Sorry, No Huawei Mate 10 Pro for AT&T at CES

LAS VEGAS–The Las Vegas Convention Center is plastered with Huawei ads, but the global No. 3 cell phone maker’s CES may have been ruined today. The Wall Street Journal reported , and we can independently confirm, that Huawei won’t be able to announce a deal to sell its Mate 10 Pro phone with AT&T; tomorrow.

LAS VEGAS–The Las Vegas Convention Center is plastered with Huawei ads, but the global No. 3 cell phone maker’s CES may have been ruined today.

, and we can independently confirm, that Huawei won’t be able to announce a deal to sell its Mate 10 Pro phone with AT&T; tomorrow.

The Journal goes even further than what we’ve heard from our own sources, saying that AT&T; has “walked away from” its entire deal to sell Huawei phones. We’d heard of a delay, but not a cancellation.

goes even further than what we’ve heard from our own sources, saying that AT&T; has “walked away from” its entire deal to sell Huawei phones. We’d heard of a delay, but not a cancellation.

The new report counters a previous report from The Information that AT&T; would start selling the Mate 10 in February, and puts into question Huawei CEO Richard Yu’s proclamation in late 2017 that US carriers would start selling his phones “next year.”

The new report counters a previous report from The Information that AT&T; would start selling the Mate 10 in February, and puts into question Huawei CEO Richard Yu’s proclamation in late 2017 that US carriers would start selling his phones “next year.”

Huawei has been butting its head against the US market for years. It came under scrutiny from Congress in 2012 about potentially spying for the Chinese government, which it denies vehemently. But since then, Huawei’s network equipment has been anathema to US carriers and the company has had trouble finding a foothold for its phones at carriers, which control the vast majority of US phone sales.

for years. It came under scrutiny from Congress in 2012 about potentially spying for the Chinese government, which it denies vehemently. But since then, Huawei’s network equipment has been anathema to US carriers and the company has had trouble finding a foothold for its phones at carriers, which control the vast majority of US phone sales.

I’ve written before about why Huawei has failed in the US where ZTE, which also came under a Congressional spotlight at one point, has done well. A lot of it may come down to having a highly autonomous, locally controlled US subsidiary that develops specific products for the US and builds strong relationships with US carriers and retailers. ZTE did that, and Huawei didn’t.

If Huawei is just trying to push the global Mate 10 into the US market, it may not be making it through AT&T;’s labs. We recently had Cellular Insights analyze the RF performance of leading Android and iOS smartphones , and included a global Mate 10 Pro in the test but not in the resulting story.

If Huawei is just trying to push the global Mate 10 into the US market, it may not be making it through AT&T;’s labs. We recently had Cellular Insights

That’s because the Mate 10 Pro scored very poorly on the US’s popular LTE Band 4, especially in weak signal conditions. The Mate 10 Pro completely lost Band 4 connectivity at -124dBm, 6dBm worse than the LG V30 , and at pretty much every level blow -101dBm it performed worse than all of the leading smartphones we tested, including the Intel-based iPhone.

That’s because the Mate 10 Pro scored very poorly on the US’s popular LTE Band 4, especially in weak signal conditions. The Mate 10 Pro completely lost Band 4 connectivity at -124dBm, 6dBm worse than the

, and at pretty much every level blow -101dBm it performed worse than all of the leading smartphones we tested, including the Intel-based iPhone.

At the time, we thought this was just because the Mate 10 Pro hadn’t been tuned and optimized for Band 4. But perhaps the results we saw caused AT&T; to reconsider carrying the phone.

At the time, we thought this was just because the Mate 10 Pro hadn’t been tuned and optimized for Band 4. But perhaps the results we saw caused AT&T; to reconsider carrying the phone.

Huawei, for its part, still promises some sort of phone launch tomorrow. Previously, it’s sold its phones through online retailers, to relatively little effect. An unlocked launch for the Mate 10 Pro will also put Huawei up against its own subsidiary Honor’s similar View 10 , which is anticipated to cost much less. (The View 10 costs $474 in India; the Mate 10 Pro costs roughly double that.)

Huawei, for its part, still promises some sort of phone launch tomorrow. Previously, it’s sold its phones through online retailers, to relatively little effect. An unlocked launch for the Mate 10 Pro will also put Huawei up against its own subsidiary

, which is anticipated to cost much less. (The View 10 costs $474 in India; the Mate 10 Pro costs roughly double that.)

