The latest Chinese smartphones to join the market are Huawei's premium flagships, the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. Both phones feature old favourites like Leica cameras and new ones like an updated processor chip with in-built artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro were announced at a global launch in Munich on Monday. The Mate 10 will go for $888 when it launches in Singapore on Oct 28, while pricing and availability for the Pro will be released later this month.
Singapore buyers will receive the 64GB version of the Mate 10 with 4GB of RAM, along with the 128GB version of the Pro that comes with 6GB of RAM.
The Mate 10 line-up contains the best-looking phones Huawei has made to date, with large, wide screens that stretch side-to-side with no edge bezels. The top and bottom bezels are also kept to a minimum, giving them impressive screen estate with minimal distractions. The Mate 10 features a 5.9-inch 2K LCD screen, while the Pro version has a bigger 6.0-inch full HD+ Oled screen.
The Mate 10's fingerprint sensor is on the home button on the front of the phone, while the Pro shifts the sensor to the back of the phone, below the cameras.
The Mate 10 sticks to a conventional phablet design with a 16:9 screen aspect ratio, giving it a wide, traditional phablet feel. Meanwhile the Pro is longer but narrower, with a 18:9 screen aspect ratio. There is a slight but noticeable roundedness to the glass back, giving the Mate 10 phones a noticeable heft. Both models pack a 4,000mAh battery.
Huawei's latest EMUI 8.0 operating system, based on Android 8.0, is also cleaner and smoother than its predecessors.
Powering the Mate 10 line-up is Huawei's latest Kirin 970 chipset, which contains a neural processing unit that lets the phone have enough on-board computing power to do heavy-duty artificial intelligence lifting. These include low-power augmented reality and real-time computer vision.
The Mate 10 phones contain dual rear cameras - a 20-megapixel black-and-white sensor and a 12-megapixel colour one, which are said to capture more light and detail for sharper and clearer photos.
Over the course of some quick test shots, I found that pictures taken tend to be slightly warmer than reality, but with a pleasing softness and vividness.
I noticed some intelligent elements as well. The camera app was able to detect that I was taking a photo of a sunrise, and so automatically shifted to a scene mode that boosted the vivid orange-redness of the emerging sun.