Vodafone has very kindly sent over the Huawei P10 for review. This arrived in the UK way back at the end of March 2017. The successor to the highly regarded P9 was eagerly anticipated, did the P10 live up to the strong standard set by the P9?
Let’s start at the top and work our way down. If you are looking to purchase the Huawei P10 then you can expect to pay around about £530. Compare that to the smaller flagship from Samsung, the S8 at £649 and the Lg G6 at £599.99, the P10 is a pretty attractive option.
Looking around the device, On the top is simply a microphone hole.
On the right side are a volume rocker and a power button. The volume rocker has a smooth metal finish whereas the power button has a texturised feel alongside and very slight, interesting red, metallic paint.
The bottom has the much loved 3.5mm headphone jack, a microphone hole, a USB Type-C port, two exposed screw heads and the external speaker. Sound quality here is acceptable to good.
On the left side is the sim card tray. Inside is space for a microSD card and a Nano Sim. The P10 supports up to 256gb SD cards.
Round the back are a pair cameras. One 20 MP the other 12MP featuring a f/2.2 aperture, Optical Image Stabilization, phase detection and laser autofocus. The P10 boasts co-engineered Leica-branded lenses as with the previous Huawei P9 however they have been improved this year. Beside the lens is a dual-LED, dual tone, flash. This is embedded into a glossy piece of white plastic. the rest of the rear is metal.
The front of the phone has a Full HD 5.1in IPS display with a resolution of 1920×1080. The 5.1” display is quite generous and the slim bezels keep the size down and when mixed with the 146g of phone allowing for a very comfortable and well-balanced device. Above the screen is the front facing 8 Megapixel camera with a f/1.9 aperture. There are a light sensor and ear speaker present also.
Below the screen it the fingerprint reader. Some have their issues with the fingerprint to the front. I can understand if they scanner has another function, however here it doesn’t. The Scanner does not provide any other function other than fingerprint detection. The design of the scanner is lovely as it is built into the glass.
Inside the P10 there is the Kirin 960 2.4GHz octa-core processor. A bit of a speed demon especially when coupled with the Mali G71 GPU and 4GB of RAM. The P10 was super smooth most of the time. I saw most as I had a problem when using Instagram, after flicking down the picture list the phone began to bog down and became unresponsive. I was forced to restart the device, I could then recreate the bug anytime when browsing Instagram. I didn’t experience this with anything and I would put this down to the particular ROM on the phone, more about this later.
The P10 has a larger 64GBs of storage and the microSD card slot allows for expansion. The 3,200mAh battery that is larger than average for a 5in smartphone and this was able to see me comfortably through the day with a little change at the end of it. Only one day did I run out of juice, however, I was pushing the phone whilst using the Hotspot heavily. A quick change at dinner saw the device up from 15% to 50% in around 30 minutes on the Huawei charger.
Unfortunately, I was unable to benchmark the device. The device Vodafone supplied was not consumer unit and was unable to download or install tools to benchmark with. The version of EUMI provide on the phone was somewhat older than what you would see if you purchased the phone today. This explains the Instagram issues and some other issues with WhatsApp crashing and Outlook suffering frequent lay.
This test ROM might also be the culprit for some fairly off pictures.
The Leica-branded lenses mean that photography is impressive and the P10 captures a decent amount of detail and light, although some colours might appear to be over-saturated.
The P10 can use its hybrid-zoom to zoom in 2x without quality loss
Huawei has introduced Portrait mode and as the name suggests, the mode excels at taking photos of people. Huawei states the feature sports advanced facial recognition and thanks to the dual-lens setup the phone can identify and track 190 different facial points in a 3D space for snaps that are always in focus and it highlighting the contours and facial features while fading the background with the wide aperture effect. Meaning anyone can look well, including this girl I work with…
In bright light, the P10 video works rather well. However, panning could be smoother as the OIS struggles a little and the footage shows some compression artefacts.
The Huawei P10 is a lovely phone. This unit Vodafone has sent me is limited and I can only imagine the final retail unit is only an improvement. From here the P10 looks it’s gorgeous, possesses a great deal of power and the terrific photo options. Given that the P10 comes in eight different colours: graphite black, dazzling blue, dazzling gold, rose gold, greenery, white ceramic, mystic silver and prestige gold and the price is a good bit less than the direct competition the P10 is a winner by all accounts.