Huawei Mate 10, 10 Pro and the race to “smarter smartphones”

2017 has shown us new things about smartphones. First of all, we don’t want bezels. Secondly, the headphone jack is dead. Third, AR is being forced on us. Fourth, smartphones are now really powerful. And the fifth thing is: Artificial Intelligence is the new race to even better smartphones.

Apple’s new iPhones run the A11 Bionic chip; a neural engine with specific cores that handle specific machine learning algorithms powering things like AR apps, animoji, and Face ID. While Google’s new Pixel 2 uses Artificial Intelligence to take better photos and videos including enabling the so loved portrait mode on a single lens. There’s also an extra visual-core chip in the Pixel 2 to specifically help with Google’s new HDR+.

In the light of all these, Huawei in their recent launch of the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro have officially set pace to the trend with their new Kirin 970 Chipset. Its key feature is that it has a Neural Processing Unit that will solely deal with everything AI inside the phone. For example apps like Prisma or Pokemon Go which heavily rely on Cloud AI will run better as the Neural Processing Unit takes away the Cloud reliance bringing the capabilities to the device, locally. This means better battery, better performance, good privacy and also no need for internet connection for such tasks.

But that’s not all the new processor helps with. The devices also enjoy better camera performance from being able to process way more images per minute to also being able to recognise different objects when taking pictures and optimising the settings for the particular scenario. The phone knows plants, birds, chairs, and humans, and tweaks the settings for best image quality when taking your shot. Awesome!

Huawei Mate 10 Pro Kenya
Left, Mate 10 Pro. Right, Mate 10

Huawei says that their chipset has 25 times more power and is 50 times more efficient than an Cortex A73 CPU, but also less demanding on the battery. And with the big batteries these devices are packing, we hope for awesome battery life.

This proves that come next year so much would be built on AI and as we can’t quite yet tell the possibilities of AI, we wait to see and be amazed.

Here’s a breakdown of the Mate 10 specs:

  • 5.9-inch IPS LCD 2,560 x 1,440 resolution 499 ppi 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • Back cameras: 20 MP Monochrome + 12 MP RGB sensors
  • Front camera: 8 MP
  • 4,000 mAh Non-removable battery
  • Android Oreo

The Mate 10 Pro however does things a little different:

  • 6.0-inch OLED 2,160 x 1,080 resolution 402 ppi 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 4GB or 6GB RAM
  • 64/128GB storage
  • Back cameras: 20 MP Monochrome + 12 MP RGB sensors
  • Front camera: 8 M
  • 4,000 mAh Non-removable battery
  • Waterproof & no headphone jack
  • Android Oreo

Whenever Huawei Kenya will launch these, I’ll be hoping to do a full review. In my estimation, Mate 10 might cost Ksh. 87,000 while Mate 10 Pro may go for Ksh. 97,000.

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