The dual-sensor Leica-branded camera will be a huge selling point for many people considering the P10 as their next smartphone, and it's definitely a step forward compared to the P9. Nonetheless, it's still not perfect.
The dual camera setup is, essentially, a system that uses a 20MP monochromatic sensor (to capture the black and white elements of a shot) and a 10MP RGB sensor. The end result is an image that's a composite of the two sensors, in theory, bringing the best of both sensors to the final shot.
Like many high-end smartphones, if you give the Huawei P10 bright, sunny conditions outdoors, or well-lit indoor shots, you'll be pleased with the results on the default automatic settings. Bring it indoors or try to take shots at night, however, and you'll be closer to disappointed, with the results becoming granier the darker you go.
The P10 has a slightly wider angle lens than the P9, therefore allowing more light into each shot, but it hasn't seemed to really help with the low-light performance. It's a system that genuinely benefits it if you have sufficient light, but doesn't seem to when you don't. The outcome is a camera setup that's not best in class, but perhaps that's acceptable with the reduced cost in comparison to ultra-premium handsets like the Galaxy S8.
If you like poring through multitudes of camera settings in manual mode on bright, sunny days (only) and photos high in ‘bokeh' then you'll probably find it ideal, but as an ‘any time, any situation camera' it's going to let you down eventually.
Those same bokeh effect skills arguably come into more use on the forward-facing camera, along with some ‘beauty' features added to the camera settings. It's not always the most convincing of effects, but it does make the classic ‘bokeh' look easy to achieve.
One thing the camera does do consistently well at (providing you have enough light, still) is making the colours in the shots really pop. In some of the demo shots, you can see that the colours leap out, even if the autofocus doesn't do so well on the macro of flowers, choosing to focus right on the middle, rather than on those in the foreground.
Price and verdict
The Huawei P10 is available on contract from all major UK networks, with varying monthly commitments depending on the up-front cost. Most are around £40 a month and up though. If a SIM-free option is more up your street, you can buy the phone outright via Amazon for around £450 currently, though electrical retailer Clove is still selling it at the higher £550 launch figure.
For £450, in comparison to the £700 price point of the S8 or even the £650 RRP of the LG G6, the Huawei is a relative bargain for anyone wanting a premium device from a big name company without breaking the bank.
However, handsets made by smaller manufacturers like OnePlus also occupy a similar space in terms of aiming to deliver value for money, and do so without the arguably irritating EMUI interface.
Who it should appeal to, however, is anyone that doesn't really approve of the trend of large screens. 5.1in is by no means small, but it feels it relative to its super-size rivals or the larger P10 Plus model, helped along by its sub-7mm thickness. As a personal preference, the software isn't my favourite, though it's worth noting that the few visual tweaks Huawei's made to EMUI do help it along a little and it's much-improved over the EMUI of a year or two ago.
If you're a Huawei fan, you're going to be sold on the P10 (or P10 Plus, which also bumps up other specs) without too much consideration. It's slim, light and the best P-series device to date. For its current price point, rather than its RRP, the phone has enough going for it to make you seriously consider handing over the cash, but exactly where you draw the line of value versus price varies for everyone. You're unlikely to be disappointed by the P10 though, as long as you buy it knowing its low-light camera and battery shortcomings.
Great design, decent display, good price.
Custom software, low-light camera performance, battery life.