Huawei guns for Apple with new P10 and P10 Plus smartphones

27 Feb 2017

Image: John Kennedy

Huawei doesn’t care about Samsung – it is intent on taking on Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus with its new P10 and P10 Plus devices.

Huawei’s P10 and P10 Plus have launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and the Chinese telecoms equipment giant pulled no stops.

The new flagship phones will retail at €649 for the P10, which has a 5.1in display, and €699 for the P10 Plus, which will have a 5.5in display.

The company revealed that the new devices will launch in most markets around the world next month.

While Ireland wasn’t initially mentioned in the first wave of releases, Huawei Ireland personnel confirmed that it will be available for pre-order in March with a gift pack including charging packs and selfie sticks ahead of its arrival in April.

Huawei also launched Watch 2, which will come in two models: Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic. The 4G version of Watch 2 will cost €379, a Bluetooth version will cost €329, and the Classic model will cost €399.

Huawei's new 4G Watch 2

Huawei’s new 4G Watch 2. Image: John Kennedy

With its new smartphones, Huawei intends to capitalise on the success it enjoyed with the P9 in 2016.

The specs are impressive: the P10 comes with 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage, with expandable memory of up to 256GB; the P10 Plus has 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and 256GB of expandable memory, with MicroSD slots and dual SIM slots.

The battery capability is almost double that of the iPhone 7, with a 3,200mAh battery on the P10 and 3,750mAh for the P10 Plus.

The main way in which Huawei intends to differentiate itself from the competition is through the Leica-branded dual camera system. Both phones have a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor, as well as a 12-megapixel sensor for colours.

This, Huawei claims, will enable it to compete against the iPhone 7 Plus, especially in its new portrait mode.

More colours than the rainbow

Huawei guns for Apple with new P10 and P10 Plus smartphones

Huawei guns for Apple with new P10 and P10 Plus smartphones. Image: John Kennedy

Speaking of colours, Samsung has teamed up with the Pantone Institute to create two brand new colours for its devices: dazzling blue and greenery. The other colours include rose gold, graphite black, prestige gold and mystic silver.

The devices are just 6.98mm thick and have Gorilla Glass 5 panelling with almost no bezel to the sides.

Of course, the key here isn’t the colours of the devices, but the guts and the camera. The devices are capable of shooting in 4K video and, thanks to a H.265 codec, videos can be compressed by 50pc.

Huawei guns for Apple with new P10 and P10 Plus smartphones

Huawei’s new P10 smartphone. Image: John Kennedy

Unlike the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the camera is flush to the device and doesn’t jut out.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group said the idea behind the new phones is to enable users to take more professional photos, providing SLR-like settings, and modes for night-time and daytime photography.

The portrait mode also has a precise 3D facial detection feature that captures every detail and is designed to ideally produce the best portrait shot in any environment.

Huawei has added some interesting new features, such as a smart touch sensor that lets you navigate using your finger muscles on the sensor.

The device features Android 7.0 and runs on a Huawei Kirin 960 quad-core processor.

Huawei also launched accessories for the new P10 line-up, including leather covers and a specially designed pouch for the P10 Plus.

Huawei guns for Apple with new P10 and P10 Plus smartphones

Huawei P10 Plus pouch. Image: John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years