After the successful debut of Poptel, its second smartphone is now facing our test: The Poptel P10 is smaller than the Poptel P9000 Max and ranks below it in the price range. Again, an outdoor smartphone with solid mid-range hardware awaits us – in itself a safe bet for those who are looking for a compact outdoor smartphone. We found out in our test report that some things can still go wrong.The P10 comes with a compact 5.5-inch display in 18:9 format and is powered by the proven Helio P23 and Android 8.1. Fortunately, only a single camera is emblazoned on the rear and the casing is stable and elegant at the same time. Poptel decided to use corrugated metal, which I still like after the two weeks. Only the battery could have been a bit bigger with only 3600mAh. In the test, we’ll find out where the Poptel P10 ranks among the outdoor smartphones.
Design and build quality
The casing of the Poptel P10 is one of its great strengths, which also fits quite well into the category of outdoor smartphones. While the front is of course made of glass, the rest is made of a mix of black matt plastic and metal in the color of your choice. The Poptel P10 is available in the colors black, orange and green – all with plastic accents in the respective color – and in grey and blue – with colored metal. We have the blue version as a test device and we like the choice of colors: the blue is darker and less intrusive than in the picture, and a fine blue border runs around the display glass.
The Poptel P10 is only a 5.5-inch smartphone on paper, and the panel is also in 18:9 format – unfortunately, this doesn’t affect the external dimensions. The Poptel P10 is as big as the OnePlus 6 (155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8mm / 177g): it measures 155 x 74 x 12.4mm, although the protection bumpers still add a little to size with 157 x 75.2mm at the corners. It weighs 209g. Both smartphones are not the smallest, but still easy to hold with one hand. The only difference is that you get 0.8 inches more screen diagonal. Unfortunately, the front of the P10 doesn’t use the area well. Even though it’s an 18:9 display, it could have taken up a larger part – or the other way around, the top bezel is 13.64mm and the bottom one 14.6mm, which is not up-to-date in the full-screen trend. In addition, the battery is not very big with 3600mAh. On the front side there is the selfie camera on the left and a small front flash on the right.
But if you look at the ingenious and unique rear side, the doubts are gone. Here, you see a bordered metal plate of corrugated metal with 4 grooves going across. It is easy to grip and also feels high quality. The elements on the rear are all arranged in the middle in one row: the loudspeaker sits at the bottom, then you have the Poptel logo in silver and at the top the fingerprint scanner including the LED flash and the single camera. The latter is framed with a small elevation to protect it.
The frame is a mix of plastic with screwed on metal elements. On the right side, there is the power button and the volume control. On the opposite side, you find a single button with which you can activate the camera at any time and then trigger it. Here, you can also find the SIM-tray, which you can push out with your fingernail. At the lower side the Micro-USB port and the 3.5mm jack connection are protected by the same flap.
Poptel has done everything right with the P10 in the areas that are important for outdoor smartphones. The case is stylish, of high quality and stable at the same time. The dimensions and the waste of space are a bit annoying.
The Poptel P10 accompanied me on vacation to the Polish Baltic Sea and was allowed to swim more than once in the sea. It is IP68 certified and enjoys the highest protection against dust and can also stay some time in the swimming pool. When used on the beach, the Poptel P10 did not suffer any damage. We saved the screen protection film from the scope of delivery and can now welcome 3 micro scratches on the glass. But since it was often exposed to sand, this is okay.
It also survived a short trip into the sea – back in the hotel I washed out the salt water and the sand, and the loudspeakers successfully worked again. In the gap between the display and the frame a few grains of sand got stuck, but they went out easily with a sewing needle. We didn’t force a fall on asphalt, but with the protection bumpers and the small overhang above the display it should take a lot.
Poptel P10 scope of delivery
- Charger, EU plug, 5V / 2A
- Micro-USB cable
- In Ears 3.5mm jack connection, with microphone
- OTG adapter (micro-USB to USB-A)
- Screen protector with accessories for attachment
- Operating instructions, warranty, etc.
The Poptel P10 has a 5.5-inch display in 18:9 format. With this size, it is already one of the smallest in the time of full-screen displays. It has a resolution of 1280 x 640 pixels, which is enough for a PPI of 260. In combination with the IPS LCD panel, you don’t get a mobile cinema like with a OnePlus 6, Mi8 or Samsung S9+, but you don’t even need that in a small outdoor smartphone. Unfortunately, the maximum screen brightness is 285cd/m², which means that you have to look for shadow outdoors quite often in order to be able to use the Poptel P10 properly. The touchscreen registers 5 points of contact at the same time and converts inputs precisely. Typing works well. The automatic brightness control also works nicely.
You won’t find any additional settings for the display. Unfortunately, the representation can’t be changed, you can only set other fonts only via a “Font Manager”- but who does?
In the Poptel P10, a Helio P23 by MediaTek provides the corresponding system performance. The MT6763 Octa-Core is divided into two clusters with 4 x 1.5GHz and 4 x 2GHz. The chip is supported by the Mali-G71 GPU and 4GB of RAM. The latter has a speed of 5GB/s. Files and apps find their place on the 64GB large system storage: it is an eMMC storage with a reading speed of 285MB/s and a writing speed of 210MB/s – good values.
A second storage variant is nowhere to be found, but most users should get along well with 4+64GB. The storage can be expanded via the hybrid slot with a Micro-SD card, but then you have to do without the Dual-SIM function.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result
The overall performance is good and doesn’t restrict normal smartphone use anywhere. Every now and then, the Poptel P10 slows down a bit and you notice that you don’t have a flagship in your hand – e.g. when switching between apps. With the latest 3D games, your expectations and therefore the details have to be lowered a bit, but all tested apps work. Our Poptel P10 received an update during the test period, which also improved the performance in the launcher.
