The Chinese brand Huawei continues taking the right steps on its successful path. After an exceptional P9 that inaugurated a partnership with Leica for the photo, the P10 landed with the gains of his ancestors, but also those of the giant family, the Mate 9. Also, as expected, it was at MWC 2017 that Huawei announced the P10 Plus, aka the big brother of the P10. Just like the P9 and P9 Plus, the P10 Plus can be summarized as a P10 with a larger screen.
The Huawei P10 Plus remains on a screen size of 5.5 inches, but the LCD display switches to a WQHD resolution. As of the inside, a lot of things have changed and the brand made sure to include upgrades on every aspect. With its P10, Huawei has a great ambition to compete with high-end leaders of the market like Samsung and Apple. But will they make such an achievement only with its dual photo sensor and its new design? The following review will help you get the picture.
On the design side, as we mentioned earlier, the Chinese manufacturer has stood out from the old P9. The allure of the previous P smartphones of Huawei is generally preserved, albeit there are still some remarkable differences. The squared sharp edges are long gone; the smartphone is now all rounded hence delivers a very nice grip. The size is of 145.3 x 69.3 x 7.09 mm, pretty suitable.
The most welcomed change is the fingerprint reader that is moved now to the front, under the screen. This position allows us to use the device whether we have it in hand or placed on a surface. This fingerprint sensor works perfectly and the unlocking is done in the blink of an eye. It also leaves the back of the camera to come under the front screen as on some editions of the Mate 9, Porsche Design and Pro.
The metal shell rounded on the edges is rather pleasant in hand but the material used is still a little slippery that makes it hard for someone clumsy like me. The small flat metal (weight: 145g) used is particularly sensitive to scratches. A problem that is less on the color versions of the P10 Plus, which is labeled as a texture less easily marked. With a size that ranks it in the category of XL smartphones, the Huawei P10 Plus has a size of 153.5 × 74.2 × 7mm for a weight of 165 grams.
Huawei made a disappointing turn on the screen of the P10. While the Amoled was present on the P9 Plus, the P10 does not equip itself with this technology. This choice obviously prevents Huawei from following the trend of the so-called “edgeless” screens that should be developed on future high-end smartphones (as on the new LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S8).
The 5.1-inch Full HD screen still does not use an advanced slab, but its results are quite satisfactory with a measured brightness of 522 cd / m² and an excellent contrast ratio of 1,430: 1. This ensures perfect readability in all outdoor environments, including in direct sunlight. The slab remains in LCD LTPS – derived from the IPS – with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. However this technology retains a major handicap compared to the Oled: the contrast. The light reflection rate (15%) could also have been better.
On the other side, the P10 Plus has a WQHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. The most problematic thing here is the contrast ratio as well, which peaks at 1580: 1. Fortunately, the P10 Plus is exemplary on the rest of the points evaluated. The maximum brightness takes off at more than 560 cd / m², while the reflection rate is rather good (11%). All this allows the P10 Plus to ensure a very good readability in full sun. The P10 Plus also displays a very good colorimetry compared to its smaller version.
Huawei has also taken care of the processor integrated in its P10 by opting for the Kirin 960 which has already proved itself in the Mate 9. The Kirin 960 is maneuvered, backed by an iGPU Mali-G71 MP8 and a 6 GB of RAM, as well as an internal expandable memory of 128 GB. Huawei actually offers two versions, the first one mentioned and one of 64 GB of internal memory with 4 GB of RAM. The software animation is entrusted to Android 7.0 Nougat, over which Huawei has affixed its overlay EMUI 5. On the connectivity side, there are the regulars like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC or 4G LTE.
Huawei has revised slightly the graphic aspect of the set and the logic of navigation. The device is powerful and can easily rotate any 3D game, including the most resource-intensive, without special heat and with a good level of detail. On a daily basis, it is a very pleasant device to use, always perfectly reactive and able to handle several applications with its RAM.
A high performance chip is sometimes synonymous to a reduced autonomy. This is not the case here; Huawei had rather optimized his smartphone and opted for a high capacity battery of 3200 mAh. According to our tests, it held approximately 10 hours in a versatile use, 13 hours in video playback and 20 hours in communications. The P10 is progressing considerably compared to its predecessor, the P9, which had barely gone 7 hours in a versatile autonomy.
The P10 Plus has a 3750 mAh battery, promising to resist relatively longer than its brother. The promise is verified and was definitely kept. Both devices have a strong endurance, but the best if we compared it to a Galaxy S7 Edge, a Galaxy S8 or a Moto Z Play.
The camera remains the most differentiating point at the moment of purchasing a smartphone nowadays. The P10 is obviously highly anticipated on the photo quality of its two sensors. The latter are exactly the same as those integrated in the Mate 9, and also benefit from optical stabilization. The results obtained are in fact globally equivalent. In daylight, the results obtained are very satisfactory, but they lose some of their superb in low lights. In these conditions, a smoothing effect is felt, preventing the P10 to reach the perfection of the tenors of the sector (Samsung and Apple lead). However, the whole climbs a good notch above the P9, first model of the brand this dual sensor system.
The P10 Plus, on the other hand, uses the Leica two-module seal, one in RGB and the other in monochrome. If the same sensors of 12 and 20 MP respectively are found, the largest of the P10s is distinguished by the aperture at f / 1.8 of its optics. The small P10 is available only with an opening at f / 2,2. In broad daylight, it is rather difficult to recognize a difference in rendering between the P10 Plus and his little brother. The pictures are rich in detail and the dynamics are very good. The P10 Plus and the P10 are undoubtedly one of the best smartphones when it comes to phonography. The speed of execution is sadly slow compared to other competitors, especially because of autofocus. We also note a positive progression of image processing related to the portrait mode, which succeeds in better cutting the subjects. Therefore, Huawei remains the unique proposition on the market of this 20-megapixel monochrome sensor developed in partnership with Leica. Always as powerful and original, the black-and-white mode will only be a seductive added-value to the most enthusiastic users of photography or to those who dream of becoming one.
The front sensor of 8 Megapixels takes advantage of a thing quite rare: an autofocus. This autofocus allows this sensor to be much more efficient for applications that take advantage of front-end videos. In addition, the photos taken with this self-portrait sensor are rather detailed and the exposure management is performing well.
The manufacturer Huawei offers high-end smartphones that are constantly improving over time. Its P10 does not deviate from the rule. Its high performance, its very well managed range, its quality screen and its excellent (and original) monochrome sensor designed with Leica come to give it a distinctive competency in the high-end smartphones’ market. Of course, photographic quality and reactivity still remain below the common and we would like to see Amoled screens on the P series. But the P10 counterbalances these defects by a weighty argument: its price. The device is nearly 200 euros cheaper than some high-end models of the competition.
As for the choice between a P10 and a P10+, the Huawei P10 Plus offers nearly the same characteristics as the Huawei P10. The differences are essentially at the screen size with a diagonal of 5.5 “(as opposed to 5.1”) and the increased battery life. To put it simply, if the P10 and the P 10 Plus offer a slightly attractive design and the choice between the two will, above all, be a matter of preference of the screen.