Some people say the Huawei Mate 10 looks like an enlarged version of its sibling, the P10, but I do not see the similarities. The Mate 10 is larger with a 5.9in screen, and sits comfortably in one hand. However, it is not really ideal for one-handed use.
The metal frame and glass back gives the Mate 10 a refined, premium look, and the Mocha Brown colour wasn’t a big fingerprint magnet.
It runs on Android 8.0 with Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 user interface. One of the EMUI features (this was already introduced in EMUI 5.1, but I’m just late to the game) that I like is the Voice Wakeup, activated with “Okay Emy”. It is a lifesaver when I misplace the phone, and I tend to do that often.
All I have to do is yell “Okay, Emy. Where are you?” and the phone goes “I am here” and won’t shut up until I pick it up. The downside? You live with the fear that Emy might talk to you when you’re sound asleep.
The Mate 10 is a powerful gadget that is wasted on someone like me. I mean, I tried to download and play graphics-heavy games that will put the Mate 10 to the test, but I’m just not into such titles.
In the end, most of my time was spent playing Stranger Things: The Game, the official game from Netflix based on the hit show. There wasn’t any lag, which was also the case when I played my usual games – Wheel Of Fortune, Solitaire and Crosswords With Friends. Yes, I am boring.
The 4,000mAh battery ensures that the Mate 10 lasts for a long time, sometimes up to two days with minimal usage. The SuperCharge capability brings the battery from 1% to 100% in about 40 minutes or so. Unfortunately, the Mate 10 doesn’t support wireless charging.
Sound and display
There is a fingerprint scanner on the bottom of the screen, which for some weird reason, wasn’t as fast as the other Huawei products that I’ve used.
The Mate 10’s large screen is gorgeous and the skinny bezels give a somewhat full view, so watching YouTube or Netflix videos is a treat. The colours are vibrant, and the brightness is quite outstanding at 700nits – which comes in handy especially when you’re viewing the device while out in the sun.
Listening to audio is also a blast, as the top and bottom speakers amp up the sound good. I could listen to music and movies clearly even when the Mate 10 is a few metres away, and when I don’t feel like annoying anyone, I just use earphones.
Huawei announced it far and wide that the Mate 10 is one of its first products to feature a built-in AI chip to ensure that it stays fast and the camera recognises the object it is pointed at so it can tweak the settings like ISO and white balance.
When I point the camera at food, a food icon appears on the bottom left of the screen, and a human icon for humans and so on. Currently, the camera can recognise up to 13 objects, and oddly enough categorises cat and dog separately. Go figure.
Huawei continues its partnership with Leica, and why shouldn’t it, as it results in good photographs. The phone has two cameras on the back – the 12-megapixel RGB sensor processes colour information, while the 20-megapixel monochrome sensor details the shadows and highlights.
While both sensors have an f/1.6 wide aperture (which gives the desired Bokeh effect), only the RGB lens has optical image stabilisation.
The 8-megapixel front camera takes decent selfies even in low-light conditions, and the AI helps to blur out only the necessary parts around your head, leaving your face, ears, hair and neck in sharp focus.
All in all, the Huawei Mate 10 is a device that gives you what you want – excellent photos, fast performance and a long-lasting battery.
Priced at RM2,699, it comes in Mocha Brown, Black and Champagne Gold.
PROS: Good cameras; fast performance; sleek design.
CONS: No wireless charging.
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 8.0 Oreo
DISPLAY: 5.9in (1,440 x 2,560 pixels)
PROCESSOR: Hisilicon Kirin 970
CAMERA: 20-megapixel monochrome + 12-megapixel RGB (rear); 8-megapixel (front)
MEMORY: 64GB (expandable up to 256GB with microSD), 4GB RAM
CONNECTIVITY: WiFi 802.11, Bluetooth, NFC
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 77.8 x 8.2 x 150.5mm
Rating: Four stars
Review unit courtesy of Huawei Technologies Malaysia, 1800-22-3366