[test] Mate 10 Pro: We’ve Tested the Huawei Phalanx.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette


We like

  • Super screen
  • Good quality photos
  • Smooth navigation
  • Excellent autonomy
  • Highly customizable interface

We don’t like

  • No audio jack
  • Artificial intelligence gadget
  • Less powerful than competitors in games

Verdict:

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is undoubtedly one of the best smartphones of the year. Particularly powerful, it offers an attractive design, delivers very good photos and offers a comfortable autonomy of up to more than two days. Only a few slight defects darken the picture, but nothing prohibitive.

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5 reasons to fall in love (or not) with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro

After a Mate 9 that landed last year without any competition in the phonebook segment after the abandonment of Galaxy Note 7, the Mate 10 Pro has a lot to worry about this year. Between the Galaxy Note 8, the Galaxy S8 Plus, the LG V30, the iPhone 8 Plus or the Pixel 2 XL which will be available in some European countries, the competition is tough for the Huaweismartphone. But it has nothing to be ashamed of, given its very high-end characteristics and its relatively affordable price of nearly ,800 euros, when other manufacturers are charging more than 1,000 euros for their equipment.

>>> Find our comparison of the best smartphones

Yes for the display and design

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

This is definitely the big trend of 2017 in the high-end segment, as smartphones reduce their edge. Huawei is no exception to the rule and offers, with this Mate 10 Pro, a 6-inch screen housed in a format usually reserved for 5.5-inch devices. By way of comparison, the Mate 10 has the same format as the P10 Plus, for example. Thus, the screen occupies 80.9% of the smartphone’s surface area. A rather correct ratio and comparable to that of the LG V30 (81.2%) or the Galaxy Note 8 (83.2%), where the screen of Huawei’s previous phablette, the Mate 9, occupied only 77.5% of the aircraft’s total surface area.

>>> Find the test of the Huawei Mate 9

In addition to its surface area, the display of the Mate 10 Pro is also particularly pleasant. Its Amoled technology offers particularly high contrast and, unlike many smartphones with similar displays, the colours are not particularly saturated. The tints are also rather faithful with a good white balance. Note, however, that the smartphone’s menus not only allow you to change the temperature of the display, but also to switch to a “normal colours” mode if you nevertheless find that the screen is too saturated with colours.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

As for the rest of the design, we find ourselves with a smartphone in the standard of what manufacturers have accustomed us to on high-end. The Mate 10 Pro has a glass surface on the back, which unfortunately tends to easily capture fingerprints, and aluminium edges on the sides. Unlike most Honor and Huawei devices this year, the fingerprint reader is located on the back of the phonograph this time and is particularly responsive. A convenient choice for easily unlocking your smartphone when you’re holding it in your hand.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

Finally, although the Mate 10 Pro is certified IP67 and can therefore be submerged underwater, there are a few shortcomings, such as the‘s lack of a 3.5mm audio jack port. Fortunately, the manufacturer provides a jack to USB-C adapter so you can enjoy your music with headphones or wired headphones. It’s also a shame that the dual photo sensor on the back protrudes slightly from the back of the camera. A design choice that can cause scratches on the lenses when placed on the back.

Yes for the interface

While Huawei’s EMUI is far from being the purest on Android, it is one of the most customizable and allows you to modify many aspects of the system, starting with the application launcher itself.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

As with all the brand’s recent smartphones, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro allows you to choose between and main home screens. The first one, chosen by default, automatically installs all applications on the home screen, similar to what Apple offers on the iPhone. The second is the system traditionally used on Android with a home screen that offers only shortcuts to applications, and a application drawer. This is just one example of the myriad possibilities offered by Huawei’s EMUI overlay. For example, note the menu of fast parameters, at the top of the screen, which has no less than 18 different parameters, accessible from any screen, the numerous icon packs, for a golden bling-bling or more sober look, or some animated wallpapers that can be downloaded directly from the menu “wallpapers”.

Also note that EMUI version 8.0 has a dedicated Google Feedscreen on the home page to display information that may be of interest to you, such as the results of your favourite team, the stock market price or the travel time to your home. In addition, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro also features Google Assistant , which can be accessed by voice or by pressing and holding the home button.

Yes for flowability

As every year, the Mate range is the occasion for Honor to inaugurate its new processor. The Mate 10 Pro, like the Mate 10, is Huawei’s first smartphone with the Kirin 970.

