The Blackview P10000 Pro provides moderate performance across multiple days.
The Blackview P10000 Pro is an Android handset bent on solving the problem of battery life through brute force while maintaining a respectable level of performance and not breaking the bank. It is by no means a budget device, at a suggested retail of around $334.58 but buyers are getting quite a lot of value for their money. The P10000 Pro’s massive battery, its plethora of accessories, and respectable display are geared toward giving buyers a complete experience without hassle. Meanwhile, the internal components aren't anything to be scoffed at, even if the overall design of the phone is somewhat large. In fact, there are very few, if any, complaints to be made that don't result directly from its bulk. What's more, the Blackview P10000 Pro can often be found at a steep discount, so it's well worth a closer look.
The P10000 Pro is certainly not the sleekest or most lightweight device on the market, weighing in at 293g and measuring 165mm x 77mm x 14.7mm. However, that’s primarily down to two factors. First, this handset features a 6-inch Sharp-built In-Cell fullHD+ display with a ratio of 18:9 and a resolution of 2160 x 1080. It also packs in an unbelievable 11,000mAh capacity battery, which charges at 5V/5A. The display is offset by a dual-camera setup at the front, with sensors rated at 0.3-megapixels and 13-megapixels, set to the right of the centrally located earpiece. On the other side is a forward face LED soft-flash alongside the usual ambient light sensor. Rolling to the back of the device reveals another dual-sensor setup for the primary camera. That’s a 16-megapixel and 0.3-megapixel layout with a f/2.0 aperture, backed by a two-tone LED flash. Both cameras are Sony-built, with the front being a Sony IMX135 while the main camera is Sony’s IMX298 platform.
With regard to the build materials, the Blackview P10000 is available in three configurations, including Mirror Silver or Mirror Grey with a glass panel, or Leather Gray with a real leather back panel. Our test unit was the leather variation of the device. A fingerprint scanner can be found beneath the hardware buttons on the right-hand edge of this handset. Moving to the inside of this device reveals that the battery is driving MediaTek’s Helio P23 octa-core SoC. That’s comprised of eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores, four of which are clocked at up to 2.0GHz while the remaining four are clocked at 1.51GHz. Behind those cores, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of expandable storage are included. The whole package drives Android 7.1.1 at Android Security Patch level April 5, 2018. Blackview has said this device will be updated to Android 8.1 at some point in the future.
In the Box
Cracking open the box reveals the Blackview P10000 Pro itself, with a screen protector pre-installed, embedded in the first of two layers. Peeling that layer back gives way to a wide assortment of accessories just slightly beyond what can usually be expected with any Chinese handset. A wall adapter of the standard type for the countries in which this device is sold is included. That’s the two-pronged adapter that won’t work for users in the U.S. and comes alongside a USB Type-C to USB cable that’s substantially thicker than the usual - due to the high amperage of the charging used for this handset. A user manual is included in the package for helping new users get accustomed to Android, as well as a SIM tool for getting started. Aside from that, however, there’s also a USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter since this device doesn’t have a headphone jack. A USB Type-C to USB adapter is included in the package too, in addition to an OTG cable for charging other devices and for data transferals. Blackview has gone a bit further still and packaged its smartphone with headphones, a protective case, and a second protective screen cover.
Hardware and Design
With regard to the design of Blackview’s P10000 Pro, it is noticeably thicker than other handsets in the mid-range category. That’s entirely down to the size of the battery and the amount of material protecting the battery from damage is likely another culprit. Of course, that battery means as many as 4 days of normal use and a claimed 50 days of standby time. It also means that this handset can be used to charge up another device in a pinch via the included OTG cable. Blackview has taken some measures to ensure that it’s still comfortable to hold, with heavily slanted edges and a thoughtful use of materials. So it isn’t necessarily difficult to keep a grip on and does feel much slimmer than it looks. Meanwhile, that thoughtfulness extends elsewhere in the design. The use of metal along either edge, in the buttons, at the top lip of the earpiece, and around the camera are nice touches, as is the use of metal in the rear panel logo.
