16 October 2017

Huawei's new Mate 10: the desktop in your pocket

Source: Huawei website. The Mate 10.
Source: Huawei website. The Mate 10.
• Kirin 970, the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) processor for smartphones with a dedicated neural-network processing unit (NPU).

• A 3D glass body featuring a barely-there-bezel, HUAWEI FullView Display and HDR10-
supported technology for intensely vivid and bright colours.

• HUAWEI SuperCharge, the world’s first fast charging technology to receive the TÜV Fast-Charge Safety Certification, and 4,000 mAh battery with AI-powered battery management.

• New Leica Dual Camera with SUMMILUX-H lenses, both featuring an aperture of f/1.6, for intelligent photography.

• An all-new, simplified EMUI 8.0 based on Android 8.0.

Huawei's Mate series took off with power users in 2014 with the Mate 7, and has not looked back since. "The Mate 9 was a best-selling premium device in Singapore," said Justin Zhang, Senior Director, Smartphone Product Line Marketing, Huawei Consumer Business Group during a preview under embargo in Singapore. "Customers are looking for power and efficiency. They love the Mate series for a huge display in a very compact body. They want a big display but they don't want a huge phone."

Expectations are high for the latest flagship models for the family, the HUAWEI Mate 10 series co-engineered with Leica, which evolves from being a smartphone to something more intelligent, Zhang said. "We learn what is going on in your phone and try to find the best experience for you," he said.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 and HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro are the first Huawei phones to make use of Huawei's top-of-the-line Kirin 970 processor*, its first processor to have a mobile-specific neural-network processing unit (NPU) in addition to a central processing unit (CPU) and a graphics processing unit (GPU). Zhang explained that while a CPU shines at processing commands sequentially, and a GPU does best at processing commands in parallel, the NPU works more like the human brain to operate faster and more efficiently with specific operations such as real time computer vision, augmented reality, and instant text recognition and translation.

"Today, the things we do on our smartphones are no longer the traditional things we used to do," he explained, pointing out that our phones are used less for voice calls and more for other activities. On-device artificial intelligence (AI) will be able to interprete incoming signals from cameras and sensors, ensure privacy and security and perform without draining a smartphone battery, Zhang said.

“As we enter the age of intelligence, AI is no longer a virtual concept but something that intertwines
with our daily lives. AI can enhance user experience, provide valuable services and improve product
performance,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The HUAWEI Mate 10 Series introduces the first mobile AI-specific neural-network processing unit, launching a new era of intelligent phones.”


The phone has a 3D glass body and a horizontal signature stripe at the top of the phone's rear so that it is recognisable as a HUAWEI Mate 10 family model from a distance. The models are IP67-rated for water and dust resistance.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 is 8.2mm thick while the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro is 7.9mm thick. The new-generation FullView display on the HUAWEI Mate 10 offers a 5.9" LCD screen in 16:9 aspect ratio that is brighter than the displays in the previous generation. The HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro has a 6" OLED screen and a screen ratio of 18:9, supporting multi-column displays. HDR10 is supported for better contrast and more intense colour.

Another way to differentiate the two models is by the positioning of the fingerprint sensor; it is in front at the bottom on the HUAWEI Mate 10, a traditional location, and at the rear for the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro.

A plug-and-play desktop experience

What is most striking is not its looks but that the HUAWEI Mate 10 is not just a phone. Business users will like how it is powerful enough to act as a mobile office, without using an external dock, says the company. The device supports simultaneous activities on the phone screen as well as on an external device, so that it can act as a pocket desktop or cinema.

In a demonstration, Zhang showed how the phone can be connected to external devices via any USB Type C-to-HDMI or Type C-to-VGA connector, such as an external keyboard and an external display, to power the desktop experience. There is no configuration needed, and both screens can be used independently. The phone even multitasks, accepting incoming texts and phone calls on the phone display instead of on the external display, and can be charged while it is in external screen mode.

Mobile apps such as Microsoft Office and Google Docs which support a large screen experience will fill the full screen, just like software on a desktop. Presentations in PDF form can also be displayed directly from the phone.


The HUAWEI Mate 10 is targeted at power users, with the Kirin 970 chipset running the CPU and GPU with 20% and 50% gains in efficiency respectively. The NPU also increases performance by up to 25X, allowing it to recognise up to 2,005 images per minute. Zhang notes that a recognition speed of 33 pictures per second matches video playback speeds of 30 frames per second, which means that a HUAWEI Mate 10 would be able to recognise objects in real-time in a video.

Battery life

The HUAWEI Mate 10 sports a 4,000mAh ultra long-lasting battery, Zhang disclosed, equivalent to 20 hours of video playback, 30 hours of 3G calls or 20 hours of 4G browsing. A smart battery management system understands user behaviour and intelligently allocates resources to maximise battery life.

With HUAWEI SuperCharge technology, the battery charges 4x faster than via wireless charging, or 50% faster than the iPhone 8 Plus. It supports 4.5V/5A low-voltage fast charging, powering the device from 1% to 20% in 10 minutes, and from 1% to 58% in 30 minutes**. The low voltage and low temperatures keep the device both cool and safe, Zhang said.


Huawei says the HUAWEI Mate 10 is the world's first 1.2Gbps Cat. 18 smartphone. It supports the latest connectivity standards, namely 4x4 MIMO for better fringe coverage, 256 QAM for enhanced throughput, and 3CC CA for aggregated coverage – making surfing on the phone faster than using home broadband today.

