The last few Huawei phablet devices have felt similar, but the new Mate 10 Pro looks to be a significantly different device and one that’s keeping pace with the design of almost every other top-end phone in 2017.
Artificial intelligence within the internals of the new Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro are the buzzwords Huawei is using to sell this phone, and that AI may well be a feature that changes the way we use our devices and that offers a lot of benefits to the end user.
On top of that though there’s upgraded screen tech, new camera features and a redesign, leaving the Mate 10 Pro looking like the most exciting phone in Huawei’s range right now.
Short of time? Check out our hands on Huawei Mate 10 Pro video below
Huawei Mate 10 Pro release date and price
We know for certain the Huawei Mate 10 Pro will be coming to the UK, but we don’t know any specifics on when it will be out or whether it’ll be released in the US, Australia or any other markets.
In the UK you won’t be able to buy the standard Mate 10 as only the Pro will be on sale, but it may be that other markets will get the choice between the two devices.
The price is expected to be high. The Mate 9 Pro cost 4,699 Yuan at launch (around $690, £520, AU$890) so we’d expect the Mate 10 Pro to have a similar price or to perhaps even cost a little bit more.
We’ve asked Huawei for details on the price and its release date and will update with more information here once we have it.
Huawei Mate 10 Pro design and display
There are some big changes to the design we saw on the Mate 9 Pro. This time the phone comes with a longer body as it features a 6-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio display that makes it look similar to the Galaxy Note 8.
The larger screen is appreciated and less room is wasted on bezels or the edges of the phone, leaving the Mate 10 Pro looking like something you’d be happy to show off even in the face of other bezel-free options like the iPhone X or LG V30.
Huawei has used glass on the back of the phone instead of metal, but it still feels premium with shiny metal edges. It’s easy to hold in the hand despite the large screen, but if you prefer smaller phones you may not want to go for this.
This is the first device from Huawei that’s water resistant too. It comes with an IP67 rating, which means you can drop this in the bath or use it in the shower without having to worry about ruining your device.
Huawei is blaming the waterproofing tech for the removal of the headphone jack, but other companies are managing to retain the jack while adding water resistance, so it’s likely the decision was instead driven by the desire to make a thinner phone.
The fingerprint scanner sits on the back of the phone, but it’s rather near the camera sensor which may mean you’ll confuse the two when reaching for the scanner, but the mistake probably won’t be made as commonly as it is on the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8 Plus.
Blue, gray, pink and brown are the available color choices and each looks good. As for the display, Huawei has used OLED tech for this device, which makes it look far better and brighter than the screens on a lot of other phones you can buy right now. Colors look great and despite using a Full HD resolution the screen looks fantastic.
It won’t be the best device for virtual reality because of the resolution, but for just holding the device in the hand the display looks great and if you like to watch video or play games the expanded screen real estate will be useful for you too.
Huawei Mate 10 Pro OS and power
Huawei’s new look Emotion UI 8 is debuting on the Mate 10 Pro and Mate 10. The new name is up from the Emotion UI 5.1 used on previous devices, with the jump in number being used to keep pace with the latest version of Android it’s running, which is Android Oreo.
All of the features Google has pushed with this upgrade will be ready and waiting on the device when you boot it up, but you’ll also have added features from Huawei as well.
These include smart tips that give you recommendations on how your phone can work better, as well as a new easy split screen mode that makes it easier to use two apps at the same time
There’s also a new floating keypad feature that you can move around the screen to help improve navigation. It works in a similar way to the home button on the Huawei P10, but we’re not really certain if being able to move it around will prove that useful.
It’s something we’ll take a proper look at during our full review.
Power is one of the core upgrades for the Mate 10 Pro. To further ensure you’re getting the best performance out of your device, Huawei is now using artificial intelligence to better predict how you will use your phone.
The new Kirin 970 chipset – paired with 6GB of RAM – will look at how you’ve used your device in the past and use this data to help optimize the way you use your phone.
There are lots of implications for this technology and it should ensure your device runs smoothly and better than other phones on the market right now. This is set to help with Huawei’s aim of ensuring your device doesn’t slow down over an 18 month period too.
When it comes to storage, you’ll have lots of space as there’s either 64GB or 128GB available in the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. There’s no microSD support though, so if you want any more than that you’ll be stuck.
We’ve found the Mate 10 Pro to speedily open up apps in our testing time, but we haven’t been able to push it as far as we’d like to just yet. Stick around for our full review to see how we feel about the internals of the Mate 10 Pro.
Huawei Mate 10 Pro battery and camera
The Mate 10 Pro comes with a 4,000mAh battery inside, which we expect to last quite a long time. The Huawei Mate 9 has great battery life and considering this phone uses a more efficient screen tech, improved software and the optimized chipset we’ll hopefully see even better battery here.
We’ll be sure to put it through proper testing for our full review, and we’ll also test the fast-charging technology used on the Mate 10 Pro, which Huawei claims will charge it from 0% to 58% in half an hour.
Despite including a glass design for the first time, Huawei isn’t opting to put wireless charging in the new phone, which is a major shame since the introduction of the feature on other devices should help the tech become more prolific in public areas soon.
There’s a dual-sensor rear camera on the Mate 10 Pro that comes with German camera maker Lecia’s approval and offers up a 20MP monochrome lens working in tandem with a 12MP color sensor.
That monochrome lens can be used separately, but it should give better detail to your shots when used alongside the color sensor. The Mate 10 Pro will use both images it takes and put them together to give a vibrant yet detailed photo.
AI tech is also being used on the camera, allowing for a new mode that auto detects what you’re shooting and optimizes the settings. There are fourteen different modes including cat, dog, plant, flower and many others.
This feature will be useful for those who want to just shoot photos on the fly quickly, but if you want to dive into the features of the camera you can also turn it off too.
For the first time in a while, with the Mate 10 Pro it feels like Huawei is keeping pace with the rest of the industry and making a device that’s truly top-end.
Exactly what the new chipset and artificial intelligence features will add to the day-to-day experience of the phone remain unclear, but everything else on the Mate 10 Pro looks exceptional right now and if it lives up to its on-paper specs it may well soon become one of our favorite phablets.