The major question is, will Zimbabweans afford this smartphone which has been launched globally at a steep price, which will eventually be increased, due to shipping costs, duty, Tax and other agents and handling fees before it lands in a Zimbabwean’s hand.
Huawei today launched its P10, P10 Plus smartphones along with the new Huawei Watch 2 at an event ahead of Mobile World Congress 2017 (MWC) in Barcelona, Huawei P10 costs Eur 649 which is $685 with 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM. While the P10 Plus comes with a price tag of Eur 799 which is $843 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The Huawei Watch 2 4G version costs Eur 379 and the Bluetooth version will come at Eur 329.
The Chinese firm has become a genuine force in the smartphone industry, with the Huawei Mate 9 easily its best release yet, boasting outstanding battery life, an excellent screen and a number of intelligent software tweaks. Huawei Watch 2 comes with Google Assistant. With NFC support on the Huawei Watch 2, Android Pay works seamlessly.
Does the P10 represent another step in the right direction? We’re not entirely convinced.
In terms of design, we have no complaints. The ‘dazzling’ colours options are particularly attractive, thanks to something Huawei calls the ‘hyper diamond cut’.
The process apparently takes eight and a half minutes of blade-work per handset, and the result is a phone that shimmers alluringly.
The non-’dazzling’ colour schemes aren’t quite as enticing, but with eight colour options available, there’s something for everyone.
The P10 is comfortable to hold too, thanks to its gently curved sides and rounded corners.
You’ll still be able to use it with an alternative virtual reality headset, such as Google Cardboard, but it won’t deliver as realistic an experience as possible.
Beneath the display lies the fingerprint sensor, but it’s much more than just that.
Huawei has decided to get rid of the P10’s soft keys, in order to squeeze as much use as possible out of every millimetre of the display.
The home, back and recent apps commands all live within the sensor. Users have to tap it once to go back, hold it to go home and swipe it to view the recently used apps screen.
The gestures are simple enough to memorise almost instantly, but years of Android use means my thumb instinctively reaches for that familiar strip at the bottom of my phone’s display whenever I want to go home, back or view my active apps. That isn’t a habit I’ll break too easily.
Another talking point is the camera setup. Huawei calls the P10’s system the Leica Dual Camera 2.0 Pro Edition, and it combines a 12-megapixel colour sensor with a 20-megapixel mono sensor.
It allows users to maximise the bokeh effect in photos, blurring the out-of-focus parts of a shot to highlight the main subject. Huawei’s also included a dedicated Portrait mode.
The lighting conditions in the testing room were far from ideal, so we haven’t been able to pass fair judgement on it yet. The Mate 9 uses a similar setup though, and we’ll be happy enough if the P9’s camera matches its performance.
The P10 runs Android 7.0 Nougat with the EMUI 5.1 skin, which adds a handful of extra features.
The most notable of these are Ultra Memory and Ultra Response, both of which attempt to improve the user experience with the aid of a machine-learning algorithm.
The P10 will be available in a wide range of colour options, including blue, green, black, gold, rose gold, white ‘ceramic’ and silver, though not all of them will be available in the UK.
Huawei has made massive strides over the past several years, with each of its smartphones topping the last in terms of either design, features or usability.
However, while the P10 is undoubtedly a step above the P9, we’re not convinced it’s a more appealing prospect than the Mate 9.
Removing the soft keys is an unnecessary risk, and the handset’s distinct shortage of VR credentials is a significant shortcoming, considering its flagship status.
Huawei hasn’t announced UK pricing yet, but the P10 will cost €649 and the P10 Plus will cost €699 when they go on sale in March