It is not so often that I feel a bit of excitement writing about brands from China. But then again, Huawei is no stranger to the world. It is the biggest manufacturer for consumer grade electronics and OEM brands in China. Being such a big manufacturer, Huawei does have a very good reputation in the globally and particularly in the Asia Pacific market, where it is one of the most trusted consumer electronic brands. Huawei has a range of smartphones across the board but perhaps their flagships are what are interesting about their smartphone portfolio.
Huawei recently unveiled the Mate 10 and the Mate 10 Pro in an event in Berlin. These continued the legacy of the Huawei’s previous Mate line of smartphones which were famous for being some of the first phones to come with a dedicated AI chip built into the SoC and also one of the first phone’s to be Google’s Daydream VR ready. So how does the Huawei Mate 10 fare against the competition? Let’s find out.
Design and Display:
Right off the bat, Huawei’s Mate 10 is quite a looker. It has a near bezel less design and whatever little bezels surround it,are quite small. Huawei has decided to ditch its signature all aluminium design and as a result the new Huawei devices are made entirely out of glass and while that does make the device appear absolutely gorgeous, but because of this the device is now a fingerprint magnet. On the plus side, this construction method does make the device look and feel very premium to behold and I can’t think of another device that looks as good as this. The front of the device has a single physical home button with the added fingerprint sensor and it is a nice design touch because a front finger print touch is always more accessible on a device with its proportions. The back of the Mate 10 houses a dual rear camera assembly and that gorgeous glass finish with an almost mirror like finish.
The device also has a 5.9 inch display with a very sharp resolution of 2560×1440 which gives it a pixel density of 449ppi. It also has an aspect ratio of 16:9 and it does make the device broader unlike the 18:9 standard followed by most smartphone manufacturers these days. But on the plus side the display is HDR10 compliant and does have very nice colour reproduction courtesy of the 96% NTSC colour gamut and a deep contrast ratio of 1500:1.
The Huawei Mate 10 is powered by the Kirin 970SoC which is Huawei’s own in-house design. It is an 8 Core CPU with 4*Cortex A73 cores running at 2.36GHz + 4*Cortex A53 cores running at 1.8GHz and an additional i7 co-processor,which is a part of their Neutral Network Processing Unit (NPU) which controls the AI capabilities of the phone. Huawei claims this increases efficiency of daily applications by up to 50% while using much less power and that the Kirin 970SoC is capable of 1.92 TFLOPS of compute power. It also has a Mali-G72 MP12 GPU which as the name suggests is a 12 core GPU. Performance wise, the device is a beast with daily tasks showing absolutely no signs of lag whatsoever and multi-tasking is a breeze. Adding to that, the device is coupled with 4GB of DDR4 RAM which should aid with running multiple tasks simultaneously without any issues.
Since the device was launched not that long ago, it is one of the few phones to come with Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. It runs EMUI 8.0 which is a custom skin developed by Huawei in house for their devices. The EMUI is a kind of a hit or miss layout for most people because although it offers a nice blend of features and customisation, but it is in no way meant to appeal to the Android purists. The good thing here is that the EMUI does give you various options to set up the device exactly the way you want it and with the Kirin 970, it is blazing fast showing absolutely no signs of lag whatsoever.
Camera and Storage:
The Huawei Mate 10 has Dual rear cameras at the rear. The 20MP camera houses a monochrome sensor while the 12MP camera houses an RGB sensor. Both of the cameras come with an aperture of f/1.6 and both of them have Optical Image Stabilisation. The end result is a camera that trails the Google Pixel 2 in the DxO mark charts, scoring an astounding 97 overall in tests while the Pixel 2 is 98. The photos that come out of the camera are truly spectacular and it has one of the best low light performances among any smartphone camera today on sale. The camera has an insane four focus modes, namely PDAF, CAF, Laser and Depth Auto Focus and it truly shows as the cameras focus fast no matter the lighting conditions. The camera also works in conjunction with the AI chip and can easily apply the best settings for any subject that it identifies automatically. The front camera is a standard 8MP unit with a fixed focus and an f/2.0 aperture.
Storage wise, the Mate 10 comes with 64GB of RAM with the ability to expand it up to 256GB via the hybrid SIM slot.
Battery and Connectivity:
Powering the device is a 4000mAh battery which might seem a bit less but the AI system is supposed to tweak the device so that there is minimal loss of power.
There is no official launch dates for India so at the moment it cannot be confirmed whether it’ll support Indian network bands but rest assured the device is loaded with a host of connectivity options such as NFC, Display Port 1.2, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct support, BT 4.2 and 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Huawei Mate 10 is one of the most interesting devices to come out of Huawei in a long time. Huawei may actually have nailed their recipe with this device as the Huawei now has figures to back up their claims. Huawei Mate 10 price in Indiais expected to be around Rs.54000 for the 64GB model. This is definitely a bit on the higher side, but it is a lot cheaper and a lot better than competing devices at this price point, save for a few big guns. It a highly recommended device for the price point.