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Review: Huawei P10

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

The most surprising smartphone of 2017 isn't made by Samsung or by Apple. It's not even the enigmatic Essential Phone or the Pixel 2.

I'm talking about the Huawei P10. This is a 5.1-inch device that's designed along the lines of the iPhone 7 (or iPhone 8). 

It's sized just right for many users and has some exceptional specs including an Octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM and it runs Android 7.0 Nougat smoothly.

Huawei's even managed to include dual-cameras without a camera bump in a body that's 6.98 mm thin.

These are no mere cameras. We have a 20 Megapixel Monochrome camera and a 12 Megapixel RGB with Optical Image Stabilization, dual tone flash, Laser + Depth Auto Focus and 4K video recording.

Huawei co-engineered the cameras and the software with Leica who doesn't lend its red dot of approval lightly. Yet, here we are, a Leica camera in the palm of your hand for a price far less than one would expect.

"Put a portrait studio in your pocket. The new Leica Dual Camera 2.0 uses precise 3D facial detection, dynamic illumination, and natural portrait enhancements to produce stunning artistic portrait shots in Leica image style," Huawei explains.

The cameras are designed to excel in low-light photography. The-front-facing camera will even determine if you're shooting a selfie or a groufie and adjust to wide angle as needed.

I found that the Huawei P10 shoots exceptional photos. I like that it has a dedicated monochrome mode for more dramatic black & white shots plus a wide aperture and portait modes that can create more dramatic and better separated shots including more  noticeable 'bokeh' for protrait shots.

The Huawei P10 works well under most lighting conditions and can excel if you use the Pro settings which simply require a tab to be accessed in order to find different settings and levels.

The Huawei P10 is exquisitely built and can match up nicely to recent Samsung flagships in terms of fit and finish. Huawei has also subscribed to the colour trend, making their phones available in a number of attractive colours.  

Running Android 7.0 with Huawei's own EMUI overlay, performance is rather fast and lag free but there are too many extraneous apps most users will not even use. I also found call quality to be excellent and battery life is outstanding for a device of this size.

What Huawei has decided to include and feature in the P10 is remarkable, given it offers dual cameras and the power and functionality as well as the style points attributed to larger devices. Huawei's been able to do this by using an alternative processor that's not made by Qualcomm. 

The collaboration with Leica isn't just a gimmick, there's merit to the dual camera setup here and while a wider aperture would have been desireable, I am constantly amazed at the pictures I have been able to make with the Huawei P10.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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