Huawei Mate 10 Review – Big Screen, Great Battery, Excellent Camera
Since the Huawei Mate 9 series come in 3 different variants, Huawei Mate 10 series is no exception to this arrangement. Mate 10 is for those who prefer big screen, 3.5mm audio jack and micro SD card slot.
Together with the box, Huawei Mate 10 comes with a Sim tray ejector, a Huawei warranty card, a quick start guide, a transparent soft TPU casing, a 3 pin charger, a type C USB cable and a pair of wired 3.5mm in-jack earphone. The package is pretty much standard which most of the phone offer.
Design & Build
The metal frame and glass back of Mate 10 give the device a refined and premium look. Most of the glass back device can’t avoid from being finger print magnet and slippery. The Mate 10 is glass-clad with a reflective strip across the back. Under the sufficient lightning in, the glass back work like mirror. The design 2.5D curve at the back and on the front create the comfort round edge while holding on the Phablet. It is still manageable to hold the phablet on single hand despite I can feel the weight. The phablet is solid in build and it is rated IP53 which only resist general sprinkling water in daily life.
If you wonder Mate 10 is actually a big phablet that may not fit you, yes it is big but not as big as I first thought. It may be impropriate to compare to Redmi Note 4 as the only device I have next to me, just as an idea Mate it is slightly wider by about 2mm despite being a 5.9 inch compare to a 5.5 inch display.
The fingerprint scanner is located at the front below the display. Some users may prefer the fingerprint scanner at the back but I just prefer it at the front. The capacitive oval shape finger print scanner unlocks at a lightning fast speed which is faster than how our eyes blink.
Mate 10 comes with IR blaster and build in app Smart Controller. Smart Controller preloaded templates for different ranges of electronic devices such as TV, Air Conditioner, Set-top Box, Camera, Network STBs, DVD player and Projector. we found that the IR blaster has a closer working range compare to the manufacturer’s remote control that come as the package.
Mate 10 features a 5.9 inches with an aspect ratio of 16:9 IPS display that come with QHD resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels at ~499 ppi density. Mate 10 is not a fully bezel-less display, the screen-to-body ratio is at 81.6% which is higher than Mate 10 Pro. Huawei confirms the latest Mate 10 is featuring a new RGBW display which is 30% brighter than its predecessor and also it saves battery that juiced up to 14%.
Out of the box, the device has set the display resolution to FHD, you will need to turn it to QHD resolution under the display setting. Under sunlight, the display can light up 630nits. We tested the display under the sunlight, it is doing a pretty good job. For reading, the display is ease and comfortable to browse through the net as well as watching video.
The phablet comes with a pre-applied screen protector to prevent the display being scratched. It is always recommended for you to replace it with Tempered Glass screen protector for better protection purposes. The Mate 10 display features 2.5D edges on 4 edges. The curve of the 2.5D is minimal unlike Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It shouldn’t be too difficult to get a good and affordable Tempered Glass screen protector for it.
Mate 10 features a stereo speaker setup. One of the speakers is located at the bottom of the metal frame and another speaker is actually at the earpiece. Both speakers act for their own channel. The bottom speaker is the main audio output. It has a stronger bass. The earpiece speaker has a lower loudness with higher treble sound. Overall the stereo speakers are loud and punchy.
The earphone that comes in the package is a conventional round ear buds design. The quality of the earphone is good in balance of treble and bass. It produced excellent loudness at full volume playback. The accuracy of the audio reproduction is decent.
Software & Operating System
The Mate 10 is running Android Oreo 8.0 with Huawei in-house custom ROM EMUI 8 skinned on top of it. The EMUI 8 is pretty clean and easy to use. EMUI 8 allows you to switch the home screen style between the standard one and drawer. The advantages of front mounted fingerprint scanner is that we can either choose to hide the virtual navigation bar or opt for the the off-screen navigation button. If you decided to use the front mounted fingerprint scanner as navigation, it can be done with different gestures that act as return key, home screen key and recent task.
Another key highlight of EMUI 8 is the desktop mode. USB-C to HDMI HUB is needed as part of the setup. Connect the USB-C to the HUB and connect the HDMI to monitor or TV. Plug in the Keyboard and Mouse into the USB point of the HUB and you are ready to use the EMUI desktop. Huawei Mate 10 will recognize the display after a few seconds and launches Easy Projection. You can use the touch-pad app or on-screen keyboard instead of a physical one.
EMUI desktop is a great addition, however there are still room of improvement. Youtube App is not supported in the desktop UI at the moment. To watch Youtube while doing some light browsing, i will have to open up 2 different browsers such as Firefox and Chrome. We tried to open Chrome in multiple window but it will still tie with one window with multiple tab. To resize the app’s window we will have to do it manually however not much app is allow to resize in the desktop UI.
The responsiveness of the UI is good but still from time to time there are some lag or small delay. For light office and browsing, Mate 10 is capable in handling it. However for heavy task and entertainment, we hope upcoming update will improve the desktop mode & app developer will optimize the app as well.
All 3 variant of Huawei Mate 10 series come with the same Camera sensors. Huawei-Leica live on. Huawei Mate 10 features similar sensor of lens that can be found on the Mate 9. The pair of dual camera setup consist of a 12-megapixel RGB sensor and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor. As an upgrade to the predecessor, both lenses configured with Leica’s higher grade SUMILLUX-H lens with f/1.6 big aperture. Both lenses are now built in with Optical-Image-Stabilization.
