Of all the dual camera setups I tried from last year, I’ll have to admit that I liked the approach Huawei took the most. The combination of the monochrome and color sensor that I first tried on the Huawei Mate 9 produces stunning, artistic photos. I was thus very much looking forward to the next version of this technology and Huawei has introduced that with the P10 Plus that went on sale in the UAE last week.
This won’t be a comprehensive review of the P10 Plus because it is similar to the Huawei P10 in many regards, which I have already reviewed. However, I will touch on aspects that are different on these two phones. Let’s start with the design where the P10 Plus is, simply put, a bigger version of the P10. It has the same rounded corners and buttons/connectors and is available in the same finish and colors. While I tested the matte black version of the P10, I received the Gold version of the P10 Plus for review which has the hyper diamond-cut finishing on the back. I’ll say that I prefer the matte black version- both in terms of color and texture, however, this will come down to your personal preference so I recommend having a play with both the finishes at a store.
The Huawei P10 Plus measures 153.5 x 74.2 which is right in line with the rest of the phones with a screen size of 5.5-inches. However, LG and Samsung are now shipping devices with bigger screens in smaller form factors and I think Huawei should be looking at a redesign for their new flagships moving forward. Like the P10, you have a fingerprint sensor below the screen that also acts as a home button. On top, the P10 Plus has an iR sensor that was not present on the P10 so if you want a phone to control devices such as TVs and Air Conditioners, the P10 Plus has an advantage. Another advantage of the P10 Plus is that it’s “Splash resistant” meaning it can survive a bit of rain and water, though it’s not IP68 certified like some competing phones.
The P10 Plus has a larger 5.5-inch screen with a higher Quad HD resolution though Huawei is using the same IPS-NEO LCD panel with Gorilla Glass 5 like the P10. Like all Huawei phones I’ve tested, the display is decent with colors that pop and an aggressive auto-brightness setting that likes to lower the backlight more than I like. The larger body on the P10 Plus allows Huawei to pack a bigger battery which has a capacity of 3750 mAh. Even on the most exhausting days, I was never running low on battery on the P10 Plus- it will easily get you by one day. If you’re a more casual user, you could potentially have the phone last you the second day as well.
The biggest differentiation between the P10 and the P10 Plus is the upgraded camera setup. Although you find the same dual 12MP and 20MP color and monochrome sensors, with the P10 Plus, Huawei is using a new high-class SUMMILUX-H Leica lenses and a 4-in-1 Hybrid Autofocus system with a larger F/1.8 aperture to capture more light in low-light situations. Technically, and with a right pair of hands, you should be able to get better shots from the P10 Plus than any other Huawei phone.
To test the camera performance, we have compared the P10 and the P10 Plus in Auto mode, Aperture mode, Night mode, and Pro manual mode. The Huawei P10 sample will be the one on the left and the P10 Plus on the right.
In our first sample below, both the smartphones produced stunning results on Auto mode with vivid colors. But if you look closely, the background blur is better from the P10 Plus, because of its f1.8 aperture. Interestingly, the auto mode on both the smartphones selected different shutter speeds, mostly due to the fact that both the devices do not have the same optical aperture. For 16:9 aspect ratio, the smartphones only allow 9MP as the maximum resolution.
From the green grass sample image below, the Auto modes on both the smartphones used the same shutter speed 1/100s, but with slightly different ISO’s (ISO 80 for the P10 and ISO 64 for P10 Plus). The result is that the P10 Plus looks slightly brighter in the background. Once again, the f1.8 aperture plays a big role here.
Next, we tried out the Pro manual mode and choose shutter speed as 1/125s and ISO 50 with 9MP as the resolution on both the smartphones. From what we can see from the image below, the P10 Plus sample definitely looks brighter in the background leaves that surround the flower and the blur is slightly better. We have no doubt that the f1.8 aperture does its job.
The orange flower sample below is another Pro manual mode with the same shutter speed and ISO settings. The P10 Plus is unmistakably brighter because of the f1.8 aperture. This scene was shot with 20MP resolution at 4:3 aspect ratio. We also noticed that the background blur is cleaner on the P10 Plus sample.
The sample shot of the Dubai Canal below is shot in Auto mode. While both the smartphones produced good night results, the Huawei P10 Plus is slightly cleaner and less noise. The auto mode on the Huawei P10 chose a slightly higher ISO than the Huawei P10 Plus.
We also tested the night mode of the Dubai Canal sample below. The night mode used the same Shutter speed 9.0s, ISO 100 and 12MP resolution. Here, both the smartphones look almost the same.
Finally, we tried the Aperture mode in the image below. While the shutter speed and ISO are selected by the Aperture mode itself, but we changed the aperture to f1.2. The sample from the Huawei P10 Plus is slightly brighter than the Huawei P10.
To see larger versions of the pictures above, please click on the gallery below.
Results from both the cameras on the P10 and P10 Plus are stunning, however, the P10 Plus takes an edge. That being said, for anyone that does not consider themselves a photography enthusiast, the difference between the two phones in auto mode is negligible. Deciding between the two phones comes down more to the size of the screen and device, the battery life and the pricing.
Huawei has priced the P10 at AED 1899 for a 64GB version while the P10 Plus comes at AED 2599 for a 128GB version with 6GB RAM. With the P10 Plus you're also getting an iR sensor and a bit of water resistance. Deciding between them purely comes down to a personal preference.