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Huawei Mate 10 Pro rumor review: design, specs, price, and everything else we know so far

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Huawei Mate 10 Pro rumor review: design, specs, price, and everything else we know so far

After releasing its P10 and P10 Plus flagships in the early months of this year, Chinese phone maker Huawei is preparing to end 2017 with a bang. In case you haven't heard, this "bang" will come in the form of Huawei's Mate 10 series.

So, what makes the Mate lineup special? Well, the "go big or go home" philosophy that the company adopts when designing and manufacturing these phones. The presently available Mate 9 can be seen as a perfect example of this approach - the large phablet packs a 5.9-inch screen, powerful hardware, a Leica-branded dual main camera, and a massive 4,000 mAh battery, all encompassed in a sleek metal frame. 

Will Huawei manage to outdo itself and produce its finest handsets to date? Currently, no one knows, but there's a good amount of official info, teasers, and saucy rumors that suggest just that. As such, let's summarize everything we know about the Mate 10 series and see if it has the potential to be the new jewel in Huawei's mobile crown. 

Figuring out which is which


Before we kick things off, let's clear something up to avoid any misconceptions. The Mate 10 lineup is a congregation of several different smartphones. So far, we can confirm the existence of at least four distinct variants - a budget-oriented Mate 10 Lite (also known as Maimang 6), a regular Mate 10, a flagship-level Mate 10 Pro, and even a deluxe Mate 10 Porsche Design.

In this rumor review, we will concentrate exclusively on the Mate 10 Pro, as the flagship will most likely end up as the most popular model of the bunch. With that out of the way, let's proceed. 

Design


Alleged official render of the Mate 10 Pro leaked out by Evan Blass

Alleged official render of the Mate 10 Pro leaked out by Evan Blass


Huawei will be jumping on the all-screen bandwagon with the Mate 10 Pro, similar to the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2LG G6Samsung Galaxy S8, and the Essential Phone. This was initially confirmed by Huawei CEO Richard Yu, who said that the phone will employ a "full-screen" display. It's also worth noting that the company filed for a trademark on "EntireView", which could end up as the official name for the panel. 

When October came around, various images of the device leaked online, the most impressive of which was a supposed official render shared by Evan Blass. As you can see, the bezels of the Mate 10 Pro are indeed almost non-existent. Naturally, this means that the front home button is eliminated, with the only two physical keys (power button and volume rocker from the looks of it) being situated on the right side of the handset. 

Meanwhile, the pleasantly curved back side of the Pro hosts the Leica-branded main dual camera which is surrounded by a patterned strip, making the design a two-tone one. The fingerprint scanner is situated right below the main shooter. This specific render might give you the impression that the back plate is made out of metal, but this might not actually be the case. 

Huawei Mate 10 Pro rumor review: design, specs, price, and everything else we know so far
Huawei Mate 10 Pro rumor review: design, specs, price, and everything else we know so far

This set of in-hand shots which recently emerged on Chinese social media Weibo might actually reveal a glossier truth. Here, the back panels appear to be made out of glass. Last year's Mate 9 series featured metal backs, so a change to glass could signalize the inclusion of a wireless charging feature.

Display 
Huawei Mate 10 Pro rumor review: design, specs, price, and everything else we know so far


The "full-screen" display on the Mate 10 is rumored to have a 5.99-inch diagonal. It is understood that JDI Display will be the manufacturer supplying the panels. 

The screen is said to boast a Quad HD (1440 x 2880 pixels) resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9, which could end up being its main differentiating characteristic from the regular Mate 10.

Hardware


Huawei Mate 10 Pro rumor review: design, specs, price, and everything else we know so far

Okay, let's get to the juicy part. The Mate 10 has been confirmed to be the first phone to feature Huawei's in-house Kirin 970 chip that will be built on a 10nm process. For comparison, the Kirin 960 found on the Huawei P10 uses a 16nm manufacturing technology. 

The Snapdragon 835 which powers flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S8, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, and OnePlus 5 is also produced on a 10nm process, although Qualcomm platforms have a tendency to outperform their Kirin counterparts. Still, the performance and energy efficiency of the 970 should be superior to anything we've seen on a Huawei phone to date.

As for the exact specs, here's what you can expect:

  • 8-core (4x Cortex A73 and 4x Cortex A53) configuration
  • Clock speed of up to 2.8 GHz
  • 64-bit architecture
  • 12-core GPU
  • LPDDR4 RAM at 1866mHz
  • Dual SIM LTE



What's more interesting is that the Kirin 970 will have a dedicated NPU (Neural Processing Unit), which will be solely dedicated to handling AI tasks. This is why the manufacturer is advertising the device as an "intelligent machine" rather than just a smartphone. Huawei's vision of the future involves the deep integration of AI in every smartphone, and not only on a software level.

The Mate 10 Pro is said to be launched in four configurations: 6GB RAM/64GB storage, 6GB RAM/128GB storage, 6GB RAM/256GB storage, and 8GB RAM/256GB storage.

Software


Considering the estimated release date (that we've covered below), we are hopeful that the Mate 10 will ship with Android O out of the box. Aside from that, it will most definitely come with a newer version of Huawei's own EMUI software. It's a relatively feature-rich interface that will suit power users, though it can definitely be an overwhelming one for the majority of regular consumers.

Camera


Official teaser image by Huawei Australia. Notice the cheeky hashtag on the last device

Official teaser image by Huawei Australia. Notice the cheeky hashtag on the last device



The Mate 9's Leica-branded dual-camera composition is adequate, but it didn't exactly impress us as much as the one on the P10. Huawei has vowed that the Mate 10 will take great photos and will be able to compete with Samsung and Apple's finest handsets, so we're really excited to put it to the test. 


If this official teaser from Huawei Mobile Germany is anything to go by, the composition will include a 12 MP color sensor and a 20 MP monochrome sensor, much like the Mate 9. However, this time around, it is rumored that the shooter has been upgraded with a f/1.6 aperture for better low light performance.

As for the selfie cam, there were speculations that it would employ two sensors as well, but this was sort of disproved by the render images which popped up at a later point. We suspect that Huawei will stick to the 8 MP shooter found on the P10. 

Battery


Huawei Mate 10 Pro rumor review: design, specs, price, and everything else we know so far

As mentioned in the intro, the Huawei Mate 9 packs a sizeable 4,000 mAh battery that managed to clock in at the impressive 12 hours and 14 minutes in our custom battery benchmark. 

The company recently released a teaser which pretty much confirmed that the power cell on the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro will be of the same capacity. There might not be an improvement here, but the Kirin 970 SoC will surely be more energy efficient, leading to an increase in overall performance.


Price and release date


Huawei Mate 10 Pro rumor review: design, specs, price, and everything else we know so far

In any case, we're less than 2 weeks away from filling all the blanks, as Huawei confirmed that it will announce the Mate 10 on October 16 in Munich, Germany. This, in theory, should mean that it will be available for purchase before the holiday season kicks in.

As for the price, reliable tipster Roland Quandt claimed that the Huawei Mate 10 Pro has been spotted on Eastern European online stores with an alleged price tag of €930 ($1090). 

US MSRP's are almost always lower than those in Europe, but if this information turns out to be correct, the Mate 10 Pro will face stiff competition from the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone X.

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