Huawei P10 Plus review
|Review: April 2017
In a nutshell: The P10 Plus is Huawei's best phone ever, and a rival for the iPhone 7+ and Galaxy S8. It's superfast, ultraslim, has a top camera, massive amounts of memory, and good battery life. But the Chinese brand has overreached when it comes to pricing, and misses out on a 5-star review for that reason.
Huawei P10 Plus: introduction
We like to cheer the underdog at S21. Underdogs are often innovative and transformational forces in otherwise stagnant markets. Huawei has certainly been exactly that in recent years, selling stylish and powerful handsets that cost much less than the usual suspects. But with the P10 and P10 Plus, value for money has been thrown out of the window, and the P10 Plus is one of the most expensive phones you can buy - the same as the iPhone 7 Plus, and almost as expensive as the Galaxy S8 Plus. This can't be right.
Design & looks
The P10 Plus is a larger version of the P10. It's a centimetre longer and half a centimetre wider, but still ultraslim. The weight has increased proportionately, but it's still a lot lighter than other supersized phones. The styling is nice, with a metallic glass body available in a number of different finishes and colours, but it's going to finish last in a beauty contest if pitched against the latest designs from Apple or Samsung.
The display has been supersized up to 5.5 inches, and is Quad HD in resolution, with 1440 x 2560 pixels. That pushes it higher than the iPhone 7 Plus in pixel count, but it's actually a smaller screen than even the regular version of the Samsung Galaxy S8. The IPS display is sharp and bright, but lacks the deep blacks and colour saturation of the Galaxy S8.
Like the P10, the P10 Plus has a touch button below the screen that acts as a home button and a fingerprint sensor.
8-core Kirin processor
The P10 Plus is a very fast phone. It has the same Kirin 960 processor as the P10, but with the RAM increased to an enormous 6GB. The Kirin 960 is a 64-bit octacore processor, running 4 cores at a very fast 2.4GHz and another 4 at a more modest 1.8GHz. It's one of the fastest phones you'll find.
Not only has the RAM been increased for the Plus version, but so has the flash memory. You get a massive 128GB of flash memory, which is very generous when you consider how much Apple charges for the larger memory versions of its phones. And there's a microSD card slot too, in case you need even more storage.
Android Nougat + Emotion UI
The P10 Plus runs Android 7 Nougat, paired with the latest version of Huawei's Emotion UI - EMUI 5.1. A number of modifications take this away from default Android, but once you get used to them, they feel intuitive enough. The actions built into the capacitive home button are particularly handy.
Dual Leica cameras
The P10 excels at photography, and the P10 Plus is even better. The Plus model uses the same dual-lens Leica system, with a 20/12 megapixel sensor combination, but uses larger apertures for enhanced low light performance. It gives a very strong performance, and can challenge the best from Apple and Samsung. Read our P10 review for more.
The P10 is a well-connected phone, with a USB Type-C connector, dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. You can find your position not only with assisted GPS and GLONASS, but also Beidou and the new Galileo system.
Strong battery life
Huawei has managed to fit an even bigger battery into the P10 Plus than in the P10. The 3750mAh battery is one of the biggest ever seen in a phone, and it's much larger than you'd expect in a slimline phone like the P10 Plus. The big screen draws more power than that of the P10, but the phone still gives strong battery life.
Conclusion - an outstanding phone, but far too expensive
The P10 Plus is a conundrum. It's a serious challenger to the iPhone 7 Plus and the Galaxy S8/S8+, and has a lot to recommend it. It's as fast as you could want, with a top camera, masses of memory, and a nice screen. It's slim and looks good. But the price is all wrong. Why would you buy a Huawei when you can get a market-leading brand for the same money?
It's frustrating, especially when Huawei has been selling phones that are as good as mid-range Samsungs for a fraction of the price. It could have done the same thing at the top of the market and changed everything. Instead, it's trying to join the elite club, but it's wearing the wrong tie.
Huawei P10 Plus features include:
- Operating system: Android Nougat 7.0 with Emotion UI
- Dual 20 megapixel and 12 megapixel BSI f/1.8 cameras with autofocus and optical image stabilisation, 4K video recording
- 8 megapixel front camera
- Display: 5.5 inches with 1440 x 2560 pixels, IPS
- A-GPS/Glonass/BDS/Galileo positioning
- Processor: Kirin 960 8-core (2.4GHz x4, 1.8GHz x 4)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (2.4GHz a/b/g/n/ac), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, USB Type-C, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack
- Memory: 128GB, microSD memory card slot, 6GB RAM
- Networks: 4G LTE, 3G, GSM
- Sim type: Nano
- Size: 153.5 x 74.2 x 7 mm
- Weight: 165g
- Battery: 3750 mAh
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