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Mate 10 Pro Preview: Splendid flagship with AI capabilities

01 November 2017 5

Almost all smartphone manufacturers already announced their phablet flagships of the year. Huawei is amongst the last manufacturers who announced their premium smartphone for second half of the year. Back in August ahead of IFA, Samsung announced their much-awaited flagship Galaxy Note 8, the device is well appreciated because of its dual rear cameras, stunning design but criticized because of the smaller battery cell. LG kicked off the September with their stunning V30 which is one of the best devices for cinematography and audio experience is also pretty top-notch.

The October was full of flagships, Google announced their Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL back in the first week of October, the second week is dominated by the Cupertino giant's iPhone 8 lineup and 10th anniversary iPhone X. The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro joined the race in the third week of October.

At the moment Google Pixel 2 XL is facing display issues due to quality control issues. Despite being an OLED display, its dull and not striking at all. The Huawei's first flagship P10 lineup was not as successful as last year P9 lineup. The newly announced Mate 10 Pro has a very good chance to gain phablet market share. The Mate 10 Pro not only have the striking design but also it has pretty powerful chipset under the hood. The device is capable enough to challenge the existing big players.

Like always whenever a new flagship is announced everyone is keen to know how well the device competes against its competitors, same is the case with the Mate 10 Pro. We already compared the latest finest product from Huawei against the LG V30, Galaxy Note 8, iPhone X, Galaxy S8 Plus, Pixel 2 XL and last year Mate 9. The device emerges the winner in most of the comparisons. Now the device is being shipped after pre-orders. It is the perfect time to preview the latest Mate 10 Pro to give our keen readers a pretty good view regarding what Mate 10 Pro is bringing under the hood.

We are hopeful our preview will certainly give our readers a good impression regarding the Pros and Cons of Mate 10 Pro. After reading it they certainly can decide in what aspects the Mate 10 Pro takes lead and emerges as the best option. Without any further ado, let's start with the design of Mate 10 Pro.

74.5 x 154.2 x 7.9 mm
6 inches - 2160x1080 px
Go to comparison page
Design

This year most of the smartphone manufacturers adopted glass rear for their flagships, LG, Samsung and Apple flagships have glass rear and even Pixel 2 lineup up to some extent. The Mate 10 Pro also brought metal and glass sandwich design. The shiny finish with flat curves gives it pretty luring look. To further beautify the rear, the rear side has the strip which dissects the rear cameras. The overall look of Mate 10 Pro is quite luring. It looks premium in hand.

The glass rear obviously attracts fingerprint imprints like most of the devices with glass rear. Another issue is Mate 10 Pro rear glass is not the sturdiest but instead, it smashes if you drop it. However, if you can take of it, it looks quite shiny and amazing. Huawei stated the Mate 10 Pro has 6H tempered glass whereas the Honor 9 comes with more sturdier 6.7H tempered glass.

The device lacks any physical buttons on the front facing side, the fingerprint scanner is placed on the rear side below the dual camera modules. It is easily accessible and the good thing is the dual rear cameras are slightly protruding which avoids user accidental smudges on the camera sensors instead of the fingerprint scanner.

Like the latest flagships, the Mate 10 pro is IP67 certified smartphone which means it can resist against water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes without worrying about damages. The Mate 10 Pro lacks the 3.5mm headphone jack but instead comes with a USB dongle. The Mate 10 pro can be grabbed in four attractive colors including Mocha Brown, Titanium Gray, Midnight Blue and Pink Gold.

Display

One of the key aspects of Mate 10 Pro is its full front-facing display. The device has ultra-thin bezels on all four edges. A 6.0-inches display is covered with the bezel-less frame. The best thing is Mate 10 Pro lacks any excessive bezel or notch like Pixel 2 XL and iPhone X. Its full front-facing display is surely a head turner like Galaxy Note 8's display.

This year LG started the trend of bringing 2:1 display, Huawei Mate 10 Pro is the company's first flagship with 2:1 ratio display. It fits easily in one hand and Huawei brings a number of software optimizations to help out one hand operations. Unlike the Mate 9, the new Mate 10 Pro has the Full HD+ display with 2160 x 1080 pixels screen resolution. It looks great and even better than most of the Full HD+ displays available in the market.

The Mate 10 Pro displays form factors are not dual curved or pressure sensitive edges but instead the display key aspects are its brightness and deep blacks because of OLED tech. The display maximum brightness level is 730 nits which aren't as good as Galaxy Note 8's 1000 its but still better than LG V30. It supports HDR10 content. The device doesn't have physical buttons that's why it will be slightly odd for those who are used to of physical home button. Huawei brings a software home key which they dubbed as "floating dock". It works efficiently but still, it isn't the replacement for the physical button.

Hardware

At this year Pixel 2 lineup unveiling, Google CEO highlighted the machine learning and AI is in its early stage of development but future lies in the development of AI. He is very sure that AI and machine learning is the next big thing in the tech market. From the look of the things, it seems like Huawei also thinks same as they brought special Neural processing unit alongside with their latest Kirin 970 chipset.

The Mate 10 Pro is the company's first flagship packed with the latest Kirin 970 chipset with Neural Processing Unit. Huawei claims the NPU takes care of processing required for artificial intelligence tasks. At the moment it's too early to claim how latest Kirin 970 with NPU is better than its competitors but it certainly is one of the fastest SoC. The Kirin 970 comes with 6GB RAM and 12-core graphics processing unit. The NPU capabilities will unfold with the passage of time. According to Huawei, the chipset is powerful enough to scan 2000 pictures per second.

The device is pre-loaded with a translator app which is the optimized version of Microsoft Translator. It provides nearly real-time translation thanks to the whopping speed of NPU. It works online whereas there is a number of third-party apps which provides translation offline but they are not as fast as this app.