The capture profile remains the same, it is capable of taking either 12-megapixel colour photos, 20-megapixel photos in monochrome, or 20-megapixel colour photos. The monochrome sensor works to capture the details and the RGB sensor filling in the colour. The dual camera system also features a 4-in-1 Hybrid Focus system which is Laser, Depth, Contrast, and Phase-detection autofocus. It helps to ensure lightning-fast and accurate autofocus performance.
The build-in AI-enabled Kirin 970 chip with two Image Signal Processors for image processing enabled the phablet to detect 13 different things from plants, food and even pets. Its NPU utilized the AI to identify up to 14 scenes and adjust accordingly.
Huawei Mate 10 features an 8-megapixel front camera configured with f/2.0 fixed-focus unit. It takes decent selfies in low-light conditions. The AI helps to blur out only the necessary parts around your head, leaving your face, ears, hair and neck in sharp focus.
The build in camera app looks clean but complete. There are three pages in the camera layout. Moving to the left is the cameras mode while moving to the right is the setting page. Via Pro Mode, you can configure the ISO up to 3200, shutter speed up to 30s and EV of -0.4 to 4.0.
Mate 10 is capable of recording video up to 4K at a modest 30 frames-per-second (FPS). Other option is also available with 1080p videos at both 30 and 60 FPS. The video quality is sharp, smooth and colors are accurate.
Huawei Mate 10’s camera is unsurprisingly good. Leica-certified dual-camera system is truly a master of shooting in low-light. Overall image quality is sharp, and the dynamic range is great. The color reproduction and accuracy are on par with flagship devices in the market right now.
Performance & Battery
Huawei Mate is powered by the latest in house develop Hisilicon Kirin 970 SoC. The octa-core processor configures with primary cores of clocked at 2.4GHz and secondary core clocked at 1.8GHz. Huawei claimed it is about 50% more efficient than the predecessor Kirin 960. The SoC comes with Mali-G72 GPU. The GPU designed for High Fidelity Mobile Gaming & VR. Huawei claimed Kirin 970 is the world first processor with Neural-network Processing Unit (NPU). The AI will learn and get smarter with new updates from time to time.
The Mate 10 packed with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB of UFS2.1. The storage is expandable via hybrid micro-SD slot up to 256GB. AndroBench results showed the storage with impressive Sequential Read of 796.61MB/s while Write at 193.45MB/s.
For reference, we ran a few apps to see the performance of this phablet. As in Antutu benchmark test, Huawei Mate 10 managed to score 172855 which leveled most current Android Flagship device. The result from Geekbench is pretty impressive. The Single-core score sits at around 1894, while multi-core score is at 6639. Mate 10 is undisputed with flagship performance.
3Dmark result shows Huawei Mate 10 is capable of handling heavy game too. We tested on Mobile Legend & Modern Combat 5 under the screen resolution FHD no noticeable lag. Gaming on Mate 10 is of course very fun especially with a big display and stereo speakers.
Huawei Mate 10 comes with 4000mAh build in battery. Huawei reported that it can last close to two days of use when fully charged. With Huawei’s Supercharge fast charging technology, we managed to charge it up from 12% to 74% which is 60% of battery life within 40 minutes. While from 12%, it took just 84 minutes to fully charge to 100% which is very impressive considering it packed with a large capacity battery.
In comparison to the charging speed of Huawei Super Charge, we have ran a test on Samsung Galaxy S8 that supports Quick Charge 2.0 as well. From 9:28pm to 9:48pm, we managed to charge the 3000mAh battery from 52% to 79%. 20 minutes of charging return 27% of battery life. Hence, Huawei Super Charge is about 48% faster compared to the latter which actually save us a lot of time when we are in a hurry.
For battery usage, I had disconnected the phone from the charger at 4:33am at 100%. With the setting of auto brightness, mobile data on, and QHD resolution, it managed to endure until 8.41pm at 9%. Total up time of 16H8Min and Screen on Time up to 4H13Min & Voice call of 34Min.
- Great Camera Performance
- Powerful Processor
- Premium & Sleek Design
- Great Battery Life
- No IP 68 certification for Water & Dust Resistant
- Conventional 16:9 Display
- No wireless charging
Huawei Mate 10 is one of the best flagship out there. With the price tag of RM2699, Mate 10 definitely live up the value. The phase i think best suit the phablet is Luxury & Practical. I really like the good display, stereo speakers, camera. Even-though it is lacking the beautiful edge screen, the good side is it less fragile.
Mate 10 is an excellent premium-tier phone with commendable camera performance and battery life. If I have to pick the weakness of the phablet, that would be the lacking of IP68 water & dust resistance, and the boring 16:9 aspect ratio display. Other than that I am pretty satisfied with the Huawei Mate 10 and its overall performance after using it for about a week.
- Display : 5.9inch; 2560×1440 LCD RGBW; 16:9 aspect ratio; 499 ppi density Corning Gorilla Glass; HDR10 compliant
CPU : Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 970 octa-core
Memory : 4GB RAM
Storage : 64GB on-board, expandable with microSD
Camera : Dual rear (12MP RGB + 20MP mono) w/ f/1.6 aperture, depth, laser, contrast & phase detect AF, OIS and LED flash. 8MP, f/2.0 front
OS: Android 8 Oreo w/ EMUI 8.0
Battery : 4000mAh non-removable w Huawei Super Charge via USB TYPE C support reverse charging
Measurement : 150.5mm x 77.8mm x 8.2mm
Weight : 186g
Protection : – IP53 certified – dust and splash protection