Huawei P10 Review65
Interface and functionality
EMUI is the ugly duckling that does the job just right
The Huawei P10 comes with the company's in-house EMUI 5.1 software, which is based on Android 7.0 and by default comes with no app drawer (you can enable one later on, though). It's chock-full of features to the point where uninitiated users will find the interface a tad overwhelming and not intuitive at all. It would have been nice if the P10 had substituted most of its gimmicky features for actually useful ones, like different performance modes and equalizer settings. At least split-screen multi-tasking has made the cut, though bundled notifications have not.
As we mentioned, the front home button doubles as a fingerprint scanner and a multi-functional navigation key. You tap on that one to go back, press and hold it to go to your home screen, and swipe it sideways to open your recent apps menu. Can't say this approach grew on me - call me old school or whatnot, but I still prefer capacitive hardware buttons over anything else and Huawei simply couldn't convince me to rethink my preferences. Thankfully, the P10 allows you to forego the all-new home button and use an on-screen button setup if you feel like doing that. Sadly, you can't customize these gestures - you're left with what Huawei's decided to throw in.
Huawei is once again dropping the ball in the aesthetic department. EMUI's unsightly iconography feels terribly dated; as much as I tried, I couldn't force myself to like it. There are a bunch of themes to choose from, but these are somehow worse than the default one. In the end, I resorted to using a custom launcher and my favorite icon pack – Huawei should probably do the same with its next flagship phone.
The fingerprint scanner at the front is also quite fast and accurate. I've hardly encountered an instance where the phone would fail in reading my fingerprint. It's also worth noting that touching the sensor while the device is asleep unlocks it in an instance.
Processor and memory
Beware, the Kirin chipset will chew through anything you might throw at it
The P10 arrives with Huawei's HiSilicon Kirin 960 chipset as well as 4GB of RAM, an octa-core solution that comprises four 1.8GHz A53 cores and four 2.4GHz A73 ones. Boring technicalities aside, it takes one around 10 seconds or less to realize that the P10 is a nimble and snappy performer that has some serious power below the hood. It will hardly break a sweat no matter the task at hand. You will rarely experience choppy frame rate even with the heaviest of games available on the Play Store. Navigating the interface is also as agile as you'd expect from a contemporary flagship.
I had no problem with the P10 boasting “only” 4GB of RAM. The phone usually held all the apps I use daily as well as one or two heavier games in its memory and didn't need to reload these whenever I decided to use any of these. In my experience, that's perfectly acceptable. Same applies to the internal storage: 32GB of storage in the basic version is great news, while the 64 gigs in the top-tier one is even better. The on-board microSD card slot will likely appeal to data hoarders just as it did to me.
The P10 is a dual-SIM device (one of the SIM slots doubles as a microSD card reader) that supports all the major LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 29, 38, 39, 40, and 41. This means it will work on most GSM networks just fine (but might not be compatible with CDMA networks like the ones used by Verizon or Sprint).
There's also Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, as well as dual-band Wi-Fi, GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, Beidou, and last but not least, a USB Type-C port.