Earlier than expected, Huawei is launching a new top smartphone with the P10. The P9 successor is supposed to heat with three Leica cameras as well as an unusual metal case in the trendy blue of the competition. Do Samsung and Apple now experience their blue Leica miracle?
Unusually early, Huawei is launching a new flagship in 2017. If the Huawei P8 and the Huawei P9 celebrated their first appearance in April, the Huawei P10 saw the light of the world at the end of February at the MWC in Barcelona. As of March, it should already be in Germany and other countries on the shelves.
The rush has its reasons: By the early market, start hopes the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, further ground on the competitors Apple and Samsung well. Finally, Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S8 is delayed by several weeks and the iPhone 8 is not expected before autumn.
Huawei is putting on a new design and is expanding the cooperation with the Europe camera manufacturer Leica – but in turn. Let’s take a look at the new exterior of the Huawei P10.
Design and processing
Huawei submits the P10 to a re-design. However, this is not as drastic as last seen in HTC’s new U-Series or the upcoming Galaxy S8. The form language and the material selection remain unchanged compared to the predecessor. The dimensions are almost identical. The P10 is as compact as the P9, but with a width of 69.3 millimeters, it is slightly narrower, which makes the device even better in the hand.
The most striking difference compared to the P9 is probably the placement of the fingerprint scanner. It is no longer on the back but on the front below the display. An oval recess indicates its position. Although he looks like a button, he can not be pushed down.
Why is Huawei placing the fingerprint scanner on the front? This was the desire of many customers, explains the Chinese manufacturer in conversation with awaqa. This has disturbed the fact that the scanner was not accessible when the device is on the table. A survey by awaqa confirms this statement. Nearly 60 percent of respondents prefer the fingerprint scanner on the front of their smartphone. We also got used to the test quickly and do not want to miss it here now!
Where do you think the fingerprint scanner should be placed on a smartphone?
But not only is the position of the scanner new. On closer inspection, we will also discover further differences between P9 and P10. The glittering metal edge on the back has disappeared, only on the front, the Huawei P10 has this Diamond Cut called design trick. This has several reasons: Among other things, Huawei has banished the antenna strips at the P10 from the backside into the frame. Apple has made this on the iPhone 7.
Huawei has come up with a new finish in order to stand out from the mass of metal smartphones with the Huawei P10: In a “Hyper Diamond Cut” process, the Chinese manufacturer adds small scratches to the metal cover. This results in a fine-grained structure, which significantly increases the grip. Ride your finger over it, this Hyper Diamond Cut finish feels like the 3D wiggles of the 90s. There is, therefore, danger of goose bumps. The structure also reflects light, creating color gamers – the effect is similar to the one you know from glass smartphones like the Honor 8 or the HTC U Ultra. Another advantage: Fine scratches do not fall on the cover.
Personally, we liked the “scratched back” of the Huawei P10. Especially those who have been using a metal smartphone for a long time and are just looking for something new but do not want to switch to a smartphone with a glass cover will enjoy the P10. For users who prefer it to be smooth and accurate, Huawei offers the P10 but also with scratch-free and high-gloss polished metal cover.
Available is the Huawei P10 in the colors Graphite Black (Black), Mystic Silver (Silver), Dazzling Blue (Blue) and Prestige Gold (Gold). Only the Dazzling Blue variant features the new Hyper Diamond Cut finish. Protection against dust or water according to IP68 does not offer the smartphone, unlike many competitors.
What hardware is hidden under the scratched metal back? Inside, the new Huawei chip Kirin 960, the P10 has four gigabytes of memory available. The Octa core processor already provided for steam in the Mate 9, while the P10 has succeeded in squeezing one or the other percentage of the chips out of the chipset. Overall, however, the performance remains only at the level of top models from the previous year (see table).
If the Huawei P10 is heavily stressed, it, unfortunately, heats up quickly. The heat development does not take any worrisome proportions like its time with the HTC One M9 or Xperia Z3 +, was however in the test nevertheless unpleasant. It also reduces the system power down. However, this was only visible in benchmarks, not in regular operation.
