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Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review - Still one of the BEST

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In case you missed our first impressions, we stated that the Mate 10 Pro is a good upgrade coming from the regular Mate 10. It is simply Huawei's top-of-the-line smartphone yet.
Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review - Still one of the BEST
Huawei Mate 10 Pro review!

Even it doesn't have the headphone jack and microSD card slot anymore, the Mate 10 Pro has the bigger AMOLED screen, larger RAM and storage size, better water and dust resistance, and a and 384K/32-bit HiFi DAC versus the regular Mate 10.

Now, after more than two months of using the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as our primary handset, here's our full review!


Display Quality

Big near bezel-less screen
Big near bezel-less screen

The Mate 10 Pro has a slightly bigger 6-inch display versus the 5.9-inch screen of the regular Mate 10. It now has an AMOLED screen with taller 18:9 screen ratio versus the traditional IPS screen with 16:9 ratio of the Mate 10. Bezels on the Mate 10 Pro are a bit slimmer as well.

Big, bright, and colorful screen, but not on 2K resolution.

However, its screen resolution is isn't the sharpest around. It only has an FHD+ 2160 x 1080 resolution at 402 pixels per inch. While it is still very detailed, it doesn't have the same sharper QHD resolution found on the Mate 10 and Galaxy S9.

But, it still has one of the nicest screen around! It has a wide range of colors that is properly saturated and tuned. It also has great contrast and deep blacks since it is using an AMOLED panel. It still has impressive vewing angles and sunlight legibility.

Colors aren't as eye-catching versus the ones found on the S9 series, but for us it is a tad more natural looking. The display of the S9 is still sharper though.

It also has color temparature modes to choose from, a "Smart resolution" A.I. feature that automatically lower the screen resolution to help save power, and eye comfort mode that lessens bluelight. It even has 10 points of touch.

Overall, there are very few phones with better screen that this phone.

Audio Quality

The Mate 10 Pro has a stereo speaker setup. The first speaker is found below the phone and the second speaker is located on the earpiece. Like the regular Mate 10 it is one of the better sounding speaker setup found on a flagship smartphone. It is full sounding, rich, and crisp. To our ears, it is as good or just a tad below the AKG tuned stereo speakers of the pricier Galaxy S9.


It's Huawei's best portable audio player yet!

For headphones, this is the first Huawei smartphone with 384K/32-bit HiFi DAC. Audio output is crystal clear, no audible noise, and well balanced. Driving power is also quite strong as it can drive some multi-driver HiFi grade IEMs properly and can even make some medium sized headphones shine. It is audiophile grade in sound output in short.

However, this signature is isn't for everyone. It could be too balanced sounding (for casual listeners. (It's a good thing for audiophiles though) Its headphone audio output also has a tad less bass than the LG G6 and S9.

Sadly, it is also the very first Huawei smartphone with no dedicated headphone jack. You will need to use the USB Type-C dongle supplied inside before you can use you favorite wired headphones.

Fortunately, the Mate 10 Pro supports aptX HD Bluetooth for better wireless audio quality. (Nearly all wireless headphones are still behind wired headphones in terms of audio quality and resolution though.

Microphone quality for calls is outstanding. Voices are really clear most of the time. It can also record in stereo quality with minimal noise. But, we noticed that there are times that you need to make your voice a bit louder to clearer records. The mic on the regular Mate 10 we have is a bit better.

Battery Life

Strong battery performance!
Strong battery performance!

The Mate 10 Pro has the same big 4,000mAh battery found on the regular Mate 10. But, its battery performance is better due to its lower screen resolution.

It clocked an impressive score of 12 hours and 32 minutes on PC Mark's work battery life test and a screen on time of 5 hours and 18 minutes under heavy all day smartphone usage.

The Mate 10 Pro can simply last for more than a day on a single charge. For a flagship phone with powerful internals, this battery test result is better than most in its class.

It also has A.I. that optimizes the battery performance that can even improve its life over time.

As expected, charging time is one of the fastest in the world even if it has a big 4,000mAh battery. The 5A TÜV Rheinland Super Charge USB wall charger fully charged the phone in just 1 hour and 15 minutes from 0 to 100 percent.

