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Huawei P10 Plus Camera Review: Full test of the P10 Plus Summilux snapper

Our Huawei P10 Plus camera review fully tests Huawei and Leica’s latest collaboration, a dual-lens Summilux mobile camera that’s better than ever in low light.

We’re serious fans of the Huawei P10‘s dual-lens camera, which can capture crisp, gorgeous-looking photos and video. This feature-dense mobile snapper can produce some truly artistic results, even with minimal effort. Best of all, those two lenses actually work in collaboration to improve clarity, unlike the dual-lens cameras of the LG G6 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Want to know more? Go check out our in-depth Huawei P10 camera review for samples and our full impressions.

One of the only weaknesses of the P10 is its limitations in low light. Rivals like the Google Pixel and Samsung’s Galaxy S7 perform more strongly in dimmer conditions, but that’s something the Huawei P10 Plus aims to correct with its all-new Summilux camera tech.

Here’s our full Huawei P10 Plus camera test results and review, so photography fans know whether to invest. For more on the phone itself, wander over to our full P10 Plus camera review.

Huawei P10 Plus camera specs

Dual-lens 20-megapixel monochrome and 12-megapixel colour sensors

F/1.8 aperture lens

Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS)

Phase Detection Autofocus

Laser Autofocus

Two-tone LED flash

Up to 4K UHD resolution video

Huawei P10 Plus camera app review

Like the P10 before it, the Huawei P10 Plus’ camera app is rammed full of all kinds of features. Most users can simply ignore the bulk of these and stick with the dependable auto mode, of course. However, if you want to play around and get more artistic results, there are plenty of options here.

One of the benefits of that spacious screen is that you can cram plenty of settings and toggles onto the main camera interface. Of course, the result is that the P10 Plus’ camera app can be a little daunting to new users. Once you’re used to it, those toggles do come in handy though.

On the left side you’ll find the standard flash toggle and filter option, as well as a button for skipping between the front and back cameras. In addition you’ll spy Huawei’s Wide Aperture mode which produces a gorgeous, exaggerated bokeh effect. In other words, the lenses work together to focus on your subject and really blur the background. This helps your subject to stand out nicely.

You also get a toggle for the 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. It’s a very arty effect and great for producing attractive shareable photos.

To open up the camera settings, just flick left across the P10 Plus’ screen. This gives you all of the options you’d hope for, including the ability to enable GPS tagging, switch resolution and so on. Flick right instead and you’ll jump into Huawei’s camera and video modes, for producing even more arty effects.

Inside that features menu you can shoot a panorama scene, capture funky ‘Light Painting’ photos and record time-lapse or slow-mo video. You also have an HDR feature which isn’t built into the auto mode (like it is on most other phones) – presumably to help boost the general shutter speed.

If you’re confident messing around with manual controls, the P10 Plus offers these up too. Just drag the tucked-away sidebar beside the shutter button and out they pop. You can fiddle with ISO levels, shutter speed and the likes of white balance, to craft exactly the shot you want – and you’ll see the results on-screen before you tap the shutter button.

Read next: What are the best camera phones of 2017?

Huawei P10 Plus camera review: Photo tests

In our everyday tests, the P10 Plus’ camera proved that it was a serious rival to most other flagship phone snappers.

If conditions are good, that dependable auto mode pretty much always captures a good-looking photo. For a start, detail levels are simply stunning. On 12-megapixel resolution, our test shots looked beautifully sharp when blown up onto a massive TV. Colours really shine, with just the right level of vibrancy to help them stand out. Plus even though HDR isn’t built into the standard camera mode, high contrast situations were handled with ease.

When conditions take a turn for the worse, the P10 Plus still holds up admirably. That f/1.8 aperture helps to suck in plenty of light and the result is a photo marred by minimal grain. Colour balance suffers somewhat however, giving a washed-out or artificial appearance to many of our snaps.

Huawei’s bonus photo modes work well, with the Wide Aperture mode proving our favourite. As you can see in the shot below, this adds a blurred bokeh effect to your photos, to really help your subject to stand out. The effect compared with the P10’s camera isn’t quite as pronounced, but the results are just as solid.

To see how the P10 Plus compares with some of the biggest and best camera phones, check out our P10 Plus vs Galaxy S7 vs Pixel phone camera comparison

Huawei P10 Plus camera review: Video tests

The P10 Plus is capable of capturing up to 4K resolution video, as well as Full HD video at up to 60 frames-per-second. That’s on par with the very best camera phones out there, including the S7, LG G6 and Google’s Pixel phones.

Our test videos came out well, with plenty of detail when using Full HD settings. Footage looked good viewed back on a big screen, with no kind of image tearing, pixelation or other visible issues. Audio quality was also strong, even at a distance.

Moving around, the P10 Plus copes well with sudden changes in focal distance and lighting conditions. You get image stabilisation turned on by default for any video that’s under 4K resolution and under 60 frames-per-second, which helps to reduce judder and shake when walking. Bar a slight tremble with each step, the results are pretty smooth.

However, you’ll want to stand as still as possible if shooting at 60 frames-per-second or Ultra HD resolution. In these cases, the footage was rather shaky and jarring.

Note that Huawei’s file compression format for 4K video is not liked much by Google. You won’t be able to directly upload to the likes of YouTube or watch back on your computer without converting these files first.

Check out our video samples below.

 

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