“Over the past five years Huawei has proven itself by delivering premium products with integrity globally and in the US market. On Tuesday Huawei will introduce new products to the US market, including availabilty,” the company said in a statement.

See Also : Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro review: All about promises …

The Huawei Mate 10 series is all about promises: the promise of AI on your smartphone; the promise of a rising star in the industry; the promise of a better long-term future for your device.

Huawei has been hot on the heels of its main rival Samsung for years, building its global market, while slowly increasing its Western mind share. Itas become in many ways the premier innovator in the smartphone space.

With the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, Huawei has delivered its latest salvo in the battle against other mainstream manufacturers and the results are very compelling. Despite a few odd choices, like using a lower resolution screen and omitting the headphone jack on the Pro model, these devices are pretty incredible. This is the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro review, so let’s dive in.

Review scoring: We’re holding off on our final review scores until we get our hands on a final U.S. Mate 10 Pro to run through our full suite of Android Authority tests. During the review period, several updates were also pushed out, the last of which arrived after the review had been completed and may affect some of the judgments below. We’ll update this review with updates and final scoring in the near future.

With the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, Huawei has moved away from its signature all-metal design. Like most 2017 flagships, these phones opt for a glass front and back around an aluminum frame.

This shift is a positive change. The phones look and feel magnificent, even if they collect fingerprints much more than their metal-clad predecessors. For some reason Huawei didn’t think adding wireless charging was necessary, despite the change to a glass back.

The two phones look almost identical from behind, barring the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner on the Pro version and their overall shape, which is slightly different. The Mate 10 Pro assumes the 18:9 aspect ratio, common to 2017 flagship displays. As such, it is taller and thinner than the Mate 10, which retains the traditional 16:9 ratio.

Despite the differences in size and shape, they weigh pretty much the same, at 178 grams for the Mate 10 Pro and 186 grams for the Mate 10. Compare that to the 190-gram Mate 9 or the 195-gram Galaxy Note 8 and you get a feel for their heft.

Despite the differences in size and shape, they weigh pretty much the same, at 178 grams for the Mate 10 Pro and 186 grams for the Mate 10. Compare that to the 190-gram

Compared to a similarly-sized phone like the LG V30 , which only weighs 158 grams, both Mate 10’s are relatively weighty for their size. However, they do have a 20 percent larger battery than both the Note 8 and V30, making that added heft totally worthwhile.

, which only weighs 158 grams, both Mate 10’s are relatively weighty for their size. However, they do have a 20 percent larger battery than both the Note 8 and V30, making that added heft totally worthwhile.

The main differences on the front are again fingerprint scanner-related. The Mate 10 squeezes an elongated scanner in the bottom bezel, which isnat actually much larger than the abezel-lessa Mate 10 Pro. The upshot of this placement is that the regular Mate 10 doesn’t have any front-facing branding, which some will love.

There’s very little to dislike about either Mate 10 design, besides natural preferences for front- versus rear-mounted fingerprint scanners, manufacturer branding, and the presence of headphone ports (only the Mate 10 has one). If anything they just look a little unexciting, but these devices comfortably fit within Huawei’s understated-but-premium design language, which has always been better than most.

The display is where the Mate 10s are most different. Huawei has made some interesting decisions here. The Mate 10 Pro has an OLED screen with the fashionable 18:9, or Univisium, aspect ratio, and supports HDR10. On the other hand, the Mate 10 has a 16:9 aspect ratio and uses an IPS LCD panel instead, though it also has HDR10 certification. Neither panel has the rounded corners we’ve seen on several other flagships this year.

Huawei also decided to put QHD resolution on the regular Mate 10 only, although it defaults to Full HD out of the box. The Pro version ships with Full HD+.

The pixel density of the Mate 10 Pro is therefore significantly lower than the Mate 10’s, at 402 ppi compared to 498 ppi. While it is a noticeable difference, most users will make the decision based on which aspect ratio they prefer and whether they’re into LCD or OLED.

The upshot of the OLED panel on the Mate 10 Pro is the presence of an always-on display, though itas oddly hidden in the settings by default. To enable it, go to Settings > Security & Privacy >Screen Lock & Passwords > Always Display Information and flip the switch.