It even has a reverse charging feature (also known as the power bank mode) via USB Type-C OTG cable.

Camera

Leica cameras
Leica cameras

The camera specs and actual performance of the Mate 10 Pro is the same with the regular Mate 10. It still has the dual f/1.6 bright 20MP mono + 12MP RGB sensors, 4-in-1 Hybrid AF, OIS, 2x zoom, and dual tone LED flash.
Cam UI
Cam UI

It also has the A.I. which can detect different objects and scenes to intelligently optimize picture settings and the interesting camera features for those who lives mobile photography.
The pro mode
The pro mode

It include the the: 2x hybrid zoom, wide aperturue mode (bokeh), portrait mode (bokeh with face beauty), HDR, Leica signature filters, monochrome mode, pro mode, night shot, light painting, and etc.

The pro mode has ISO from 50 up to 3200, shutter speed from 1/4000 to 30s, -4 to +4 EV, focus, and WB from 2800K to 7000K. It also has grids, fibonacci spiral, and RAW format.

Our only minor gripe is it doesn't have an easy to reach HDR toggle.

In terms of picture shooting quality, overall performance is extremely impressive for a smartphone.

Like its brother, the Mate 10, the Mate 10 Pro has one of the fastest if not the fastest shooting speed found on an Android device. In my experience, only the iPhone X is the phone phone that shoots a bit faster than the Mate 10 series. On the focus speed, it is on par with the iPhone X.

Amazing camera quality for a phone!

For macro photography, it is better than the iPhone X. It can shoot photos with very blurry background even on auto mode. Personally, while the wide aperture mode and portrait mode could still be useful, I don't use them that often anymore.

Again, daylight shooting experience is outstanding with almost no noise at all. There are times where shots would be a bit underexposed and less saturated than the Note 8 and iPhone X, but it will still have the sharper details. Only the more expensive S9 has a bit more detail than the Mate 10 for us.

It still has great contrast as well. Then as expected, its monochrome sensor for mobile black and white photography is still the best in the business.

Indoor and lowlight performance are amazing for a phone. It has well resolved details, loss of colors are not that much, and noise is minimal. Exposure and dynamic range are great too.

We also like that it has a robust pro mode where you can even shoot the stars, amazing cityscapes, and light trails.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight
Daylight
HDR
HDR
Burst shot
Burst shot
Silky water mode (40s with tripod)
Silky water mode (40s with tripod)
Point and shoot macro
Point and shoot macro
3x zoom
3x zoom
Auto well-lit
Auto well-lit
Fast shooting speed
Fast shooting speed
Indoor auto 1
Indoor auto 1
Indoor auto 2
Indoor auto 2
Indoor dim
Monochrome mode dim
Monochrome mode dim
Amazing lowlight shot (point and shoot only)
Amazing lowlight shot (point and shoot only)
Wide aperture  mode f/4.0
Night shot 1
Night shot 1
Night shot 2
Night shot 2
Star tracker
Star tracker

Like the Mate 10, the Mate 10 Pro can also shoot good selfies. It has an 8MP selfie shooter with f/2.0 aperture size and screen flash.
Selfie cam!
Selfie cam!

However, it only has face detection. It has no autofocus and auto wide-angle mode like the Huawei P10 Plus anymore. But it now has the A.I. selfie which can recognize the face and only blur the background. The portrait mode now has better background blur with cleaner edges versus the P10 plus.
Selfie cam UI
Selfie cam UI

Don't let its "small" megapixel size fool you. This single selfie sensor can compete or beat most selfie-centric mid-range phones in the market right now. It can also go toe to toe with most of the selfie shooters from other high-end devices.

Shooting speed is fast, it has accurate colors with good details too. Exposure is just a bit brighter than expected. The face beauty mode can also over beautify you if you go over face beauty level 3.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Portrait beauty level 0
Portrait beauty level 0
Portrait beauty level 3
Portrait beauty level 3
Portrait with bokeh beauty level 3
Portrait with bokeh beauty level 3
Dim selfie
Dim selfie
Lowlight selfie
Lowlight selfie

Like the Mate 10, the Mate 10 Pro has one of the best cameras for shooting videos. It has the ability to shoot up to 4K 30fps in quality and 1080p up to 60 fps. Stabilization works in 1080 mode only.

