Huawei threw the veil off of its latest smartphone – the Mate 10 Pro at an event in Cape Town last night and it’s, well let’s get into the specs to start things off.
The crowning jewel of the Mate 10 Pro is the Kirin 970 chipset. The chipset sports an octacore processor (quadcore Cortex-A73 at 2.4GHz and another quadcore Cortex-A53 at 1.8GHz) paired with a 12-core Mali-G72 GPU, up to 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB storage.
Huawei has also built a neural processing unit (NPU) into the Kirin 970 which sounds really futuristic and it both is and isn’t.
The NPU appears to be limited to doing things such as clearing background noise when you speak into the microphone during a call or tweaking photos depending on what the NPU identifies them as. But this is only at launch.
What Huawei has essentially done with the Mate 10 Pro is build a platform that allows developers to make use of a neural network and that means that you’re really being asked to buy a shell that will hopefully become the most functional smartphone around once the content comes through.
For now there is a Microsoft Translation app that allows you to snap photos of text and have that translated into a language you can understand. It’s reminded me a lot of the Google Translate functionality we experimented with a while back only this is a lot more limited in terms of the languages available. At present the only two South African languages you can access are English and Afrikaans.
Huawei says that Microsoft is working hard to make more languages available but we’ll stick to Google’s solution for now then.
Speaking of snapping photos, the Mate 10 Pro appears to be rather capable in that department, at least on paper.
At the rear of the handset is a dual camera setup which features a 20MP monochrome sensor, a 12MP RGB sensor and an aperture of f/1.6 which has us curious about how well the Mate 10 Pro will snap photos in the dark.
We were able to test the camera in somewhat darkened conditions but we’ll reserve judgment until we have a full review.
Everything connects through a USB Type C connector and we mean everything because Huawei has ditched the 3.5mm jack.
The firm says this was to make it easier to make the handset waterproof. Fair enough but then Huawei decided that instead of giving you a USB Type C to 3.5mm converter they’d just give you a pair of earphones that connect via USB Type C.
As for price strap yourself in because it’s a big one. The Mate 10 Pro will hit local shelves with a suggested retail price of R17 999. The madness doesn’t stop there though. Huawei also has a Mate 10 Porsche Design which is the same handset just with a black paint job and a garish “Porsche Design” on the face of the handset.
The Porsche Design comes with a leather pouch for the handset and two chargers (yeah we don’t really understand that either) and you’ll pay R26 999 for it.
There are only 999 units in the country so it is truly a limited edition.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is available through MTN, Telkom, Vodacom and Cell C.
The Mate 10 Porsche Design is available exclusively through MTN and Telkom.