Huawei's new Mate 10 Pro takes aim squarely at Samsung, Google and Apple with a large screen, competition-beating big battery and AI baked in. The Mate 10 Pro [pictured above] is the latest in third-largest smartphone manufacturer Huawei's big-screen line, which has become popular for its battery life and multitasking prowess.
The new top-end Huawei features a 6 inch, 18:9 elongated OLED screen, matching its Samsung rivals with tiny bezels at the side, top and bottom, which are only just big enough to fit the front-facing camera and sensors at the top and company logo at the bottom.
The back of the phone is curved glass, with metal sides that feel significantly more premium than previous Mate smartphones, matching the level of build-quality and design of rivals.
"The Mate 10 shows Huawei can now produce devices that can really compete with the quality of flagship devices like Apple," said Francisco Jeronimo, research director for European mobile devices at research firm IDC.
The Mate 10 will ship Huawei's custom version of Android EMUI 8, which will be built on Android 8 Oreo. It will be one of the first smartphones to ship with Oreo, which was released on 21 August.
The Mate 10 Pro also features Huawei's latest Kirin 970 processor, which has a neural processor built in in similar fashion to Apple's A11 Bionic processor in the iPhone 8, as well as a dual camera setup on the back with one colour 12-megapixel sensor joined to a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor.
Huawei is using the neural processor to run on-device artificial intelligence for advanced scene detection, live translation through the camera and computational photography techniques combining images from the two image sensors for portrait mode and other camera tricks.
But the company is also pushing built-in AI that is capable of learning a user's habits, so that the phone can predict when you want to launch an app or perform an action, to speed it up, or when features and apps aren't going to be used to save battery power. EMUI 8 is also capable of cleaning itself, which Huawei says will keep the Mate 10 Pro running like it's fresh out of the box even after a year or so.
Jeronimo said: "Huawei is at the front of a race that's all about making smartphones smarter, leading it with Apple, Google and Samsung.
"Huawei says that its AI chipset is more advanced than others, but it'll be more about meaningful features and how well each company can integrate those into the phone - something that companies such as Huawei, Apple and Google have an advantage in, by making their own AI chips."
The advantage of having AI run on the device, as opposed to contacting a server to perform functions, is that all the data and processing is done locally. This increases speed but also preserves user privacy, which Jeronimo says is an important step for Chinese Huawei.
The Mate 10 Pro will also support dual-Sim, for having two numbers on one device, and has quick charging technology that can charge the smartphone's 4,000mAh battery to 58% in 30 minutes.
Huawei is also allowing users to attach a keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth and an external monitor via a USB-C cable to perform desktop-like computing without requiring a specific dock system like rival Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro will be available for in November.
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