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Huawei P10 review: The Mini-Mate

Introduction

Huawei P10 marks one big leap for the P series, but one small step for the Mate lineup. The newly announced P10 builds on everything the P9 introduced last year – the beautiful design is now striking, the top-notch screen got even better, the balanced performance became monstrous, and of course, the iconic Leica Dual Camera received a massive upgrade.

If you are coming from the Mate series, the P10 is probably not the breakthrough you were hoping for, but there are a few things you should consider. For starters, the P10 has an upgraded selfie camera with a new smart mode and Leica effects, including a Portrait mode with simulated bokeh effects. There is also the new front-mounted fingerprint sensor, which is now part of the multi-functional Home key. And the new design and the variety of paint jobs and finishes is something worth checking out.

Huawei P10 review

Huawei may have dropped the Ascend moniker for its P series, but it didn’t stop their ascension in the flagship ranks. The P9 laid an incredibly strong foundation with its Leica Dual Camera, which not only shaped the future of Huawei’s premium phones but also shook the mobile market and many other manufacturers picked up the pace with their camera R&D.

Huawei P10 employs the same Leica Dual Camera 2.0 we saw on the Mate 9 – it has a 12MP color sensor and a 20MP monochrome one, optical stabilization, features 4-in-1 autofocus, hybrid 2x zoom, among other novelties. The Kirin 960 with the almighty octa-core processor and snappy Mali-G71 is here to stay, as well. We are really curious about the new selfie camera powered by Leica and its Portrait mode, and we’ll get to testing it quite soon.

Huawei P10 at a glance:
Body: Aluminum unibody, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 front
Screen: 5.1″ IPS-NEO LCD with 1,080 x 1,920 px resolution (432ppi)
Camera: Leica co-engineered dual camera: 20MP monochrome/12MP color sensors, f2.2, 27mm equiv. focal length, 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus (phase/laser/contrast/depth sensing); dual-LED, dual-tone flash; 2x hybrid zoom; 2160p and 1080p @ 30/60fps video capture;
Selfie cam: 8MP f/1.9; 26mm lens; simulated bokeh effect; 1080p @ 30fps video capture;
OS: Android 7.0 Nougat with Huawei EMUI 5.1 overlay;
Chipset: Kirin 960 chipset: Octa-core CPU (4xCortex-A73@2.4GHz + 4xCortex-A53@1.8GHz), i6 co-processor, octa-core Mali-G71 GPU
Memory: 4GB of RAM; 64GB storage; microSD slot
Battery: 3,200mAh Li-Po (sealed); Fast charging
Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE-A (Cat. 12 600/150Mbps); USB-C; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo; Bluetooth 4.2; NFC
Misc: Fingerprint reader
Main shortcomings:
No Leica Dual Camera 2.0 Pro with f/1.8 lens (exclusive to the P10 Plus)
No dust or water resistance
No stereo speakers
Non-removable battery
No FM radio

The Huawei-Leica partnership was probably the best thing to happen to the brand and the smartest move Huawei has done lately. The risk has paid off with a great dual-camera setup with many creative modes, and all of those shooting capabilities don’t require any advanced knowledge in photography. We don’t know if P in the P series stands for Photography, by Huawei is surely done a lot of work in this direction.

Huawei P10 review

Unfortunately, Huawei P10 has the same camera as the Mate 9, there are no upgrades whatsoever, and this may disappoint some of Huawei’s fans. Then there is the P10 Plus model, which brings along the new Leica Dual Camera 2.0 Pro. It keeps everything from the 2.0 version but upgrades the sensors with the brighter f/1.8 lens. And that’s the one thing we would have liked to be part of the P10 as well.

Other than the v2.0 Pro camera omission, the P10 looks like a thoughtfully designed and perfectly executed flagship. Is it really, though? Let’s find out.