Huawei Mate 10 series now official; first smartphones with dedicated neural processors
The Mate 9 has proven to be a fan favorite and currently ranks as one of our best Android smartphones due to its excellent camera, strong design, and fast UFS 2.1 storage. A proper successor was inevitable given its critical acclaim and long-running rumors on the Mate 10.
The Chinese manufacturer finally unveiled the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro during a press event in Munich on October 16th and the new focus is clear; AI-specific neural processing is the future according to Huawei. Both devices will each carry a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to accelerate real-time user responses, image recognition, machine learning, and translations 25x faster and 50x more efficiently than Cortex A73-based smartphones like the Mate 9 and Samsung Galaxy S8. In other words, the Mate 10 will be able to recognize and identify objects, translate pictures, and respond to voice commands all in real-time significantly more quickly while consuming less power.
Outside of the embedded NPU, the Mate 10 will feature glass on both sides of the device - a first for the series. Dual Leica cameras are installed each with a large f/1.6 aperture for better low-light pictures and the display will be 30 percent brighter than the Mate 9 at a claimed 730 nits. The cameras themselves also benefit from the NPU as the settings can automatically adjust based on the object in focus. For example, if the NPU recognizes a sunset, flower, cat, or food, then it would optimize the camera settings for the best quality.
Another "world first" is the 4000 mAh battery in both the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro that has been certified for fast-charging safety by the independent German company Technischer Überwachungsverein (TÜV). The move is a clear attempt to make consumers feel more at ease following the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco and recent iPhone 8 battery issues.
Check out the full specifications for the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro below. A Mate 10 Pro Porche Edition will also be available that is essentially identical to the higher-end Mate 10 Pro except for some superficial differences. It's interesting to note that the Mate 10 Pro is IP67 certified but carries a lower resolution display than the standard Mate 10 with no MicroSD reader or 3.5 mm audio jack. A USB Type-C to 3.5 mm adapter will be included in the box to compensate for the omission.
Availability begins late October and mid-November for the Mate 10 (699 Euros) and Mate 10 Pro (799 Euros), respectively. The short press release below provides additional details.
(Update: The Apple A11 Biotic SoC in the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X also integrates a neural processor for accelerated machine learning. Nonetheless, Huawei insists that its Kirin 970 SoC in the Mate 10 is the "world's first AI processor for smartphones with a dedicated NPU".)