Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Huawei P10 First Look

Huawei has been making pretty good smartphones. We wouldn’t expect any less with their latest flagship, the P10 and P10 Plus. The pair succeeds the P9 and P9 Plus, both also rather outstanding. Still, the P10 which I have a quick look at here, with its incremental improvements, is a really awesome upgrade.

The P10 officially becomes available today. It’s quite reminiscent of the P9, but with some important changes. The form factor hasn’t changed too much. It’s a svelte 145.3 x 69.3 x 7 mm. It’s also quite light at 145 g. It’s a nice solid metal slab, robustly built, with strange design quirks.

The star attraction from the P9 remains on the P10, dual Leica cameras on the back. One camera takes monochrome images, while the other fills in the colour, and the combination makes for very detailed photo captures. It’s hard to say if it’ll outshine DxOMark’s top-rated smartphone camera though!

The most significant change in the P10, and one rather surprising, is that the fingerprint sensor has moved to the front, under what looks like a home button. Interestingly, the home button can work as a real home button, except that by default it’s not configured as such, in deference to Android’s preferred soft navigation keys.

You can, however, make that home button usable. Unfortunately, you either use the soft navigation keys, or the new home button, not both. If you elect to use that new home button, note that it’s just that one button. The “back” function is activated by tapping the button, while “home” action is activated by holding the button a little longer. Swiping that button to either side gets you the multitasking action. It may take some getting used to, initially.

Overall, the P10 is great in just about every way. The display, at 5.1-inch with 1920×1080 resolution, is bright with really vibrant colours. I know some people would want a QHD display, but honestly at 5.1-inch size and 432 ppi pixel density, it’s good enough. Performance under the 64-bit octa-core (4 x 2.4 GHz A73+ 4 x 1.8 GHz A53) Hisilicon Kirin 960 is great. The 3,200 mAh battery is quite adequate, given the small size of the P10.

The P10 isn’t a perfect-10 though. It’s not water-resistant. There’s no Google Assistant either, at least for now. But at least you do get a modern Android 7.0 Nougat based software that’s quite good, offering a bunch of nice features over stock Android. For example, Huawei provides many Quick Toggles (or Quick Settings) that you’d find in stock Android, and in particular, it has one for toggling NFC, something I’ve wanted very much.

You can get the Huawei P10 from $798 from today. Good to know, included in the box you get a thin minimalist Huawei case for the P10, and a basic screen protector already factory-fitted on the display, as well as other standard accessories.

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