Huawei P10 Plus review

Huawei was one of the main attractions at MWC and its new flagship P10 phones for 2017 are solid options for a new handset. Once again, the phones feature dual-Leica cameras but there're only a handful of reasons to but the P10 Plus over the regular model and there's tough competition from the likes of LG, Samsung and Honor. Here's our full in-depth review. Read next: Best smartphones of 2017.

Price and where to buy

The Huawei P10 Plus release date is set for 31 March and you’ll be able to get it from all major UK phone networks. This is a big win for the Chinese company and its mission to conquer the smartphone market. Read our Huawei P10 review.

As usual contract prices vary but seem to be around £40 with a free handset at launch. We’re more interested in the SIM-free price in terms of placing it in the market and comparing to rivals. Well Carphone Warehouse has it for £679 which is not the most expensive around but is a lot for most to stump up.

For comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus starts at £719, the LG G6 is £649 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is £779.

Considering the Huawei P10 Plus is pretty pricey, it’s worth bearing in mind that the regular P10 is pretty similar and costs £569 and the impressive OnePlus 3T is just £399. There's also a spanner in the works as the Honor 8 Pro is largely the same phone and costs under £500.

Huawei P10 vs P10 Plus

Design and build

Despite a screen size jump of 0.4in, the P10 Plus is barely any bigger than the regular P10. It’s still 7mm thick, only a few millimetres wider and taller and just 20g heavier (165g). Overall, this is quite impressive for a 5.5in phone with a front-mounted fingerprint scanner. It’s a very similar size and weight to the P9 Plus.

Both the P10 and P10 Plus have essentially the same design are gorgeous, desirable smartphones. It’s hard to do something new when it comes to smartphone design and as such, the P10 Plus reminds us of various other handsets including the iPhone 7, HTC One A9 and the OnePlus 3T.

The phone has a similar build to the P9 but with a smoother and rounder shape. It feels nice in the hand, although slightly slippery. Almost entirely aluminium, the body is only interrupted by a small glass section at the top which houses the cameras as flash.

One of the key changes in design is having the fingerprint sensor on the front rather than the back. We’ll talk more about this later.

Huawei P10 Plus design

Despite almost every rivalling moving to waterproofing, the P10 Plus cannot be freely dunked in water without fear of damage. You’ll need to look elsewhere if this is a high priority for you because it's only IPX3 rated which is basic splashproof level. The regular P10 doesn't have this rating, mind.

Huawei spent a decent chunk of the P10 announcement at MWC talking about colour. There are eight different options for the P10 Plus:

• Graphite Black
• Dazzling Blue
• Greenery
• Dazzling Gold
• Rose Gold
• White Ceramic
• Mystic Silver
• Prestige Gold

A lot of people will be interested in the new blue and green options with the former our favourite, but it’s unclear which retailers and networks will have them. So far, it’s the black, gold and silver options that are available.

Hardware and Specs

Huawei might not have pushed the boat out when it comes to the hardware on offer here but the P10 Plus is still has a solid and attractive spec sheet.

Screen

As you would expect, the P10 Plus offers a larger screen compared to the regular model at 5.5in instead of 5.1in. That's pretty standard although suddenly seems a bit small with the announcement of the huge 6.2in Galaxy S8 – which isn't actually that big due to tiny bezels.

The P10 Plus doesn't have fancy rounded corners on the screen or curved edges at the sides. However, it does offer a higher resolution than the P10 – Quad HD rather than Full HD so the pixel density is a decent chunk greater at 540ppi.

It's worth noting, with new rivals like the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8, that that P10 Plus doesn't offer things like rounded corners on the display or curved edges.

While the screen is perfectly adequate, we're not completely impressed by it. When you compare the LCD technology to phones with AMOLED you can notice how the white isn't up to scratch and viewing angles aren't as good.

It's also a shame that no oleophobic coating means the screen is magnet for marks and smudges.

Huawei P10 Plus screen

Processor

There's no new processor here but the Kirin 960, as found in the Huawei Mate 9, is something of a beast. It's a 2.4- and 1.8GHz (four cores of each speed) octa-core processor backed up by a Mali-G71 GPU.

The phone is lightning fast and certainly an improvement on the already impressive P9 Plus. As you can see in the benchmark figures below, the P10 Plus got some of the best results we've ever seen – partly thanks to the huge amount of RAM (see below). Note that the screen resolution is the reason behind lower framerates.

Memory and storage

One of the things keeping the P10 Plus so speedy is the whopping 6GB RAM inside which is paired with 128GB of storage. There's also a Micro-SD card slot for adding even more – up to 256GB.
Not even phones like the G6 and S8 have 6GB of RAM so this is impressive and joins a very limited club with devices such as the OnePlus 3T and Honor 8 Pro.

There's another model of the P10 Plus with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage - the L09 - but as far as we know, it's not destined for the UK market.


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