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Battery life

  • Capacious 3,750mAh power pack
  • Fast charging but no wireless

The Huawei P10 Plus offers one of the bigger battery packs on the market right now, at 3,750mAh. That’s a lot, but it’s also got a lot of pixels to power: the 5.5-inch QHD display means those milliamp hours don’t go as far as they would on a smaller or lower-res device.

That said, the P10 Plus handles its hardware well, and while it’s nothing special, battery performance on this phone comes out at about what we’d expect from a flagship. With heavy use, it usually had about a quarter left at bedtime, while a lighter user could easily push it to a day and a half without charging.

Screen-on time does unsurprisingly drain the battery pretty quickly, so bring a charger if you’re planning to stream HD movies on a cross-country train ride (good luck with the train Wi-Fi).

In our standard battery test, which involves running a full screen HD video at top brightness with Wi-Fi and account syncing on, the phone started at 100% and still had 79% left an hour and a half later – that’s a loss of 21%, fact fans.

By comparison, fellow 5.5-inchers the Google Pixel XL and OnePlus 3T lost a rubbish 32% and a tiny 14% respectively, putting the P10 Plus squarely in the middle. The standard Huawei P10 came out about the same, at 20%.

As we’d expect from a new flagship, the P10 Plus uses USB Type-C to charge. There’s a SuperCharge fast charger in the box, which does make a significant difference to how fast it powers up, but there’s no wireless charging on this device. 

That seems a little stingy at this price point, and means it’ll have a harder job competing against the upcoming Galaxy S8.

Camera

  • Dual rear cameras: 20MP monochrome and 12MP RGB
  • One of the best camera apps
  • 8MP front-facing snapper

The Huawei camera app is one of the good ones. It’s feature-rich but intuitive, and in this case includes some extras that make the camera genuinely fun to use.

First, the basics. Auto mode is easy to use and surprisingly fast: it’s quick to open, quick to switch modes, and very quick to snap. When you’ve got used to certain camera apps hanging forever (*cough* Pixel *cough*), this makes a very welcome change.

Manual mode is easily accessed with a flick up from the bottom of the app, and allows you to mess about with exposure, white balance and so on. It’s also easy to lock a setting where you want it, which displays a little dot to show it’s fixed at that value. On the whole, though, we found the camera mostly took great pictures without needing to adjust the settings.

Swiping left brings up the settings panel, whereas right gives you Modes. There are some great ones (Night Shot, Light Painting, Good Food) and some useless ones (Watermark, Audio Note, Document Scan), but they’re all fun to try out.

The best bit of the P10 Plus camera, though, is found on the camera taskbar at the top. Alongside the flash is an aperture icon, which is where the double camera comes into its own. Tapping this turns on Wide Aperture mode, which lets you take very cool SLR-like photos.

Even better, when you take a photo in this mode, you can refocus it later by opening it in the native gallery and tapping the part you’d like to focus on. Not overly useful (or new), but very cool.

There’s also a Portrait mode, which is like beauty mode but for the main camera, as well as Artistic mode in the selfie cam which, again, gives an SLR-ish image by blurring the scenery behind your head. We’re not huge fans, but lots of people will think it looks expensive and amazing, so it was a good thing to include.

Low light performance on the main cameras is very good, even without the assistance of flash or Night Shot mode. For night-time selfies, the screen automatically turns white to use as a light.

Camera samples

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Wide Aperture mode gives professional-looking results.

Wide Aperture mode gives professional-looking results.

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Colour capture is accurate.

Colour capture is accurate.

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Low light performance is so good that it’s not always obvious the shot was taken in low light at all.

Low light performance is so good that it’s not always obvious the shot was taken in low light at all.

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Shots are clear and detailed, even close-up.

Shots are clear and detailed, even close-up.

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Changing the focus after capture leads to some cool effects.

Changing the focus after capture leads to some cool effects.

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‘Artistic effect’ blurs the background of selfies (even for budgies).

‘Artistic effect’ blurs the background of selfies (even for budgies).

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