But don't worry, it is still quite stabilized even in 4K mode. Color rendering, exposure, and contrast are good as well. You can also use the wide aperture mode for videos with bokeh effect.

For selfies, video quality is up to 1080p. But it is only up to 720p when you turn on the face beauty mode while on selfie video.

Video Samples


Performance

Monster benchmark scores!
Monster benchmark scores!

As expected, the Mate 10 Pro with the beastly 2.36GHz 64-bit Kirin 970 octa-core processor w/ NPU dedicated A.I. chip, i7 co-processor, and Mali-G72 MP12 GPU is a beast! Huawei even paired it with massive 6GB RAM and 128GB of non-expandable storage.

Top notch AnTuTu and Geekbench scores!

As a result, it is one of the fastest if not the fastest in the world right now. Actual performance is just as smooth as the iPhone X. The machine learning is also real. Even after 3 months of using it as our primary smartphone, the Mate 10 Pro is still as fast like when it was still new.


Huawei's A.I. can also optimize the app that you are frequently using and close it automatically when you are not using it.
PUBG high settings!
PUBG high settings!

See also: Top 5 practical uses of Huawei Mate 10 / Mate 10 Pro's A.I.

Multitasking is breeze, playing heavy games like PUBG for mobile and NBA 2K18 on the highest settings is possible, and it has great thermal management.
Huawei's clean and intuitive EMUI 8.0 skin
Huawei's clean and intuitive EMUI 8.0 skin

Most western reviewers don't like the Oreo based EMUI 8.0 skin of Huawei. But for us, it is far from a software nightmare. It is actually one of the easiest to use, customizable, and feature rich around.
Phone manager and health app
Phone manager and health app

It also has tons of customizations and features that you won't have on a boring stock Android skin. In real life, it is even smoother than most of the stock-like Android skins we had in the past. Yes, it includes the OnePlus 5T and Note 8.
IR blaster for remote and theme store
IR blaster for remote and theme store

Going to its features, the EMUI 8.0 skin allows you to use it with or without the app drawer. It also has the theme store, phone manager, heath app, gestures for shortcuts, knuckle screenshot, twin apps mode, Huawei Share (like the AirDrop), screen recorder, and more.

Related: Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro are also a PC in your pocket

It also has an A.I. assisted real time language translator and a PC mode. You can easily turn any monitor with HDMI into a Linux like PC for browsing, typing, watching videos, and playing browser games.

The Mate 10 Pro also has the best fingerprint scanner in the business. It is really fast and accurate. However, it still has no update for a face unlock feature.

The Mate 10 Pro also has one of the best connectivity options around. The usual WiFi, Bluetooth, and telephony experience are great. It even has the highest LTE Cat 18 speed right now. Bluetooth version is still not at 5.0 though. 
It also has a gyroscope sensor for VR.

Pros - Flagship-grade design and build, modern 18:9 FHD+ AMOLED screen, blazing fast performance always, top notch cameras, strong signal reception, long battery life with reverse charging, EMUI 8.0 skin is feature rich, desktop PC mode, IP67 water and dust resistance, stable and fast LTE connectivity
Cons - No headphone jack, non-expandable storage, lower screen resolution than the lower-end Mate 10, selfie camera has no tap to focus

Verdict

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a glimpse of an A.I. powered future. It isn't perfect, but it is one of the speediest (always fast) and probably the most intelligent around.

On top of that, it also goes with a gorgeous design, water and dust resistance, amazing battery life, desktop mode, IR blaster remote, and arguably the best pair of dual cameras designed for mobile photography enthusiasts.

For us, despite the lack of the headphone jack and microSD card slot, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is simply that good.

Update: The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is now priced at just PHP 33,990.

Build / Design - 4.75
Display - 4.25
Audio - 4.5
Battery - 4.5
Camera - 4.75
Performance - 4.75
Average - 4.58 / 5
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