The Huawei P10.
Sample picture taken with Huawei P10.
Sample picture taken with Huawei P10.
Sample picture taken with Huawei P10.

Picture-perfect smartphone

Taking pictures with the Huawei P10 is just so much fun, writes Izwan Ismail.

THE Huawei P10 is the company's latest high-end smartphone, with a continued emphasis on design and photography.

The successful partnership with Leica in its previous P9 series with dual camera capabilities has catapulted the Chinese phone maker into the upper tier of the smartphone market.

Is the P10 as impressive as its predecessors?

FIRST IMPRESSION
The P10 is a looker: All sleek and slim. Its aesthetics and design have been improved, with more rounded corners and fine edges from the previous P9 which is more angular.

At 6.98mm, it's comfortable to hold in the hand.

The P10 is slightly small at just 5.1 inches, compared to 5.5 inches for the Plus version,

The P Series’ dual camera window is flush with the back of the device.

To ensure the phone can withstand rough use, the screen is made of Corning Gorilla 5 Glass, including its narrow bezel edges.

The fingerprint scanner has been moved to the front bezel, under one continuous pane of glass.

The sensor replaces the navigation bar, making the screen view bigger, while also making smart touch navigation gestures faster and more ergonomic.

You can also unlock the phone with the fingerprint scanner.

IMAGING
Following the success of the P9, the P10 comes with the rear dual-camera set-up and Leica front camera to enable consumers to explore the full range of portrait photography.

The dual cameras come with a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor, a 12-megapixel RGB sensor and enhanced fusion algorithms.

This combination allows the new P Series to deliver reliable technical and artistic photography features on a smartphone.

The portrait features include 3D facial detection technology that leverages 190 detailed identification nodes for quicker and more accurate feature recognition.

Facial detection is the foundation of Huawei’s dynamic illumination and portrait enhancement features.

The company has done extensive research on this and a smart imaging algorithm was created to apply studio-like re-lighting and beautifying effects for nicer portraits.

Using the new depth-of-field algorithm, a natural bokeh effect creates sharper, clearer and more vivid colours in the foreground, while the background remains elegantly blurred.

The natural bokeh effect is available in RGB and monochrome modes, and can be refocused after the image is taken.

CAMERA USAGE

If you have some knowledge about photography, you can really take advantage of its camera capability.

Although you can just opt for the auto mode, the camera has many customisable functions, just like a dSLR, for you to get creative with your shots.

On the top left of the screen, in camera mode, you will see an aperture symbol which allows you to control the aperture of the lens, based on your liking.

Although the back camera has a maximum aperture of F2.2, you can digitally go up to 0.95, which will give you the ultimate bokeh.

Still in camera mode, if you swipe the screen upwards from below just above the shutter icon, you'll go into the manual mode, to give you total control of the camera's shooting functions, such as ISO, shutter speed, exposure, auto-focus and white balance.

And if you swipe the screen to the left, you have more functions to play with, such as monochrome, HDR, panorama, night shot, light painting, time lapse, slow-mo and watermark.

These are all features that you would find in a full-fledge dSLR or mirrorless cameras.

Besides that, the Leica front camera includes a new F/1.9 aperture and an all-new sensor that can capture more light.

The Portrait features are also available with the eight-megapixel front camera for selfies.

The camera can automatically detects whether a user is taking a selfie or an adaptive selfie with multiple people. If the device detects an adaptive selfie, it switches to wide-angle mode.

RESULT
After testing the phone camera, I can say the Huawei P10 has very reliable cameras, both back and front.

The camera locks onto subjects easily and produces beautiful results, even in low-light conditions.

The bokeh effect is smooth and is on par, if not better, than a dSLR.

PERFORMANCE
The P10 takes smartphone efficiency and customisation a step further, thanks to the powerful Kirin 960 processor and the all-new EMUI 5.1.

Kirin 960 is Huawei’s latest high-performance SoC chipset. The CPU delivers the best multicore performance among all SoCs, and the GPU boasts a 180 per cent improvement in performance as well as a 40 per cent increase in power efficiency.

Building on the revolutionary EMUI 5.0, EMUI 5.1 goes a step further with UX improvements, performance optimisation and several new features.

Specifically, the machine learning algorithm learns users’ behaviours and can anticipate app usage to intelligently allocate and recycle system resources.

With 3,200 and 3,750 mAh batteries, the P10 supports Huawei SuperCharge technology.

You'll be surprised at how fast the phone recharges.

The low-voltage, low-temperature fast-charging solution comes with a super safe 5-gate protection mechanism, which offers real-time voltage, current and temperature monitoring to make charging not only fast but safe.

CONCLUSION

At RM2,499, the phone is in the upper medium range category. With nice design, useful specs and great camera functions, it is money well-spent.

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