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Technology Today - CES 2019 Huawei Mate 10 Pro

By Robert Sanborn

It was just three years ago at CES that I was first introduced to Huawei which was getting into the consumer market for Android smartphones and what an impact they had. You can see the review of that Mate8 here. I was impressed with the quality, speed, power, and camera lens of the phone and used it as my primary phone until November of 2017 when a Black Friday sale at Best Buy lured me into buying the Mate9. The Mate9 was such a better smartphone; faster, more memory, better screen, and the camera was incredible. Two lenses to give you over 20 megapixels of images that were really good. Everyone was impressed.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Unfortunately, with all the China bashing going on, Huawei ran afoul of the US Government, among others, and their technology growth is suffering as well. The Wall Street Journal had an excellent article titled: “In U.S. Brawl With Huawei, Rural Cable Firms Are an Unlikely Loser”.  Then CNN and the BBC reported in a story: “Huawei's 5G ambitions suffer another big setback”. You can read the CNN Story here.  You can no longer buy the phones at Best Buy.

Who is Huawei, according to successtory.com; Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is a multinational networking and telecommunications equipment company based out of China. The company is headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. Huawei is the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world.  And, according to Wikipedia: Huawei is an employee-owned company, a fact the company emphasizes to distance itself from allegations of government control. ... When employees leave Huawei, their shares revert to the company, which compensates them for their holding.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro


So, what is in the package of the new Mate10 Pro. Besides the slimmer phone than the Mate9, comes a very soft plastic back cover to the phone. My daughter calls it a “Jelly Case”. Also included is a set of earbuds that look identical to what came with iPhone 4 a few years ago but they connect to the smartphone with a USB-C cable. If you have your own headphones, it also comes with a USB-C to mini stereo jack. A USB-C Charging cable and its SuperCharge AC Adapter that can put out 5A at 4.5v. And of course, is the very handy Huawei SIM card push tool.
Ok, the specs for the phone. It was in February 2018 when the phone made its way to these shores. First of all, it doesn’t come with a headphone jack and that has been the trend of the better smartphones. Fortunately, they do make accommodations for that with the neat little USB-C to mini stereo connector. It also doesn’t have wireless charging which again, is a trend that many phones are moving to.

The technology behind the phone is for the GSM network (AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS, Simple Mobile, and Tracfone), and is a 4G LTE Dual Sim phone which means I can have my AT&T SIM card in the phone at the same time as my China Mobile SIM card.  As to the processor, it is an Hisilicon Kirin 970 Octa-core CPU, 128GB of ROM and 6GB of RAM.  The screen is a 6.0 inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen supporting 16M colors.

Now what gets me excited is the dual 20MP and 12MP and the faster F/1.6 Leica optics with laser autofocus lenses that go with a dual-tone LED flash. I found a terrific article in Photographylife about the capabilities of the camera. The dual cameras actually work together to produce the image you get and  that in itself is an interesting story of how it works.  TheVerge has a very good article on the technology. And also, here is a terrific article on the camera’s capabilities from Fstoppers. The front camera for those rare selfies is an 8MP F/2.0 that should do very well for those times.  The final camera review comes from my favorite source, DPRreview. Finally, it has a 4000mAh battery that will take you for days.

Handling the bare phone is very nice as it also has the glass back which makes it incredibly smooth to the touch. It is a touch smaller, slimmer, and much smoother so I will definitely want a non slip case for it. The next challenge will be to take it to the AT&T Store to get the SIM Card transferred to the new phone and that turned out to be a five minute job including making sure of who I am and seeing if I should be upgrading my account.

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Transferring files from one phone to another used to be a black art but Huawei and their new PhoneClone app makes life so much easier. I didn’t realize it was on my old phone but once downloaded, it uses a QR Code to connect the phones together on the WIFI network and transfer is a very simple process.  And for the most part, everything transferred ok. Of course, you will have to place all the app icons in the places that you want them, and then go into each one and sign in again.  A couple of the apps needed to be resynchronized with my desktop but after doing it a few times with the other phones, was not that much of a problem.  The phone comes with the latest versions of Android Oreo and the Huawei EMUI user interface that sits on top of Android and so there is a little getting used to the slight changes there. The good news was that once I got the contacts moved over, all the phone calls and text messages picked up the names and pictures that I have for them. Great to see.

So, what about using the phone. I like the sleek and slimmer form as it is a bit lighter as well. Android 8 is a little different but really mostly hides in the background. Just handling the phone is easier. The case that comes with it is quite flexible and I have discovered, very sticky when set on a glass top table. Nice feature. And if you are anything like me, you find that you spend hardly anytime at all talking on the phone but using the apps, checking the weather, social media, and taking photographs. This is where having the 128GB of memory really helps. It also helps that while the computer connected HiSuite program from Huawei may at first seem a little odd, it does do an excellent job of backing up my Mate10 Pro to my computer and to the cloud if you like.  Having just switched from a Mate 9 to the Mate10 Pro, I wondered about the detailed specifications comparison and you can see one here from the GSMArena website. In a nutshell, faster processor, better screen, more memory so if you spend more time on Apps than you do on the phone, then the Mate10 Pro would be the smartphone for you.  Still available on Amazon for $489. 

Robert Sanborn

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