The upshot of the OLED panel on the Mate 10 Pro is the presence of an always-on display, though itas oddly hidden in the settings by default. To enable it, go to

The always-on display will show the time, date, battery percentage and what music is playing, as well as app notificationsa though only for Huaweias pre-loaded apps. So no WhatsApp, Gmail or Snapchat, kids. Sorry.

The Mate 10 Pro has great viewing angles, only suffering from color shift at extreme angles. The resolution difference is hardly noticeable, and even then youave got to really look for it. The Mate 10 Pro’s OLED panel naturally produces better blacks and slightly punchier colors, but the Mate 10’s IPS LCD does an admirable job.

The Mate 10 has slightly weaker viewing angles, but both devices can hit 730 nits of brightness. Both are perfectly legible outdoors in bright sunlight. The Mate 10 display was a bit too cool for my tastes out of the box. It had a slightly blueish tint and a little less life to its colors. Fortunately, Huawei lets you adjust the color temperature in settings.

Although itas just becoming more common in smartphone displays, HDR has been a buzzword in the TV industry for several years. But actual TVs a with screen sizes of 65 inches or more practically being a|

Both the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro support HDR10, and while neither worked with YouTube HDR content during the review period, Huawei assured me it was coming. Netflix and Vimeo are your best bet for HDR content right now. Both devices are also in the process of being Daydream-certified.

As always with Huawei, the hardware on the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro is impeccable. The build quality is excellent and the machining is top notch.

Both phones have a volume rocker and power button on the right, but only the Mate 10 Pro has a fine matte finish to it. They both have a single speaker grille on the bottom (the earpiece speaker provides the second speaker for stereo sound), a USB Type-C port, and a pair of pinhole mics.

On the left, a SIM card tray pops out to reveal dual-SIM slots on the Mate 10 Pro. The Mate 10as got a hybrid dual-SIM slot, which lets you pick between a microSD card or a second SIM card.

The Mate 10 offers microSD expansion and a 3.5mm headphone port, neither of which appear on the Mate 10 Pro.

The Mate 10 comes in one model with 64 GB of on-board storage and 4 GB of RAM. The Mate 10 Pro has two models: one with the same pairing and another with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, but neither of which have microSD expansion.

Up top, there’s an IR blaster and another pinhole mic on both devices, but only the regular Mate 10 has a 3.5 mm headphone port. Because the Mate 10 and 10 Pro ship with Android Oreo , you can take advantage of a bunch of audio codecs (including aptX , aptX-HD and LDAC) for a better Bluetooth experience than you’d get on a pre-Oreo device. Note that the Mate 10’s use Bluetooth 4.2, so you won’t benefit from the additional range or higher throughput of Bluetooth 5.

Up top, there’s an IR blaster and another pinhole mic on both devices, but only the regular Mate 10 has a 3.5 mm headphone port. Because the Mate 10 and 10 Pro ship with

, you can take advantage of a bunch of audio codecs (including aptX , aptX-HD and LDAC) for a better Bluetooth experience than you’d get on a pre-Oreo device. Note that the Mate 10’s use Bluetooth 4.2, so you won’t benefit from the additional range or higher throughput of Bluetooth 5.

Support for lossless 32-bit audio at 384 kHz is a nice touch of overkill but the presence of high-end codecs in Oreo and an included Type-C to 3.5 mm adapter will not be enough to satisfy every potential Mate 10 Pro buyer who prefers wired headphones. Huawei Histen audio tuning is available when you plug in though, and there’s some decent USB Type-C earbuds in the box.

There’s lossless 32-bit audio at 384 kHz, high-end codecs in Oreo and an included Type-C to 3.5 mm adapter with the Mate 10 Pro.

The Mate 10’s external speakers get plenty loud, easily hitting 80 dB. At max volume it’s not the most pleasant audio experience. It gets a little tinny for my liking, especially from the earpiece speaker. If you keep it to around 80 percent volume, the result is perfectly acceptable, if not exceptional.

The Mate 10 series features the world’s fastest 4.5G modem with 5CC carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO, dual 4G VoLTE, 256-QAM and Cat.16 (Mate 10) and Cat.18 D (Mate 10 Pro) data speeds. Naturally, call quality was excellent, which is also assisted by AI-powered voice recognition and in-call noise cancellation.

Only the Pro has an IP67 dustproof and water-resistant rating (up to a meter for a half hour). The regular Mate 10 has an IP53 rating, which is on the don’t-count-on-it-for-anything-end of the spectrum.

