Huawei P10 Review
Right off the bat, the Huawei P10 has some large shoes to fill. Ahead of the new flagship device of the major China-based manufacturer lies an arduous task – to show that the P9 was not just a one-off success but truly representative of Huawei's vision for what a smartphone should be.
At first sight, the P10 is a meaningful albeit not drastic evolution over the P9 – it retains the overall design with just a couple of small, but important changes, has beefed up specs, and last but definitely not least, improves the winning dual, Leica-tuned camera setup.
Sounds like quite the winning list of enhancements on paper, but let's not put the cart ahead of the horse and explore Huawei's new flagship up close and personal. Let's dive right into it!
In the box:
- Huawei P10
- 4.5A charger
- USB Type-C cable
- Protective case
- In-ear headphones
- Information leaflets
- SIM ejector pin
More of the same, but that's not a bad thing at all
From a design standpoint, the P10 follows exactly in the P9's footsteps. Similarly sized and just a smidgen narrower, the P10 makes use of the very same all-metal design that Huawei used a year ago with only a few minor differences.
Most notably, the fingerprint scanner that used to be in the back is now positioned at the front of the device, embedded in a new multi-functional home button. This button has other noteworthy functions, but we will address these later on. Depending on your stance towards fingerprint sensor positioning, you might praise or condemn Huawei for doing this. We are on the fence, though we admit that having the sensor in the front makes unlocking the phone a bit easier, especially if it's laying on a flat surface.
If you like to use your phone with a single hand only, then the P10 scores a minor win over the P9 due to its narrower body. Both devices are rather slippery... unless you opt for the Shimmer Blue version of the P10, which is the only one that comes with an array of tiny diamond-shaped ridges in the phone's metal body. These not only refract light in eye-catching ways, but also add a bit of grip. That's neat, since the regular non-textured versions of the P10 are as slippery as the P9.
It would have been nice if Huawei had water-proofed the phone, given that all the major players in the industry are now doing just that. Probably with the P11, eh, Huawei?
The P10 has a bright but ill-calibrated display
The P10 proudly boasts a 5.1-inch, 1080p Full HD display at the front, which works out a pixel density of 431ppi. That's sharp enough for us. The P10 also shines when it comes to maximum brightness – it hits 545 nits, making it perfectly legible outside, even in direct sunlight. On the other hand, the minimum brightness of 2 nits won't burn your retinas when you use the phone at night.
Unfortunately, the display's color rendition is underwhelming. With a color temperature of 8258K, the display is noticeably cold and makes white colors appear bluer than they're supposed to, which is not okay. Yes, you can tweak the color temperature in the Settings menu (go into Display > Color temperature, and select the Warm option if you want more balanced colors, or Cold if you want even bluer shades of white), but we can't imagine many people figuring out on their own how to do that manually. Furthermore, colors appear way oversaturated, with lots of added vibrancy that's pretty far away from their real-life targets. That's particularly visible with green, yellow, and red colors. To add up to the overall display disappointment, gamma is also pretty poor - bright tones appear darker while dark tones appear brighter than they are supposed to.
Clearly, display tweaking remains one of Huawei's Achilles heels.