Huawei P10 camera review: We fully test the smart and feature-packed dual-lens Leica 2 camera on the Huawei P10 flagship phone, with full photo and video samples.
The Huawei P10 is one of the most enticing mobiles launched at MWC 2017, packing Huawei’s super-powered Kirin 960 processor and some premium specs into a compact frame.
However, it’s that dual-lens Leica 2 camera on the back which has already proven the P10’s best feature. This versatile smartphone snapper boasts some intelligent tech and delivers up to 4K resolution video recording, as well as plenty of bonus features.
Here’s our full Huawei P10 camera review and check out our in-depth P10 review for more info on the rest of this sleek flagship handset.
Huawei P10 camera review: Camera specs
Huawei’s partnership with optics experts Leica is bearing some juicy fruit, with the latest Huawei mobile phones all boasting solid camera tech. The P10 and P10 Plus both pack a dual-lens Leica 2 camera, although some of the finer points are different.
The Huawei P10’s rear camera combines two lenses, a 20-megapixel monochrome and 12-megapixel colour lens, to great effect. These work alongside each other to produce sharp, detail-packed photos. You get Optical Image Stabilisation on the colour lens, which helps to reduce blurring and judder due to hand shakes. There’s also Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) to help the cameras quickly lock onto your subject and reduce shutter delay.
Huawei P10 camera review: User interface and features
The P10’s camera app is absolutely packed with features, many of which are worth a play around with.
On the main Huawei P10 camera UI you get a few fast-access features, to toggle as you snap. These include the usual filters, flash and so on, plus Huawei’s Wide Aperture mode. This produces a lovely bokeh effect, provided courtesy of those dual lenses working together. It really helps your subject to stand out, as you’ll see in our sample photos below.
You also get Huawei’s funky Portrait mode, which again uses bokeh to great effect. Shoot someone with this enabled and they’ll appear sharp against the background, while colours are artificially boosted too.
Flick your finger right across the screen and you’ll open up the P10’s camera modes menu. From here you can turn on HDR, snap a panorama, record time-lapse or slow-mo video, turn on night mode and so on. There’s a strong selection of bonus modes, although it’s a shame HDR isn’t built into the auto mode as it is with many other premium smartphone cameras.
Flick left and you open up the standard camera settings. From here you can make the volume buttons double up as physical shutter buttons, turn on smile capture mode, enable GPS tagging and fiddle with the resolution of your photos and video.
Huawei has also added in an Ultra Snapshot mode. This boots the P10’s camera and optionally takes an instant shot when the volume down button is double-tapped while the phone is hibernating. It’s impressively quick, often taking a shot in under a second – perfect for those impromptu snaps.
Huawei P10 camera review: Photo quality
The Huawei P10’s camera is undeniably impressive. In everything but low light, we very rarely captured any dud images on full auto mode. Photos are packed with detail and colours are accurately reproduced. And those dual lenses mean that you get some gorgeous background blurring when focusing on a near subject, which really helps your chosen model to stand out.
In lower light situations, the Sony Xperia XZ, Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7 still perform stronger. The P10’s f/2.2 lens doesn’t suck in as much light, meaning you often get quite murky photos at night. Detail levels are still quite strong, but it can be hard to make out finer details. Moving subjects often appear blurred, although in better light the P10’s fast-action shutter does an admirable job of cutting down on blur.
Check out our Huawei P10 camera review photo samples in the gallery below.
Huawei P10 camera review: Video quality
The P10 can shoot Full HD video in either 30 or 60 frames-per-second as well as full 4K Ultra HD resolution footage.
Our sample videos below show that the P10 copes well with changes in lighting and focal distance, capturing detailed footage with realistic colour reproduction. Image stabilisation helps to cut down on the shaky footage effect when you’re filming and moving at the same time, but this isn’t available at 60 frames-per-second or 4K resolution. In these cases you’re best off keeping the P10 still, as your video will otherwise be quite jerky.
Our 4K samples were compressed by the P10’s software, which meant they weren’t able to be played on our Macbook. YouTube also didn’t like our 4K video files, so we had to convert before uploading. The resulting file size was roughly twice the size of our Full HD 30 frames-per-second footage, so shooting just over a minute of 4K video takes up 300MB of storage space.
Huawei P10 camera review: Video review
Want to see the P10’s camera UI in action? Check out our video review of the P10 camera below.
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