Reviewing the Huawei P10: Charming imperfection!

Rating

The smartphone experience on the Huawei P10

The feature that we appreciate the most when using the Huawei P10 is its small size, its lightness and the tactile feedback you get when holding it and using it. It's a discreet and beautiful smartphone that will be appreciated first and foremost by users who don't want large smartphones.

The signal reception is excellent, and so is the quality of your phone conversations. The audio quality you get is top-notch both when using the headset that's bundled with the Huawei P10 and the external speaker.

The Full HD screen is perfect for watching movies on your smartphone. While it doesn't impress with a lot of punch like the display on the Samsung Galaxy S8, it is a high-quality display, with great outdoor visibility. A minor but useful feature is that you can turn on the Gloves mode so that you can use it while wearing gloves.

Huawei P10, smartphone

Gaming is also a positive experience on the Huawei P10. There's no Android game that this smartphone can't run with ease, at high-quality graphical resolution. However, benchmarks have shown that performance in games is lower than on other flagships it is competing with. Luckily, from a subjective experience, you won't notice a difference in this regard when compared to other flagships.

Huawei P10, smartphone

You won't have any issues when multi-tasking and, if you are a big Facebook or WhatsApp user, you will appreciate the App twin feature that allows you to use two different accounts for the same app, at the same time.

The fingerprint sensor on the Huawei P10 can also be used as a navigational button, similar to the latest iPhone. However, when setting it to work like that, the gesture recognition is not always precise, resulting in unnecessary frustration. That's why it is best to keep using the virtual navigation bar on the bottom of the display and configure it to work as you wish.

Huawei P10, smartphone

Battery life is good but not as great as on other flagships. In typical usage scenarios, it shouldn't have any difficulty lasting you for a day. However, you shouldn't expect more than that unless you are a very light smartphone user. Its fast charging helps a lot though, and you can lengthen the autonomy you get by connecting your smartphone to the power line for a couple of minutes.

Huawei P10 offers an excellent smartphone experience: it's small and easy to carry, it looks, and it feels great, it is fast, and you get great audio quality both in phone calls and in multimedia experiences. It's only notable downside is the autonomy. In most cases, the battery on the Huawei P10 only lasts you for a day on a full charge. Other flagships offer more.

The camera experience on the Huawei P10

The camera experience offered by Huawei P10 is a high point of this smartphone. Not only do you get plenty of photography mods that are useful to beginners, but there are also plenty of manual controls for professionals. Unlike the camera apps on most smartphones, the app on the Huawei P10 feels like it was designed by photographers.

Huawei P10, smartphone

When using the rear cameras, pictures can be taken at very high resolutions, like 3968 x 2976, 3264x1840 or 5120 x 3840 pixels. You can also record videos in Full HD at 60 frames per second or at Ultra HD 4K and 30 frames per second.

When using the front camera, pictures can be taken at high resolutions, like 3264 x 2448 or 3264x1840 pixels. You can also record videos at Full HD and 30 frames per second.

Picture taking is a great experience on the Huawei P10, especially if you are into photography and you have some technical skill. The autofocus works great, the white balance and the color rendering is impressive in most conditions. The only downside of this smartphone is with taking pictures in very low light environments. Details get lost in the darker parts of the picture, and there's also some luminance noise visible in the sky. Also, the night photography mode asks users to keep the smartphone steady for many seconds, and you need a tripod to get good results. Other than that, you can count on the Huawei P10 to deliver good looking pictures that are very close to reality. To give you an idea of the results you get on this smartphone, browse the gallery below which includes portraits, landscapes, macro shots, selfies, and other pictures taken in different lighting conditions.

We used to be big fans of Nokia Lumia devices for photography, and Huawei P10 was the first Android smartphone that felt like a spiritual successor in this regard.

Recording video is also a positive experience. To give you an idea, look at the landscape we filmed below in a very hot summer day.

Shooting moving subjects also works well on this smartphone, as you can see in the video below.

Users who are passionate about photography will be very happy with the Huawei P10. It works great in all conditions except in low-light environments, where details to get lost.

Android 7.0, EMUI 5.1 and bundled apps

Huawei P10 comes with Android 7.0 Nougat installed and the proprietary EMUI user interface that's developed by Huawei. EMUI stands for Emotion UI and it is available in version 5.1. We like its minimalism and customizability. You get access to all kinds of themes, wallpapers and customization options. For example, you can use the classic on-screen buttons for Back, Home and Recent apps. But, you can use the Home button and different actions to get the same result: a single tap means going Back, a long press means going Home while a swipe to the left or the right brings up the Recent apps. Another useful feature of the EMUI is the fact that you can sign on WhatsApp and Facebook with two different accounts for the same app, at the same time.

Huawei P10, smartphone

When it comes to bundled apps, Huawei P10 does have some installed but, their number is smaller than on the more affordable model Huawei P10 lite. Also, the apps that are bundled tend to be more useful, which is great. Here is the list of pre-installed apps that come with the Huawei P10:

  • Backup - use it to backup personal data such as contacts, messages, call logs, apps and also multimedia content. You can save backups to an SD card, on the internal storage, on a USB storage device connected to the smartphone, or on a PC.

  • Booking.com - the official app for the popular travel service. If you are not interested in using it, you can remove it with ease.

