Build, Design and Display

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Build, Design and Display

“Organic Minimalism” – That’s what Huawei calls it as a more streamlined design. First ever mass market smartphone from Huawei that has the fingerprint scanner on the front. It was actually first to fit in Mate 9 Porsce design or the Mate 9 Pro.

Well it’s actually more streamlined design as every next smartphone you pick will have a home button below just below the screen. Huawei P10 has one, shaped like a rounded rectangle. It, however, is not something physical but a capacitive touch key with engraved rectangle. When talking like this, you may feel it’s like an iPhone 7’s home button approach? No! it’s just an old touch feedback and it doesn’t click or press like Samsung’s.

Sure I’d have loved if it was something like iPhone 7’s home button with a pressure sensitive feedback system that actually makes you believe you are physically clicking a button, but in real you are not. There are no accompanying capacitive keys on its left or right for going back or to initiate app switcher etc. This home button (not a button though) is all in all with multi-function responsibility to perform those actions with different gestures.

Huawei P10 Home Button
Huawei P10, home button, fingerprint scanner – Photo: KA/TechProlonged

The Design

Huawei P10 is a followup improvement from the predecessors P8 and last year’s Huawei P9. The major change, of course, is the shifting of fingerprint scanner from back to the front. That also brought the multi-purpose home button on the front.

Clearly no objection on Huawei P10’s build quality and the finishing is done up to the mark. Sleek and compact size of the phone is for everyone out there. It’s just too good to hold with its appropriate slim profile and matte finish (the Graphite Black variant that we have here.) while other variants may deliver different feel with respect to their finish. Currently in Pakistan you get only two colors – the one that we have and the other one is Dazzling Gold.

Starting from the back of the phone, Huawei P10’s antenna stripes are going right into the direction of iPhone 7’s. Lining through the sides, they go right through the bottom and top edges on the back. That way, the top bar of antenna stripe goes just around the camera module from top. However, it’s very slim to mixed right into the black shade of the body.

Huawei p10 Dark Front Back
Huawei P10 – Official Render by Huawei

Similarly, the other antenna stripe go through the bottom edge on the back leaving no sign of interruption in between something. That top camera module covering the top fully wide is borrowed form P9 and it actually works to tell how visually appealing the Huawei P10 is – it indeed is a premium design, and build as well. On the front, we have a Gorilla Glass 5 covering the screen top to bottom with 2.5D curved edges.

Some say that Huwaei has been using taking recent iPhone designs for their smartphones which specifically include last year’s Huawei P9 and this P10. Well to be honest, you can tell that now most smartphone have similarities in design. To me, only the antenna stripes on this phone are the ones which go identically with iPhone 7. Huawei P10 has its own key design elements such as the prominent camera module on the back with Leica branding.

Regarding the size, Huawei P10 is good for most in handling. This sandblasted black model with matte finish is obviously great in handling. The build and finish material of a phone does matter in good or bad handling experience. Considering the fact, each model of Huawei P10 may give you different feel but I believe they will be equally good. Don’t take my words for the ceramic white variant.

Huawei P10 Unboxed

Controls and Components

The home button (or the navigation key), as told, is multi function key that works with touch and swipe gestures in addition to taking fingerprints. You can turn off the navigation function for this home key and opt-in for an on-screen navigation like many other devices – detail in software section. The embedded fingerprint scanner under the navigation key is always-on and is extremely fast to act.

 

Parallel to that key and above the screen, on top we have an earpiece, an 8-megapixel camera and few sensors. There’s a small LED light as well for notifications that blinks with appropriate colors representing different kind of events.

On the back as already mentioned, there is an appealing wide module for the dual-camera setup and Leica branding with lens rating and model. In the center, there is dual-LED flash with a laser sensor below for added autofocus functionality in addition to sensor based phase detect autofocus (PDAF). This laser sensor is not visible in this black variant unless lighten up but you can see it in other variants with lighter color on the module. It’s simply similar in design with the P9.

Nothing there on the back else than the Huawei logo in the middle in place of a fingerprint scanner as used to be previously on Huawei devices.

Controls are just there on the right – the volume buttons and an intriguing “red” power key. On the left side of the phone there is SIM/microSD card slot. It’s a hybrid dual-SIM variant which users in Pakistan will get.

Dual-card tray can take “two SIM cards” or “one SIM card and a microSD card” simultaneously.

The phone has everything else on the bottom side – the 3.5mm audio jack, a USB Type-C port and a loud speaker. A mouthpiece (primary mic) is also down there between the audio jack and USB port. The top portion simply hosts a secondary mic for noise cancellation or stereo audio recording.

Even though the Huawei P10 sports a reversible USB Type-C connectivity, it uses the old USB 2.0 protocol. However the the interface works with a customized cable pins for proprietary fast charging (Huawei Super Charge.) This USB Type-C cable is also compatible with standard Type-C interfaces and can work with other USB Type-C devices.

The Display

On technical notes, Huawei P10’s 5.1-inch screen features an IPS-NEO LCD display which is manufactured by Japan Display Inc (aka JDI). It’s referred to be better than simple IPS displays serving with deeper blacks but not as much as an AMOLED display. Unlike most resent flagships by other manufacturers serving at Quad HD resolution, Huawei P10 still carries a 1080p display that delivers at the pixel density of 432ppi. Well that’s no doubt, more than enough for sharper content on the screen and most people won’t even bother to have more than this. Huawei reserves that higher resolution display for the larger P10 Plus variant.

Huawei P10 Display Under Bright Sunlight
Huawei P10 display under bright sunlight with shadows – Photo: KA/TechProlonged

Surprisingly, Huawei P10 comes with a screen protector pre-installed out-of-the-box. It’s not the temporary plastic film we are talking about – it’s an actual finished screen protector that you could normally use after buying separately or the one that usually ship in a retail box. But this specific phone has it installed on the screen right away.

The phone hover has a Gorilla Glass 5 protection for scratch resistance. It’s 2.5D curved on edges. A pre-installed screen protector film may lead some to decide to or not to remove the protector as the experience with that Gorilla Glass is way smoother than a screen protector on it.

Huawei P10 display under bright sunlight with shadows and highlights – Photo: KA/TechProlonged

Display quality, on the other hand, is also too good to have in dark or bright conditions. Company rates the phone to have brightness of up to 600 nits at 100% brightness. The screen performs better with black colors as well. But it’s reflective as well, however enough to beat the bright light outdoors.

Practically, I needed the maximum brightness levels on Huawei P10 only when outdoors under bright lighting conditions. When Indoors I normally used the phone at auto brightness in most of the times. But there were times when I found the auto level too bright to look at and I had to manually adjust the brightness to some lower level.

Huawei P10 Review
Build & Design 9
Battery & Performance 8
Camera Primary/Secondary 9
Software / OS 8.5
Features 7.5
Summary
Huawei P10 is a nicely built smartphone with sleek design and brilliant camera. It makes itself a good option to choose.
8.4
Audience Acquirable
User Rating 1.9 ( 1 votes)
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