What’s better than the Huawei P10? Depending on who you ask, they might say “a bigger P10” and wouldn’t you know it: Huawei has announced the P10 Plus.
The larger sibling borrows the same, cohesive design and stretches it a bit further in the palm, treating your eyes to a 5.5-inch QHD display that certainly looks improved over the smaller P10’s 1080p screen.
Additionally, Huawei has increased the battery capacity, and the extra space affords some optional upgrades, like a boost in storage space and RAM count.
On the downside, Huawei shared that neither the P10 Plus or the P10 will hit US shelves, but is it a good option for everyone else?
The design certainly hints to something good, as does the brilliant QHD display. However, we’ll hold judgment until we get to spend more time with the device.
On first glance, the Huawei P10 Plus looks like many smartphones that have come before. But when it’s in the hand, there are certainly more than a few unique touches here to appreciate.
Like the P10, the P10 Plus will arrive in a variety of colors and finish styles in partnership with Pantone. No matter which you decide is your favorite, each of them possess the same solid craftsmanship and premium feel.
Despite its larger size, the phone rests smoothly in the hand and doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch to hold one-handed. But perhaps my favorite design trait is that its metal back transitions almost seamlessly into its no-bump glass-covered dual camera system.
Huawei usually sticks its fingerprint sensors on the back of its phones, but this time you’ll find it right on the front like so many other brands do. However, it has added its own unique effect in the form of quick navigation via the fingerprint sensor.
In addition to using the traditional on-screen nav buttons, you can press and hold to return home, slide your finger to the right to show recent apps and slide to the left to return to the previous screen.
The phone rocks a smooth chamfered edge all the way around and contains all the necessities: easy to press buttons, a USB-C port and 3.5mm jack. Although it only features a single bottom-facing speakers, it sounded serviceable amidst the flurry of noise present at MWC 2017.
It’s difficult to tell how capable a phone is based solely on a first impression. Huawei’s updated EMUI 5.1 feels smooth and responsive when doing general tasks. But thankfully, the specifications do a fairly good job at filling in the blanks.
The P10 Plus contains the Kirin 960 - the same chipset that appears in the P10. Yes, that’s the same one you’ll find in the Huawei P9 and Huawei Mate 9.
I can’t think of any other manufacturer that sticks with the same chipset across two or even three generations of its flagship devices. Frankly, it’s puzzling to see Huawei expecting to attract more fans to its brand when it refuses to advance its own tech.
That being said, Huawei does implement some optimization methods that we don’t see being toted around by other manufacturers. It offers memory optimization that will learn from your usage behavior and delegate RAM where it’s needed most. though during our early impression, we couldn’t tell a difference.
Additionally, it will also feature a memory compression algorithm that will, you guessed it, condense items that you don’t use often into a smaller size so that you can get more use out of your storage space.
If you’re interested in snagging Huawei’s latest plus-sized phone? Unlike the P10, the P10 Plus will be available in multiple configurations: 4GB RAM with 128GB of storage and 6GB RAM with 128GB variations.
Stellar design is clearly top of mind for the P10 Plus and it shows. And while we enjoy multiple color options and a diamond cut finish as much as the next, it’s hard to see much beneath the surface of this phone.
The reused internals, the lack of US availability and the high price point are all confusing aspects of a phone that should be striving to squash these concerns on a first impression.
But Huawei’s plus-sized P10 still has a chance to impress us yet. Stay tuned for the full review to see whether the whole package comes together into something worth recommending.