The Poptel P10 runs with Android 8.1 and has a surface very similar to Stock Android. The security patch is not quite up-to-date with June 2018 – but we already got an update announced, which should be released in the next weeks. That the P10 with its 5.5-inch display only reaches Widevine Level L3 should not be a problem. Malwares were not found with Malwarebytes.
So far, Android runs quite well, fluently, and reliably on the Poptel P10. At the beginning, I had the problem that it wasn’t as smooth as you should expect from a Helio P23. But the lags only occured at the beginning and were removed after an OTA. In the meantime, I used the Rootless Pixel Launcher on the Poptel. But there is still a shortcoming:
The phone is operated with on-screen buttons and these cannot be swapped – so the “Back” button is on the left. In the dropdown menu / quick accesses there is a function, “Switch Homekeys”, but this only hides the buttons to use the display in full screen.
As additional functions for an outdoor smartphone, there is basically only “Cell Broadcast” available, where you get active warnings and emergency messages directly on the P10. The system is also equipped with Dura Speed, which is more aggressive with background tasks than Android itself. If you activate Dura Speed, the Helio P23 has more power reserves left. Other manufacturers bring more additional functions to their smartphones – the Poptel P10 remains rather modest.
On paper, the new P10 actually has the same camera as the big Poptel P9000. In the test, this camera was also able to convince with useful shots – we cannot say this about the Poptel P10’s camera. It’s a single sensor with a flash both on the rear and on the front. As main camera, we have a Sony IMX135 with 13MP. This sensor can be found in current smartphones like the Oukitel K8 and Oukitel U18 or a Koolnee K1. The front camera has a resolution of 8MP – interpolated from 5MP.
Compared to the Oukitel K8, the Poptel P10 performs worse: the images are more noisy, the sun shines more strongly into the image and it is more coarse grained. We can’t say whether Poptel will improve it with an update. The camera app is an in-house development and accordingly slim equipped. Modes include HDR and various filters.
The camera of the P10 is sufficient for some snapshots from time to time, simply to capture something in a picture. But the images are not good. The sensor doesn’t get by with light, because if there is too much light, it turns white. If there is too little light, the phone sets the ISO high, which creates image noise and still leaves the image dark. In addition, colors are not lifelike and always different. In general, I had to delete a lot of pictures because they turned out bad. Two things are fine with the Poptel P10: the selfies and the macro shots. Videos can be recorded in FHD, but also lack stabilization and quality.
In the Poptel P10, you can use two SIM cards simultaneously in DUAL-SIM mode. In Slot 1, either a Micro-SD card for storage expansion, a Micro-SIM or Nano-SIM can be used. In slot 2, only Micro-SIM cards can be inserted. In the worst case, you have to help yourself with an adapter, which you can get from most network providers. The P10 supports the following frequencies:
- 2G: B2, B3, B5, B8
- 3G: B1, B2, B5, B5
- 4G: B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B17, B20, B34, B38, B39, B40, B41
The reception is far-reaching and stable, which is an important criterion for an outdoor smartphone. I also had LTE / 4G reception in the nature reserve in the middle of the forest. The earpiece could be a bit louder when telephoning: it was not set to maximum, but other users would wish to be able to set it a bit louder. VoLTE or WiFi calling was unfortunately not possible.
The P10 transmits to local networks via WiFi in the n standard or Bluetooth 4.0 – NFC is also available and a radio app is pre-installed. Sensors include light, proximity, position, a gyroscope and an e-compass. Similar to the the good reception, navigation in the car as well as on foot is also possible with the P10. For this purpose GPS, A-GPS and GLONASS are supported and the position can be determined with an accuracy of 2m.
The connections on the bottom reveal their weaknesses in practical use. On the one hand, there is, unfortunately, still a Micro-USB port – USB-C apparently still hasn’t really established itself – on the other hand you can’t use the 3.5mm jack connection. The USB socket is more generously cut out and here all cables from my collection do their job.
Not so the audio port, because you only get in the golden plug partly, then every headphone is a bit thicker than just the plug and a contact does not take place. Well, that could have been tested before production. Bluetooth headphones would be a way to avoid this. Luckily, the included In-Ear headphones fit: the 4-pole plug is a bit longer, but they sound like the classic “included earphones”.
You can unlock the Poptel P10 via the fingerprint sensor on the rear. However, it is one of the worse sensors and often spoils the fun of the smartphone. The phone vibrates briefly with every touch – with all other Android devices, this is normally the sign that the unlock did not work. Now, you leave your finger on it for a second and are lucky to have your unlocked Poptel in your hand. In the test, I used the right index finger for it and stored it twice, but still it worked too often only at the second or third attempt. Unfortunately, I then had to use the pattern for unlocking from time to time.
Despite the weight of 209g, the Poptel P10 only houses a 3600mAh battery. What looks too little at first glance is sufficient in practice: the display is small at 5.5 inches in 18:9 format and the Helio P23 is also known as economical. Thus, the Poptel P10 manages almost 9 hours in the PC Mark Battery benchmark. In daily use I always got a run time of two days. I use the smartphone daily for a good 3 hours listening to music via Spotify and the display is active for 2.5 to 3 hours. On the second evening, I had 6:10 hours of display-on-time and the battery was not yet below the 10% mark. I don’t think that the P10 will make it over a whole weekend, because the mobile phone mode already consumes a lot of battery. A one-hour YouTube video (loudspeaker quiet, display 200 cd/m²) needs 12% of the battery.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
The Poptel P10 is charged via Micro-USB and with up to 5V / 2A – Quick Charge is not available. In half an hour you get from 0 to 25% – two thirds of the battery are filled in 90 minutes – a full charge however still needs 2:45 hours.