One month after the unveil event at MWC 2017, Huawei Singapore promptly sent me a unit of the Huawei P10 Plus (VKY-L29) before the official launch event in Singapore. It feels privileged to be able to get a hands-on review with an almost-production-ready copy, so I’m going to show my appreciation by doing a write-up to give a bit more coverage on this smartphone. (Disclaimer: test unit will be returned to Huawei after 3 weeks).
While the P10 Plus came to me sealed and brand new, what caught my eye was that the “About Phone” information was full of errors, including the device name which appeared as “ONYX D189”. So I initiated a “Download latest full package” option on the “System update” page which prompted a new firmware version “VKY-L29C900B123” of over 2GB.
While I received the P10 Plus 4 days back, I still have not used the device full-time. This is because I am still reviewing the Neffos X1, and I like to spend quality to with every smartphone I review. even though the P10 Plus is in every way better.
Since Huawei has already done a brilliant unboxing video, there is no need for me to do one. Check out this video.
In the box, there is the smartphone, USB cable, charger, earphones, hard casing, screen protector pre-applied.
P10 vs. P10 Plus
Let’s compare the difference between the P10 Plus and the P10.
- Leica Summilux f/1.8 dual lenses vs. Summarit f/2.2 dual lenses
- 5.5-inch vs. 5.1-inch
- 2560 x 1440 vs. 1920 x 1080
- 128GB storage vs. 64GB
- 6GB RAM vs. 4GB
- 3750mAh battery vs. 3200mAh
- 4×4 MIMO connectivity on P10 Plus
- Infrared sensor on P10 Plus
- EUR 799 vs. EUR 649 (Singapore price to be announced)
Looking at this list, the P10 Plus appears to be quite a premium model to beat.
Highlight of Unique Features
Have you read my earlier review of the Huawei Mate 9 where I listed down 30 reasons to buy? If not, go read that. Here, I summarise some of the 30 features that are unique to Huawei smartphones.
Leica Dual Camera
This is simply the star of Huawei P9 and now P10. One sensor is 12MP in colour and the other is 20MP in monochrome. P10 Plus introduces an improved Leica lens for the first time on Huawei. How good is it? I have to shoot more to give you a verdict.
Wide Aperture Mode
One of the more unique shooting feature is the wide aperture mode that creates photos with pop-up effect, by blurring the foreground and background leaving the subject sharp and focused. Even though it may look processed at times, the results are often impressive enough to delight people. What’s more, I can adjust the focus point and blur intensity even after shooting.
Selfie Preview Window
This is one unique feature on Huawei phones (Mate 9 also has it). When shooting selfie with countdown, a small preview window appears below the front camera so that your eyes look at the small preview window which captures the eye focus point accurately. This is all the more important on the black colour phone because the front camera is really not easy to spot.
It is a newer minor version compared to Mate 9, so it has all the similar goodness, including landscape homescreen (enabled under the homescreen settings), single layer (iOS) or drawer (Android) option, screen recording, app twin, cancel SMS, knuckle gestures, among others.
What’s missing from the Mate 9 is the ability to pulldown the notification panel by swiping down the fingerprint sensor. This is because the fingerprint sensor is moved to the front and it is used in replacement of the standard navigation key. There is an option to choose to navigate the 3 actions by using just the sensor: tap to go back, hold to go homescreen, swipe left-right to access recent apps, swipe up to access Google Assistant. I find it easy to get used to the gestures, so kudos to that.
Huawei P10 combines both the front-facing voice-call speaker and the loudspeaker to play music. In landscape mode, both speakers will play separate L-R channels for better stereo effects.
P10 Plus vs. Mate 9
Which one is better? Well, it depends on what you like. Mate 9 is larger, bulkier, but the metal back feels stronger, tougher, and its battery is slightly larger. P10 Plus display is 5.5 inch vs. 5.9 inch on the Mate 9, yet P10 Plus has higher resolution, hence it looks smoother, though I am wary of high high-res display has an impact on battery life. The Mate 9 fingerprint sensor is at the back while P10 Plus is at the front, the latter is easier to unlock with the phone on the table, while the former is easier to unlock when the phone is on-hand. The other consideration is price: Mate 9 is cheaper to get yet you enjoy all the benefits other than faster processor and better-spec camera.
Huawei P10 is available from 1 April in Singapore at S$798, while the and P10 Plus will be available later in April at S$998. The P10 will be available in Graphite Black and Prestige Gold featuring a high quality sandblast finish. Huawei P10 Plus will be available in Graphite Black (sandblast finish, this review unit) and in Dazzling Gold featuring the unique Hyper Diamond-Cut finish. The P10 Dazzling Blue will be available on 15 April 2017, while P10 Plus Dazzling Blue will be available on 22 April 2017. Availability of Greenery to be advised at a later date.
I will do a follow-up review after spending more time with the Huawei P10 Plus, including battery life, comparison images and discussing other good and poor areas. Subscribe to my blog to receive updates!