Home > Reviews > Huawei P10 Plus Review

Huawei has been adding some really remarkable devices into its lineup in recent years. Starting from the P9, the Mate 9 and now the P10 and its brethren the P10 Plus, Huawei seems to be dominating in the field of flagship level camera smartphones, giving other electronics giants such as Samsung and Sony a run for their money. With a fantastic processing speed and laser-sharp camera, the Huawei P10 plus is simply outstanding, and short of some minor dissatisfactions we had with the device, we absolutely loved the new P10 Plus. For S$998, the Huawei P10 Plus is definitely a well-priced smartphone worth considering for the photogrpahy enthusiast.

Design

I’ve never been a fan of Huawei’s phone designs, they ranged from tacky to boring, but I can’t say the same for the P10 Plus. It doesn’t look all crazy and mind blowing, but it has a sleek finesse towards it that I really liked. Subtle elegance I would say.

The matte black rear and the precisely curved edges makes the P10 Plus nice to grip. It’s also really easy to hold single-handedly because it’s thin, at only 7mm. Speaking of portability, the P10 Plus feels decently light too, weighing a mere 165g which is slightly lighter than the industry average for 5.5” phones.

On the bottom of the P10 Plus you will find a USB C port and a 3.5mm jack. I noticed that the fingerprint sensor on this phone doesn’t actually act as the home button, which I found slightly strange, but perhaps it’s built this way to prevent you from accidentally pressing the multitasking button and back button. The right frame holds the volume controls on the top and below them, a textured power button. On the top of the phone, you will notice an IR blaster too.

The only issue I had with the P10 Plus’s design is the sore lack of an oleophobic coating, which has turned the smartphone into a serious fingerprint magnet.

Display

The P10 Plus has an absolutely brilliant display thanks to its 5.5-inch IPS-NEO LCD panel which sports a 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution at an incredible 540ppi pixel density.

Maximum brightness was at 547cd/m2 and minimum brightness was 0.335cd/m2 where as contrast ratio was also a strong 1633. This means that there is no issue reading off the screen under harsh sunlight conditions and the low minimum brightness means that using it before bed is less glaring as well (although it’s never recommended). The contrast is good, but it’s not as powerful as an AMOLED display with infinite contrast on devices like the S7 or the OnePlus 3T.

Performance

The Huawei P10 Plus is a powerful smartphone that is armed with a Kirin 960 processor with either 4 or 6GB of RAM, (4GB for the 64GB variant and 6GB for the 128GB variant). The version that I’m reviewing is the 4GB version, but in my opinion, that’s pretty much all you need. Most flagships these days have processors and RAMs that often supersede what the average user will ever need. I experienced no lags whatsoever when running the Huawei P10 Plus, even when multitasking across several windows and editing clips on Premiere Clip by Adobe.

Antutu benchmarks gave me a score of 122,758, which was slightly lower than what I had expected from the device, but real-life experience matters more, so I still considered the P10 Plus to be a snappy device.

The graphics performance on the P10 Plus on the other hand, was remarkable with the Mali G71 GPU. Playing Asphalt 8 on the P10 Plus gave me no issues at all and the frame rate was fluid throughout my races with the rare and occasional stutter. 3DMark presented the P10 Plus with a score of 2254, which is great.

The 64GB worth of internal storage is more than enough in my opinion, but if you tend to download lots of apps, store lots of videos, movies and photos, then the 128GB variant might be something for you to consider.

User Interface

Huawei continues to run its own Android skin known as EMUI. The Emotion UI is now in the 5.1 version and it has quite some impressive upgrades.

Aesthetically, themes look very sleek and elegant, and they come specifically built by Huawei’s in-house designers.

Ultra Memory is also interesting, it functions as an algorithm that recycles and free RAM faster. It monitors your app usage and then decides which apps should launch or be closed based on your habits whilst protecting and reserving RAM space.

Another feature known as Ultra Response also reduces touch latency and helps predictive finger tracking, which leads Huawei to claim that their devices now run as fast as and as accurately as the iPhone’s.

Huawei also lets you choose between the Huawei interface which is similar to the iOS where everything is laid out for you and you don’t have an app drawer, or the stock Android look, which is two-tiered and gives you an app drawer that can be pulled up from the bottom.

Something I really liked about the Huawei device is App Twin, which dual-SIM users will absolutely love since it allows for you to run 2 WhatsApps and 2 Telegrams at once.

Camera

Now onto the best part of the P10 Plus. Huawei’s signature Leica lens dual camera setup on the P10 Plus is the stuff of legends. It has tonnes of cool technologies implemented into the device such as 3D Facial Detection, Hybrid Zoom, Embedded ISP and Dynamic Illumination.

So as you know, you have 2 cameras on the rear, one 20MP monochrome shooter and another 12MP colored one.

I liked how the shutter speed is really fast, so you can take photos in rapid succession. You can shoot photos and then adjust the focus post-shoot, which is something very rare. It does so by capturing extra light during your shoot to allow for refocusing to work.

The details and clarity are stunning in almost every well-lit shot and the colours are simply stunning. However, it’s monochrome shots are actually even more remarkable.

Low light shots are done decently thanks to the f/1.8 and f/1.9 aperture on the camera sensors, but you will still notice some noise and grainy effects on the shots which makes the device less powerful in low light conditions compared to phones like the S8.

You have the option of shooting in 1080p full-HD or 4K as your max resolution, with the former allowing for 60 fps shots and the latter only allowing for 30 fps ones. Unless you need to blow up the video on a projector screen, you will find the 60 fps much smoother.

Battery

On paper, the P10 Plus has a 3,750mah battery which is bigger than the industry average. In reality, actually the device just performs decently, averaging about a day or so. It didn’t really die on me much on a normal work day, but if you are out on an adventure shooting photos and videos. You definitely need a portable charger.

Conclusion

The P10 Plus is amazing. If it shot better photos in low light and had better battery life alongside an oleophobic coating, the device would be perfect. However, I find the P10 plus an amazing phone already. It’s ultrasharp camera, speedy processor and sleek body makes it a flagship worth considering if you are a photography enthusiast.

Zayne Seah
A tech geek going beyond specs.

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