Huawei P10 and P10 Plus Hands-on Preview

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Huawei used its Mobile World Congress 2017 appearance to reveal the 5.1-inch Huawei P10 Android smartphone, as well as the 5.5-inch Huawei P10 Plus. We got some hands-on time with both these powerful devices at this European tradeshow, and bring you our first thoughts.

Huawei P10

Huawei P10 Preview

This new model offers just enough improvements to make it a reasonable replacement for last year’s very successful Huawei P9.

It has the same basic design as its predecessor, but a more modernized look and feel. The metal unibody now has a more rounded frame, and the 2.5D glass effect with a Gorilla Glass 5 layer on the front surface is more emphasized than before. And it’s even more beautiful in person than it looks in photographs.

The P10 also feels quite good in hand. It gives the same surprisingly positive feel at first touch as an iPhone. This phone is light, compact, and slim, while at the same time solid and robust. Smooth glass, smooth edges, and a rear surface which doesn’t attract fingerprints add to this.

The famous glass stripe on the back where the cameras are located is still there, but plastic slots for the antennas along the upper and bottom sides are now more discrete.

Huawei P10 Display

The P10’s IPS display still Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels), so the handset offers a solid pixel density of 432 ppi, which fits in with the ‘offering flagship-like specifications’ mantra, given that the appearance is outstanding when it comes to sharpness, contrast, and color saturation.

Huawei P10 Performance

The Huawei P10 comes with a Kirin 960 octa-core processor, featuring four Cortex-A73 cores running a 2.4 GHz, plus four Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.8 GHz. The device also includes GPU Mali-G71 MP8, a respectable 4 GB of RAM, as well as 64 GB of built-in storage.

The handset comes with Android OS 7.0 (Nougat) and the EMUI 5.1 user interface. It’s somewhat disappointing that the more recent Android 7.1.1 isn’t included.

We’ll have to wait for a full review to do real performance testing and benchmarking.

Huawei P10 dual cameras

Huawei P10 Cameras

The two rear-facing cameras are the same as are featured on the Huawei Mate 9: a Leica Dual Camera 2.0 arrangement with both a 12 megapixel RGB sensor offering optical stabilization, plus a 20 MP black and white sensor. It has an f/2.2 aperture, and supports laser autofocus and dual hybrid zoom. What’s more, the aperture, focus, and lighting can be altered even after shooting. The Portrait Mode has been especially touched up so that it offers a bokeh effect as well as Huawei’s famous beautifier, but does not support live-preview.

Still, all of this does not match the best cameras on rival handsets that are currently available. That said, the mix of RGB and B&W lenses does provide above average results and exceptional room for creativity – perhaps even greater than on any other phone.

An even more interesting improvement can be found in the front camera, which comes with an 8 MP sensor with f/1.9 aperture and a Portrait Mode with live-preview and which — despite the fact that only a single front camera is used – also offers a bokeh effect.

Huawei P10 Conclusion

The designers of the Huawei P10 focused on its predecessor’s best features — the look and feel as well as the cameras—so it is likely to experience further market success.

Huawei P10 Plus

Huawei P10 Plus Preview

It’s a fact that neither the P9 nor the new P10 are – at least by specifications – equal to rival flagship phones, but were made to offer a high-end experience for more reasonable prices. This greatly aided in their market success. That said, the newly-announced 5.5-inch P10 Plus model offers a clear step toward being a full-blooded flagship: it has a bigger display than the P10, an even better set of rear-facing cameras, more memory storage and, of course, a better battery.

The P10 Plus feels great in hand, and has the same impressive finish as the P10. Interestingly enough, it is just as thin (6.88 millimeters), despite being taller and wider.

Huawei P10 Screen

This phone’s display resolution is QHD (2560 by 1440), which along with a 5.5-inch diagonal results in a 534 ppi pixel density – a feature one would expect of a flagship phone. Still, the display is not an AMOLED, like the P9 Plus had, but it is IPS so it looks good from a range of viewing angles. And it must be said that this screen provides vivid images, contrast sustainability, and excellent sharpness. Our preliminary examination found that only its size is a real advantage over the smaller P10 model.

Huawei P10 Plus Performance

Both phones have the same Kirin 960 octa-core processor; but the Huawei P10 Plus comes in two configurations: 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of built-in storage, or 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.

The phone includes support for slightly faster 4G LTE, given that it has four LTE antennas.

It’s logical to expect the P10 Plus to provide somewhat longer time before requiring a recharge because its battery has the capacity of 3750 mAh, compared to 3200 mAh of the P10 handset.

Interestingly, both devices will come with hybrid dual SIM support and, despite the trend started by Apple, will maintain a 3.5-mm audio port.

Huawei P10 Plus Cameras

A feature which is clearly better on the P10 Plus than the P10 is the Leica Dual Camera 2.0 Pro setup on the rear side. Its twin sensors have the same resolution as its smaller sister model: a 12 megapixel RGB chip along with a 20 megapixel monochrome one. Still, the f/1.8 lens enables much more light to reach the sensor, which was immediately noticeable when taking images in the MWC crowd: they are brighter, have better color, and more precise exposure, while the colors are more vivid.

The selfie-camera is identical to that featured on the P10.

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