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Huawei Mate 10 vs Mate 10 Pro: Which mighty Mate is best for me?

Huawei has just launched two new phablet devices: the power-packed Mate 10 and an even more premium model called the Mate 10 Pro. Here we explore the differences between this gorgeous pair and discuss which features are found on the Pro model alone.

The Mate handsets are Huawei’s biggest smartphone offering, towering over even the mighty P10 Plus which launched earlier in 2017. Last year’s Mate 9 is still a brilliant blower even 12 months on, offering slick performance, some solid camera tech and incredible two-day battery life despite its premium features.

Which is why we’ve reached hop-around-like-you-need-to-urinate excitement levels over the fresh new Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. Huawei just launched these two handsets over in Munich and we’ve already had the chance to go hands-on with them both, to see what the differences are between them.

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Huawei Mate 10 vs Mate 10 Pro: Specs

  Mate 10 Mate 10 Pro
Screen size 5.9-inches 6-inches
Screen type LCD OLED
Screen resolution 1920x1080 2160x1080
Fingerprint sensor? Yes (front) Yes (rear)
Water resistant? No Yes
OS Android 8.0 + EMUI 8 Android 8.0 + EMUI 8
Processor Kirin 970 Kirin 970
Memory 4GB 6GB
Storage 64GB 128GB
microSD Yes No
Battery 4000mAh 4000mAh
Rear camera 20MP+12MP 20MP+12MP
Front camera 8MP 8MP

Huawei Mate 10 vs Mate 10 Pro: What's different?

Here's all of the differences between the Mate 10, which isn't coming to the UK officially, and the Mate 10 Pro.

Design

After a phone that’s easy to play with one-handed and slip into a modestly-sized pocket or bag? You’ll be better served with something like the Huawei P10 than these Mate handsets, which are on the bulky and hefty side.

That said, the Mate 10 and 10 Pro both offer quite slender bezels, to keep them as compact as possible. This effect is slightly more pronounced on the Mate 10 Pro, where the screen stretches almost to the very top and bottom of the front panel. That’s because the fingerprint sensor is located on the rear of this model, while the standard 10 sticks it beneath the display.

In both cases, you have an aluminium frame with curved glass covering the back, which according to Huawei is more robust and scratch-resistant than standard metal. There’s also a shiny metal strip across the top of that rear plate, where the dual lens Leica cameras are located.

Although both Mate 10 models seem quite hardy, only the Pro model is IP67 water and dust resistant. Good news if you’ve ever destroyed a mobile by dropping the thing in a toilet.

There’s also a slight difference in the colour ranges on offer. The standard Mate 10 can be picked up in mocha brown, pink gold, champagne gold and black. Meanwhile the Mate 10 Pro will be available in mocha brown and pink gold as well, while the other two colours have changed to titanium grey and midnight blue.

Screen and media

Although you get a Huawei FullView display packed onto both of the new Mates, they offer a very different viewing experience from one another.

The vanilla Mate 10 rocks a 5.9-inch Quad HD LCD screen, with a standard 16:9 aspect ratio. That’s a bump over last year’s Mate 9, in terms of resolution although not in size. Brightness levels are seriously impressive too, with 730 Nits beamed at your retinas at maximum levels.

Meanwhile, the Huawei P10 Pro serves up a gorgeous 6-inch OLED display with 2160x1080 resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio, giving a similar setup to the Galaxy S8 (although the Pro’s panel is not quite as crisp). You can expect more impressive contrast levels and vibrant colour reproduction as a result, although the screen won’t be quite as bright.

Both screens support HDR10 video, so you can stream HDR video from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. You’ll also find stereo speakers on both models, although only the standard Mate 10 has a 3.5mm headphone jack. This port has been scrapped for the Pro model, so you’ll need to use a USB adapter or stick to wireless Bluetooth ‘phones.

You’ll have plenty of space to carry around a large media collection, no matter your choice or model. You get 64GB of storage on the Mate 10, which is boosted to 128GB on the Pro model. However, only the standard Mate 10 offers microSD expandability; Huawei seems to think this feature is irrelevant on the Pro, with that larger storage space.

Performance and battery

If you’re after a powerhouse smartphone that can handle anything you throw at it, these devices offer an almost identical set of premium specs.

Huawei’s fresh new Kirin 970 is packed inside the P10 and P10 Pro, the first smartphones to rock this powerful AI-focused chipset. This offers a performance boost and a 20 percent increase in efficiency compared to last year’s Kirin 960 chipset. Likewise, the GPU is now 20 percent more powerful and 50 percent more efficient compared with the 960.

You’ll find that this platform is backed by 4GB of RAM on the Mate 10, with an upgrade to 6GB on the Pro model. Connectivity is also improved on the Pro, which offers a peak of 1.2 Gbps Cat 18 download speeds, thanks to the capable quad-antenna setup. The standard model uses Cat 16, which isn’t quite as future-proofed although certainly not to be sniffed at.

Huawei is currently working on getting Daydream VR certification from Google. This should come to just the Pro model if certified, as the standard Mate 10 doesn’t have an OLED panel.

As for battery life, the same 4000mAh cell is packed into both of these mighty Huawei phones. In either case, this should offer close to two days of battery life. They also support Huawei’s SuperCharge tech, which sounds just as fast and reliable as the charging tech on the P10 and P10 Plus.

Cameras

There’s no difference here when it comes to the camera tech, thankfully. Huawei has, of course, stuck with its Leica partnership for this fresh new dual lens snapper, formed of 12-megapixel RGB and 20-megapixel monochrome snappers. You get OIS on the main RGB lens to keep your photos sharp even when your hand is trembling. And both lenses now sport an f/1.6 aperture, which should hopefully give better low light performance than previous Mate models.

The 4-in-1 hybrid focus is driven by Huawei’s Advanced Dual Image Signal Processor, with a combination of laser, depth, contrast and phase detection focus to suit any conditions and deliver fast, sharp results. Motion and object detection are also on-board, to help keep your subject sharp when they’re moving around.

Although there’s no optical zoom, the Huawei Hybrid Zoom feature combines pixels when you zoom up to 2x digitally, to reduce the detail loss.

Huawei Mate 10 vs Mate 10 Pro: UK pricing and release date

If you’re hoping to get the Mate 10 from a UK store or network provider, think again. Only the Pro model is officially coming to us Brits, so you’ll have to import the other version or find it from a specialist retailer.

The Mate 10 Pro is expected to hit the UK on November 12th for the equivalent of €799 (we suspect that means £799 instead).

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