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Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: Great in Everything

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In the past Huawei’s Mate series has been incorporating an industrial design for a long time. The new Mate 10 series gets the usual upgrades for 2017 standards and a touch of elegance of the with its metal and glass construction. We have the higher end Huawei Mate 10 Pro here and we have been using it for two weeks now. Is this your next phone for 2018? Read on.

HUAWEI MATE 10 PRO

Display
  • 6-inch AMOLED
  • 1080p resolution (1080 x 2160 pixels) at 402 ppi
  • HDR10 support
 Network Standard
  • LTE Cat.18 w/ VoLTE
 SIM Slots
  • Dual LTE SIM slot (hybrid)
 CPU
  • Hisilicon Kirin 970
  • Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
 GPU
  • Mali-G72 MP12
 Storage
  • 64 GB or 128 GB
  • expandable via microSD up to 256 GB
 Memory
  •  4 GB or 6 GB RAM
 Back Cameras
  • Dual 20 MP +12 MP Leica optics
  • f/1.6, OIS, 2x lossless zoom, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
 Front Camera
  • 8 MP, f/2.0
 Operating System
  • Android 8.0 (Oreo) with EMUI 8.0
 Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, aptX HD, LE
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • NFC, Infrared
  • USB Type-C reversible connector
 Sensors
  • Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compass
 Battery
  • 4000 mAh battery
  • Fast charging 4.5V/5A (58% in 30 min)
 Colors
  • Midnight Blue, Titanium Gray, Mocha Brown, Pink Gold

 

HARDWARE AND DESIGN

The biggest noticeable update is the phone’s design. Compare it to the Huawei Mate 9 and it is just night and day. The Mate 10 Pro is a departure from the past Mate’s industrial design and into the elegant and sophisticated glass and metal construction.

What we admire most are the color choices – Midnight Blue, Titanium Gray and Mocha Brown. The Pink Gold variant is not available in the Philippines. We have the Midnight Blue vairant and it is absolutely stunning! The color changes a bit when you tilt the phone. Sometimes its turns purple and then it turns in to dark blue. Really cool!

Ports and buttons

  • Top – Infrared Port and noise cancelling microphone
  • Bottom – Spealer, microphone, USB Type C
  • Left – dual SIM card tray
  • Right – power button and volume rockers
  • Back – Fingerprint Scanner and dual camera with flash
  • Front – 6-inch display, front camera, earpiece and sensors

Two things you must know – the Huawei Mate 10 Pro does not have an audio jack and does not have a Facial Recognition feature to unlock the phone. For us, it is quite a bummer that Huawei decided to remove the audio jack but the company has bundled a USB Type C connector if you decide to use your third party earphones. With this, you cannot listen to music while charging unless you buy a multiple connector.

Just like we always say every time, we don’t cover audio on our reviews because we don’t have sharp ears for details in audio. Though we are not audiophiles, we know good audio. In the case of the Mate 10 Pro, audio is coming from two points – the rear firing speaker and the earpiece. As a result, it produces better audio experience.

DISPLAY

Another interesting decision that Huawei made is the choice of display and resolution. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro has a 6-inch AMOLED display with tall 18:9 aspect ratio but the resolution is only 1080p as compared with the regular Mate 10 with a higher res Quad HD IPS LCD display but with the usual 16:9 aspect ratio.

Since it is an AMOLED display, colors are rich and punchy which is perfect for content consumption such as watching movies and playing high graphic games. It is not as viewable under direct sunlight like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 but sunlight legibility is acceptable.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

Under the hood is Huawei’s home brewed Kirin 970 chipset. Aside from that, Huawei also included a Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Its a bit technical but to make it easier to understand, the NPU operates serparately from the CPU and it enables AI (artificial intelligence) which is a machine learning algorithm to boost the phone’s performance overtime as the Mate 10 Pro ages. In short, no lags as you use the phone longer. Its hard to determine this as we only had two weeks with the device. Maybe we can do a re-review of it after 6 months or so.

Overall performance was very smooth whenever you play games, leave lots of apps open in the background and extreme multitasking.

It runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and on top its Huawei’s EMUI 8. There are some notable cosmetic changes in the UI. We also received some updates for the camera and its video capabilities during our review time. Huawei also guaranteed two years of Android upgrades as well.

CAMERA

Since its partnership with Leica, its only shows Huawei’s dedication to improve its camera tech and in the case of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, we think this is by far the best cameras we’ve seen in a Huawei device. The NPU we were talking about also works with the camera. It can distinguish the subject you are about to shoot and automatically adjust the settings for better photo results, We ended up using auto settings more than going to pro mode because of this. Check out some photos here!

CONNECTIVITY

All necessary security and connectivity options are available here – fingerprint scanner, 4G/LT, WiFi, Bluetooth. Many flagships nowadays have facial or iris scanners as an alternative for the fingerprint scanner but for us, its fine that Huawei does not have such feature. Internet is very stable and calls are clear with no issues. As expected in a Huawei device, signal drops are very very rare.

Speedtest taken at Bonifacio Stopover in BGC

BATTERY

One good decision from Huawei is putting a large 4,000 mAh battery in this beauty. We are happy to report that the Huawei Mate 10 Pro managed to last for two full days with moderate to heavy use. We also managed to get over a day of extreme heavy use. Bravo Huawei!

VERDICT

We think it is no brainer that the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is one of the best large smartphone aound. It sometimes bested Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 (which is nearly 15k more) in terms of camera and overall performance.

For us the some compromises are doable like the lack of an audio jack. Just make sure your keep a good eye on the USB Type C audio connector. The choice of Full HD over quad HD? Nah! It was never an issue for us. The AMOLED panel is so good to look at and besides, we are not fans of VR which needs a higher screen resolution to work.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro now has #FTARecommended seal of approval! 🙂