The annual battle of flagship phones that is Mobile World Congress may be missing its most formidable competitor, but a new contender has emerged. After keeping a relatively low profile at last year’s event, Huawei is taking advantage of the void left by Samsung to introduce the P10 family—two high-end handsets that look to cement Huawei’s standing as a major player in the smartphone game.
The two phones might have different names, but they’re equally sleek and powerful. Both include fingerprint sensors on the front—a curious decision in the age of shrinking bezels—and feature diamond-cut all-metal designs with 2.5D glass. A strip across the top on the back houses dual Leica-branded 12MP and 20MP rear cameras, and on the front you’ll find an 8MP front camera.
While neither phone is water resistant, both are powered by Huawei’s proprietary 2.4GHz octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 960 chip, the same chip found in the Mate 9. Both phones run Android 7.0 out of the box (the first with EMUI 5.1) and come in an veritable rainbow of colors: silver, rose gold, graphite black, gold, blue and green.
As far as differences between the two models, they’re mostly as you’d expect. The smaller P10 features a 5.1-inch, 1920x1080 Full HD LCD screen, 64GB of storage, and 4GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the P10 Plus has a 5.5-inch, 2560x1440 display, 6GB of RAM, and a whopping 128GB of storage. On the battery front, the P10 and P10 Plus include 3,200mAh and 3,750mAh batteries, respectively.
In addition to the new phones, Huawei has also released two new Android Wear watches. Dubbed Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic, both feature 1.2-inch, 390x390 displays, heart rate sensors, GPS, NFC for Android Pay, water resistance, and, obviously, Android Wear 2.0.
The non-Classic model also includes LTE. As is the trend with newer Android wearables, they are big and bulky, with 45mm casings, though at just 57 grams, this is much lighter than the LG Watch Sport. Huawei also says the 420mAh battery should last two days on the LTE model and three days on the Classic. Notably, neither model features a rotating crown like the new LG watches.
Huawei hasn’t released pricing information for any of its new phones or watches, but will begin a global rollout in March. However, while U.S. buyers will be getting the watches, Huawei said that the P10 and P10 Plus are not destined for the U.S. at the time.
A better Huawei: 2016 was a big year for Huawei, as it looked to expand its global reach and prove that it was a serious competitor to LG and HTC. The new products here only solidify its gains. While we don’t know how much they cost, the phones and watches it released at MWC look to be solid entries to the mid-to-upper-end of the market. Of particular interest is the wide variety of colors available, which could broaden Huawei’s appeal to people tired of the standard black, silver, and gold. However, on the heels of the solid Mate 9’s U.S. launch with upcoming Alexa integration, it would have been nice to see the P10s make it to the States as well.