Huawei P10

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Huawei took to the stage at MWC 2017 to show off its’ 2017 flag­ship, the P10. It has a fo­cus on por­trait pho­tog­ra­phy and de­sign, but does it per­form as well as Huawei claims?


De­spite an­nounc­ing a €649 price tag dur­ing the event, we’re not sure about a spe­cific UK price or re­lease date on the up­com­ing P10 just yet.


Huawei has a rep­u­ta­tion for of­fer­ing high-end de­sign and ma­te­ri­als in its smart­phones, and the Huawei P10 is no dif­fer­ent. Fea­tur­ing a re­fined

de­sign rem­i­nis­cent of the Huawei P9, there are sub­tle changes to the de­sign of the smart­phone that make it stand out from the crowd, fol­low­ing an ‘or­ganic min­i­mal­ism’ de­sign phi­los­o­phy. Ev­ery­thing’s a lit­tle bit ‘neater’ on the P10, and the curved but slightly elon­gated edges of the smart­phone give it a dis­tinc­tive look, while also be­ing com­fort­able to hold in the hand (vi­tal for a 5.1in/5.5in smart­phone) and less slip­pery to hold.

The most ob­vi­ous change, com­pared to the Huawei P9? The stag­ger­ing num­ber of colour op­tions avail­able. Huawei wanted to of­fer con­sumers more than just the stan­dard black, sil­ver or gold colour op­tions, and of­fers the Huawei P10 in colours in­clud­ing daz­zling blue and green­ery.

In fact, the P10 comes in eight dif­fer­ent colours: graphite black, daz­zling blue, daz­zling gold, rose gold, green­ery, white ce­ramic, mys­tic sil­ver and pres­tige gold, al­though not all colours will be headed to the UK. Huawei worked along­side Pan­tone to pro­duce the vi­brant and eye-catch­ing daz­zling blue and green­ery colour op­tions, which are no­tice­able even in low-light con­di­tions – you just can’t miss that colourful shim­mer.

It’s not just the colours that are new, as Huawei has also in­tro­duced a new fin­ish: the hy­per­dia­mond cut, avail­able on the daz­zling blue and daz­zling gold colour op­tions. It’s dif­fer­ent to the stan­dard sand­blasted fin­ish, cre­at­ing tiny ridges along the length of the rear of the P10. It’s a unique look when com­pared to other 2017 flag­ships so far, and pro­vides an in­ter­est­ing (in a good way) tex­ture to run your fingers across when hold­ing the phone. Huawei also claims that the fin­ish should re­duce

the smudges and fin­ger­prints that ap­pear on the rear of the de­vice, but we’re un­able to con­firm this un­til we use it for ex­tended pe­ri­ods.

Huawei has also moved the fin­ger­print scan­ner from the rear of the de­vice to the front, and in do­ing so re­moved the abil­ity to eas­ily take self­ies without need­ing to awk­wardly tap the screen – but we’ll come to that in more de­tail be­low, as there’s rea­son­ing be­hind the move. Huawei claims that the fin­ger­print scan­ner is be­neath the glass, and while it’s tech­ni­cally true as there’s no split lines be­tween the scan­ner and the glass, there’s still a dent on the front of the de­vice for users to place their fingers and isn’t like what up­com­ing smart­phones like the iPhone 8 are ru­moured to fea­ture.


Huawei put a huge fo­cus on the de­sign and soft­ware ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the Huawei P10 dur­ing its MWC 2017 an­nounce­ment, but there’s a good rea­son be­hind that: the in­ter­nals of the smart­phone are al­most iden­ti­cal to that of the Huawei Mate 9, which was re­leased back in Novem­ber 2016.

Just like the Huawei Mate 9, the Huawei P10 fea­tures the lat­est Kirin 960 2.4GHz octa-core pro­ces­sor cou­pled with a Mali G71 GPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB stor­age. Those look­ing for a lit­tle more oomph can opt for the P10 Plus, which fea­tures 6GB of RAM and 128GB of stor­age. Of course, as with all Huawei de­vices, the P10 also fea­tures a mi­croSD card slot that’ll al­low you to ex­pand the stor­age by up to 256GB.

That’s not a bad thing though, as in our Huawei Mate 9 re­view we de­scribed the pro­cess­ing power

of the smart­phone as stun­ning, and it’s a sim­i­lar story with the P10: it’s blis­ter­ingly fast, with not even the slight­est sign of lag at any point dur­ing our time with the smart­phone. That’s due in part to the hard­ware, but also the soft­ware, as Huawei of­fers ad­di­tional ma­chine learn­ing al­go­rithms when com­pared to the Mate 9 to make it per­form even bet­ter. De­spite the high-end in­ter­nals, Huawei has con­firmed that the P10 isn’t DayDream com­pat­i­ble, al­though it wouldn’t go into de­tail about the rea­son.

In terms of the dis­play, the Huawei P10 packs a Full HD 5.1in IPS dis­play with a res­o­lu­tion of 1920x1080, com­pared to the 5.5in WQHD IPS dis­play with a res­o­lu­tion of 2560x1440. How­ever, due to slim bezels and smart de­sign from Huawei, the phone isn’t overly bulky and is rel­a­tively easy to use one-handed. As with most Huawei dis­plays, it’s bright, colourful and crisp, al­though a lit­tle heavy on the con­trast for our per­sonal taste.


Of course, apart from de­sign, the big­gest draw of the Huawei P10 is the cam­eras. Huawei has made a few changes that it claims will make the rear-fac­ing dual-lens setup per­form bet­ter than ever, and there’s a few notable changes to the selfie cam­era, too.

