What’s it like?
Temptation, as I’ve now learned, comes in a beautiful, black box.
I’ll spare you the unboxing videos, there’s plenty of those about to watch, and skip straight to turning it on. Taking it out of the box, it’s stunning. A beautifully crafted phone that just feels great, and natural in the hand. I know it’s only a little thing, but the the first thing that impressed me with this phone, is the factory fitted screen protector. We all put one on anyway, so the fact that this one is already there, straight, and with no dust bubbles underneath is absolutely brilliant. There’s also a basic case in the box, which is a great starter case.
Also in there, you’ll find wired headphones, USB C dongle to 3.5mm headphone jack (yup, no headphone jack – it’s sooooo 2018), USB C charging lead and the super charger. The latter is proprietary Huawei tech, which will give you a full days charge in just 20 minutes.
Powered up, the stunning 6″, 18:9 display is beautifully bright and crystal clear, welcoming me to a brave new Android world.
First challenge, how to move my iOS life to the Mate 10 Pro. Thankfully, I’m not the only person that has ever tried to do this, so there’s a couple of handy tools. Huawei offer their Phone Clone app, which connects your two devices over WiFi, and Google offer a solution through their Drive product. The latter is my first choice, and easily moves all of my contacts, one of my three calendars and all of my photos / videos in the camera roll. Annoyingly, I’ve had to manually move the two other calendars I use.
Music was the next challenge, but again, pretty straight forward. Android offer a file program for Macs, which allows you to plug your phone in, and access the folders as you would want to – no closed off file system here. It was just a case of dragging and dropping from my iTunes folder, to the music folder on the Mate 10 Pro. Job done. It even brought over the album artwork.
Email addresses needed a manual set up, as did the downloading of my apps, which was actually a fantastic excuse to have a clear out, and only install the apps I really use.
With the handset all set up, I decided to run it alongside my iPhone, so that I still had that comfort blanket of iOS while I tried out the new kid in town.
So, nearly a week on, how am I coping?
I have found the Mate 10 Pro better than my iPhone in almost every single way. Seriously.
It pains me to say this, but I have found the Mate 10 Pro better than my iPhone in almost every single way. Seriously.
I thought I’d be carrying it around, trying to find reasons to use it over my trusty iPhone. How wrong I was. Within 24 hours, it has become not only my primary handset (I usually run two), but perhaps my most prized technical possession.
The battery life is utterly staggering. Even in the super slim profile, Huawei have squeezed a 4000 mAh battery in there. In real world (read, heavy user) use, I’ve made it nearly THREE days before needing a charge. Comparatively, my iPhone would need charging 8 times in that period. This is like being back in the good old days of the Nokia 3110.
In use, the Mate 10 Pro is blisteringly fast, making use of its Kirin 970 processor, with 8-core CPU and 12-core GPU. It also utilises AI to speed up its processes with its own Neural-Network Processing Unit, which they claim boosts efficiency by 50% and performance by 25%.
As a photographer, I was keen to see the results of the camera, and while I haven’t yet had a chance to put it to a proper test, I’m already really impressed. A 20mp mono sensor and an optically stabilised 12mp RGB sensor sit on the back of the handset, which both feature a Leica lens, with a fixed f1.6 aperture for silky smooth bokeh. AI makes an appearance again, and is used to analyse the contents of the frame, and adjusts settings accordingly. Or, if you prefer, the phone can shoot in full manual mode, and even produce RAW files. A neat touch; from the phone being asleep, two presses of the volume down button and it wakes up and takes a photo instantly.
Another thing I really, really love, is the placement of the finger print reader to wake it up. It’s on the back, exactly where your index finger sits when you hold the phone. No fumbling with an awkwardly placed thumb here, it’s all very natural, and when you touch it, the phone instantly wakes up.
So, it looks good, the battery lasts forever, it’s faster than a fast thing and has a great camera. A complete KO in the battle with iOS, surely? Well, not quite. There’s still a few things I’ll miss. As a lot of my contacts have iPhones, iMessage and FaceTime are two big apps that I use a lot. Also, despite trying a few different options, the mail app in iOS is much better for someone like me that has multiple email accounts. Other than that though? Well, it’s time to send Tim Cook a copy of James Blunt’s album to be listened to on repeat, and some break up chocolate.
There’s a new love in my life, and while it’s going to take some time to get adjusted to the new normal, it’s time I’m more than happy to make.
Tim, I’m sorry, it’s not me, it’s you.