|+ Compact design||- Underpower battery|
|+ Great camera||- 1080p screen|
|+ Premium look||- No water resistance|
"The Huawei P10 is one of the better compact flagships, but below average battery life and a screen that's a few pixels short holds it back from the best phones of any size."
But it benefited from being unexpectedly good. This year we’re have higher expectations, so can the Huawei P10 live up to them?
It’s retained many of the Huawei P9’s best features, such as its metal shell and dual cameras, but is there enough that’s new and improved? Read on to find out.
The Huawei P10 has a 5.1-inch 1080 x 1920 LCD display with a pixel density of 432 pixels per inch. That’s sharp, but not quite a match for 1440 x 2560 screens like those found on the LG G5, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Huawei’s own P10 Plus.
But then the Huawei P10’s screen is also smaller, so it doesn’t need to be as high resolution, and while the pixel density is lower too you’re not likely to notice any lack of sharpness unless you really study the screen or put it side by side with a sharper one.
The relatively small size is potentially a major selling point too. Other than the even smaller iPhone 7 few flagship phones have screens of less than about 5.5 inches these days, so if you want something compact you often have to sacrifice specs and features.
Not so here. The Huawei P10 is a true flagship and at 5.1 inches it’s very hand and pocket friendly, and easy to reach across with one hand.
The Huawei P10 has a slim 7mm thick metal unibody with more than a passing resemblance to an iPhone, and if a phone’s going to imitate a rival, the iPhone is a good choice, as it’s one of the best-looking handsets around.
But Huawei has put some thought into the design of the P10 too, with rounded edges that make it comfortable to hold and small bezels at either side of the screen.
The phone also comes in a wide range of colours, including ‘Dazzling’ blue or gold versions, which use a ‘hyper diamond’ finish to avoid smudges and scratches.
Overall, the Huawei P10 is a great looking phone and a slight improvement on the P9. People will be in no doubt that you have a flagship in your hand with this, but it’s worth noting that unlike some high-end handsets the Huawei P10 isn’t dust or water resistant, so you’ll want to be extra careful with it.
There’s 4GB of RAM and an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 960 chipset keeping the Huawei P10 running. That chipset is Huawei’s latest high-end one, though it’s not brand new, having also been used in the Huawei Mate 9.
It’s got four cores running at 2.4GHz and four running at 1.8GHz, for simpler tasks, and it’s a speedy chip, rivalling the Snapdragon 821 used by the LG G6, but it’s unlikely to quite match the Snapdragon 835 at the heart of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, or the Exynos 8895, which is likely to power the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Still, you’re not likely to miss the extra oomph of those chipsets, as the P10 delivers speedy and smooth performance.
The camera was the highlight of the Huawei P9 and so it is again here with the Huawei P10, though not much has changed, with the phone still sporting a dual-lens snapper on the back, with one monochrome lens and one colour one, which can be combined to capture more image details.
The specs of the camera have changed though, as now it’s a 20MP and 12MP pairing, up from dual 12MP cameras on the Huawei P9.
The camera also offers a new Portrait mode, which blurs the background to create a bokeh effect and adds a varying degree of beautifying effects to faces. We’d recommend turning the beauty effects right down, but if you do you can grab some quite striking images.
The P10’s snapper also benefits from optical image stabilisation and a dual-LED flash, so your shots should be well-lit, in focus and naturally coloured whatever the conditions.
Plus, there’s an 8MP camera on the front doing selfie duty and delivering above average results.
Other than the camera discussed above, the main feature of the Huawei P10 is the fingerprint scanner. This has been moved from the back of last year’s handset to the front, below the screen, this year, which is a more convenient position.
The scanner also does more than just unlocking your device, as it also sports gesture controls, allowing you to navigate the interface. This might take some getting used to, but it’s a neat feature if and when you do.
The Huawei P10 has a 3,200mAh battery, which is a fairly average size for a flagship phone of this size. Performance from it is if anything slightly below average though. You should just about get through a day of moderate use, but heavy usage will leave you reaching for a charger by early evening. Fortunately, fast charging is supported.
There’s a choice of 32 or 64GB of built-in storage, both of which are respectable amounts, but you can also add to them with a microSD card of up to 256GB.
Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.
The Huawei P10 is a solid upgrade to the Huawei P9, with an improved camera, a better fingerprint scanner and a nice design.
But it’s not only the P9 that it has to compete with, and with just a 1080p screen and underwhelming battery life it’s far from being the perfect flagship.
Still, if you want a slim, compact phone with a great camera and plenty of power you can’t go wrong, and you’re likely to pay less for the Huawei P10 than you will for most of 2017’s flagships too.
Dimensions (mm): 145.3 x 69.3 x 7
Weight (g): 145
Battery capacity (mAh): 3200
Colours: Mystic Silver, Rose Gold, Graphite Black, Dazzling Gold, Dazzling Blue, Greenery
Screen size (inches): 5.1
Resolution: 1080 x 1920
Pixels per inch (PPI): 432
Processor: Octa-core 2.4GHz
Processor make: HiSilicon Kirin 960
Internal storage: 32/64GB
Expandable storage up to (GB): 256GB
Camera: 20MP and 12MP (8MP front-facing)
Operating System: Android 7.0
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