prolong the battery time.  The P8 comes with a few cute functions that I like too – the ability to ‘wake up’ your phone by voice control is cool (the Galaxy had this too but I never used it somehow the P8 has grabbed me more with voice functionality than before), there’s also the facility to find your phone when you lose it and it’s in your vicinity – demo below.

I’ve not tested it for full range, but it beats searching around my apartment only to find the phone hidden in the bottom of my bag next to me !

(Excuse the cracked phone screen, like all other phones that I’ve had, sadly the P8 doesn’t bounce too well on concrete and sadly I cracked the screen after dropping it on concrete whilst filming the guys at FillingTheBlues – that said I’m sure I can get a new screen, and with the addition of an extra screen protector, the glass is holding in place and everything still works on the phone).  A small criticism (and it applies to all new phone launches) is that as the phone is so new in Dubai (at the time of writing it had only been launched for three weeks), I haven’t been able to find a case for it – possibly hence the broken screen (*sobs), but they are available in the UK and US so I will get one shipped in.

Overall I would recommend the P8, you get a lot of phone for your money – it’s about 1700/AED in the shops, it looks beautiful and stylish and has a sleek metal case so look and feel wise it’s similar to high end phones.  The screen is clear and bright (**), plus it’s a nice size (5.2″ screen), it has a dual SIM function which is great for travelling and is capable of taking an external storage card for added storage space.  Charging is quick via the micro USB and unless I’m super heavy on useage the battery lasts really well.

The P8 is my new companion permanently by my side,

it’s my travelling office allowing me to work and blog on the go,

it’s my gym buddy coaching me and keeping track of my progress,

it’s my music maestro and it’s my map on the go,

above all,  it captures and shares my memories

what more could I ask for?

Disclaimer : I am working as a Huawei 2015 Influencer. All of the photos and videos in this post (unless otherwise noted have been taken by me over the last few weeks using the Huawei P8 which was provided by Huawei.  All opinions and the review part of this post are my own and are written on the basis of my genuine experience as a P8 user.

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