The fingerprint scanner on both devices is lightning fast and reliable, just as we’ve come to expect from Huawei. Huawei says it unlocks the device in just 0.33 seconds, and I have no reason to doubt it.

Huawei has added aenhanced GPS technologya to its multi-sensor navigation, including inertia tracking and offline data to get you better location data when in tunnels or out of a service area. While I can’t say I found myself lost in the woods during the testing period, it’s a nice thing to have in the back of your mind if you ever do.

As an added bonus, both devices come with clear rubberized plastic cases to help mitigate fingerprints and save that shiny exterior from scratches and scrapes.

The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro both ship with Huawei’s 10 nm HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset, complete with a dedicated Neural Processing Unit for faster on-board AI processing. Gary Sims will be covering the NPU in far more detail soon. For now, it offers a relatively limited feature set which basically boils down to:

The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro both ship with Huawei’s 10 nm HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset, complete with a dedicated Neural Processing Unit for faster on-board AI processing.

will be covering the NPU in far more detail soon. For now, it offers a relatively limited feature set which basically boils down to:

Smart tips (based on context awareness, like suggesting the blue light filter when you’re reading in a dark environment etc)

Huawei assures me that, over time, new features that take advantage of the NPU’s abilities will be added (rather than being held over for release with the Huawei P11 or Mate 11). Huawei has positioned the Kirin 970 as an open platform for mobile AI development, to encourage new applications to take advantage of the NPU. But theyare also working with key partners to make that happen faster.

Announced as an answer to Apple’s ARKit, Google’s ARCore is positioned as the search giant’s augmented reality platform for developers. Since its announcement, various developers have already created quirky experiences, which range from two cars a|

For example, the next Android maintenance release, scheduled for later this year, will add support for Google’s ARCore. Google’s Neural Network APIs will also be added to the Mate 10 via an update early next year. Huawei is in the process of getting Google Translate to work with the NPU in the same way the Microsoft Translator app does.

The Kirin 970 uses an octa-core configuration made up of four high-performance Cortex A73 2.36 GHz cores and four energy-efficient Cortex A53 cores that clock in at 1.8 GHz. Along with an i7 co-processor, the SoC features the world’s first Mali-G72 MP12 GPU, as well as the brand new NPU.

I primarily used the 128 GB Mate 10 Pro with 6 GB of RAM during the testing period, and, while on paper it packs quite a punch, I encountered a few glitches. Like any phone, minor stutters appeared on occasion, but cleared up either after a restart or by clearing cached apps. Huawei actually put out two updates in the last week, so the versions that hit stores may be more stable.

On two separate occasions, the Mate 10 wouldn’t unlock normally. Tapping the fingerprint scanner and power button had unusual results, neither doing what you’d expect. Tapping the fingerprint scanner either did nothing or showed the lock screen with a different battery percentage than on the always-on display. Pressing the power button didn’t always turn the screen on either. Sometimes I had to force-restart the phone to get things back to normal. It should be noted that both of these instances occurred after Google issued a bug fixing update and disappeared after a factory reset.

The Mate 10’s offer considerable performance with the promise of getting better over time a or at least not degrading as fast as other phones.

Google apps didn’t always play nice with the Mate 10 Pro, either. Gmail would occasionally only show half a screen of emails. When switching to another account, it sometimes wouldn’t show any emails at all. Closing the app and restarting it cleared up the issue. Likewise, for a while all YouTube notifications came through with the same thumbnail, regardless of the channel.

If you can get beyond these issues as early teething problems or possibly related to Google’s bug fixing patch, the Huawei Mate 10 offers considerable performance with the promise of getting better over timea or at least not degrading as fast as other phones. Here’s some benchmarks to whet your appetite.

Both versions of the Mate 10 ship with a large 4,000 mAh battery and support Huawei Supercharge via the included 4.5V/5A charging brick. Charging a fully-depleted device with the power off, you’ll get between 30-35 percent charge in 15 minutes, 55-60 percent in a half hour and 85-90 percent after an hour (batteries charge slower the fuller they get). Huawei wants everyone to know its fast-charging solution is the first to be certified by TAV Rheinland.

That 4,000 mAh cell will regularly get you somewhere between four and five hours of screen-on time, depending on how bright your screen is set. I managed six hours on the Mate 10 Pro (with the dark theme enabled) in a day when I was inside with the screen constantly set to about 40 percent. I hit just under 7.5 hours on a day when it was set at about 25 percent brightness, but I only just scraped past three hours on the weekend when I was outside the whole time with max brightness enabled. In all cases, I had no problem getting through the entire day with plenty to spare.