Let’s start with the rear-fac­ing cam­era. It’s a sim­i­lar setup to that of the Huawei Mate 9, fea­tur­ing one 12Mp colour sen­sor and one 20Mp black and white sen­sor, which should help it to cap­ture more light and per­form bet­ter in dark en­vi­ron­ments. The lenses have also been im­proved when com­pared to the Huawei P9, which should help to cap­ture clearer im­ages, al­though the real im­prove­ments are to the P10 Plus. The larger vari­ant fea­tures “dual cam­era 2.0,” ac­cord­ing to Huawei, with Le­ica Su­mu­lux H lenses and f1.8 aper­ture for bet­ter low-light pho­tog­ra­phy, com­pared to f2.2 on the stan­dard P10.

Along­side the im­proved cam­era, Huawei in­tro­duces Por­trait mode with the Huawei P10. As the name sug­gests, the mode is de­signed for use when tak­ing pho­tos of peo­ple. Huawei claims that it fea­tures ad­vanced fa­cial recog­ni­tion, thanks to the dual-lens setup, and that the phone can iden­tify and track 190 dif­fer­ent fa­cial points in a 3D space for snaps that are al­ways in shot. It doesn’t stop there ei­ther, as it tracks your face, of­fers au­to­matic por­trait en­hance­ments (vary­ing lev­els from 0-10, much like the Beauty mode on some An­droids), and even tweaks the light­ing for the best pos­si­ble out­come. It should high­light the con­tours and fa­cial fea­tures, while fad­ing the back­ground with the bokeh ef­fect.

That sounds amaz­ing, right? While in the­ory it could spell the end of bad self­ies, we weren’t blown

away with the new photo mode dur­ing our time with the phone. In fact, at one point the phone fo­cused on the wall be­hind us, rather than our faces, blur­ring out ev­ery­thing else in the shot apart from a pat­tern on the wall­pa­per. In Huawei’s de­fence, the room wasn’t lit very well so it might have strug­gled to recog­nise our faces, so we’ll be test­ing this out in more depth once we get a sam­ple back to An­droid

Ad­vi­sor. Gen­eral pho­tog­ra­phy was de­cent, though, but again, the light­ing con­di­tions were not ideal so we’d rather with­hold our judge­ment for now.

As men­tioned, the front-fac­ing cam­era has also had an up­grade: it’s not Le­ica-branded, just like the rear-fac­ing cam­eras, al­though not a dual-lens setup like ru­mours sug­gested. Nor is there any kind of iris scan­ning tech­nol­ogy, sorry guys. What it does have is a new sen­sor that Huawei claims lets in dou­ble the amount of bright­ness com­pared to older Huawei phones, and fea­tures a wider dy­namic range. That’s

not all though, as it’s smart enough to iden­tify whether you’re tak­ing a selfie or a group photo, and will ad­just the an­gle ac­cord­ingly (wide-an­gle for group, stan­dard for selfie).


Let’s talk a lit­tle bit about the soft­ware on the up­com­ing Huawei P10. Like many other 2017 flag­ships, the P10 is due to ship with An­droid: 7.0 Nougat. How­ever, it’s not a vanilla im­ple­men­ta­tion as Huawei is also throw­ing in EMUI 5.1, the lat­est ver­sion of the firm’s Emo­tion UI. It brings with it many of the im­prove­ments of­fered with EMUI 5.1, like ma­chine learn­ing for bet­ter per­for­mance and an over­hauled de­sign, along with a few new fea­tures too.

Let’s talk about One But­ton Con­trol, as it was briefly men­tioned when talk­ing about the fin­ger­print scan­ner of the smart­phone. While Huawei used to use the rear-fac­ing fin­ger­print scan­ner of the likes of the Huawei P9 and Mate S to ac­ti­vate the cam­era shut­ter, and pro­vide ac­cess to the no­ti­fi­ca­tion shade with a sin­gle swipe, these op­tions are now gone (much to our dis­ap­point­ment). Now the scan­ner lives on the front of the de­vice, it of­fers stan­dard Home but­ton ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and then some.

Rather than just us­ing it to re­turn to the home screen, the scan­ner has all three func­tion but­tons that An­droid users need within a sin­gle but­ton. To go back a step, tap it. If you want to go home, tap and hold it. If you want to ac­cess the mul­ti­task­ing menu, sim­ply swipe from left to right. It’s that sim­ple, and works re­ally well, but does take a lit­tle bit of get­ting used to – we still found our­selves

reach­ing for the non-ex­is­tent but­tons dur­ing our lim­ited time with the phone.

Huawei also of­fers in­te­gra­tion with Quik, the GoPro owned app that takes pho­tos and videos and au­to­mat­i­cally ed­its them, on the P10. Just head into the Gallery app and you’ll find op­tions to se­lect me­dia from an event or day, then Quik analy­ses ev­ery­thing and ed­its it to­gether in a short, punchy video ready for shar­ing on so­cial me­dia.


It’s too early to give a ver­dict on the Huawei P10 – we’ll get it back to An­droid Ad­vi­sor labs, put it through its paces and pro­vide a full re­view in a fu­ture is­sue. Lewis Pain­ter


• 5.1in (1920x1080, 432ppi) dis­play • An­droid 7.0 Nougat • HiSil­i­con Kirin 960 CPU • Mali-G71 MP8 GPU • 4GB RAM • 32/64GB stor­age (re­gion de­pen­dent) • 20- and 12Mp dual-rear cam­eras • 8Mp front cam­era • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi • Blue­tooth 4.2 • 4G LTE • Nano-SIM (Dual-SIM in some re­gions) • GPS • NFC • 3200mAh non-re­mov­able bat­tery • 145.3x69.3x7mm • 145g

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