Source: Huawei livestream capture. Introducing the Mate10 camera.
Source: Huawei livestream capture. Yu introducing the Mate10 camera and the quality of the images it can take.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 can see, understand and shoot professional photographs, said Richard Yu, Director, CEO of the Consumer Business Group at Huawei, at the launch of the phone. The phone has a Leica dual camera supplemented by advanced dual image signal processors (ISP) and an AI engine powering an AI-powered bokeh effect, AI-powered digital zoom and an AI-powered Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition feature (13 objects and scenes recognised automatically).

f/1.6 wide aperture - which the company says is the world's largest aperture - Leica lens will offer improved low-light photography, even for moving subjects. The 12 megapixel RGB and 20 megapixel monochrome sensors will offer a new class of high-resolution images. Optical image stabilisation (OIS), intelligent scene detection a four-in-one hybrid focus and Huawei hybrid zoom will ensure pictures are what-you-want-is-what-you-get.

The AI engine has been trained on over 100 million images to achieve accurate real-time image recognition. This allows the HUAWEI Mate 10 camera to intelligently adjust camera settings to optimise picture-taking according to the subject. Details might be crisper in a picture of an animal versus higher contrast colours for food, for example. "As time flies it will see more and it will learn more," Yu predicted during the keynote.


Audio quality has been enhanced with the EasyTalk feature with intelligent whispering detection, so that callers can be heard easily whether they are in noisy or quiet environments. The phone can conduct background noise reduction as well as identify the owner's voice and amplify it, Yu said. "We know when you're in a noisy environment, so we change the frequencies of the sound itself," said Zhang. "We can differentiate between the sound coming from the receiver and ambient sound."

The audio experience is also lossless and high-resolution, delivering 384K/32bit sound.

Productivity capabilities include:

Smart scenario identification, which allows the phone to suggest a split screen, such as when a video is playing and a chat is in progress at the same time.

A floating soft-dock is designed for one-handed use - tap to go back, swipe up for the home screen, and swipe down for notifications.

Huawei has worked with third party app providers to enhance performance with the Kirin NPU. The phone comes with AI-accelerated Microsoft translation software which can carry out offline translation up to 300% faster than on a phone that only has a CPU and GPU. More than 60 languages can be translated with the appropriate language packs loaded. "We want to bring you more convenience," Yu said. He added that Huawei is also working with Google on translation.

LinkedIn is also built-in, with account information synchronisation and an integrated address book.

Huawei is part of the the initial wave of vendors to support Google zero-touch provision for enhanced enterprise security and efficiency, and has partnerships with mobile device management companies, Yu said. Android Work Profiles will also be supported on the Mate10, allowing corporate data to be stored separately and securely from personal data.

Said Jamie Rosenberg, VP of Android and Google Play at the launch: "It's one of the very first flagships to ship with Android Oreo," adding that it allows HUAWEI Mate 10 users to enjoy new features like a faster boot time, autofill, smarter notifications, and picture-in-picture features.

"Computing is undergoing a fundamental shift from computing first to AI first," he noted. "Devices will be able to see hear and speak in ways that weren't possible before," he noted. Android's neural network API will be able to unlock such capabilities for developers, he said, and will be coming to the HUAWEI Mate 10 early next year, he said.

Other features include:

- Fast LTE connectivity and download speeds

- World’s first dual 4G SIM support and dual VoLTE connections

New accessories

Huawei also launched three HUAWEI Mate 10 accessories: the EnVizion 360 Camera,
SuperCharge Power Bank, and Smart Scale.

• The EnVizion 360 Camera can shoot 5K photos and 360-degree 2K videos with multiple
viewing modes.

• Huawei’s SuperCharge Power Bank supports a 4.5V/5A low-voltage fast charge.

• The Smart Scale can monitor and analyse health information such as body fat percentage and
body mass index (BMI) through a mobile app.

Source: Huawei website. The Mate 10 comes in four colours.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 will be available in Mocha Brown, Champagne Gold, Pink Gold, and Black globally, with the brown and black models to be available in Singapore. The HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro will be available in mid-November. It will be available globally in Midnight Blue, Titanium Gray, Pink Gold, and Mocha Brown. The phones will run Huawei's Emotion UI (EMUI) 8.0 on Android 8.0 (codenamed Oreo), featuring dynamic wallpaper.

Register interest from 17 October for the HUAWEI Mate 10, HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro, and PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 10 or preorder the Mate 10 at Lazada, or at Huawei concept stores from 17 to 23 October. The first 500 customers who preorder will also receive a free wireless keyboard and USB Type C-to-HDMI cable.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 is available in Mocha Brown and Black and will come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM expandable to 256GB, for S$888. It will ship from 28 October.

The HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro is available in Mocha Brown and Midnight Blue and will come with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of ROM. Pricing and local availability will be announced later.

The PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 10 in Diamond Black will come with 6GB of RAM and 256GB of ROM. Pricing and availability will be announced later.

Read the TechTrade Asia blog post about a deep dive into the Kirin 970

Hashtags: #HuaweiMate10, #HuaweiMobileAI, #PorscheDesign

*The Kirin 970 is built using an advanced TSMC 10nm semiconductor manufacturing process, featuring an octacore ARM Cortex CPU, a first-to-market Mali G72 12-core GPU and the first NPU designed specifically for a mobile device. The Kirin 970 also has a new dual ISP for AI-powered intelligent photography.

The specialised NPU, combined with Huawei’s HiAI mobile computing platform, means the Kirin 970 delivers 25x better performance and 50x greater energy efficiency for AI-related tasks, compared to four Cortex-A73 cores based on Huawei's lab tests. 

**Based on Huawei’s laboratory testing results. In the test, the device was charged from 1% battery with the display switched off, through the HUAWEI SuperCharge charger and cable, in an environment with a 4G network, 25°C temperature, and relative humidity of 45-80%.