Huawei also claims their chipset AI processing speed is faster than Apple. One thing is confirmed all devices of this league are top of their game in processing as fast as possible. Users won't feel any lag no matter what they are doing. The device is pretty capable to handle hifi graphics game and multi-tasking.

Specs Mate 10 Pro
Display 6.0-inches
Screen resolution 1080 x 2160 pixels
Chipset Kirin 970 SoC
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB Non-Expandable
Rear camera 12MP RGB +20MP Monochrome with f/1.7 aperture
Front camera 8MP
Battery 4,000mAh
USB Type-C
IP67 Yes
OS Android Oreo with EMUI 8
Software

The Mate 10 Pro is the company's first premium smartphone with Android Oreo straight out of the box with EMUI 8.0 layer over it. Last year Mate 9 was announced with EMUI 5.0, later on, the company rolled out 5.1 version of EMUI. Surprisingly this year company skipper 6 and 7 to match the 8 of Android Oreo.

Huawei stated the EMUI 8 is a big leap forward in terms of usability. The new version removes much of bloatware, it is the company's attempt to bring clean UI pretty much close to the stock Android OS. Apart from clean UI, it brings a number of cool features. It connects seamlessly to the PC via USB Type-C cable instead of the special dock like Samsung. There is a number of features to get full use of 2:1 display.

Not all apps are optimized for 2:1 display, Huawei provides settings menu for display which allows the user to manually switch off apps which are not optimized for this display. Despite the fact, the company claims the Mate 10 Pro has the fastest modem but it has pretty average signal quality. Though the Mate 10 Pro OS software is pretty better at the same time it has weakest signal quality much average than most of its competitors.


Battery

The Mate lineup smartphones are known for their awesome battery life, same is the case with the Mate 10 Pro. The Mate 10 Pro is packed with a gigantic 4,000mAh battery cell which provides awesome battery life. It easily lasts two days on the single charge. The software is also specially optimized to provide better battery life.

On heavy usage and continuous wifi connectivity for 17 hours the device ends the day with 30% juice. The device comes with Huawei SuperCharge feature which charges this gigantic battery cell pretty quickly. It doesn't support wireless charging despite the fact it has glass rear. As opposed to it Samsung and Apple flagships come with wireless charging feature.

Camera

Last but not the least key feature of Mate 10 Pro is its dual Leica certified camera sensors. The Huawei and Leica are jointly producing dual rear cameras for Huawei's flagship for quite some time and for the Mate 10 Pro once again Huawei opted dual rear cameras which are better than most of the premium flagships available in the market.

The Mate 10 Pro primary RGB sensor is the 12MP module with the f/1.6 aperture with optical image stabilization. The secondary sensor placed vertically below it, it is a 20MP monochrome sensor with same f/1.6 aperture but it lacks optical image stabilization. There are modes which allow snapper to either use monochrome or color lens to capture images. The good thing is it also brings software aperture as well to further optimize the camera capturing capabilities. The device brings portrait modes which allow user to blur the background and focus solely on the subject.

Both the sensors are wide-angle lenses but you won't have wide-view like the G6 sensor. Huawei brings Hybrid zoom feature instead of traditional digital zoom which works pretty good and efficient. The Mate 10 Pro brings four autofocus features including depth, on-sensor, contrast detect and laser autofocus.

Huawei introduces a new scene recognition feature which uses AI to give info to the user regarding what camera sensor is seeing. According to Huawei, the Mate 10 Pro image recognition database is comprised of over 100 million images. It easily differentiates between multi-shots, capturing plants, flowers, food or a building. It automatically adjusts the color saturation and contrasts considering what it is seeing.

The best thing about Mate 10 Pro's dual rear cameras is its low-light capturing capabilities which brings awesome results while capturing in at night. The camera shutter speed is also pretty awesome, you don't have to wait to capture next shot. It instantly captures and gets ready for the next shot.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro dual rear cameras sit right next to Google Pixel 2 sensors with 97 scores as per DxOMark ratings. The Mate 10 Pro is bringing one of the best cameras on the market. The front-facing selfie snapper is 8MP.

Price and Release

The Mate 10 Pro isn't a conventional phablet like we have seen in past but instead the Mate 10 Pro is a clear indication how the company is looking forward to adopting the latest bezel-less design trend. Despite having the large display it isn't the largest device available in the market like its predecessors. The new striking design increases its price tag significantly. The device is announced for €799 in Europe which roughly translate into $945 for international customers.

The company yet to officially release this device for the US customers but we can expect it will be around $900. For the Australian customers the device AU$1200. Its good to see Huawei is finally bringing their Mate lineup devices to other major regions as well.

Conclusion

Without any doubt, the Mate 10 Pro is worth appreciating device. It is first true flagship device from Huawei which is pretty much capable to challenge the existing big players premium devices. The Mate 10 Pro sleek design with ravishing full HD+ OLED display and sheer power under the hood makes it one of the best smartphone available in the market. The dual rear cameras and gigantic 4,000mAh battery are the standout features of the Mate 10 Pro.

Finally after a long wait, the Mate 10 Pro is the Huawei's first device which comes with near stock Android OS with minimal extra bloatware. The glass back is pretty attractive but at the same, its fragile and users will have to take extra care of it. If you are amongst those who are planning to grab a new top-tier smartphone, you can consider the Mate 10 Pro a serious contender amongst the best flagships available in the market.

It is indeed the finest product from Huawei. Feel free to share your views regarding the latest Mate 10 Pro in the comments section below. Stay tuned for more previews.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is available at Amazon for $ 465. The price/quality is avarage but this is the best device in this price range. To see others 3 offers click here.
(last update 13 December 2018 @ 21:18)

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