When Huawei passed me its new P10 Plus for a review, they confidently told me, “We have a lot of faith in the phone’s camera and we are sure it will match up or even surpass the flagship phones from the other competitors.”
Now, to understand why this is a big deal coming from Huawei, you have to understand the Chinese company’s historical reticence. Each time it released a new model, the press release would be full of technical specifications and numbers indicating the performance upgrades. But it would never contain any bravado or boasts about its functions. Until now.
The Huawei P10 Plus is significantly more improved than its predecessor, the Huawei P9 Plus. The software is streamlined and a lot easier to use. The fingerprint sensor has been moved back to the front although for the first few days of use, I repeatedly pressed it thinking it was the button to return to the home screen. The Huawei P10 Plus also has a crazily fast processor and I’m not being hyperbolic. Open an app and less than 10 seconds later (on average), you’re inside. Perhaps after extended usage, the Huawei P10 Plus might slow down but Huawei told me that its intelligent machine learning algorithm combined with its Huawei Ultra Memory will ensure that that won’t happen.
Finally, the pièce de résistance of the Huawei P10 Plus – the camera co-developed with Leica. Armed with the Huawei P10 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, I spent a few hours shooting around Singapore in different conditions. These are the results on each phone, sans editing.
In low light situations, the Huawei P10 Plus is slightly more accurate in colour reproduction compared to the iPhone 7 Plus.
This is purely a preferential choice. Both smartphones do well in good lighting although the Huawei P10 Plus emphasises on brightness while the iPhone 7 Plus goes for a darker aesthetic.
This is where the Huawei P10 Plus shines. The Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus is already quite decent but the Huawei P10 Plus blows it out of the water. The subject pops out a lot more and the depth of field is stunning.
Pretty even between the Huawei P10 Plus and the iPhone 7 Plus although the sharpness is slightly better on the Huawei P10 Plus. The S7 Edge can’t deal with very dark (left of photo) and very bright (right of photo) spots in one place well though.
When it comes to uneven harsh lighting conditions with different focal points, the Huawei P10 Plus comes up short to the iPhone 7 Plus and the S7 Edge. The details in the foreground (the trees) get lost once it focuses on the clouds and lighting becomes a balancing act.
In overcast conditions, the S7 Edge is the clear winner. Look at the detail in the rainbow and that amazing blue sky.
The Huawei P10 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus are neck and neck in the lead, with all the nitty gritty and the scuffed edges still appearing despite the terrible lighting and dark conditions.
The Winner Is…
In our opinion, the Huawei P10 Plus manages to snatch the crown right under the noses of the iPhone 7 Plus due to the visually pleasing Portrait mode and more accurate colour reproduction. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone with a really good camera, you should seriously consider the Huawei P10 Plus. We were pleasantly surprised by the performance.
The Huawei P10 Plus (Dazzling Gold and Graphite Black) is available for sale at M1, Singtel, StarHub and all major electronic retail outlets from 15 April 2017 onward at S$998.