The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro offer aAI-powered battery managementa that promises to better allocate resources according to your personal habits. Much like Huawei’s aBorn Fast, Stay Fasta machine learning optimization, it all sounds good, but you’ll have to wait until well after you’ve spent your money to see if it all comes true.

The Mate 10 has a satisfying battery management area that lets you check off various suggestions for saving power, including switching to a dark theme on the Mate 10 Pro, manually controlling power-intensive apps, limiting auto-syncing and more. You can also drop your screen resolution down, either automatically when your battery life requires it, or manually whenever you like.

There are some notable new features to EMUI, some of which are due to the Mate 10 shipping with Android 8.0 Oreo. Oddly, Huawei seems to have skipped out on a few Oreo features.

On the positive side, the settings menu has been cleaned up a little, falling more in line with Google’s compact layout in Oreo.

Project Treble guarantees the potential for faster updates in the future and Huawei has confirmed the Mate 10 family will get two years of Android updates and at least one major Android version bump.

Oreo features like Picture-in-Picture mode, app shortcuts, smart text selection and notification dots a oddly called badge app icons a are on board. Others are absent, like the adaptive icons and the swipe-up app drawer on the Pixel. The default setting is still an app drawer-less home screen layout, but you can change that in settings.

You can snooze notifications but there are no notification channels on the Mate 10; it’s all or nothing.

It should be evident by now that you shouldn’t look to Huawei for a faithful implementation of Android Oreo to a T. Though Huawei falls down on implementing Google features, like the Samsung of old, it makes up for it with a vast bucket of software additions.

One of the coolest Huawei features debuting on the Mate 10 is Projection Mode. Simply buy a USB Type-C to HDMI cable with support for Display Port 1.2 and you can plug your phone directly into an external monitor a no dock required. In this mode you can add Bluetooth peripherals like a mouse or keyboard or use the phone’s display like a trackpad. You’ll need app support for full desktop mode, but other apps will still open, just in portrait mode like on your phone.

The experience works just as advertised too. Just plug in your phone, connect your mouse and keyboard and away you go. It’s a little sluggish a and you obviously can’t be charging your phone at the same time (if you’re using a one-to-one cable like I did) a but it works. It’ll be interesting to see where this type of functionality goes in future.

Note: I tested PC mode with a USB Type-C to HDMI cable I bought on Amazon – hence not being able to charge while in PC mode. Because the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro support USB 3.1 though, you can screen share to a monitor and charge the device at the same time. I tested two different powered USB 3.1 hubs with HDMI ports from Anker and both of them worked fine. If you plan to use PC mode for long stretches at a time, I’d recommend picking up a powered hub rather than a cable. This and this are the hubs I tried, if you need a recommendation. In theory many others should work – but not many seem confident about claiming compatibility up front. I’m still waiting on an official comment from Huawei on the matter. Thanks to Bram Peeters for raising this issue.

I bought on Amazon – hence not being able to charge while in PC mode. Because the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro support USB 3.1 though, you can screen share to a monitor and charge the device at the same time. I tested two different powered USB 3.1 hubs with HDMI ports from Anker and both of them worked fine. If you plan to use PC mode for long stretches at a time, I’d recommend picking up a powered hub rather than a cable.

are the hubs I tried, if you need a recommendation. In theory many others should work – but not many seem confident about claiming compatibility up front. I’m still waiting on an official comment from Huawei on the matter. Thanks to Bram Peeters for raising this issue.

My personal favorite new feature though has got to be the AI-powered translation feature. Living in a foreign country, I frequently have the need for translation, and I’ve never seen anything do it as fast as Microsoft Translator on the Mate 10. If Microsoft isn’t your cup of tea, Google Translate is in the pipeline as well.

It doesn’t have a live view feature like the Google Translate app, but Microsoft’s app can translate up to 50 languages almost instantaneously. Thanks to the NPU, it all happens on-device. It works on photos taken via the app, or existing photos, or even screenshots in your gallery. All you have to do is download the language packs you need and away you go. There’s also voice translation and keyboard input.

Huawei has also added a smart split-screen mode. When you’re watching a video or playing a game in full-screen mode, the Mate 10 will add a split-screen icon to most messaging apps’ popup notification. The app will then appear in a window side-by-side, while your video or game continues playing in the other.