Since the fingerprint scanner is just below the buttons, users don’t really have to stretch at all to make use of it. While that might seem as though it would feel out of place, it’s among the best features on this device. That, in addition to the use of texturing on the power button, are further examples of excellent design decisions. There aren't any gaps to speak of either and the hardware just seems very solidly put together. Buttons are clicky, the SIM slot and ports aren't loose, and the speaker grills - only one of which is an actual speaker, while the other is a mic - add a cohesive feel to the whole device. Among the only complaints has to be that the included case doesn't seem as though it would add much protection and the metal surround on the camera doesn't extend above the lenses. So there's a chance that it won't do as well as might be expected in drops.
With a ratio of 18:9 and a resolution of 2160 x 1080, setting aside that it measures 6-inches, the display on this device doesn’t leave much to be desired. Pixel density resides at a comfortable 480 dpi, so there aren’t really any gaps or jagged edges that wouldn’t be present on pretty much any other smartphone. What’s more, it’s bright, supports multitouch, and the huge battery means that there’s no real need to tune any of that back. Taken in combination, that means users will get a smooth and responsive experience that doesn’t differ too much from some of the top-tier devices or other mid-rangers well above the Blackview P10000 Pro’s cost. Bezels could stand to be somewhat smaller, given the trend toward bigger screens with razor-thin surrounds. However, it’s difficult to fault that with consideration for everything else that’s on the table with this handset.
Performance and Battery Life
The battery is, of course, the big highlight with the Blackview P10000 Pro. That’s not to say it lacks elsewhere since it fits in its price range rather nicely in nearly every regard. But it is exceptional for any device to go above 4,000mAh, let alone 11,000mAh. More importantly, the device seems well-optimized, so that battery performs impressively. With the included adapter, or at a similar throughput, this handset takes just under 3 hours to fully charge. However, our battery test showed that it could last nearly 30 hours with the screen on and all the way up. Better still, that’s with CPU running at about half throttle and no power-saving features enabled. With moderate usage, that equates to at least three days on a single charge and it could go for longer under the right circumstances or with lighter use. That’s without factoring in the many power-saving settings included. We’re inclined to believe Blackview when they describe a day’s worth of battery power from just 30-minutes of charge.
Performance, on the other hand, feels about average for the SoC. Our benchmarks didn’t reveal anything special but it should be able to perform well at just about any task. In fact, it should be able to play all but the most intensive games without lag. In testing the Blackview P10000 Pro, we played Dragon Ball Legends, Into the Dead 2, and a few other games and didn’t experience any issues. So we’re confident that the vast majority of users will be able to use this handset to use whatever apps they like without worry. Moreover, they’ll be able to do so for quite some time thanks to the battery and across a huge assortment of titles thanks to the 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Connectivity and Audio
In terms of connectivity, the Blackview P10000 Pro was obviously not designed with the U.S. in mind. Tested across two U.S. carriers, we were only able to use this handset on T-Mobile's bands. There's a chance that it could work with AT&T, as well, since we were using an MVNO to access those. But there are no guarantees and although we were able to complete calls and send messages, our connection rate was very slow. Call quality was solid and sound was actually on par with some daily driver flagship devices. So the P10000 Pro should perform well on any network within the range of bands it's engineered for. Those are laid out below for quick reference. Aside from that, there's no NFC onboard with this smartphone but Bluetooth 4.1 is included for wireless connectivity. It goes without saying that Wi-Fi connections are also supported and the OTG cable can also be used to transfer files to and from a PC or other handsets.
Audio from the single, bottom-firing speaker is serviceable but not exceptional and slightly tinny. It isn't nearly as bad as many other handsets but its safe to say that this isn't a device that HiFi-loving users will want to listen to music through. That problem immediately disappears when using a good Bluetooth speaker or playing audio through the included headphone jack adapter. So this appears to be an issue with the speaker itself rather than the internal hardware and since its an issue nearly across the entirety of the Android spectrum, it's not really unexpected or disconcerting. The included headphones, meanwhile, aren't necessarily anything special either but perform much better than might be expected. They're also quite comfortable despite being the all-plastic style that rests in the ear rather than squeezing in with a rubber tip.
