I don’t normally write reviews. Not because I’m lazy, but because I am an extremely picky consumer of technology. Very few products I receive to review for my #techradio podcast send me over the moon and I don’t like to waste time on negative reviews.
I have to admit also, that I have a relationship with my phones. The phone I use every day needs to seamlessly fit my needs. I am also a loyal customer. I stuck with the same brand of Android phone for several iterations. They suited me just fine. But last year I was given a Huawei P9 phone to try out. I fell in love with the phone. It’s sleek, fast and sexy. The Huawei P series reflects a special style and elegance for those with discriminating taste.. It's a piece of technology that was easy to fall in love with.
Huawei invited me to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and asked me to write an honest review their newest flagship phone, the P10. (They must have known that I'd love the phone). So when I brought it to my hotel room, and first opened the package, I could feel I had a piece of elegant equipment in my hands. The back of the phone has a diamond cut pattern that makes the phone considerably more graspable and the front is smooth and sleek with no home button. The fingerprint sensor on the front (not the back) also works as a navigation button that handles the three tasks Android users used the buttons for in the past.
The screen is a stunning 5.1 inch, HD 1080 x 1920 display with 443 ppi and is covered in Gorilla Glass 5. It renders gorgeous colors. Its incredibly flexible by having dual sim support too.
Prior to going to the conference in Barcelona, I asked the Twitter community, and ran a poll, to find out which features were most important to them when purchasing a new smartphone. I was honestly surprised by the results.
The most important feature to the audience was memory and processor speed. Twitter comments revealed that people want a snappy intuitive interface that seamlessly responds with no lag time. Next was charging, fast charging. Leaving a phone plugged in on the bedside isn’t the preferred option anymore. People want to plug in and recharge while eating lunch. Camera was next, but many felt the cameras on their phones were just fine. I kept this in mind as I examined and tested out the Huawei P10.
Memory and processor speed
Here, the phone exceeded all expectations. If I thought the P9 was fast, the P10 almost seemed to have a lightning response. The phone ships with Huawei’s own HiSilicon Kirin 960, octa-core (4x 2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 4x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53) processor with 4 GB of ram. According to Huawei, the graphics processing unit on this SoC (system on a chip) “boasts a 180 percent improvement in performance and a 40 percent increase in power efficiency.” This, combined with Smart Memory and the newly updated EMUI 5.1 skin, allows the phone to soar..
Smart Memory is Huawei’s new machine learning algorithm that learns how a user uses their phone. Once patterns have been established over time, the machine anticipates app usage and manages RAM based on the learned results. This enables apps to load faster and makes multitasking smoother and easier. The memory is dynamic and allocates to high priority apps first. It also has active run time RAM defragmentation. If you've ever had your computer hard drive get slower and slower, its because you needed to defrag your hard drive. The storage in your phone works similarly and this feature will allow your phone to remain fast and fresh as the first day you fired it up.
The EMUI (emotion user interface) is placed atop the latest operating system from Android, Nougat 7.0. The EMUI reinforces Huawei’s commitment to user-centric design philosophy, “Design with Empathy.”
Interesting features of the UI are a more intensive calendar, split screen view and the capability to run multiple installations of the same app at once. Multiple versions of an app are a real lifesaver if you need (or want) to switch simultaneously from one account to another.
Battery and charging
Standard on this phone is a hefty 3,200 mAh battery that outpaces the iPhone 7 (1960 mAH) and even the S7 (3000 mAH). It's the battery we've all been waiting for. The phone runs Huawei SuperCharge technology that recharges the phone in 30 minutes (your usage may vary, but not by much). Fully charged, the phone delivers about a day and a half use.
There’s a safety factor at work here too. SuperCharge technology is low voltage and low temperature. The fast charging solution offers real-time voltage, current and temperature monitoring to make charging not only fast but safe.
Considering that you can top-up your battery safely and quickly, there’s no more fear of a dreaded red battery notice at the top of your phone.
A magical camera
The Huawei P9 had the first dual lens Leica photo system that took amazing pictures and easily added professional style effects. I thought it impossible, but the P10 improves on its predecessor. The camera is flush with the back of the phone and both the front (8 megapixel) and the back (one 20 megapixel monochrome and a 12 megapixel color) cameras have new cutting edge features.
Although you can take monochrome pictures easily, the point of the mono lens is to help the camera focus in low light and it does a great job at this. I’m an infamously crappy photographer, but even I can get pro style images.
The innovative selfie “portrait mode” features 3D facial recognition and skin tone enhancement. The front camera has a f1.9 aperture as well as a new sensor with 2x brightness. In effect, these technologies will allow you to take your own professional style headshots with every click.
You’ll find all the features of the Leica partnership with elegant bokeh effects, dynamic illumination, laser focus, optical image stabilization and hybrid zoom. The cameras alone are almost worth getting the phone for!
Colors and accessories
You’re no longer held to black, white and silver. Huawei offers a virtual rainbow of case colors: Dazzling Blue and Dazzling Gold. Greenery, Rose Gold, Mystic Silver, Graphite Black and Prestige Gold come in a sandblast finish, and there’s also a high gloss Ceramic White.
Choices for accessories abound with an entire range of cases to suit any style or fashion. There’s even a leather Leica branded case for a very elegant touch.
The phone will not be sold through carriers in the United States, so how to get your hands on one will be a big question. Previous Huawei smartphones like the P9 and the Mate 9 were available on Amazon. We’ll just have to wait and see.
For now, I can assure you that once you use a Huawei P10, it will spoil you and your old phone will become a relic of the past.
FTC disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I only work with and showcase products, events and/or companies I believe my readers will benefit from. I am not employed by Huawei. All thoughts and viewpoints are mine. This is disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.