An algorithm is intended to ensure that the system does not age over the months and still runs as smoothly as on the first day after one year. We will review this statement in a long-term test.
Space for photos, music, and apps are available on the Huawei P10 by the way. State 64 gigabytes of device memory offers the smartphone, this can even be extended cost-effectively with the microSD card. However, the P10 does not allow the storage of memory and memory (Adoptable Storage). Apps can not be swapped to the SD card.
The screen of the Huawei P10 measures 5.1 inches. The built-in IPS panel offers a natural color representation, is sufficiently bright and shines with great viewing angles. But one or the other user may be dissatisfied with the resolution. The screen is “only” in Full HD. From our point of view, the display size is more than sufficient and still energy-saving, other models offer here, however, times more pixels at the same price.
The Huawei P10 also misses other features that you might expect from a top-of-the-line smartphone in 2017. Is there iris scanner? Wrong indication! New standards like USB 3.0, Bluetooth 5.0 or Google’s Daydream View do not support the P10. If you want to use your new smartphone longer than the usual two years, you should consider the purchase of the Huawei P10 well.
Ex-factory runs the Huawei P10 with Android 7.0 nougat. However, Huawei does not guarantee you monthly security patches. The Chinese manufacturer delivers these so far only every two months. The system is also overpowered with Huawei’s own user interface EMUI 5.1. It changes the basic operation. Similar to Apple iOS, there is no app drawer by default. You can also hide the virtual navigation buttons and then control the system using the fingerprint scanner. Huawei has looked at his subsidiary Honor – the Honor Magic sends greetings.
If you switch off the virtual control elements, the display surface increases by almost six millimeters in height. That sounds tempting, but I want to be deliberate. The operation via the fingerprint sensor is because of the habit of getting used to – especially for old Android hares. To view an overview of all open apps, you must wipe the finger from the right to the left using the sensor. To go back one step, you have to touch the scanner briefly and press the finger longer on the sensor you land on the start screen. In the test, this often happened to us unintentionally, because we really wanted to go back one step. The two gestures are too similar.
Huawei P10 in the test
Huawei makes the operation unnecessarily complicated. The Moto G5, also on the MWC, offers a similar function but improves the handling. Here, you can move from left to right over the fingerprint scanner for a view of all open apps and from right to left to go back one step. To the start screen, you come with a pressure on the sensor. It can be so easy.
Otherwise, the EMUI user interface is good, as it extends Android by various features, such as the possibility to use Facebook and WhatsApp on a device with two different accounts. In addition, the surface can be adjusted to suit the taste.
The Huawei P10 convinces with its noise suppression. Although we were standing directly on a busy street, our conversation partner did not get anything from the passing cars. Despite these massive filtering, the voices still function naturally, but the voice transmission is not crystal clear.
That’s how it’s done
A Nano SIM card is required to operate the Huawei P10. Older SIM cards you have to cut accordingly. According to Huawei, the smartphone in Germany will only be offered in a single SIM variant. The dual SIM version of the P10 must be imported from abroad. In our test device, however, the memory card slot could also be used as a second SIM slot. It remains to be seen whether this will also be the case for the trading equipment.
The Huawei P10 is powered by a 3,200-milli-hour battery. The capacity was increased somewhat compared to the predecessor. This, of course, has a positive effect on the battery life. Had the P9 still in the evening at the outlet, the Huawei P10 holds up to one and a half days through. This is fine, but for an entry in our list of “Smartphones with long battery life” is not enough.
The Chinese manufacturer Meizu will be showing its new supercharged supercharger at the MWC. It should fully charge smartphones within 20 minutes. Sounds practical, but the technology also has some disadvantages.
The full recharge of the battery takes just 90 minutes thanks to Huawei Supercharge at the socket. However, the Huawei P10 can not be cracked on the MWC’s loading time record of the Chinese manufacturer Meizu but is on a level with the competition.
