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Poptel P10 rugged smartphone review

Tough and affordable, this IP68 handset is a bargain

Hero with glove

In use

Benchmarks

Here’s how the Poptel P10 performed in our suite of benchmark tests: 

Geekbench: 838 (single-core); 3,648 (multi-core); 2,793 (compute) 

Antutu: 86,007 

PCMark (Work 2.0): 4,695 

Passmark: 4,026

Passmark CPU: 98,429 

Androbench (sequential): 284 (sequential read); 212 (sequential write)

Androbench (random): 54 (random read); 17 (random write) 

3DMark Slingshot: 659 

3DMark Slingshot Extreme: 434 

3DMark IceStorm: 10,816 

HWBot Prime: 4,136 

The Poptel P10 is a pleasure to use because it fits very well in the hand, thanks to its compact build and narrow 18:9 aspect ratio. It is also light and easy to grip by its textured back panel, although we wouldn’t have complained if the battery had been a little larger. The side button that allows you to take a picture without signing in with your fingerprint is a real asset, especially as getting past the security on this phone is a bit of a nuisance.

The fingerprint scanner must be less sensitive than others because about one in four scans didn’t work for us, which means you have to type in a PIN instead. Face ID might be less secure, but it is useful when you have your hands full and it’s a pity Poptel hasn’t included it. 

Read more: Poptel P8 rugged smartphone

Android Oreo and all of our test apps worked smoothly with no crashes. It even works tolerably well with games, especially those that make use of the 18:9 aspect ratio for split screen action. As a phone for specifically outdoor workers, however, there isn’t really anything to recommend it over the Blackview BV5800 and it doesn’t feel as robust, even though there are no figures to compare their drop test data. And while the battery lasted well, it had run down completely by day three of the test, while the other rugged phones were still going. 

Landscape orientation outside

Final verdict

For a budget handset, there’s a lot to like about the Poptel P10. For a start, it’s a good, practical size for using outdoors and it feels robust enough to survive situations where you wouldn’t take an unprotected phone. We also appreciate the function button being assigned to the camera app. It doesn’t feel as shock resistant as the Poptel P900, however, and it only feels so lightweight because the battery is less than half the size of the P900. 

Keeping the cost low in a phone that could more easily get broken in the workplace makes a lot of sense, but in cutting corners, the Poptel P10 misses out on some features that would be useful for a rugged phone. Face ID, is one, wireless charging another and the battery could have been a little larger. Overall, this is a decent handset that could be all you need if you work outside, to get the job done.