Final 12 months’s Huawei P9 was a little bit of a shock packet, stuffing nice efficiency, respectable battery life and a fantastic digital camera right into a compact package deal. The system shot Huawei into real flagship rivalry in 2016, and its success was helped by a gorgeous value level that undercut many different high telephones that 12 months.
This 12 months Huawei launched a brand new high-finish smartphone, the Huawei P10, together with a bigger brother within the P10 Plus. The cellphone debuted in a time the place opponents like Samsung and LG had simply launched flagships with bigger, bezel-free shows. However somewhat than innovating in a similar way, Huawei opted for a extra iterative method that took the great elements of the P9 and tried to enhance them for 2017.
The result’s a cellphone that’s largely the identical because the P9 from a design and have perspective. I’ve been utilizing the handset for the final month or so to guage the way it stacks as much as trendy competitors, together with gadgets just like the Galaxy S8 and LG G6. Sadly, whereas I fairly preferred the Huawei P9, I’m not satisfied the P10 is pretty much as good of a cellphone in in the present day’s crowded market.
So let’s begin by wanting on the design. You’ll be forgiven for complicated the Huawei P10 for the P9, as a result of each telephones look strikingly related. Each are rounded-rectangular metallic unibody slabs with glass on the entrance, a glass digital camera strip alongside the highest of the rear panel, and reasonably-sized bezels above and beneath the show. It appears Huawei didn’t wish to considerably refresh the design of their excessive-finish cellphone, so that they didn’t.
The Huawei P10 (proper) subsequent to the Huawei P9
I cherished the design of the Huawei P9, and I nonetheless assume this form of metallic chassis works nicely. The only metallic piece curves fantastically round all 4 edges of the handset, giving it a seamless, premium really feel. The feel and shine to the matte end oozes class, whereas the compact design with rounded edges is extraordinarily straightforward to carry and function. For those who’re not a fan of huge 5.5-inch or bigger gadgets, the smaller 5.1-inch show used right here will enchantment to you.
At 7.0mm thick, the P10 can be fairly slim, though it nonetheless manages to cram in a three,200 mAh battery. The battery is definitely somewhat bigger than the Huawei P9, by 200 mAh, with no change to the thickness and solely a one gram improve in weight. That’s a powerful achievement; I like seeing firms lengthen battery life with none influence to the design of their merchandise.
The Huawei P10’s ports and speaker (high) subsequent to the Huawei P9
A lot of the design components and options across the physique of the P10 are in an equivalent location to the P9. The facility button and quantity rocker are in the identical place and exhibit the identical satisfying click on, although this time Huawei has given a delicate purple spotlight to the facility button. The USB-C port, three.5mm headphone jack and backside-firing speaker are precisely the identical as final 12 months, proper right down to the place of the microphone gap and screws. The highest speaker and entrance dealing with digital camera? Yep, you guessed it: equivalent positioning.
And simply shortly on the speaker system right here, Huawei has continued to make use of a single backside-firing speaker that may often be coated by your fingers whereas holding the cellphone in a panorama orientation. I’d prefer to see Huawei experiment with a twin speaker resolution right here, maybe utilizing the in-name speaker together with the underside speaker like another telephones accessible in the present day.
The one main change to the design of the P10, and maybe the one change, is the brand new place of the fingerprint sensor. The P9 used a comfortably-positioned rear sensor, although Huawei determined to shift the sensor to the entrance on the P10 for some weird motive. Not solely is that this sensor tougher to hit throughout regular utilization – it’s awkward to hit all beneath-show fingerprint sensors one-handed because of its low place on the cellphone’s physique – however it’s additionally straightforward to confuse the sensor for a house button.
On the P10, the fingerprint sensor is barely that: a fingerprint sensor. Just like the P9, the P10 makes use of on-display navigation buttons, so a house button is positioned on the display simply above the fingerprint sensor. Different smartphones that use a entrance sensor are inclined to make the sensor double as a house button, probably with capacitive buttons on both aspect as nicely, however this isn’t the case with the P10.
The P10 comes with a SIM slot on the left aspect, packing a nano-SIM and microSD holder, although twin-SIM variants will will let you swap out the microSD for a second SIM. Different options from the P9 like 24-bit/192kHz audio have made the transition to the P10 as nicely.
Usually, I wouldn’t have any concern with Huawei sticking with the identical design as final 12 months, as a result of final 12 months’s design was unbelievable. Nonetheless in 2017, a number of firms have experimented with bigger shows, significantly LG and Samsung. These telephones embrace taller screens with smaller bezels, preserving the dimensions of the cellphone the identical however supplying you with extra display actual property and a bigger display-to-physique ratio. The P10 with its 71% display-to-physique ratio feels outdated and outdated compared to the newest huge-display handsets.
That’s to not say the P10 is unusable due to its bezels and conventional 16:9 show; removed from it. Anybody upgrading from an older handset can be making a sideways transfer to the same show format, somewhat than downgrading from a bezel-free system, and that’s positive. However competing telephones available on the market do provide an expanded viewing expertise when you’re tossing up between the P10 and one thing from LG or Samsung.
The opposite main concern with the P10’s design is that it bizarrely lacks an oleophobic coating. Huawei ships the P10 with an terrible plastic display protector utilized within the manufacturing unit, which needs to be eliminated instantly as a result of it’s simply horrible to make use of. However beneath the protector is a Gorilla Glass 5 display with no fingerprint-resistant coating, which makes the P10 accumulate fingerprints and dirt like no different flagship available on the market.
The omission of the coating may be very odd as a result of it’s mainly on by default on another cellphone. Possibly they figured everybody would hold the horrendous display protector utilized and so wouldn’t reveal the coating-free glass. In any case, it’s a poor alternative.
Oh, and for people who usually use a display protector on their cellphone, I’d extremely suggest swapping out the plastic rubbish included with the cellphone for a high quality glass display protector from an organization like Final Defend.