Huawei always saves the latest, most powerful components for its Mate series of phones. The latest Mate 10, arriving today with a full load of trendy features, is no exception.
The Mate 10 series packs not just the new supercharged Kirin 970 octa-core processor and funky dual-camera on the back but also wraps them up in a slick-looking body with glass on the front and back. There are two iterations, the standard Mate 10 and the Mate 10 Pro, with notable differences between them. It’s apparently the Pro that’s the “main” one, and it’s that one that we’ll be able to buy in the UK (both models will be available in Australia).
The Pro is definitely the most exciting of the group. At 6-inches, it’s larger than the 5.9-inch Mate 10, but with narrower bezels on all sides, Huawei reckons that the 6-inch screen fits into the same size body you’d have found on last year’s 5.5-inch devices. It’s certainly comfortable to hold.
Huawei achieved the slimmer bezel by ditching the home button on the front, moving the fingerprint scanner to the back, below the camera. The screen now stretches right to the edges and with the Pro’s resolution of 2,160×1,080 pixels, everything looks nice and crisp. Oddly, the standard Mate has a higher 2,560×1,440-pixel resolution, although I couldn’t see much of a difference between them when I placed the phones side-by-side. The Mate 10 still has a home button and fingerprint scanner beneath the screen.
Both displays support HDR and are bright enough to sear your eyeballs right out — or at least make them easy to use under bright sunlight.
Huawei has taken a cue from Apple in switching the rear design from metal to glass. However, while Apple made the move to support wireless charging, Huawei’s decision is purely down to aesthetics — there’s no wireless charging on either version of the phone. The phones look pretty good, though that shiny glass is a total fingerprint magnet.
The Mate 10 has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, but bizarrely, you won’t find one on the Pro. Instead, you’ll have to use Bluetooth headphones, or find a wired pair that plugs into the USB-C socket. Your existing 3.5mm headphones will not work with the Mate 10 Pro. The Pro version does have IP67 waterproofing however, which the standard Mate does not. Huawei argued the main reason for this difference was that it was too difficult to waterproof the headphone jack on the standard Mate. Samsung managed this perfectly well on theso I’m not happy that Huawei hasn’t put more effort in here.
Huawei says its Kirin 970 octa-core processor is lightning fast, so you can expect it to handle any game you can find in the Google Play store, and image editing will be a breeze. These CPUs are also equipped with what Huawei is calling neural processing units, which will apparently improve the Mate 10 and Pro’s artificial intelligence. The tangible benefits of this, according to the company, are improved battery life and camera. The phones can identify different categories of picture — like stage, person or even dog — and adjust camera settings accordingly before the picture is taken.
The standard Mate 10 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, while the Pro has 6GB with 128GB of storage — although there’s no ability to expand that storage with a microSD card.
Huawei is sticking with a similar dual camera setup to those we’ve seen on its P10 already. A 12-megapixel sensor shoots in color, while a 20-megapixel sensor shoots exclusively in black and white. Shots from both sensors looked great on the P10 and with the Mate 10’s wider aperture (now f/1.6 on both lenses, which lets in more light) and handful of software tweaks, I’m looking forward to seeing what it can do.
Huawei has yet to say exactly how much the Mates will go on sale for in the UK. In Australia, the Mate 10 will retail for AU$899 (roughly £530) while the Pro will cost $1,099 (roughly £650). Those prices convert to roughly $700 and $860, though the phone is unlikely to get a wide carrier release in the US.
Huawei Mate 10 (and Mate 10 Pro) specifications
- 5.9-inch display, 2,560×1,440-pixel resolution (Pro: 6-inch, 2,160×1,080-pixels)
- Dual 12-megapixel colour camera with 20-megapixel monochrome camera
- 8-megapixel fornt-facing camera
- 4,000mAh battery, non-removable, supports fast charge but no wireless charging
- Kirin 970 octa-core processor
- 4GB RAM, 64GB storage on Mate 10 (6GB, 128GB on Pro with no MicroSD support)
- IP67 water-resistance on the Pro only