Hey, look! There’s an elephant in the room. Dumbo – what’s your beef?
I see. Apparently the elephant’s specific grievance is the extra £100 that’s being charged for the Huawei P10 against what the Huawei P9 cost a year ago. While Huawei doesn’t say so specifically, it wouldn’t be too big a leap of logic to assume that this is down to the weak pound following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. The company certainly wouldn’t be the first tech company to use Brexit as an excuse to raise prices.
Whether or not the price rise is justified, the impact on this review is the same: the Huawei P10 is a damned fine phone, but the price rise brings it firmly in line with the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel, making it hard to back with a full-throated endorsement. Although, of course, that may change if this year’s other flagships follow suit with a 22% price bump of their own.
Nonetheless, the Huawei P10 is a phone you’d be very happy to have in your pocket, sitting neatly alongside your newly emptied wallet. Here’s why.
Huawei P10 review: Design
The design feels very iPhone 7: all minimalist style and curvy goodness. It deviates in two key areas: first, in a rebuke to its predecessor, shiny metal is out and less glossy soft metal is in. To the touch, it feels a bit more like plastic, though whether that makes it less of an invitation for your car keys to do their worst remains to be seen. Second, it has a headphone jack, which is something most people will still celebrate.
Something that will likely split opinion is Huawei’s decision to move the fingerprint reader. It’s no longer on the back of the handset, but relocated to the home button, in a reverse of Samsung’s decision to move the Galaxy S8’s from the front to the back. USB Type-C charging and a microSD tray round up the features and, although our model comes in an understated black, you can also take your pick from seven others with slightly silly sounding names: Ceramic White, Dazzling Gold, Rose Gold, Prestige Gold, Greenery, Dazzling Blue and Mystic Silver. Yes, “Greenery”. I think that means green, but maybe it will come covered in moss or something.
Huawei P10 review: Screen
Whichever colour you choose to buy, you’ll be staring at a high-quality screen as soon as you boot it up. To be specific, the Huawei P10 has a 5.1in, 1,080 x 1,920 IPS display, bordered by some pretty thin bezels on either side. That may sound a little disappointing when the Samsung Galaxy S8 pushes out a 1,440 x 2,560 resolution, but text and images look perfectly sharp and crisp. You’ll probably only notice the difference if you get up close and personal with the screen in virtual reality, but otherwise you’ll be perfectly happy.
Closer inspection via our X-Rite colour calibrator shows the screen covers 99.9% of the sRGB colour gamut, with a contrast ratio of 1,219:1. The screen can hit 497cd/m2 in terms of brightness, meaning you’ll be fine using this outside, even with the promised summer sunshine just around the corner.
So, a very good screen then. For the price, you may have been hoping that Huawei would have made the jump to AMOLED, but sadly not. Huawei has, in fact, been saving the biggest improvements over the P9 for the innards.
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