Final Words

The P10 and P10 Plus are fast. At least they are when using LPDDR4 RAM and UFS 2.0 NAND like both of our review units. It would have been nice to receive a unit with a different memory type (assuming Huawei is actually shipping units with slower hardware) to explore the performance impact, but that’s outside our control.

In both objective and subjective testing, the P10s produced mostly positive results. Apps launch and run quickly, Huawei’s EMUI remains fluid and responsive, and switching between apps is a breeze. The only area where the P10s showed some inconsistency was when running the browser JavaScript tests, where they were slower than the older P9 in 2 of the 3 tests. The differences were not huge, however, and I do not see this being an issue. In all of our other testing, notably PCMark, the P10s were as fast as the Mate 9 and a little faster than the P9.

The P10s’ bigger GPU gives peak performance a huge boost relative to the P9 and makes it competitive at least with the Adreno 530 in Snapdragon 820. Unfortunately, the GPU’s power efficiency is poor, which is exacerbated by its absurd 1037MHz peak operating point that serves no purpose other than to boost benchmark scores. The good news is that the P10 supports all of the latest 3D graphics APIs and its sustained performance is on par with other flagships with 1080p displays and Snapdragon 820 SoCs.

The P10 Plus’ higher-resolution 1440p display forces the GPU and memory to work harder and reduces performance for games that render at the panel’s native resolution. The additional pixels will be useful if you plan to use the P10 Plus with Huawei’s VR headset, but its IPS panel is not Google Daydream compatible, and the extra pixels are not otherwise necessary for a 5.5-inch IPS display.

The P10’s larger battery and lower power consumption generally improve battery life relative to the P9. Under light to casual use scenarios, the P10 should make it through a full work day, although, heavier workloads that light up the big CPU cores (and especially the GPU) will drain the battery noticeably faster, forcing you to reach for the wall socket to top off. It’s a similar story for the P10 Plus despite its larger battery. Our review sample consistently fell behind the smaller P10 in our battery tests and during real-world use. Its larger, higher-resolution display is partially to blame, but it appears the Kirin 960 SoC in our particular P10 Plus is a lower-binned part, because it consistently drew more power than the SoC in the P10.

In terms of performance and battery life, the smaller P10 is the better choice unless VR is an important use case for you. The uncertainty surrounding memory components casts a gray cloud over the P10 and P10 Plus, however. With the right components, they perform very well. Opening and installing apps may be a little slower if you get one that uses eMMC NAND, but most people probably will not notice. The reduction in memory bandwidth from using LPDDR3 RAM could be significant for serious gamers and VR applications. And because eMMC NAND and LPDDR3 RAM consume more power than the newer parts, there will be some small reduction in battery life too. So while there is some risk that the P10 or P10 Plus you buy will not perform as well or last as long as our test units, most people should still be satisfied with the overall experience.

Battery Life & Thermal Stability
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  • Eden-K121D - Friday, May 12, 2017 - link

    It is very hypocritical of a company when they market a Product as a flagship but don't hold them to the same standard. It is very bad that they mislead customers about very much slower emmc and then make rubbish claims of optimization. Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Friday, May 12, 2017 - link

    Roughly equivalent or perceptually equivalent is one thing. Clearly different, as is the case with the flash here, is unquestionably unacceptable. Guess I can mark Huawei off my list of manufacturers to follow. Reply
  • niva - Friday, May 12, 2017 - link

    The only Huawei I wanted to buy was the Nexus 6P, and only because Google was in charge of the software running on it. Otherwise I'm really not interested in any Chinese phones, this may be generally true for any non Nexus/Pixel phones but the Chinese have earned a special disdain from me many years ago with their practices/software.

    So no... I'm not interested in this phone. If you gave me one I'll go ahead and try to sell it immediately.
    Reply
  • AlphaBlaster - Sunday, May 14, 2017 - link

    Who writes this innocuous crap? "Trump is ruining his political career?" Trump doesn't have a political career. He is a circus clown told what to say by the wealthy few who are running everything, own everything! They put a magpie frontman in that position to guarantee that their status quo is maintained and increases , by design, to their benefit alone, and to the oppression, impoverishment, and murdering of everybody else. "Providing context?" On what? At this stage of the game, the only 'context' any legitimate person should be engaged in is guerilla warfare! Reply
  • kaidenshi - Sunday, May 14, 2017 - link

    Did you mix up your AnandTech and Facebook tabs? Reply
  • leexgx - Friday, May 12, 2017 - link

    This reminds me of Kingston using different flash that is far slower but nothing on the box to state what it is (only find out when you used it for a bit or do benchmark tests Reply
  • s.yu - Saturday, July 29, 2017 - link

    If they didn't advertise about specific technology or a specific performance standard the product should reach then you can't fault them, not the case for Huawei. Reply
  • boozed - Monday, May 15, 2017 - link

    Did we read the same review? Reply
  • s.yu - Saturday, July 29, 2017 - link

    Nice to see more people agreeing with what I've been saying for literally years(since P8), I guess it's inevitable that more discerning customers will come to realize Huawei's deceptive nature as they expand their businesses beyond China. I honestly hope that a company like this would crash into the ground real soon, but I just don't think most of the consumer market is knowledgeable and principled enough for that to happen. Reply
  • virtuastro - Friday, May 12, 2017 - link

    I'm glad you said that it's smooth and responsive but not Pixel XL smooth. It's good to know. I want to see how P10/ P10 Plus's camera image quality. But I did saw dxomark review about it. Reply

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