In addition to the functionalities ofartificial intelligence located directly in the smartphone, but which are very little felt when used, this one also wants to be more powerful than the previous SoC of the Chinese manufacturer, the Kirin 960. In use, the Mate 10 Pro is indeed particularly fluid, both in navigation and in opening applications thanks to its 6 GB RAM. In games, the smartphone also does a good job of making even some of the most resource-intensive applications run smoothly.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

However, in order to evaluate the performance of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and to compare it to other high-end smartphones, we subjected it to two benchmarks : 3DMark and Geekbench 4.0. The first one allows to calculate the graphics performance of the device, while the second one measures the computing power. In both cases, the higher the score, the better the smartphone does.

3DMark

Geekbench 4

Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Kirin 970)

2929

6776

Huawei Mate 9 (Kirin 960)

2223

6559

Samsung Galaxy S8 (Exynos 8895)

3318

6588

Z2 Force Motorcycle (Snapdragon 835)

3688

6685

OnePlus 5 (Snapdragon 835)

3247

6461

Year after year, the results are the same: Honor’s processors do particularly well in terms of purecomputing power, ensuring good fluidity in navigation, but have difficulties in terms of graphics performance compared to competing Snapdragon (Qualcomm) or Exynos (Samsung) processors. The Kirin 970 is no exception. However, the performance of the Mate 10 Pro on 3DMark is far from being shameful and the Chinese manufacturer seems to be gradually catching up with the competition in terms of 3D performance for games.

Yes for photos

Like last year’s Mate 9 or the Huawei P10, the Mate 10 Pro again adopts a dual rear view photo sensor. While several manufacturers offer a zoom system based on two lenses using different focal lengths, Huawei has long operated on a system of monochrome sensor and RGBcolour sensor. The manufacturer has retained the same dual color and black and white sensor system for its Mate 10 Pro.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

In use, the smartphone proves to be very powerful, whatever the situation. Main interest of the dual photo sensor, we tested the portrait mode of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. This one allows to artificially generate a background blur in order to highlight the subject. Although the software treatment allows the hair to be detached, which remains clean, we notice that some backgrounds between two strands of hair, which are supposed to be blurred, also remain clean. On the whole, the smartphone is still doing very well even if we can regret a image slightly too contrasted. It’s also a shame that the Mate 10 Pro, even though it knows how to recognize a face, doesn’t automatically apply portrait mode in auto mode and has to be activated manually. It is also appreciated that the smartphone offers a portrait mode including thefront sensor. Although it is not as powerful as the rear view camera, it is still convenient to use.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: Huawei's phonograph was tested
Left, portrait mode with the main unit, right, portrait mode with the front unit

In low light also, the Huawei P10 Pro does very well, especially when HDR mode is activated. In our mural photo, the colors are respected and most of the details can be seen. Digital noise, if present, is not prohibitive either.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: Huawei's
phone was tested Left, a picture taken in automatic mode, right in HDR mode

Finally, for landscape photos, the P10 Pro does very well thanks to its wide-angle. So much so that it’s sometimes even regretted that the smartphone offers a focal length of 27mm (35mm equivalent), or 54mm with its 2x hybrid zoom. We would have appreciated a lens better adapted to take only certain elements and better work the framing when shooting and not necessarily when retouching. Overall, in landscape mode, the HDRmode is also recommended, which is particularly effective, but not too flashy. It’s also worth noting that the smartphone does very well for detail shooting, with an excellent spiked that doesn’t seem artificial like the image processing of some competitors such as Samsung.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

Yes for autonomy

 With a capacity of 4000 mAh, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro’s battery is one of the largest batteries available on a smartphone. A capacity identical to that which equipped last year the Huawei Mate 9, or more recently, the Honor 8 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

In use, after an unpleasant surprise during the first days of testing, the smartphone proves to be particularly autonomous. At the beginning of our test, despite the autonomy ranging from 24 to 48 hours announced by Huawei, we ran out of juice after only 8 hours ofuse. In other words, the promise was far from being kept. In the meantime, Huawei has fortunately released a software update for its smartphone which has considerably corrected the problem.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

With moderate use, by turning on the smartphone screen occasionally to browse the Internet, take photos and consult social networks, keeping the Bluetooth, 4G and Wi-Fi on at all times, we were able to hold for just over 48 hours. This time, the promise was kept. This is a significant result, especially since Huawei’s fast charging system allows, with the right charger, to recharge more than 50% of the battery in 30 minutes.  

Finally, Huawei offers many options for to manage the battery of the Mate 10 Pro, such as displaying in the notification bar the applications considered as “power-hungry” in the background, or two specific power modes, “economy” and “ultra”. In both cases, the user can choose which applications will be allowed to run in the background, while the others are unavailable.

[Test] Mate 10 Pro: we tested the Huawei phablette

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