A floating navigation dock lets you remove the on-screen navigation buttons and use a little floating ball like you would with fingerprint scanner gestures. On the Mate 10 you have fingerprint scanner gestures, the floating dock and on-screen button options, while on the Mate 10 Pro you only get the latter two.

Knuckle gestures return, with two of the more useful options being an ‘S’ to take a scrolling screenshot, and a double-knuckle double tap to start screen recording.

You now have 30 days to recover items deleted from the phone, after which theyall be completely gone.

You can register a fingerprint to access a second version of your phone, so if your parents, girlfriend or immigration officials come snooping around and demand to see your phone, you can simply use your acleana fingerprint to unlock that version. It takes a little while to open, but it works.

EMUI is a feature-packed Android skin, with most of the added benefits of Android Oreo as well. Huawei’s take on Android is a little rough around the edges, but there’s no denying the company is pushing the envelope where software features are concerned. Many of these could be called gimmicks, but a lot of them are really useful.

While it can be a little confusing, the Mate 10 software experience is generally smooth and rewarding. A lot of Huawei’s pre-loaded apps have little use, since Google has better ones available, and it would’ve been nice to see all of Oreo’s main features baked into Huawei’s version of Android 8.0, but EMUI is as clean and functional as it has ever been. Itas still got a ways to go before I’d say it was great, though.

The Mate 10as camera outperforms expectations in almost all situations. Beyond the physical hardware, which we’ll cover below, it is also assisted by the NPU in a few ways.

There’s currently 13 scenes that the NPU can recognize, automatically adjusting settings for optimum image capture. The number of compatible scenes will grow over time, and the phone reacts remarkably fast, outputting images of generally very good quality. You can always override the AI-predicted scene selection settings if you disagree, but only by going into the manual controls and switching to a preset. A simple on/off toggle in the camera would’ve been better.

The Mate 10’s camera has a dual ISP for noise reduction and better low-light performance with a 4-way hybrid autofocus comprising laser, depth, contrast and phase detection. The Kirin 970’s NPU capabilities also enable an AI-powered bokeh mode, AI Motion Detection for reduced motion blur and a hybrid digital zoom, all of which are above average.

The Mate 10 has two Summilux-H lenses with f/1.6 aperture: one RGB sensor at 12 MP and a monochrome sensor at 20 MP resolution. They are again co-engineered with Leica and the main RGB sensor has OIS which helps a lot in low light situations.

The Mate 10 camera takes very good shots in a simple point-and-shoot scenario, with a little variation. There’s very little noise to be found in low light shots, and the OIS helps with motion blur. But it must be noted that, to get those grain-free shots, the Mate 10 tends to crush blacks a bit and slightly darken the overall scene in the resulting photograph. Depending on your tastes, it maintains better image integrity after the fact, but low light photos can be a little less poppy and light than those shot on the Pixel 2 or Note 8 for example.

In contrast to this slight underexposure, bright spots in low-light photos tend to be a little blown out, like in the shot of the river above. The scene wasn’t quite as dark as this shot would imply, but the warning lights on the bridge are half white and half red, a fact the Pixel 2 managed to pick up, even if there was much more noise in the photo.

Where other devices balance things out a little more at the cost of added grain , the Mate 10 seems to be on a mission to stamp out noise at the expense of color and “reality”. Personally, I appreciate the sharper details, and I can always lighten the shadows in post, but your mileage may vary.

, the Mate 10 seems to be on a mission to stamp out noise at the expense of color and “reality”. Personally, I appreciate the sharper details, and I can always lighten the shadows in post, but your mileage may vary.

Oddly enough, a more familiar result comes when using the hybrid digital zoom. The level of detail achieved is quite remarkable, but the overall image is much lighter than the regular shot with its pitch blacks. You get more noise, but there’s also much more visible in the shadows, as you can see in the shot of Berlin’s TV Tower above. The hybrid zoom definitely produces more detail than a zoomed-in regular photo.

Bizarrely, I found the Mate 10’s HDR mode to be a little unreliable. A similar level of hit-or-miss occurred with the AI scene selection.

