The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus have an identical dual camera setup that incorporates a color 12MP sensor and a 20MP black-and-white sensor. The combination of the two not only provides up 2x lossless zoom and high-quality artificial bokeh effects, but you also get spectacular black-and-white images. The black-and-white camera also has better light sensitivity and better dynamic range than the color sensor.
The camera lenses on their backs are hidden behind Gorilla Glass 5, so they are well protected from scratching. However, for some reason, we also noticed that it's much easier for these cameras to get lens flares if the glass is not perfectly clean. We observed that not only with the sun during the day but pretty much with any direct light source after dark such as street lights and similar. And this one is not the pretty lens flare you've seen on stock pro photos.
We're glad to say that the Huawei P10 Plus lens was less susceptible to lens flaring than the P10's. The camera sample below demonstrates that - we shoot directly into the sun, with both lenses as clean as possible.
On a different note, the autofocus performance of the two cameraphones is identical.
We were expecting the Leica SUMMILUX lens on the P10 Plus to be slightly sharper than the SUMMARIT lens on the P10, but we didn't find any evidence of this in our camera samples. The only exception were the low-light photos where the P10 Plus utilized its wider aperture to shoot at a lower ISO. Of course, the difference there is not due to the SUMMILUX lens being sharper but to the more moderate noise reduction.
These two lenses are identical in another often overlooked aspect, too - corner sharpness. The P10 Plus lens was supposed to provide better corner sharpness than the P10's. However, we didn't spot any issues with the P10 lens. The comparison below will show you that corner sharpness is equally good on both phones. Check out the sharpness of the gravel that spans pretty much across the entire scene.
Pro Tip: You can move between the photos in our gallery using the keyboard arrow keys. More importantly, you can keep changing the images with the arrow keys even after you've zoomed in a photo with the magnification glass icon in the top right corner.
With the lens properties and perceived sharpness out of the way, the sole remaining advantage the P10 Plus lens has is the wider F/1.8 aperture (compared to F/2.2 on the P10).
Aperture is one of the three components that determines the exposure on a camera (how bright or dark a photo is). Since on cameraphones the aperture is fixed rather than variable, the wider aperture you get on your phone's camera, the more light would reach the sensor, with all other things being equal.
Since more light would reach the sensor through the wider aperture, the camera can adjust the other two exposure components to its benefit without altering the exposure negatively. These two parameters are shutter speed and ISO, and unlike aperture, they are variable.
So a camera that gets more light through the wider aperture can afford to shoot at a lower ISO value, resulting in less noise. Another option is to go with a higher shutter speed. This allows you to freeze the action and helps against camera shake, which at low shutter speeds may ruin your shot.
There is no right or wrong approach here, so we were curious to see how the P10 Plus put its aperture advantage to use over the P10.