I have been a Huawei fan over the past two years since my first encounter with the Mate 7, I went on to buy the Mate 8 last year and called it one of the best smartphones that gets the business essentials right. Just a few weeks back, I reviewed the Huawei Mate 9 and called it the best flagship phablet ever, and I was ready to buy it to replace my Mate 8 again. Yesterday, Huawei unveiled the P10 and P10 Plus, which is undoubtedly the best smartphone yet from the fast growing Chinese tech company, and I am now a confused Huawei customer.
The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are great smartphones, not only it has a great and improved premium design from its predecessor, it also features the very same set of specs as the Huawei Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro, such as a Kirin 960 processor, up to 6GB RAM and 128GB of flash memory, I also love that Huawei has finally upgraded the P10's camera to a new Leica Dual Camera lens system, which now brings a larger f/1.8 aperture as opposed to the Mate 9's f/2.2 aperture, while remaining the same optical stabilized 20MP Monochrome + 12MP RGB sensor.
Huawei has certainly made an exciting smartphone that will probably sell as well as the P9 due to its imaging capabilities, however the P10 and P10 Plus' retail price at €649 (MYR3,046) and €699 (MYR3,281) respectively got me really confused if I should still go for a Mate series or not. The Huawei Mate 9 and Mate 9 Pro retails at RM2,699 and RM3,199 respectively, and we can safely assume phone prices to be cheaper when it arrives in Malaysia, and Huawei is probably going to price the new P10 very closely to the Mate 9.
The confusion here is what Huawei is trying to achieve this round with both the Mate 9 and P10 around, the marketing direction was very clear last time, the Mate smartphones are phablets targeted at the business users, while the P series smartphones emphasizes on photography. Now, there's almost no differentiation between the two apart from design, they both have great performance and Leica Dual Camera system, though the P10 may have slight advantage due to its better camera sensors, but if I were a consumer with that amount of cash and asked to choose between these two, I am seriously confused on which device I should go for. In addition, the P10's new software features will most likely be ported over to the Mate 9 in the near future, since they feature the same performance specs sheet and some of these software features aren't hardware dependent.
Be it a business professional or photographer, I am torned on my decision to choose between a P10/P10 Plus or Mate 9/Mate 9 Pro, given that their retail price should only have RM100-200 of difference when it launches here, unless Huawei decides to reduce the price of the Mate 9, otherwise it depends on how Huawei is about to influence my decision with its marketing gimmicks. What about you? Would you go for a Huawei P10/P10 Plus or Mate 9/Mate 9 Pro?
DISCLAIMER: The Mate 9 I held on hand is a review unit and it has to be returned to Huawei