Bizarrely, I found the Mate 10’s HDR mode to be a little unreliable. A similar level of hit-or-miss occurred with the AI scene selection. The Mate 10 has a tendency to produce very different photos if you shoot a couple in a row. Normally this could be explained by the AI not recognizing the scene in one of them. In HDR mode, even when focused on the exact same spot, the phone would lighten shadows in some photos, but darken them in others. You almost always get a great shot, but I’d recommend always firing off a couple just to have options.

The AI Motion Detection function is really impressive. I took several shots that on almost any other phone would’ve produced at least some degree of blur, even in good lighting, but the Mate 10 managed crisp shots without a hint of movement. From a shot of basketballers jumping in the air in decent but overcast lighting, to a running frisbee shot in low light, the Mate 10’s ability to capture moving subjects without blur was impressive.

The bokeh mode is also pretty good. While these software modes have improved across the board in the last year, the Mate 10 does an admirable job, lining up well against the Pixel 2, even if that phone manages the effect with dual pixels rather than a dual lens setup.

The software missteps on occasion, but the results are generally more than good enough for a new profile pic or social share. They always look a little artificial, but in the absence of a DSLR or mirrorless camera, it’s the next best thing.

The front-facing 8 MP f/2.0 lens is perfectly fine for the average selfie, but if you want the best shots you’d do better perfecting your selfie arm to use the main sensor. I took a few shots covering the monochrome sensor, and while thereas less detail, it’s barely noticeable even when zoomed right in. As a fan of the LG V30’s wide-angle camera, I can only imagine how amazing this camera would be with that as a secondary lens or even a 2x zoom lens.

If I had to criticize the Mate 10 camera it’d be for over-sharpening, which can be pushed to such an extreme that the resulting photos look fake. Some of this may be down to the AI scene detection, but as you can see in this photo of a dog yawning, the ISP has tried so hard to sharpen up the details that it ends up looking odd. This other shot of a dog looks perfectly fine though.

You can pick a color profile from standard, vivid or smooth colors. All the usual Huawei camera modes are also there, including monochrome, 3D panorama, light painting, night shot and slo-mo. Pro mode is also there if you want full control over ISO, white balance, exposure compensation, shutter speed and more. Itas even got a motion photo option like you’ll find on the Pixel 2 or iPhone.

Where the Mate 9 was a manual photographer’s dream, the Mate 10 has stepped up its full auto game. The addition of AI produces some great results, even if the handling of shadows and low light might not be to everyone’s tastes. Occasionally you will feel like youare battling against our new AI overlords as you struggle to retain control over the resulting photo, though.

If the cameras on Huawei phones put you off in the past because they seemed too complicated, those days are over. The Huawei Mate 10 is just as good a point-and-shoot smartphone camera as any other. It just has a little acharactera you’ll need to get used to, or just go full manual.

f/1.6 in both lenses, OIS (color sensor only), BSI CMOS, dual-LED flash, PDAF+CAF+Laser+Depth auto focus, 2x Hybrid Zoom, 4K video recording

The Huawei Mate 10 is a the most mainstream smartphone the company has ever produced. It retains its slick looks while switching to the current trend of a glass front and back. It retains its massive battery while adding an even more efficient chipset and AI optimizations. It takes what used to be a full-featured but complicated camera and makes it incredibly reliable for pick-up-and-shoot photographers.

Huawei is among the first to ship with Android Oreo out of the box, but software is where the Mate 10 is let down a little. EMUI is convoluted, confusing and occasionally downright weird. There are more software features here than you can poke a stick at, but it’ll take you a good long while to discover them all and you can expect a few hiccups along the way.

Huawei is really bringing its A-game with the Mate 10 though, putting up its most convincing challenge to competing devices like the Note 8, Pixel 2 and V30 yet. Huawei’s brand name may still not be as popular in the West as the company would like it to be, but devices like the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro will help turn that around.

Despite a few questionable choices, the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro are really nice phones. The weird mixture of missing features between them will make picking one a slightly harder task, as not all the abesta features are necessarily in the Pro model. Where a company like Samsung knows you’re better off putting all your eggs in the flagship basket, Huawei is taking a risk here.

At 699 euro, the Mate 10 has all the regular bases covered, but at 799 euro the Mate 10 Pro is only superior in some ways. It’ll be the only version to make it to the US though, with local pricing and availability coming soon.

There’s an awful lot to love about the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, and, while they might not yet be meeting Samsung head to head, they’re another positive step in that direction. If Huawei comes through on all — or even most — of the promises the Mate 10 makes, then they’re guaranteed to only get better over time.