The new Huawei P10 Plus is the photographer’s smartphone, writes Izwan Ismail
A FEW years ago, one could get quality photos with dSLR cameras. Today, smartphones can do the same — produce photos with dSLR-like quality. One of the players that has been working hard to carve its name in the mobile phone photography market is Huawei.
The successful partnership with Leica in its dual-camera P9 series has catapulted the Chinese phone maker into the upper tier of smartphones with good camera performance. Its latest offering, the P10 Plus, is another attempt to appeal to mobile photographers.
The 5.5-inch, Android 7.0 Huawei P10 Plus is a beautiful device. It is really comfortable to hold despite having an all-metal construction body. Weighing 165g, it is neither too heavy nor light.
The thin design (7mm) and rounded corners all the way to the back of the body gives the phone a smooth feel.
For the P10 Plus (dazzling blue and dazzling gold) edition, Huawei has come out with a new innovative back surface design which it calls Hyper Diamond Cut. This new surface features a smooth tiny texture that prevents fingerprint marks, and it has a unique sound when you run your finger over it.
All the buttons (power and volume control) are placed on the right side of the body, leaving only the SIM and MicroSD slot on the top left side.
In addition to a metal finish for a minimalistic, clean design, the P10 Plus’ fingerprint sensor is now on the front of the phone and lies under one continuous pane of glass. The fingerprint sensor replaces the navigation bar making the screen view bigger, while also making smart touch navigation gestures faster and more ergonomic.
To ensure sturdiness, the 5.5-inch dual-curved screen is made of Gorilla Glass 5, and under its hood is the powerful Kirin 960 SoC processor with an octa-core 2.3GHz CPU, and the Mali-G71 GPU.
The phones features 6GB of RAM and 128GB of native storage. However, it lacks one important element for a high-end flagship phone — it is not waterproof.
The main attraction of the P10 Plus is undoubtedly its camera capability. It features a new Leica Dual-Camera 2.0, featuring the rear dual-camera set up and Leica front camera, enabling consumers to explore the full range of portrait photography.
With a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor, a 12-megapixel RGB sensor and enhanced fusion algorithms, the P10 Plus is able to carry on the photography specialty of the P series. The customisable camera functions make the P10 Plus camera a joy to use.
If you have some knowledge about photography, you can really take advantage of its camera capability.
Although you can opt for the auto mode, the camera has a lot of customisable functions, just like a dSLR to enable you to get creative with your shots. On the top left of the screen, in camera mode, you’ll see an aperture symbol which allows you to control the lens aperture, to suit your liking.
The P10 Plus back camera has a maximum aperture of F1.8 compared to F2.2 in the P10, and you can digitally go up to 0.95, which will give you the ultimate bokeh. Still in camera mode, if you swipe the screen upwards from below just above the shutter icon, you’ll go into the manual mode. With this, you can have total control of the camera shooting functions, such as ISO, shutter speed, exposure, auto-focus and white balance.
And if you swipe the screen to the left, you will have more functions, such as monochrome, HDR, panorama, night shot, light painting, time lapse, slow-mo, and watermark.
These are all features that you would find in a full-fledge dSLR or mirrorless cameras.
Besides that, the Leica front camera includes a new 8MP camera with F/1.9 aperture and an all-new sensor that captures more light.
The Portrait features in front camera for selfies. The camera automatically detects whether a user is taking a selfie or an adaptive selfie with multiple people. If the device detects an adaptive selfie, it switches to wide-angle mode.
I tested the phone camera capability in San Francisco and the Yosemite National Park, California, US recently. The image quality, under bright natural light and low light, is superb. The colours were vibrant and the images came out pleasantly rich in detail.
The phone’s built-in image editing tool allows users to make adjustment to the images, such as brightness, contrast, saturatio, sharpness, highlights and shadows.
The P10 Plus, with its Kirin 960 processor is a smooth operator. The device did not hang during the testing period and could run heavy apps like photo app smoothly.
Its machine learning algorithm also learns users’ behaviours and can anticipate app usage to intelligently allocate and recycle system resources.
Battery usage wise, the 3,750mAh battery in the P10 Plus is enough for average usage, but if you use it for watching videos and recording videos, it may not last the whole day.
In short, the Huawei P10 Plus is a worthy smartphone if you’re looking for one with a good photography capability.
Get the phone at Shopee (www.shopee.com.my) at RM2,799, compared to the RM3,099 suggested retail price.