  • Compass - a simple compass app that tells you the cardinal points.

  • Files - your basic file manager for Android. It is easy to use and useful.

  • Flashlight - the app does what its name implies, and it can be useful at times.

  • Gallery - this is Huawei's reinterpretation of the Google Photos app, which is also bundled with your smartphone. Even though it is a well-built app, we tend to prefer Google Photos.

  • HiCare - a support app that provides you with customer care services. You can use it to find information such as the nearest service center, read the warranty policy, check your warranty status, read the manuals and so on.

  • HiGame - a portal for discovering, downloading and installing games on your smartphone.

  • HuaweiHealth - provides information about health activities such as the steps you have taken or the calories you have burned.

  • Mirror - while a mirror isn't always at hand, your smartphone is, and you can use it to see how awesome you look in the morning. 🙂

  • Music - a simple music player.

  • Notepad - a simple note-taking app.

  • Phone Manager - cleans your smartphone of junk files, cache, and malware, and shows details about the mobile data you used, the app permissions you gave and so on. It is worth mentioning that Avast powers the antivirus.

  • Recorder - a basic voice recorder that can be useful when you need this type of app.

  • Themes - a portal for discovering and installing themes and wallpapers. It works only if you log in with a Huawei ID.

  • Todoist - you get a free 1-year subscription to this task management service.

  • Videos - basic movie player for viewing the movies that are stored on your smartphone.

  • Weather - gives you the weather forecast for your area or for the places you specify.

Huawei P10, smartphone

Alongside these Huawei apps, you get all the default Google apps that are installed on any Android smartphone (apps like Google Drive, Maps or Google Photos) as well as the official apps for Instagram and Facebook.

The EMUI user interface on the Huawei P10 is beautiful, fast and very customizable. We like its minimalism and its App Twin feature. Unfortunately, this smartphone also comes with some bloatware, most of which cannot be removed. However, Huawei has also bundled many useful apps.

Performance in benchmarks

The first benchmark we ran was Vellamo, which is an app developed by Qualcomm. In the Multicore tests, which measures the speed of the processor when it runs multiple tasks simultaneously, Huawei P10 delivered an impressive score, which is higher than anything we ever tested. Other websites which tested the latest Samsung Galaxy S8, reported smaller scores for the Samsung smartphones. A great start for the Huawei P10!

Huawei P10, smartphone

Then we ran the Metal tests from Vellamo, which measure the speed of the processor when it runs a task using a single core. Many apps are not optimized well enough to use multiple cores, and this test is necessary for this reason. Huawei P10 got a solid score of 2737, but that was lower than what you would get on a Samsung Galaxy S8.

Huawei P10, smartphone

Next, we went on to check the smartphone's performance when browsing the internet. We used Vellamo again, but this time we ran the Browser test. Huawei P10 got a fantastic score of 5992 points, meaning that browsing the web is a swift experience on this smartphone.

Huawei P10, smartphone

The Huawei P10 offers support for 4G data connections, so we measured its performance in this area also. To do the measurements, we used Speedtest, an app which tests how fast your internet connection is. The results were very similar to what you get with other high-end smartphones in our area.

Huawei P10, smartphone

Next came the gaming benchmarks, for which we used an app called GFXBench GL Benchmark. We recorded the results measured in the 1080p Car Chase Offscreen, 1080p Manhattan 3.1 Offscreen and 1080p T-Rex Offscreen tests. We only used the 1080p tests because the resolution is standardized at 1080p and that gives us results that can be compared easier with other smartphones, even if their screen resolutions differ.

In the 1080p Car Chase Offscreen test, Huawei P10 rendered a similar number of frames to Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. This is a good result for users who are interested in gaming on their smartphone.

Huawei P10, smartphone

The second graphical test we ran was 1080p Manhattan 3.1 Offscreen, in which Huawei P10 managed to render 1589 frames. This result too was very close to what you get on a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

Huawei P10, smartphone

The third and final gaming test we ran was 1080p T-Rex Offscreen, a test which shows you how the smartphone fares in older games with fewer visual details. Again, Huawei P10 performed great.

Huawei P10, smartphone

The conclusion of the gaming benchmarks is that the Huawei P10 is a good smartphone for gamers, delivering a performance level that is very close to what you get on a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

One other significant thing about any smartphone is how long it lasts on a full battery charge. To measure that, we used PCMark's Work 2.0 battery life test, which measures the autonomy of the battery when the device is running the usual day to day activities like browsing the web, working with documents, or editing photos. Huawei P10 managed to last for 7 hours and 26 minutes. It is an average result in the world of high-end smartphones. Other models like the Samsung Galaxy S8 managed to last a bit more than 8 hours. However, in real-life situations, under normal use, it shouldn't have any difficulty in lasting you for a full day.

Huawei P10, smartphone

Benchmarks have shown that Huawei P10 is a great performer. In day-to-day app use, its performance is comparable to that of the Samsung Galaxy S8 while in gaming it is very similar to Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. Not too shabby, if you ask us! You will surely be pleased with the performance of this smartphone.

What is your opinion about Huawei P10?

Now that you know the strengths and weaknesses that we identified for the Huawei P10 share with us your views about this smartphone. Is its performance in benchmarks enough for you? Do you like the camera samples that we took with it Is it a flagship that you want to buy? Share your comments below and let's start a conversation.

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