Huawei P10 Plus Review

June 12, 2017 | Amy Davies |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

In good light, the Huawei P10 Plus is capable of taking some lovely pictures - and for those who are looking for a phone specifically for its camera capability should be pleased in this respect. However, once again extremely bold claims are being made regarding just how good the phone is - and it’s difficult to live up to that.

At low sensitivities, image quality is great, but as we’ve seen before, once you start moving into lower light territory and having to use mid-range ISOs like ISO 400, images become smudgier, especially if you examine them closely. Of course it’s likely that the average smartphone user will only view images at quite small sizes on the screen of the phone, in which case, this problem shouldn’t bother you too much. The overall impression of detail at small sizes is fine right up to ISO 3200.

The universal DNG raw format is employed if you switch that capability on. Here you can see that there’s quite a bit of image smoothing applied to JPEG images, giving you the option of clawing back any lost detail should you feel its necessary in post-production. Again, this is probably not something that most average users will do, especially given that raw format shooting is hidden away in Pro mode.

When it comes to general image quality, colours are well saturated and vibrant, displaying a nice amount of warmth. The Huawei P10 Plus' camera copes well with artificial light sources when shooting in automatic white balance to produce colours which are roughly accurate. All-purpose metering does well to get balanced exposures in the majority of conditions.

The shallow depth of field effect is, once again, hit and miss. On some photos it works really well and it’s a pleasing and subtle effect which recreates using a DSLR - especially if you don’t scrutinise it too closely. But other images look very fake and strange, even when viewed at small sizes. The answer here is to use it sparingly, and get to learn when it might work well and when it won’t - and don’t be disappointed when it doesn’t quite look right.

Noise

The Huawei P10 Plus has 7 manually-selectable ISO sensitivity settings available at full resolution, ranging between ISO 50 and ISO 3200.

JPEG RAW

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso50.jpg iso50raw.jpg
   

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

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ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

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ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

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ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

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ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

Focal Range

The Huawei P10 Plus's fixed focal length lens is equivalent to 29mm in 35mm camera terms. Digital zoom is available, but with a corresponding reduction in image sharpness.

29mm

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2x Hybrid Zoom

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Macro

The Huawei P10 Plus able to focus as close as 5cm from a subject. We found this claim to be accurate, though autofocusing does occasionally struggle to lock on at this kind of range.

Macro

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Flash

The Huawei P10 Plus uses a twin-ED flash, and as usual for this technology, it gives a weaker flash burst than a standard xenon camera flash.

Flash On

 

Flash Red-eye Reduction

 

Night

Thanks to the optical image stabilisation and a wide f/1.8 maximum aperture, the Huawei P10 Plus performs fairly well at night. This image was taken at the camera's iso 50 sensitivity at a shutter speed of 32 seconds, and though there's some noise and detail smoothing, the result is still comparable to what a typical compact camera would produce.

Night

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Effects

The Huawei P10 Plus's camera app includes eight filter effects, but this being a smartphone, extra effects are only an app away.

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filter7-valencia.jpg filter1-ND.jpg
   
filter8-halo.jpg  

Panorama

The Huawei P10 Plus's automatic sweep panorama mode works well and lets you stop panning at will. The results aren't always perfect, but ghosting is rare. Unlike most regular camera panorama modes which produce significantly downsized images, the Huawei P10 Plus has enough processing power to capture at high resolutions, so panoramas are usually around 3000 vertical pixels.

panorama.jpg