Have you heard the Chinese whispers about the new Huawei? PAT PILCHER has been listening.
HUAWEI HAS HAD an interesting few years, transitioning from an obscure budget phone maker into the world’s third largest smartphone player. This is no small feat – the smartphone market is a competitive and unforgiving place. Hitting the number three spot has been the result of much innovation and hard work by the Chinese multinational, and speculation is now ramping up as Huawei gears up to launch its next flagship phone, the P10.
Huawei has traditionally launched their “P” series smartphones in April. This could be set to change. Rumours are that Huawei will announce the P10 at this year’s Mobile World Congress at the end of February.
No specific dates exist yet, and launch date scuttlebutt is still highly speculative. Dates should firm up off the back of more leaks over the next few weeks as Mobile World Congress draws nearer.
P10 Look And Feel
Several Leaked images of engineering samples have emerged. Each leak shows subtle yet significant differences. Perhaps the most notable and common difference is the P10’s fingerprint sensor. It appears to have been moved from rear of the P10 to its front. Like the P9 and Mate 9, leaked images have all shown the P10 as having dual rear cameras. Both the dual camera sensors and flash is at the top of the P10’s rear, but no Leica branding is visible. This is not a biggie as there’s no signs that the Huawei/Leica collaboration is about to end.
Last (but by no means least) leaked images of the P10 also show it will have a metal unibody design like that used on the P9. One thing that pundits also agree on is the inclusion of a front facing 8-megapixel camera, which is identical to that used in the P9.
Migrating the P10’s fingerprint sensor to the front makes sense given Huawei already did this with the Mate 9 Porsche Design. Then again, another leaked image surfaced showing a physical button on the P10’s front, and a fingerprint sensor on its rear.
The unibody design in one leak sports a curved rear, rather than flat design in early leaks. Some speculate that this could be because there may be variants of the P10. They say that the models could work along similar lines to Huawei’s P9 and P9 Plus.
Leaks also hint that the Mate 10’s 5.5-inch display will finally get QHD resolution. This is a big step for Huawei who refused to up the resolution of earlier smartphone displays beyond HD. This they say was due to detrimental impacts on battery life.
A QHD display could mean that the P10 is the first Huawei Google Daydream compliant phone. Either way, if display speculation is correct, we’ll see a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. This translates into a pixel density of 534ppi compared to the P9’s 424ppi and P9 Plus’s 401ppi.
Debate is still raging around the P10’s bezels. Some rumours hint at a Samsung style edgeless curved display. Other rumours say it’ll be a traditional flat display. Based on leaks to date, it’s probable that there could be two P10 variants (a P10 and P10-Plus). One model would have a flat display while the other a curved display.
It’s likely that the P10’s dual camera arrangement will have the same layout as the P9. A bump in the resolution of the image sensors to match the Mate 9 is also probable. This would see a 12-megapixel RGB sensor paired with a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor. 4K video and Optical image stabilisation is also likely.
Leaked renders are one thing, but leaked specs have also surfaced. These show the Huawei P10 will have a 2.3GHz octa-core Kirin 960 CPU and a generous 6GB of RAM. Just as tantalising are rumours surrounding internal storage. Depending on which source you listen to, storage varies from a useful (but standard) 64GB to a whopping 256GB, which pundits argue is because Huawei will seek spec parity with Apple’s iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
The rumour mill is still quiet on the P10’s battery. This is intriguing as Huawei recently announced breakthroughs with graphene/lithium batteries. A graphene/lithium battery means the P10 could charge to full in a fraction of the time it takes most phones. It’d be a major competitive point of difference for Huawei. Prevailing wisdom has it that the P10’s battery will be the same 3000mAh as used in the P9. Others argue that it could be even be larger to compensate for a higher resolution display.
So How True Is All This?
Huawei P10 rumours are still in the early stages and are still changing almost on a daily basis with each new leak. As we get closer to Mobile World Congress, expect the volume of rumours to both pick up and firm up.
While specifics are still up for grabs, there’s little doubt that a faster CPU, more RAM/storage, plus camera and battery tweaks will be part of the P10. PAT PILCHER