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real deal
by: Amanda Tremeer   ·    12 June 2017

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus hands on

We got our hands on the new Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, and were mightily impressed.

Huawei has lately released several exciting phones – the Huawei nova with its on-trend Color Band fitness tracker, for example, and now the P10 and P10 Plus, taking over where the extremely popular P8 and P9 left off.

Although you'll pay less for these phones than a flagship device from most other brands, the look and feel of both is not a whisker shy of premium. They are virtually identical, save for their different sizes (5.1” versus 5.5”), and are both sleek and shiny, with a big, bright screen that stretches all the way to the bezel at the edges.

Huawei have kept the design simple, with a home button that functions as a fingerprint scanner at the bottom, and power and volume buttons on the side. The back has a torch, and dual cameras – more about them later.

Shine bright like a diamond

The first thing you’ll notice when switching on your new P10 is the quality of the display. At 1920 x 1080 pixels (more for the Plus), the P10 delivers excellent picture quality, and functions well even in bright light. Both devices, but especially the larger P10 Plus, would suit an avid gamer or video watcher.

The phones come with plenty of apps preinstalled, including the most popular Google apps – not a surprise on the phone that’s running Android Nougat. Huawei has their own User Interface, Emotion, shortened to EMUI 5.1, that also comes with fun apps like Mirror, a compass and a health tracker that allows you to display your step count on the home screen. EMUI also promises to compress memory to make your phone faster, and can predict where your finger is going to touch, making your experience more seamless.

Other nifty features include the ability to take a partial screenshot by just circling something on the screen with your knuckle, and functions, such as a floating dock, designed to make one-handed use easier.

Snap it!

For many people, the key feature when choosing a new smartphone is the quality of the camera. Well, these two devices will definitely not disappoint. Both have dual cameras manufactured by photography legend Leica, one 20MP and the other 12MP. The P10 Plus has a slighter larger aperture (f1.8 over f2.2) to let in more light for better night shots.

While testing the phones, the ideal opportunity was presented to try out their low light photography - a power cut. See the result in the gallery - a very rich photo taken with the P10 Plus that blew another flagship device's camera out of the water. 

The camera function is very easy to use, and has some great modes to aid your photography efforts. These including Panorama, Document scan, Night Shot and Light Painting to create fun special effects, and Watermark, which allows you to put stamps, pics or words on your photos. You can also download more modes, like Food, for drool-worthy Instagrams.

There are also many other photography features like automatic capture of smiles for the perfect happy portrait shot, and object tracking, which is great for fast moving targets like kids or animals and basic in-app photo editing as well. 

Both phones have an 8MP selfie cam. 

The verdict

Both phones were extremely impressive. If you can stretch the budget just that bit further, the P10 Plus does have better specs - most notably bigger built-in memory (128GB v 64GB) and 6GB RAM over the P10's 4GB. Gamers, avid photographers and those who do business on their phones - reading emails, editing Google Docs - will love the bigger screen. The P10 Plus also comes with a free one-year subscription to Todoist, one of our favourite productivity apps. 

It's really down to personal choice - either way, we're very confident you won't be disappointed.