Despite the impressive hardware, Huawei's Mate 10 Pro star phone is hard to sell at $ 799. The Chinese giant can not bring its phones to operators in the US. UU Due to political pressure, which forces him to sell unlocked models online to a specific audience. But that does not mean that Huawei does not sell any phone that is worth considering in the United States.
Honor, the company's subsidiary brand that focuses on mid-range specs and the younger audience, has been making progress in the United States in recent years. It has often been the first to offer high-end features such as fingerprint sensors and dual cameras at low prices. And while your new phone, the View 10, is in the mid-range space occupied by OnePlus at $ 499, it shares much in common with the Mate 10 Pro, which is more expensive.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
You'll have to excuse the cliché, but I could not get a certain refrain while using the View 10, which begins to be sent on March 22: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. The construction quality is good but not excellent, according to the mid-range price. In general, it feels like a phone that exists between two generations of industrial design ideas.
The 18: 9 screen and the thin upper and lower frames? They are new. But the all-metal construction and the beveled edges? Definitely old. The phone is certainly blue (for my review unit, at least), and it has attractive appeal, but good luck to convince anyone that the antenna lines have not been borrowed from the iPhone 6.
In general, you get what you pay for with the View 10 design; It does not feel obsolete, but it does not feel better either. The resistance to water, in particular, is a notable omission, despite the drops of water that you can see in these photos. (Sorry, it's been rainy in Tokyo for a while). On the positive side, you get a headphone jack, USB-C and slot for microSD cards, none of which is given in phones across the price spectrum these days. The frames are also large enough to accommodate a pill-shaped fingerprint sensor in the front, which works very well.
I have no complaints about viewing View 10. 2160 x 1080 pixels at six inches is very useful, and in this case, it basically makes the View 10 feel like an iPhone 8 Plus with a less wasteful use of real estate. The quality of the LCD itself is not outstanding and will not appear like OLED screens on flagship phones, but it is totally fine for the price. I should point out that, like many Chinese phones, the View 10 comes with a mounted screen protector, which I immediately removed; In fact, weeks later, you have some scratches in the hairline if you look from certain angles. This seems to be a problem with several recent phones that cost a lot more, however, so I really can not call it an inherent problem in Vista 10.
One of the main features that View 10 includes is its processor. This phone uses the same Kirin 970 chip from Huawei's own HiSilicon unit, previously seen in Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. Huawei often talks about the Artificial Intelligence capabilities of the Kirin 970, courtesy of the "Neural Processing Unit" ( NPU, for its acronym in English) on board, but that is not something that you find obvious in daily use.
The Kirin 970 feels like a flagship-level chip
What will be evident is that View 10 is just a really solid performer. Qualcomm has dominated the top end of Android processors for a long time, at least in Western markets, but Huawei seems to be catching up quickly. The Kirin 970 feels like a flagship-level chip. (We can talk about how no one in the Android space can compete with Apple in pure power, but Huawei's efforts to own the stack in a similar way are worth watching).
Along with a 3,750 mAh battery, the 970 is also responsible for the excellent efficiency of the View 10. I had no problem spending full days on this phone, even with heavy use at the Mobile World Congress trade show. Standby resistance is also unusually impressive: leave the View 10 on a table for a day, and the battery can only lose a couple of percentage points.
The camera system of the View 10 includes a 16-megapixel main sensor paired with a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor for additional details, a configuration that I'm still not entirely sure I believe brings better images. But as with Huawei's recent flagships, the monochrome camera is ideal for taking black-and-white photos, and the Kirin 970 also does a good job of processing color images. This is not a dazzling camera, and you'd better keep your hands stable in low light, since it lacks optical stabilization. But it's better than I expected, and I still like the Huawei camera application, even without the Leica brand typography.
That brings me to the elephant in the View: software room. As expected, the View 10 runs the EMUI 8 mask of Huawei on Android 8.1 Oreo. As a reminder, this is what Dan Seifert said about EMUI 8 in the Mate 10 Pro:
"This is not the kind of software experience that someone should have in a $ 800 phone, especially when there are already many better options available, it's bad enough that I honestly believe that nobody should buy the Mate 10 Pro because of its software, especially not at this price. "
Oh. How about a $ 500 phone? Well, I should say immediately that I do not hate EMUI as much as Dan. For some reason, I had no problems expanding the notifications on the lock screen, and I would take Huawei's quick settings over Android's. My biggest problem with the P10, Huawei's flagship for a year, is no longer a problem; EMUI still encourages you to use the fingerprint sensor to replace onscreen navigation buttons, but turning off the feature is much more appealing on the higher View 10 screen, especially since you can slide the navigation bar in or out as necessary .
With $ 499, its direct competitor is the OnePlus 5T
Dan is absolutely right in describing EMUI as an "imitation of a bad iOS". Many Chinese telephony programs are inspired by iOS, and sometimes I think this is done in a good way. The MIUI of Xiaomi, for example, is very successful as a coherent and simplified version of Android. In the case of Huawei, however, this rarely happens. The sharing sheet is a truly ridiculous example, where you come across a small random series of application icons and the perspective of several touches and touches to find the one you want. The configuration application is a disaster impossible to analyze. And I would like Huawei to also copy the lack of iOS bloatware, because you're going to have to delete a lot of trash from the drawer of this phone.
To be sure, the View 10 is a good phone with excellent hardware for the price. Your software experience is inherently more subjective, but I'll say this: at $ 499, your direct competitor is the OnePlus 5T, and that's a pretty tough comparison. OnePlus has not been filled with glory in recent times, with a major breach to the security of your credit card, privacy problems and embarrassing video transmission problems, but the 5T offers similar hardware with what you will probably find as more pleasant software.
The choice is yours, really. The View 10 is easy to recommend on several levels, and was priced at $ 399, it would be a bargain. However, at $ 499, it is slipping into the realm of flagship phones that do not cost iconic prices. And, ultimately, between software and design, it just does not feel like a flagship phone.
Long battery life
A headphone jack!
No water resistance
Photograph by Sam Byford / The Verge