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Huawei Mate 10 Unboxing and First Impressions

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Huawei's Mate 9 is a tough act to follow. It's a modern phablet packed w/ really premium materials, powerful specs, great cameras, long battery life, and the promise of staying fast all the time.
Huawei Mate 10 Unboxing and First Impressions
Huawei Mate 10 unboxing and first impressions
Photography by @neil.jimenez.photo

Recently, Huawei has unleashed its follow-up to Mate 9, the Mate 10 series. One of them is the regular Mate 10, a new beastly phablet on paper for the price.

In particular, the Mate 10 is priced at jut PHP 32,990. In comparison, other flagship phones w/ identical or even lesser specs than this handset are often priced in the over PHP 40K range.

Huawei is also banking on A.I. a lot this time. As a matter of fact, its Kirin 970 octa-core processor w/ i7 co-processor and Mali G72MP12 graphics is paired w/ a dedicated NPU (an A.I. engine) to handle artificial intelligence.

Huawei claims that the NPU of Kirin 970 25x faster performance than the CPU and 50 percent better power efficiency. Insane? Here's more! In addition, that chip was designed to understand you, learn your behavior, recognize learned objects, and even solve problems for you.

For photography, it can recognize the scenes to automatically adjust the best settings for it. Lastly, this chip will allow the phone to stay fast always better than the Mate 9.

Promising right? Read on!


Huawei Mate 10 Specs

Display: 5.9-inch QHD IPS 2560 x 1440 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass at 498 ppi
CPU: 2.36GHz 64-bit Kirin 970 octa-core processor w/ NPU and i7 co-processor
GPU: Mali G72MP12
RAM: 4GB
ROM: 64GB ROM expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 20MP f/1.6 monochrome sensor + 12MP f/1.6 RGB sensor w/ 4-in-1 Hybrid AF, OIS, 2x zoom, and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.0 w/ screen flash
Battery: 4,000mAh w/ 5A Super Charge
OS: Android 8.0 Oreo w/ EMUI 8.0
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE Cat 18, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, NFC, IR Blaster, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass, barometer
Others: Fingerprint sensor, IP53 splash resistance, USB Type-C, Colors: champagne gold, black, pink gold, mocha brown
Dimensions: 150.5 x 77.8 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 186 g
Price: PHP 32,990

Disclaimer: This Mate 10 unit was borrowed from Huawei Philippines for our honest take.

Unboxing / Accessories

Everything inside

Packing is premium all over! It arrived in an easy to open black box that has everything you'll need inside.

It includes the 
TÜV Rheinland safe charge certified 5A Super Charge USB wall charger, USB Type-C charging / data cable, Apple-style earbuds w/ microphone for calls, TPU clear case, SIM ejector tool, and paper documentations.

Coming from the thin plastic case of Mate 9, Huawei has dramatically improved the case included w/ the Mate 10. The TPU jelly clear case it has is one of the best free case today.


Build Quality / Design

Curved Gorilla Glass back!
Curved Gorilla Glass back!

Craftsmanship is top notch once again! The Mate 10 still has the very sturdy and premium metal frame w/ proper chamfered edges and curves. But, this time, Huawei decided to sandwich the metal frame w/ curved unspecified Corning Gorilla Glass for easier grip.
Mic, IR blaster, and 3.5mm headphone jack on top
Mic, USB Type-C, another mic, and speaker below
Hybrid SIM / microSD card slot at left
Hybrid SIM / microSD card slot at left
Power button and volume rocker at right
Power button and volume rocker at right

Aesthetically, the sandwiched metal and glass design of this phablet made it look as good if not better than modern Galaxy phones. Huawei also highlights that it is "perfectly proportioned" as well. It also has a distinct type of 
signature stripe at the back w/ beautiful mirror finish.

Sandwiched glass design is stunning, 81.79% screen to body ratio is amazing!

The Mate 10 is also considered as compact despite its HUGE screen and battery capacity. Normally, phones w/ bigger screen and battery capacities are bigger and thicker in overall size.

But, Huawei managed to make it nearly just as big as the P10 Plus w/ smaller 5.5-inch display by making the top and side bezels slimmer. In fact, the phone measures at just 150.5 x 77.8 x 8.2 mm w/  81.79% screen to body ratio.

Huawei was also able to put the fingerprint scanner in front despite the slim bottom bezels. Insane!

It has a slight camera protrusion behind though. But, it is lesser than the camera protrusion of the Mate 9.

All buttons and ports are easy to reach too. The phone is easy on the hands due to its great curves and "compact" enough size.

Initial Findings

1. Craftsmanship and design is truly amazing! We liked that Huawei maintained the tough metal frame coming from the previous Mate devices and added the visually refreshing curved Gorilla Glass behind. The 5.9-inch QHD IPS screen is also one of the best displays out there. The screen to body ratio is stunning! It even has HDR10 support.
2. It has arguably the highest specs for the price! It boasts the new 2.36GHz 64-bit Kirin 970 octa-core processor w/ NPU and i7 co-processor that's very speedy so far. Huawei also paired w/ 4GB RAM and 64GB expandable storage. The battery is rated at 4,000mAh and it has the safe type of 5A Super Charge charger.
3. It's running on Oreo by default! The Android 8.0 Oreo OS of this phablet is even paired w/ the ever evolving EMUI 8.0 skin. (We'll check it out further in the full review)
4. It's the only phone w/ dual f/1.6 lens! In particular, it has 20MP f/1.6 monochrome sensor + 12MP f/1.6 RGB sensor w/ 4-in-1 Hybrid AF, OIS, 2x zoom, and dual tone LED flash. Results are stunning even on point and shoot mode and in lowlight. The A.I. for photography is impressive so far.
5. It has on-screen keys, LED notification, USB Type-C, OTG, gyroscope sensor, and speedy fingerprint scanner.


As of the moment

The Huawei Mate 10 is a solid upgrade coming from Mate 9! It is also extremely promising for the price! This is truly a modern flagship grade phablet w/ stunning design, premium build, very powerful and intelligent hardware, and great cameras so far!

For us, it has the chance to go toe to toe or even dethrone the excellent Samsung Galaxy Note 8 despite being PHP 17K more affordable.

It is initially that good!
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