Android phones are a dime a dozen. Almost all Android handsets are chasing a trend or trying to one-up the iPhone. This mimicking has lead to dual cameras, notches on every phone, and bloated software UI’s. Huawei seems to have found a middle ground with the Mate 10 Pro. The only setback with the Mate 10 Pro is the software. There are some more notable bugs and a lot of bloatware in the EUMI.
The 6-inch phablet has minimal bezels, leverages AI, and the Leica cameras will blow your socks off. The phone honestly revivals the Pixel 2 XL with the camera, battery life, and robust features. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro might be worth the $649.99 price tag.
In this review, I will break down how the hardware, camera, battery all make this phone a solid choice, even as the software is a significant pain point.
The Mate 10 Pro shines through with the hardware. The phone feels premium, with a weight that feels comfortable in your hand. The phone is crafted from sturdy metal, and the minimal bezels look beautiful. There is a USB-C port, and the phone lacks a headphone jack. The packaging comes with USB-C headphones and a dongle to plug in 3.5mm headphones. The front is nearly bezel-less with a small chin and forehead but it is nothing crazy, and there is no notch!
The flagship phone has the build quality you’d find on the iPhone or Pixel devices. I am impressed with the phone, but the price reflects the premium feel.
There are two Lecia branded cameras on the Mate 10 Pro. The first is a 12MP color sensor and optical image stabilization, the other with a 20MP black and white sensor and no OIS. The camera is a fabulous automatic point and shoot, but the extensive list of smart modes in the camera settings is too long to list. The camera doesn’t produce the same quality as the Pixel 2 XL and is far behind the iPhone’s quality. This isn’t to say the photos are terrible; they don’t offer the same dynamic range and color accuracy as the Pixel 2 XL or the iPhone X.
The camera is competitive across the board, but it doesn’t stand out from the crowd. There are a ton of settings where you can adjust the shutter or aperture. If you are a professional – there is a dozen, if not hundreds, of settings you can customize.
The Mate 10 Pro has class-leading battery life. I can get through two whole days before I need to charge the 4,000 mAh battery. Early reports are swirling around different blogs the phone struggles to get through an entire day, but Huawei addressed the issue with a software update. The battery life blows the flagships from Google and Apple out of the water. Both the Pixel 2 XL and iPhone X struggle to make it through a day of heavy usage.
The phone has Huawei’s fast charging through their proprietary Super Charge technology. Half an hour charge will get you 50% battery life. The only downside is the lack of wireless charging which is coming back into popularity.
Huawei’s EMUI is not for everyone. It reminds me a lot of the early days of Android skinning. There are hidden menus, settings are cumbersome to navigate, and there are still a lot of bugs in the software. While the UI is running on top of Android Oreo 8.0, putting it ahead of many other Android phones still running Android 7.0, the software alters Google’s experience massively. If you’re moving from a Pixel or other Android phone running a lightly skinned version of Android – you won’t realize that you’re on the same OS.
The EMUI is still in the early days and feels half-baked. Samsung did this in the early Android days but has moved towards a lightly skinned UI. I wish there were a way to uninstall the EMUI and use the Pixel Launcher.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a standout Android phone. It features excellent battery life, a dual camera with AI capabilities, and while the software has major bugs – it’s something Huawei can fix with software updates. The price cuts Huawei is offering to make the phone more appealing to U.S. consumers who are trained to buy phones on a monthly installment plan.
At $699 the Mate 10 Pro is an excellent choice if the Pixel 2 XL isn’t a phone, you want to buy. There are a tone of bells and whistles, and the stellar battery life means you can get all day even if you’re using all the features.
Let me know what you think about the Huawei Mate 10 Pro in the comments below! You can buy the Mate 10 Pro on Amazon for $649 now.