It used to be that a mobile phone wasn’t something we’d be too likely to review here at GameGrin. These days though, phones aren’t really used that much for phone calls and the like, they’re just little portable computers which happen to make phone calls. For that reason, the shiny new Huawei P10 Plus that’s arrived in my pocket seemed like a good thing to tell our lovely readers all about. And that one horrible reader we have too, you know who you are.
Huawei isn’t a huge name in the mobile world in itself, but it's certainly been a part of it for a while. Not only do this Chinese conglomerate make an awful lot of the underlying equipment used to run the mobile networks themselves, but also a number of devices for other companies, including my last phone; the Google Nexus 6P.
First thing that springs out about this phone is the build quality is very good. It’s light, and nicely thin, but still feels solid, with a metal back and Gorilla Glass 5 on the front. If you’re looking for a smooth design then this phone has it, although there’s a sizeable bezel at the top and bottom. Personally, as someone who’s pretty ham fisted, I like having somewhere to put my fingers when I’m holding the phone horizontally, but if you’re a fan of edge to edge screens, this might be a downside for you as the screen to body ratio is around 71.6%, a bit lower than a lot of flagship phones currently on the market. That metal back means that there’s no wireless charging either, which is a shame, but not a deal breaker for me personally. The included Huawei fast charger makes up for that, getting the phone from empty to 50% in about 20 minutes.
Speaking of fingers, I cannot stress enough the importance of leaving the included screen protector on this phone. The lovely Gorilla Glass screen isn’t oleophobic, so it’s nice to see a screen protector is included out of the box. It’s a strange decision though for a flagship phone, as the rather flimsy looking film is likely to wear out sooner rather than later, leaving you with a phone screen covered in greasy fingerprints like it’s 2010 or something. A decent coated screen protector is recommended, unless you’ve got some kind of fingerprint fetish.
If you can see through the imprints of your own digits though, what you see is a sharp and crisp display, with a 5.5” WQHD IPS display packing a hefty 540 ppi. You could argue that an AMOLED might have been nicer, but actually this is a really good display that has strong, deep blacks, and a really sharp image, so actually I don’t miss it. I was never a big fan of the ambient display thing anyway as I use a smartwatch so it’s redundant battery use for me.
Performance wise, this is a strong contender, with a score of 1650 in 3DMark helping give it the edge over many other phones in the same price point. This is to be expected, given the rather generous internal specs. Inside, you’ll find eight cores of CPU power, split evenly between two Cortex chips; a 2.4GHz A73 and a 1.8GHz A53. This is backed up by a nice amount of graphical grunt from the Mali G71 MP8 and 6GB of RAM.
There’s a very roomy 128GB of storage space included here as well, but if somehow that’s not enough, the second SIM slot (yes, this is a dual SIM phone) doubles up as a MicroSD card slot. I’ve gone with the latter function for it, as I’m not a spy or a drug dealer, so I don’t need a discreet second phone. Your mileage may vary here if you are either of the aforementioned. If you do want to use that second slot, then you’ll be able to use a few selected apps through Huawei’s “App Twin” system, meaning that you can sign in simultaneously on two different accounts, one with each SIM. This is currently limited to Facebook and Whatsapp but more are planned for the future if the feature takes off.
The most impressive feature of this phone for me was the great battery life. In a month of use, I’ve only had to charge the phone before bedtime twice, and that’s with fairly hefty use including Bluetooth headphones, a smartwatch permanently connected, and fitness tracking running constantly. It’s only a 3750MaH battery, so it’s large but not exceptionally so, nonetheless, Huawei have done a great optimisation job and I’ve never found the phone to be out of battery during the working day or had to limit my usage to preserve it like I have had to with previous phones.
Following the trend set by many manufacturers lately, there are two Leica Summilux camera lenses included on the back, helping give a better sense of depth in photos and a nice bokeh effect for portrait shots. It also means that there’s a lossless zoom option, and a wider angle than you might be used to from a single lens device. Photos are crisp and clear, with well defined colours that aren’t too vivid as to be unnatural. The video mode can cope with HD at 30 and 60fps, as well as 4K, although no HDR is available on video. There’s also a nifty slo-mo mode, which is a nice touch, giving the option of some advanced effects if you’re recording video on a tight budget. It’s not going to replace my camcorder setup, but I feel it may well complement it.
Overall, I’m very happy with this device, it’s a smart piece of kit that runs everything I throw at it and still has some battery left to chill out with a few YouTube videos at the end of the day. For the price, it’s one of the best phones on the market at the moment and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
Huawei P10 Plus Review
A strong set of hardware features and a nice design complement excellent battery life and a great camera. No wireless charging and a moderately large bezel are the only minor drawbacks on what is a great phone.