Huawei returns with the P10, a phone that’s very much faithful to the predecessor P9. This time it has an extra couple of tricks borrowed from Apple’s iPhone playbook and some updated specs.
The Huawei P9 was one of the favorite phones of 2016. It combined rock-solid build quality with a minimalist design and a very reasonable price. It was, in many ways, the definition of the flagship phone for those who couldn’t afford or simply didn’t care for all the bells and whistles of a full-on premium device.
The new Huawei P10 comes in two sizes: a 5.1-inch device with a 1080p display and a 5.5-incher, called the P10 Plus, with WQHD resolution. Huawei’s own Kirin 960 processor lies at the heart of both. The larger model gets 6GB of RAM plus 128GB of storage versus 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage on the regular P10. The smartphone is a surprisingly slim device, just 6.98mm thick. Sitting just below the display is a pill-shaped fingerprint sensor which doesn’t just unlock the phone but also doubles as a navigation key.
The P10 will be available in ceramic white, dazzling blue, dazzling gold, prestige gold, graphite black, mystic silver, rose gold and something called “greenery.” There are also three different material finishes, ranging from the basic (sandblasted) to the eye-catching (high gloss) to the mildly ostentatious (a “hyper diamond-cut” pattern). Huawei worked with Pantone on the specifics of the Dazzling Blue color as well as the Greenery shade.
Let’s talk about one of the most hyped features of the P10 flagship phone, the camera. At the presentation at the Mobile World Congress the company’s CEO couldn’t stop raving about the “Leica-style portraits” the smartphone will be able to take. Similar to the iPhone 7 Plus the camera uses a combination of a two camera array and software magic to simulate the so much desired shallow depth of field, aka the buttery smooth background in good portrait photos.
The Huawei P10 has two camera sensors on the back: one 12-megapixel chip with a traditional color filter array and a 20-megapixel unit that only captures monochrome images. Both are behind a 27mm-equivalent f/2.2 lens, branded “Summarit”, a typical Leica branded name. In portrait mode the two cameras work together to create a single image. The monochrome sensor provides much more detail. The software creates a 3D image of the subject’s face and then works out which part of the picture should be in focus and which should be unsharp. The final portrait then has the desired bokeh-look.
Huawei will begin shipping the P10 and P10 Plus in March across Europe, Malaysia, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and more countries. The P10 will be priced at 649 euros ($685), with the P10 Plus pricing starting at 699 euros ($738).