Face off – Huawei P10 Plus and the P10

Yesterday we took a look at the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus and yes, those are the “hot” phones at the moment. You’ll no doubt see the S8 advertised no TV, on billboards and pretty much everywhere else.

Huawei P10

However, I have a certain love for the Huawei P10. I’ve had one on loan just can’t let go of the thing. I showed off the camera, which continually takes amazing shots, and I’m continually finding small but very important improvements with it. I love the control system, which turns that fingerprint sensor on the front into a navigation pad. I love the build quality, the simplicity and the fact that it’s still remembered to be a solid, powerful, useful, easy-to-use.. phone.

The P10 has a 5.1″ screen though, and to many that seems a little small.

It’s not, not really, but in a world of 5.5″ screens the mere mention of a 5.1″ panel seems like you’re getting short-changed.

So, as Yoda in Star Wars would say, there’ is another.

Huawei P10 Plus

Yes, like the S8 and the S8+, there’s a Huawei P10 and a P10 Plus.

The differences? Well, the P10 measures in at 145.3 x 69.3 x 7 mm and weighs in at 145 g. That 5.1″ screen is 1080 x 1920 pixels at 432 ppi pixel density. Put the two phones together and, if you choose to turn on the capacitive buttons and on-screen navigation controls on the P10 Plus but not on the P10, you find that the depth of the screens is exactly the same.

The P10 (left) has the navigation keys disabled whilst the P10 Plus (right) has them enabled in this shot.

The P10 Plus on the other hand is still 7 mm thick but is wider and taller at 153.5 x 74.2 mm. It’s 20 g heavier at 165 g and that screen is 5.5″ at 1440 x 2560 pixels and 540 ppi. So, a higher resolution screen which is bigger too.

Price-wise, the P10 is £549 while the P10 Plus is £649, but I should point to Vodafone at this point, as they loaned the P10 Plus we’ve got here (have a look at the Voda product listing for more detail).

Oh and I should mention that the P10 Plus, despite the larger frame, is still lighter, thinner and shorter than the Apple iPhone 7 Plus.

Both handsets have similar 20 megapixel cameras, but the P10 has an f/2.2 shooter whilst the P10 Plus seems to have f/1.8. Huawei describes this as the “Leica dual-camera 2.0 Pro edition”. Which means that it gets a higher quality Summilux-H lens and better quality images, especially in low-light or close-up images. For me though, the camera on the regular P10 is so good already that I’d be hard pushed to see much of an improvement.

The front camera on both handsets is 8 megapixels, but the P10 Plus gets an auto-focus, whereas the P10 is fixed focus.

Other changes include the battery – a 3200 mAh unit in the P10 and a 3750 mAh in the P10 Plus. Also the memory and storage, with the P10 having 4GB RAM and 64GB storage on-board and the P10 Plus getting 6GB RAM and a whopping 128GB of storage before you even think about needing a storage card.

Other than that, both handsets are pretty similar. There’s Android 7.0 Nougat combined with the Huawei EMUI 5.1 GUI and the same strong, classy and solid build quality. However, the P10 Plus definitely edges it thanks to the additional memory, storage capacity, slightly better camera and bigger, higher resolution screen.

Trouble is, you’ve got to decide on which size suits you. The 5.5″ screen sits on a slim frame with a relatively minimal bezel, and if you choose to hide those capacitive buttons and use the control system on the fingerprint sensor, you get even more real estate from your buck.

What you have to think about, in addition to the most suitable size (the P10 is a one-hander, the P10 Plus isn’t) is the price difference between those heavily-promoted Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices. At the moment, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is £689 but has a 5.8″ screen. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is £779 and has a 6.2″ screen. Meanwhile, the Huawei P10 is £549 with its 5.1″ screen and the P10 Plus is £649 for the 5.5″ display.

Decisions, decisions.. it’s still the Huawei P10 for me, even without that bigger, curvier Galaxy S8 screen.