Sunday, 24/9/2017 | 7:22 UTC+0

Huawei P10 Plus review: Eyes wide open


Show-stealing looks and imaging prowess, the Huawei P10 Plus was one of the headliners at the MWC with good backing on the inside (by a little less special sibling) and not too heavily challenged from the outside. Early in the new season though, the competition is just about starting to hit harder, so the P10 Plus has big trials ahead.

That’s right, Huawei will certainly find the heavyweight action it’s looking for. After all, the only way to get better is to compete with the best. That’s what has consistently been driving Huawei in everything they do and we guess we’ve got to give it to the P10 plus – it’s got ambition and attitude, and we’ll just have to see if it’s got the aptitude to match them.

Huawei P10 Plus key features:

  • Body: Aluminum unibody, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 front and back camera plate; IPX3 certification
  • Screen: 5.5″ IPS-NEO LCD with 1,440 x 2,560 px resolution (540ppi)
  • Camera: Leica co-engineered dual camera: 20MP monochrome/12MP color sensors, both with f/1.8, 28mm equiv. focal length; 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus (phase/laser/contrast/depth sensing); dual-LED, dual-tone flash; 2x hybrid zoom; 2160p and 1080p @ 30/60fps video capture; OIS in the 12MP camera
  • Selfie cam: 8MP f/1.9; 26mm lens; simulated bokeh effect; 1080p @ 30fps video capture
  • Chipset: Kirin 960 – octa-core CPU (4xCortex-A73@2.4GHz + 4xCortex-A53@1.8GHz), i6 co-processor, octa-core Mali-G71 GPU
  • Memory: 4GB of RAM plus 64GB storage / 6GB of RAM plus 128GB storage; microSD slot (hybrid)
  • OS: Android 7.0 Nougat with Huawei EMUI 5.1
  • Battery: 3,750mAh Li-Po (sealed); Fast charging
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM option available; LTE-A (Cat.12 600/150Mbps); USB-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo; Bluetooth 4.2; NFC; Infrared port
  • Misc: Front-mounted fingerprint reader

Main shortcomings:

  • Non-removable battery
  • No FM radio
  • The older USB 2.0 standard on a Type-C connector
  • Low-grade water-proofing (not protected against immersion)
  • No wireless charging

The dual Leica imager may have looked like a novelty for its own sake in the preceding P9 but this generation reaffirms a long-term commitment. The upgraded Leica Dual Camera 2.0 Pro setup is available on the regular P10 and the Mate 9, but only the Huawei P10 Plus takes advantage of a brighter and faster f/1.8 aperture.

In a bid to back the lineup’s flagship aspirations, a WQHD screen is a first for the P-series – a special treatment afforded so far to only the Honors (a stand-alone brand), the Mates and the Huawei-made Nexus 6P.

A 5.5″ screen makes the P10 Plus a little more manageable than a Mate or the Huawei-made Nexus by the way. The Kirin 960 with an octa-core processor and Mali-G71 is the same engine that powers the Mate 9. The 12MP RGB / 20MP monochrome camera setup delivers optical image stabilization, 4-in-1 autofocus, hybrid 2x zoom.

The one caveat – and not a small one at that – is that the expertly crafted and eye-catching exterior, high-end internals and the extra special Leica combo fetch a rather high price. At the time of writing, the P10 Plus is still in the pre-order stage but EUR 750 is quite a price tag to live up to.

Huawei P10 Plus in official photos - Huawei P10 Plus review Huawei P10 Plus in official photos - Huawei P10 Plus review Huawei P10 Plus in official photos - Huawei P10 Plus review
Huawei P10 Plus in official photos

Its very own sibling, the regular P10, and especially the almost identical Mate 9 Pro may end up as too good alternatives if you want to stay within budget (P10) or you insist on AMOLED (Mate 9 Pro).

We guess the Huawei P10 Plus will be keener to face up to the “real” competition than worry about in-house rivalries but we just can’t imagine it’s feeling too comfortable in the AMOLED shadow of its own cousin.

Anyway, join is on the following pages, as we try to determine whether the P10 Plus can, indeed, make its mark at home and out in the world.