2G: GSM Bands 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz
3G: WCDMA Bands 900MHz, 2100MHz
4G FDD-LTE: Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20
4G TDD-LTE: Bands 38, 40
Similarly, there’s not much unexpected in the software either. The device runs Android 7.1 for now and will be updated with all of the additional battery, performance, and user optimizations of Android Oreo at some point in the future. Meanwhile, nearly all of the pre-installed applications seem to be either AOSP stock Android software or Google-specific. The few exceptions include a note-taking app called Blackview Notes, FM Radio, Sound Recorder, System Manager, and a flashlight app called Torch. Beyond that, Blackview includes its own news reader app called InfoHub. Of course, the flashlight is also available in the notification shade, as with other Android handsets but there are a couple of differentiating inclusions there as well. For starters, screen recording can be started and stopped from the quick settings. There’s also a dedicated QRCode reader and blue-light limiting mode called Eye Protection. Last but not least, there are the usual gesture controls for quickly silencing the device, taking screenshots, or capturing photos, alongside a two-finger gesture for controlling volume. Blackview uses an aftermarket keyboard called Kika Keyboard which operates similarly to Google's keyboard but has far more customization options.
Setting all of that aside, the software feels very well optimized with the Blackview P10000 Pro. There's no lag or jitter in operating any of the menus or pre-installed applications and opening any of those up doesn't create problems either. What's more, the layout is going to be very familiar to anybody who has used Android before or at least as learnable as any other device to anybody coming from an older version of the OS. That's not to say that it won't take some getting used to aesthetically, due to the company's use of metal-themed iconography. The theme can be moderately disconcerting when first using the handset. But that's easy enough to overcome using a secondary launcher to replace icons or given a bit of time.
With regard to the cameras included on this handset, and as mentioned above, those are well-made Sony sensors. However, unlike some other handsets in this price range which utilize good hardware, Blackview seems to have put quite a bit of thought into optimization. That doesn't mean that the stock AOSP software and its familiar user interface isn't still present. It very much is and that makes getting around the various settings and features a very easy process. The photos taken with the Blackview P10000 Pro don't result in images that just look mediocre. Instead, they look genuinely good for the most part, with accurate light capture and colors. It also handles Bokeh effect and depth sensing impressively for a device in its tier. So images can be taken with a proper level of separation between the subject and foreground and the blur applies smoothly to a greater degree as the distance from subject increases - from the perspective of the cameras. Autofocus is also comparatively quick and adjusts appropriately when shooting video, while the shutter speed doesn't leave much to be desired, either.
Having said that, the cameras aren't perfect and some slowing becomes apparent when taking shots in HDR mode. That seems to mostly come down to post-processing, which prevents photos in that mode from being taken in rapid succession. On the other hand, holding down the shutter button results in a rapid-fire capture of up to 99 frames but those don't always turn out great either. In fact, any motion or handshake at all during that type of shot almost invariably results in more than half of the shots being blurry to the point of being almost unusable. Bearing that in mind, this camera also includes anti-flicker, size and ratio adjustment settings, and a PRO mode for capturing content in a more personalized way. So those caveats are hardly a deal breaker and it's worth repeating that this camera is definitely superior to other in this handset's price range.
Well-designed with offsets for its bulk
Battery lasts for days and only takes just short of three hours with the included charger
The screen is responsive, with a high resolution and ratio
High body-to-screen ratio
Cameras perform better than average
Forward facing flash for selfies
Performance feels at or above par
Bezels could be slimmer
Metal camera surround won't provide drop protection
The included protective case feels flimsy
No IP ruggedization rating
Bulkier than most users are accustomed to
Whether or not the Blackview P10000 Pro is a worthy purchase is going to depend on several factors but it's ultimately a decision that mostly seems to come down to battery life. For anybody who needs a well-performing device with an above-serviceable camera and a battery that can last all day and double as a power bank, this is one to consider. Of course, some of the comforts of a sleek modern design will have to be sacrificed for those benefits but trade-offs exist regardless of which smartphone is chosen. Meanwhile, the SoC, display, and storage aren't likely to be a letdown at all. At very least, the handset is well worth a look for anybody in the market for a sub-$400 handset.