Huawei is a top smartphone contender in the world, currently at No.3 challenging the giants such as Samsung and Apple. In the recent years, Huawei gained superior recognition with their unlikely partnership with Leica as a photography resource. They started the dual-camera revolution 2 years ago with the Huawei P9, which soon after followed by the Mate 9 and recent P10 series.

Moving to late 2017, Huawei unleashed their latest Huawei Mate 10 series with a key feature in mind which is Artificial Intelligence. With this, Huawei is looking to front the next generation of A.I. Phones with their Kirin 970 chipset. The core benefit of this is that Huawei can now have features of smart photography by detecting objects, scenery and even power consumption for self-learning processing that can save battery life.

On the top of their offering is the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, which is a more refined version of the Huawei Mate 10 by utilizing the latest combination of aesthetics, photography and performance. We recently reviewed the Huawei Mate 10 and it was a great smartphone that offered the best package for less than Php35,000 price range.

Moving forward to their more premium offering, we got plenty of time to use their Huawei Mate 10 Pro and here is our full review of this flagship from Huawei.

Here are the specs of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro

  • 6-inch 18:9 Full HD+ OLED FullView display @ 2160 x 1080 pixels, 402ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass (Front and Back)
  • HDR 10 Visual Display Experience
  • HiSilicon Kirin 970 2.36GHz octa-core
  • 4 x ARM Cortex A73 2.36GHz + 4 x ARM Cortex A53 1.8GHz
  • Mali G72-MP12 GPU
  • 6GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • 128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage
  • 12MP + 20MP dual Leica optic rear cameras with Dual Tone LED Flash: f/1.6, OIS, 2x lossless zoom, Leica optics
  • PDAF + CAF + Laser + Depth auto-focus
  • 8MP f/2.0 front-facing camera
  • 4G LTE Cat. 18 (1.2Gbps)
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby (hybrid)
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, DLNA
  • Bluetooth 4.2 + NFC
  • GPS with GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • IP67 Water and Dust Resistance
  • USB Type-C + DisplayPort 1.2
  • Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI 8.0
  • 4,000mAh Li-Ion battery + Huawei Supercharge
  • 154.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm (dimensions)
  • 178 grams (weight)

Design

The Mate 10 Pro inherits the same properties as the mate 10, only sleeker at a more refined body thanks to the 18:9 ratio screen. This one is more narrow which is a relief for my experience as compared to the Mate 10. Using glass for the front and back is luxurious to the feel, the frame is made of metal with a chrome finish.

The overall feel reminded us of a Galaxy S8 feel, a first in Huawei in our experience to use a dual glass panel both protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. We liked that the screen is protected with a thin layer of screen protector, plus its bright enough for direct sunlight situations.

As compared to the Mate 10, the Pro’s screen is more immersive thanks to the OLED implementation. The FHD+ 2160×1080 display is also flexible in controls to lower down to HD+ for battery efficiency or more punch with controls like vivid more or color temperature adjustment.

No 3.5mm audio jack here since Huawei opted to secure an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. For the price of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, most likely you already have Bluetooth speakers, headphones and even Wi-Fi direct method of streaming music in your car or for personal use.

Prepare for smudges, lots of them but it’s normal for a smartphone to get some smudges and don’t get overprotected. Might as well wrap it on a plastic if you’re too sensitive to the slightest mess in our opinion.

Performance

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro with the Kirin 970 processor is a future-proof smartphone, it can handle anything you throw at it. Our heavy social media along with casual watching over iWantTV and gaming of rules of survival gives us unprecedented performance.

With 170k points at Antutu benchmark, we think you don’t have to worry about any performance issues. Overall, we are satisfied with the 6GB RAM giving overall convenience to our usage nevertheless of the scenario.

Storage wise you have a 128GB UFS 2.1 internal memory, unfortunately, there is no MicroSD card and perhaps its due to the speed incompatibility of the UFS 2.1 against even on the top class MicroSD cards. But still, at least the Mate 10 Pro is a dual sim. For us, the 128GB and cloud storage of Google is more than enough for a smartphone user.

