Review: Huawei Mate 10 Pro leads the way in battery life

Beefed-up flagship smartphone will keep you going for two days on single charge

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is Huawei’s best phone to date

Product name: Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Price: €799.0

Where to buy: www.carphonewarehouse.ie

Website: www.huawei.com

Thu, Dec 21, 2017, 06:00

   

A few years ago, the Huawei brand would not have been very well known in Ireland. That was before the company started releasing its budget-friendly phones that raised the stakes for Android phone makers.

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is the latest to hit the market, and it’s definitely making waves. The display is a six-inch OLED screen that, while not hitting the markers laid down by Sony’s XZ Premium and other 4K phones, still looks impressive. Colours look rich without being over saturated; text is crisp and clear. Put it side by side with a 4K phone or even quad HD displays and you will see the difference, but on a day-to-day basis you’re unlikely to notice.

Huawei has followed the lead of others before it and ditched the headphone jack. If you have a decent set of Bluetooth headphones, it’s not a problem. If you don’t, you’ll have to choose between charging your phone and listening to music.

But that’s not as much of a problem as you might imagine, chiefly because the Mate 10 Pro’s battery is punching above the usual smartphone weight. Huawei has crammed a 4000mAh into the Pro, which means it will last far longer than other comparably-pitched smartphones.

It routinely lasted two days, even with heavy use, meaning I rarely got caught out with a rapidly dwindling battery. That’s a definite point in Huawei’s favour.

There’s also AI that kicks in when you’ve been using the phone for a couple of weeks, learning your usage patterns and making tweaks to improve performance. The phone supports fast charging too, and the charger is bundled in the box, so you can get a quick boost when you need it.

Cameras are another area that Huawei has been outperforming its price tag in recent years. That’s mainly down to its partnership with Leica, which puts a Leica lens in its flagship phones. The Mate 10 Pro is no exception. While other manufacturers have upped their game on the camera front, Huawei still delivers excellent results.

It comes with a dual camera – one colour, one monochrome – that you can use to get some amazing portrait shots, capture detailed landscapes or take shots in low light.

As you’d imagine with the Pro tag, this phone doesn’t scrimp on power either. On the inside, it has an octa-core CPU and a dedicated neural network processing unit that makes the phone more efficient.

It comes with 128GB of storage space built in and 6GB of RAM, but the flip side of that is you lose the micro SD card slot and with it the ability to add more storage if you need it.

Huawei has been ticking all the right boxes, from the design – curved Gorilla Glass back – to the AI-influenced power management.

The good

The battery promises a full day’s use; you’re more likely to get two out of it. Combine the big battery with the AI-influenced power management, and you’ve got a good combination.

The switch to OLED screen is welcome. Bright, crisp, with good colour reproduction, although it falls short of rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy 8 in terms of hard numbers.

The not so good

Another headphone jack bites the dust. While it’s an inevitable death, you’ll have to excuse me if I mourn the convenience that a standard 3.5mm jack brought to the party. Although I’ve been using Bluetooth headphones for a while, if something goes wrong – or a battery goes dead – you’re less likely to have a set of USB C headphones just hanging round. Prepare for dongle hell if you don’t.

The rest

Ordinarily the removal of a micro SD slot would be a negative, but Huawei has upped the standard storage for the Pro to 128GB. It’s not inconceivable that someone could fill that over time. The Mate 10 Pro is water and dust resistant too, and comes with the basic phone protection in the box, including a soft case that will protect your new phone from knocks, drops and scrapes.

The verdict

Probably Huawei’s best phone to date, it’s also good value for money.