The Huawei P10 inherits the dual camera of the Mate 9. Unlike the P9, the monochrome camera on the back now offers a higher resolution (20 megapixels) than the color camera (12 megapixels). This offers the user various advantages: Thus, for example, a loss-free duplicate zoom is possible. According to Huawei, this manufacturer’s hybrid zoom baptism is equivalent to a focal length of 60 millimeters.
Compared to the Mate 9, Huawei has added to the camera of the P10 but a few new features. So there is now a portrait mode. This is intended to create artistic portraits that could also come from a photo studio. In this mode, the camera automatically detects the orientation of the face in the room. 190 measuring points are used for this purpose.
Then the face is lit with appropriate lighting effects and the background blurred. With the well-known beauty slider, the user can beautify the face with a blur. How the whole looks, you can see in the following image comparison. Optionally, the portrait can also be displayed in monochrome.
On the left, you see a normal portrait photo, on the right a picture shot with the Huawei P10 portrait mode.
If you do not have people in front of the camera, you can set objects as well with the mode “Big aperture”, also a Pro mode, which gives you access to the most important picture parameters, is available on the P10. Photos can also be recorded in RAW format.
Huawei now no longer only on two, but on three Leica cameras. The German traditional company from Wetzlar was not only involved in the development of the dual camera on the rear side of the Huawei P10, but also on the front camera. This provides a resolution of eight megapixels and has an f / 1.9 aperture of f / 1.9. Despite Leica branding, Huawei makes no mention of the quality class of lenses used.
Also, the front camera provides a portrait mode. So the background in the Selfie “blown” and your face is so much better. This effect is purely software-based because of the lack of a second camera on the front. The quality of the Selfie portraits is therefore not quite close to the portraits made with the rear camera, but can still be seen.
Convince yourself in the following image comparison.
On the left, you see a Selfie without, on the right with activated portrait mode.
An “Adaptive Selfie” feature is designed to automatically detect how many people are in front of the camera and select the image to fit appropriately. Say: Are you alone on the ” Selfie “the Huawei P10” cuts the picture. This effect was only marginally felt in the test. Adaptive Selfie did not make a big difference.
The quality of the three Leica camera is good and moves to the level of other top smartphones. By the optional available Pro mode and the Leica modes you also get the extensive creative scope. However, if you simply take the smartphone out of your pocket and shoot a photo, the competition is at least as good, if not better. This is because the Huawei P10, for example, does not have Auto HDR mode, you have to activate HDR here manually.
In weak light conditions, the P10 also gets stifled. This is not surprising, after all, compared to the competition, the camera offers only a small aperture (f / 2.2), which does not transmit so much light to the sensor. Also for video recording, the P10 is not necessarily the first choice. Thus, clips are only stabilized up to a resolution of 1080p, so for 4K clips, which are now possible thanks to the Kirin 960 chip, a tripod or a gimbal is recommended.
Price and availability
Available is the Huawei P10 from mid-March. The suggested retail price is 599 euros, the price should be around 100 to 150 euros below the price of the models of the competition. At the beginning of April, the P10 Plus will be followed by a larger and slightly more equipped model. It will cost 749 euros. In our comparison, you will learn how the P10 Plus differs from the Huawei P10.
Sister models in comparison
What is the difference between the Huawei P10 and the Huawei P10 Plus? And for which smartphone should you decide?
You can pre-order the Huawei P10 from now on – among other things at O2. In a separate article, Netzwelt will give you an overview of offers and bonuses for Huawei P10 pre-buyers.
Conclusion: Compact top smartphone for photo enthusiasts
The Huawei P10 pleases in the test. The Leica cameras are no better than the competition but open up a lot of creative scopes. If you simply want to take snapshots, is served with Galaxy S7 or iPhone 7 but at least as well. A blue Leica miracle does not experience the competition, however, the P10 misses a few features, which should be standard for top smartphones 2017. But it is also a bit cheaper.