Camera

Same as our experience with the Huawei P10, the camera of the Mate 10 is outstanding. Colors are now more accurate, level of sensitivity is better while maintaining a crisp and clear output. But with the new generation, Dual-Camera Leica lens and the f/1.6 lens gives the Mate 10 Pro amazing night clarity which we see the best among other flagships.

The bokeh mode on the Mate 10 Pro is simply buttery, we love highlighting products especially shoes with it. Highlighting people as well is a breeze and giving a well deserved dramatic blur in the background.

Selfies are also great with more clarity as compared to the Huawei Nova 2i, we liked that the beautification feature is more flexible along with the portrait bokeh mode less hard on the edges.

Aside from great photography, the AI mode of Huawei can detect sceneries, text and even placement for a more adaptive photography experience, You can also scan business cards, documents, QR codes or even barcodes directly, saving you time than opening another app for a casually used feature.

Battery Life

The 4,000mAh battery of the Mate 10 Pro is something to adore among other flagship phones. We manage to get an average 13-15 hours of constant 4G connection and medium-heavy usage, which translate to just charging to 20-30% in break times to last us a day.

Additionally, the standby battery usage is nothing to worry about, perhaps this is due to the Kirin 970 AI processor doing its job. For us, a night sleep without turning off the Wi-Fi and mobile data translate to around 3-5% battery drain, it even tells me which app to close by 10PM so I can save battery.

Operating System – UI

While Huawei also promotes their EMUI 5.0 Desktop Mode in the 10 Pro, you will need to buy a USB Type-C cable to HDMI adapter in order to make this work. The cable is around Php2,000 to Php3,500 depending on where and what kind you buy, but if you have the USB Type-C adapter for the MAC then you’re lucky as it works as well.

These are videos from our friends from Yugatech and Gadget Pilipinas, both demonstrating the capabilities of the Easy projection feature of the Mate 10 series. Overall, as long as you have an HDMI enabled monitor and the USB Type-C cable, then you can use the Mate 10 as a workstation. Not bad for a device that can already handle work, sometimes you just need a bigger screen to fishing things up.

Aside from that, the Huawei EMUI 5.0 is overall one of the most feature packed UI we have seen. Customizations from steps, lighting. on-screen display, gestures and even modifying notifacations down to the small details is possible. A thing most simplisctic users won’t be using, but given the market of Huawei as tech-savy users, it’s definitely a core strength of Huawei.

Conclusion

Overall, Huawei’s R&D for a next-generation smartphone pays off. The Mate 10 Pro is definitely a flagship that can compete with the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note and Apple’s iPhone 8 or X in terms of performance, camera and overall design.

If there is a downside to the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, that would be the lack of face detection technology for us (Though rumors Huawei is on a rush to provide one via OTA). Using other smartphones with face unlock while the fingerprint is at the back is a useful method to access the phone. Honestly, the chore of lifting the phone just to unlock the phone to check your status or notifications is annoying for us unlike the front fingerprint of the Mate 10.

At Php38,995, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a gem to have if you aren’t into drawing like the Galaxy Note 8’s pen. What we overall love is the sleek dual glass body, ultra-fast camera response, and clarity, plus not to mention the battery life and charging worth having.

What we like

  • Top notch camera performance
  • Gorgeous display and glass body to adore
  • Outstanding Battery Life and Charging
  • Water and Dust Resistance
  • EMUI Desktop Mode (If you have the special cable)
  • Special 3 months glass replacement warranty

What we don’t like

  • No Face Unlock Technology
  • EMUI USB Type-C cable to HDMI is not provided
  • No MicroSD Card Slot

With this, we award the Huawei Mate 10 Pro our seal of approval as 100% Satisfying Premium Smartphone. Trust us, you won’t get bored using this phone.

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