Phones

Review Huawei Mate 10 Pro: Artificial Intelligence in Your pocket

Written by Tyler Rondman

Review Huawei Mate 10 Pro: Artificial Intelligence in Your pocket

The Huawei Mate, unfortunately, was absent for a couple of years in the Ukraine. Luckily, this year we managed to get firsthand experience with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. This phone with the Mate 10 Lite became a highlight at the IFA 2017 show in Berlin. The whole presentation was devoted to the new Kirin 970 processor available in this smartphone. The mobile phone is interesting for not only the new SoC but also many other interesting features.

What is it?

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is the flagship of the line with a large 6-inch Full View OLED display Full HD + screen, a new 64-bit 8-core core Kirin 970 processor, 6 GB RAM, 128 GB of internal memory, dual main camera and support for two SIM cards. The smartphone is running on the new OS Android 8.0 Oreo with the proprietary Huawei EMUI 8.0 shell.

What makes this phone interesting?

The smartphone received a new processor of its own design the Kirin 970, which the company calls the world’s first chip with a separate NPU (Neural-network Processing Unit) model. The great thing about this chip is the fact that it’s designed to work with neural networks while learning and offers you artificial intelligence.

With this intelligence, it recognizes the user’s behavior when using the phone with other factors. In theory, this will bring improvements in performance, image quality, and optimization of the smartphone power use.

In addition, the Kirin 970 is the world’s first processor with a 12-core Mali-G72 GPU. The processors made in compliance with 10-nm process technology. It includes (in addition to the above-mentioned elements) 4 cores of ARM Cortex-A73 with a maximum frequency of 2.36 GHz plus 4x Cortex A53 1 of 8 GHz and an i7 coprocessor.

Huawei also decided to join the general trend of reducing the frame around the display. The screen has an unusual aspect ratio (although who knows, it is possible this will become the norm). In this case, we reviewed an OLED screen with a diagonal of 6 inches, an aspect ratio of 18:9, and a resolution of FullHD + 2160 x 1080 with support for HDR10.

The Mate 10 Pro has protection against dust and water according to the IP67 standard. With this medication, it does not have a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The main camera is a Leica brand that has two modules: 12-megapixel color and 20-megapixel monochrome, both received optics with an f/1.6 diaphragm and hybrid autofocus (PDAF + CAF + Laser + Depth Auto Focus).

According to the manufacturer, the camera recognizes objects in the frame and selects the best setting to capture an image.

There is a portrait mode with background blurs present, and the 2-x zoom function has no loss of quality. The front camera is an 8-megapixel one. The smartphone works with Android 8.0 Oreo and has the EMUI 8.0 shell.

The Mate series has always been famous for its large batteries. The Mate 10 Pro has received a 4000 mAh battery and has fast charging.

What is in the box?

You receive the Mate 10 Pro in a square cardboard box with a plum color. On the box are the model picture and Leica logo. Once you open the box, you see the smartphone, power supply, USB Type-C 3.1 cable, headset with USB Type-C, a tray-release clip, transparent case, protective film and the user guide. Judging by the information on the official website, in the commercial version there will be another 3.5mm adapter available.

How does the phone look once assembled?

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro received a minimal frame on the sides and very small gaps at the top and bottom of the display. The smartphone uses a 6-inch Full View display with an aspect ratio of 18:9, covered with Gorilla Glass and has rounded edges.

There is no curved screen or rounded corners present. Under the screen is a small Huawei inscription and above the screen, you see the front camera. The frame is made of metal with a texture to keep it secure in the hand.

On the right side, there is a volume control and power button. Using the buttons gives a distinct move and projects well. The microphone, infrared port and two plastic inserts for antennas found in the top section.

The SIM tray:

Different models will be available in different countries (for one or two SIM-cards), but in none of them, you can use a MicroSD card. We do not foresee any problems as the phone has 128 GB onboard memory. There is a rubber seal to prevent moisture from entering the device.

On the lower edge is a regular USB Type-C connector, two microphones, external speaker holes and a couple of plastic inserts. Unlike the predecessor the Mate 9, the back panel’s glass, there are several layers of Gorilla Glass present.

The back panel is glossy and slightly shimmers in different lighting. The main cameras highlighted by an interesting strip that goes through the entire case of the smartphone. A little lower, in the middle, there is a fingerprint scanner.

All the functional rudiments arranged symmetrically. In the middle, there are two lenses projecting slightly over the body and have a golden edging. On the one side is a double flash with the inscription Leica, on the other a laser range finder and the already traditional Huawei Summilux-H 1 1.6 /27 ASPH optics marking.

The location of the fingerprint scanners placed well. This is great when you remove the phone from your pocket as your finger immediately goes where you want it to go. The scanner is accurate and as usual, you can use it for other functions.

Using the bumper helps with keeping the mobile device safe, considering that it is glass on both sides. Taking the diagonal display shape into consideration the Mate 10 Pro remains comfortable in the hand.

