12 February 2018

REVIEW: Hauwei P10

Perfect 10

Hot on our heels of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, we're back with another slab of glass and silicon from the Chinese tech giant. Whereas the aforementioned phone has been grabbing headlines of late, this smaller, subdued smartphone is actually Hauwei's current flagship offering. We find out why while testing the Hauwei P10.

We know what you're thinking... isn't that the iPhone 7? To be honest, when we first opened the box that is exactly what we thought, especially due to the white face, rounded edges, and general layout of button and camera. The reception strips even run around the base and top edges like the iPhone 7, so before we picked it up we were kinda disappointed.

Whereas the Mate 10 Pro is very much it's own device, looking unique and original, at first glance the Hauwei P10 brought back those old prejudicial feelings that Hauwei is nothing but a budget phone maker that copies other brands' devices. However, those feelings soon abated when we picked it up and started using it. For a start, the model we were sent is of the 'Greenery' colour option which was very refreshing to see. Furthermore, the screen itself is larger (5.1inch) and has a much smaller bezel than the iPhone 7, so again... nice.

The Hauwei P10 features a flat glass front, and a curved metallic rear. It feels great in the hand and does not suffer from the ultra-slippy surfaces of the Mate 10 Pro. Also, this little baby has retained a headphone port: something other flagship devices are quickly losing. The sleep/wake button is textured making it easy to find, and the charging port is USB C. Fair enough.

On the inside it is Android business as usual, but once again Huawei are using the EMUI overlay to tweak with the OS slightly. As we said in the Mate 10 review, this makes the operating system look and behave quite like Apple's iOS, so no app tray, large, rounded buttons etc. It isn't something that will overly distract you during use (and we soon got used to it), but it is another thing that makes us question why Huawei can't go for something totally new and original.

But... despite the phone's seemingly under-played aesthetic, on the inside you'll find an impressive 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. That is at least one more GB of RAM than we were expecting, and during heavy use of multiple apps you'll notice the extra speed. There is no option to expand that storage, as the left-side port is for a SIM card only, but you should be okay.

Right, onto what Huawei are starting to make a name for themselves with... the camera. Or rather, cameras. The Hauwei P10 possesses dual lens, a 20MP monochrome and a 12MP colour sensor on the rear, and an 8MP shooter on the front. As with our other Huawei phone review, we were impressed by the quality of the images and videos, and by how easy it is to use. The pro settings open up by default when you activate the camera, making tinkering with each shot a breeze. There are also helpful 'i' icons that pop up across the camera screen, telling you exactly what each setting does. Which is bloody good considering phone cameras tend to assume you already know what ISO and EV mean.

Video can be captured up to 4K quality from the main camera, and up to 1080p on the selfie cam. This makes it a great vlogging cam, and the smaller size and weight than most other flagshippers means it won't weigh you down if space is of a premium. And hey, you can plug in an external microphone to that headphone port, should you wish.

Another thing to note about the Hauwei P10 is the fingerprint scanner, which scans a huge surface across your thumb, meaning you can unlock it even from awkward angles. It can also be used to navigate around, swiping across it or pressing and holding to go back pages etc. It is a bit fiddly to get used to, but once mastered it makes minimal movement navigation a thing you'll cherish.

So despite out initial 'Oh no, not again, Huawei' thoughts in terms of design originality, the Hauwei P10 turned out to be an impressive and responsive device, wrapped up in an unassuming and tidy package.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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