Huawei’s Mate series has always been the flagship forefront of the Chinese giant, and it’s on the 10th iteration. This time, they are at the forefront of innovation with their Kirin 970 processor promoting Artificial Intelligence technology. Huawei promotes that their AI technology can assist in photography by identifying more than 10 kinds of environment and items for better shots.
Along with that, the new processor promotes better performance by learning the apps you use for better battery efficiency. Huawei also promotes that their processor won’t degrade in performance for up to 18 months as compared to others, this is because of its AI technology to keep itself optimum.
Here are the basic specifications
|Chipset||Huawei Kirin 970|
|Display||5.9-inch IPS 2560×1440, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, HDR 10|
|OS||Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI 8.0|
|Rear Camera||Leica optics, f/1.6, 12MP RGB + 20MP Monochrome, OIS, 2x Zoom, PDAF, Laser AF|
|Storage||64GB, expandable via microSD slot|
|Connectivity||Hybrid SIM tray, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE CAT.18, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, NFC|
|Others||USB Type-C, IP53 Dust, and Water resistance|
|Colors||Black, Champagne Gold, Pink Gold, Mocha Brown|
Overall Build and Design
The Mate 10 a 5.9-inch tablet with a side metal frame and glass back. While the design isn’t really new, Huawei’s approach to a more boxed type shape along with curved side frames and glass made this phone easier to hold.
It’s similar to how we experienced the previous Galaxy Note 7, feels premium with a touch of glass. It’s nice to hold even in hot temperatures as the heat isn’t concentrated too much on one panel. One major problem we see in this is the annoying fingerprints on the glass panel, to be honest, it’s completely unavoidable.
The mocha brown color at first looks weird, but we started to appreciate its complex color through the premium glass. People adore the color, but it’s more of a 50-50 chance of loving it overall.
One good thing about the Mate 10 is the pre-installed screen protector with even comes with a frosted jelly case for premium protection. A must standard for all smartphone packages especially for the price of the Mate 10.
At 180g for a 4000maH the overall size is pretty standard, we applaud Huawei for keeping the bezels minimal as much as possible. While on the bottom is the home button, this is a weird step from Huawei where they shifted the home button at the bottom front similar to the P10. We think the small space at the bottom is just enough for the fingerprint sensor, for an almost 6-inch phone reaching the sensor with your thumb is a bit of a chore.
The 5.9-inch 16:9 ratio screen is forgivable with its 2560×1440 resolution, at this time we expected Huawei to deliver an 18:9 screen format but that was reserved to the more expensive Mate 10 Pro. Overall display is vibrant with options to even tweak its display, brightness is spot on even outdoors…it does get hot at maximum brightness and under the sun though.
Improved Leica Dual Camera
Huawei promotes their new Leica Dual Lens with f/1.6 aperture, which they say can easily take the beautiful depth of field photos, crystal clear low-light scenes and blur-free shots on objects that move. It has a 20MP monochrome sensor and 12MP RGB sensor with OIS for better performance even at Auto.
Along with Huawei’s Neural Processing Unit of the Kirin 970 processor, it can do artificial intelligence of what objects are being shot. From scenes of landscape, indoor, night or even pets. This adjusts the settings based on Huawei’s database to deliver better lighting and shutter speed.
A special icon will appear at the lower right to indicate the scene, as you can see in this shot it is very dark. Which the Mate 10 compensated by activating the night mode for longer shutter speed.
All of the displayed photos here are in the Auto mode, we haven’t used the pro mode as we initially try to test the AI photo technology. Huawei also promotes that their Bokeh feature is also enhanced with their AI as it can differentiate objects even further.
See here just some of our photo samples.
Photos are bouncy of color, good against the light contrast and even bokeh shots are good. It still doesn’t cut out based on accurate shape, but the same field is more differentiated now as compared to before. But again, since its Huawei…you can simply re-adjust the bokeh afterward in the Leica camera settings.
The camera is very snappy, no signs of lagging and even a slowdown. That’s what impressed us with the Mate 10, something other flagship phones even struggle to do. Plus the preview of the screen shows high-resolution photos, unlike other brands that reduce to 720p real-time preview to compensate the lag.
The Mate 10 now has a lot of camera modes from the night, monochrome, HDR, panorama, light painting, document scanning and now even 3D panorama. You can even track objects for better focus and save in RAW format for better editing afterwards.
No hiccups whatsoever, the Kirin 970 processor simply places itself into the top smartphones in terms of performance in the latest AnTuTu benchmarks. What we would like to see further though as smoother transitions of the EMUI 8.0 for less waiting time.
Performance wise, you have nothing to worry. It’s more of can you really maximize the strong processing power by juggling through many apps?
With the 4000mAh battery of the Mate 10, we get average 11 hours before looking for a charger. This is with heavy LTE usage, camera and even streaming some videos via iWantTV.
One thing impressive about the Mate 10 is the battery efficiency as we only get 2-3% deducted in Wi-Fi usage while sleeping. Plus, charing using the Huawei SuperCharge is a delight as we can get 10%-100% in a little more than an hour. Just be reminded that the USB-Type C cable of the supercharge is special and you will need to take care of your charger and cable in order to utilize this.
The Mate 10 has a dual speaker system where the earpiece produces more on high notes of treble while the speaker at the bottom delivers most of the sound like 85%. Overall speaker delivery is impressive, Huawei was able to maximize the body of the phone for a more rich sounding speaker that has a punch of depth, similar to other premium smartphones.
Audio chip wise, the volume is clear with the 3.55mm audio jack at the top. This gives better management of cables when laid flat but bothersome if you would like to listen to the earbuds while the phone is in your pocket while charging via a power bank.
For the price of Php32,990, the Huawei Mate 10 has a very compelling feature package worth considering. Compared to the Mate 9, this one is much refined with a sense of premium. Right now, Huawei’s A.I. technology might be impressive, but the use case scenario isn’t that wide yet so we will reserve our judgment in our full review.
If you seek for a no-nonsense smartphone that can deliver then it’s the Mate 10 you are looking for. Just remember that this one isn’t the latest 18:9 ratio screen or IP68 water resistant and that’s all present to the more advanced Mate 10 Pro.