The case will be available in different colors to buy blue, dark gray, golden, and brown.

How good is the screen?

The smartphone has a 6-inch AMOLED-screen, which the company calls the HUAWEI FullView Display and supports HDR10. It has an aspect ratio of 18:9 and a resolution of FullHD + 2160 x 1080 the pixel density is 402 PPI. The screens glued with protective film, but scratched instantly yet remain protected. The film has some oleophobic coating. By itself, the screen has a great viewing angle and the picture colors superb.

Performance

The smartphone is equipped with a top-8-core Hi-Link Kirin 970 10-nanometer processor with a clock speed of 2.36 GHz with the i7, NPU (Neural-network Processing Unit) and the new Mali-G72 MP12 graphics.

It has an impressive 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB built-in memory. Quite often, with a new chipset, not everything works according to plan, but in this case, everything worked well. The applications work very quickly and without any glitches. Even the screen looks.

The 12-core Mali-G72 MP12 video accelerator is also great and there are no complaints about performance. Almost all games work perfectly, including the maximum graphics settings. The bugs were with XCOM (although it always has problems with any processor) and with NFS: No Limits. Apparently, the developers have not yet reached the optimal level for the new graphics and with the textures; it did not look great.

The Smartphones powered by a 4000 mAh battery that includes the Huawei SuperCharge. This feature charges the phone from 30% to about 50%. The battery life was outstanding with constant synchronization over 3G and Wi-Fi, social networks, mail, YouTube, games, benchmarks, photos and video, the smartphone I sustained a day and a half of use. Further, even when used with only the basics it worked for two days. Furthermore, it has the traditional Huawei power saving modes.

How well does the camera work?

The main camera uses a system similar to the previous Huawei flagships: 12-megapixel color module and 20-megapixel monochrome. The SUMMILUX-H 1:1.6/27 ASPH optics is used, with both modules having a f/1.6 aperture lens (the world’s first similar dual camera, as stated in the presentation, the LG V30 only has one of the modules having a 1/1.6 diaphragm) 27 mm EGF and optical stabilization.

The autofocus is hybrid with laser focusing, calculating the depth and contrast of the composition. The main camera can capture video in 4K. The resolution of the front camera is 8 megapixels. The interface has not changed much since the Huawei P10 and Mate 9. Do select the settings and modes you need to swipe from right to left. There is a Pro-mode when swiping from left to right.

Almost all necessary settings are on the main screen. The only thing we do not understand (since Mate 9, and maybe earlier) is why they placed the HDR in a separate mode and there is no switch on the main screen?

Final Words

It seems that things like neural networks and artificial intelligence will become part of our daily lives much faster than we expect. To judge the benefits and disadvantages at this stage is still too early. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is another small step in this direction.

So far, the presence of the NPU (Neural-network Processing Unit) is rather formal in nature with a small number of opportunities, a kind of reserve for the future, which in the future can become useful. In other respects, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro turned out to be a practical flagship with a large screen.

Yes, it does not evoke the WOW-effect with its appearance. But everything from the thin frame, compact design (taking the diagonal screen into consideration) the convenient case with dust and moisture protection, a quality display, an excellent dual camera, powerful and energy-efficient processor, large battery with fast charging and a new Android 8.0 Oreo with an updated branded shell is well worth a buy.

The problem is with all of the above-mentioned features they always sacrifice something. In this case, engineers left out the 3.5-mm headphone jack and a microSD slot, so you cannot expand the 128 GB of internal memory.

This corresponds to the modern phones the iPhone of the latest generation, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 + more expensive, the usual Galaxy S8 for a couple of thousand is cheaper.

6 Reasons to Buy Huawei Mate 10 Pro:

  • Very powerful hardware for the future in the form of NPU
  • Quality display
  • Excellent main camera
  • Quality materials and assembly
  • Dust and moisture protection according to IP67
  • New Android 8.0 Oreo with a convenient housing

2 reasons not to buy Huawei Mate 10 Pro:

  • No 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • No microSD slot
Technical specifications of Huawei Mate 10 Pro  
Display OLED, 6 inches, 2160×1080, 402 ppi, without air gap, 2.5D glass
Housing dimensions 154.2×74.5×7.9 mm, weight: 178 g
CPU 64-bit 10-nm HiSilicon Kirin 970, 4хARM Cortex-A73, 2.35 GHz + 4xARM Cortex-A53, 1.8 GHz, coprocessor i7, NPU, graphics ARM Mali-G72 MP12
RAM 6 GB
Flash memory 128 GB
Camera 12 + 20 MP, f / 1.6, 27 mm EGF, optical stabilization, laser autofocus, LED flash. video 4K @ 30 fps, front camera – 8 MP
Wireless technologies Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac 2.4 + 5 GHz, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC, IR
GPS GPS, Glonass, BDS
Battery 4000 mAh, non-removable
operating system Android 8.0 Oreo + EMUI 8.0
Sim card 2x nanoSIM

About the author

Tyler Rondman

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.