The Huawei Mate 10 brings a long overdue update and the 5.9" IPS LCD screen now boasts 1440p resolution and 499ppi. There is also HDR10 support, but no Dolby Vision. The high-res screen was previously exclusive to the Pro model but this time around it's only available on the regular version. Go figure.
Huawei Mate 10's screen uses a PenTile RGBW matrix with an extra white subpixel. This allows the screen to reach higher brightness levels while using less power than the traditional QuadHD LCD panels.
As you will notice, this subpixel arrangement replaces every second blue pixel with a white one - or rather every second blue filter is removed to let more light. Even for an RGBW screen, this sub-pixel arrangement is unusual. Instead of having a string of red-green-blue-white subpixels (RGBW), here you get a string, which looks something like RGB-RGW.
The screen of the Mate 10 has two modes, Normal and Vivid. Some units have the Normal option chosen by default, while others come with the Vivid mode pre-selected. Those two settings offer different levels of brightness and color accuracy.
Normal allows for 415 nits of maximum brightness, while the screen can automatically light up to 630nits under sunlight if needed. The blacks are some of the deepest we've seen on an LCD screen and the contrast is excellent.
The color accuracy is fine with an average deltaE of 4.2 with the most notable deviation being the bluish whites. If you want superior accuracy you can achieve it by setting the display's color temperature to warm - then you'll get an average deltaE of 2.5 with mostly accurate hues. This looks so much better than the Mate 9's screen, which had a color cast that we could never get rid of no matter how long we played with the custom settings.
The Vivid mode on the Mate 10 offers 430 nits of maximum brightness, deep blacks and, once again, excellent contrast. The maximum automatic brightness in Vivid mode, however, is 670 nits under bright sunlight.
Since Vivid tries to emulate the punch of an AMOLED screen, the color accuracy is all over the place with an average deltaE of 6.8 and maximum deviation of 12.
Unfortunately, we couldn't get the advertised max brightness of 730nits but the margin is not huge and could be down to the methodology of measurement. In any case, 670 nits is about as much we got back when we reviewed the Mate 9 using an identical measurement methodology.
|Display test||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
As for sunlight legibility, the Mate 10 does an OK job here producing a good enough contrast for an LCD unit.
Some aspects of the Mate series are now changed in the Mate 10 but the battery capacity is not among them. The Mate 10 stays true to tradition with a large 4,000mAh battery, the same commendable capacity which the Mate 7 came with back in 2014.
Huawei Mate 10 supports the company's proprietary SuperCharge at 5V and 4.5A. Because of the low voltage the battery won't heat up as much as other competing solutions while charging. And that's while the bundled cable and charger can fill a flat battery up to 58% in just 30 mins.
Huawei promised the Mate 10 would have the Mate 9's battery life and our test confirmed that. The Mate 10 did a little bit better in talk time and standby, and thus it scored an extra 5 hours to its total endurance rating.
Our endurance rating indicates how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Huawei Mate 10 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.
In real life, we were able to get as much as two days of battery life on a single charge while having all connectivity options such as Wi-FI, location and mobile data always on. Of course, your own mileage will vary based on your usage pattern.
The Huawei Mate 10 supports LTE-Advanced with 3-carrier aggregation, Cat.16 LTE for theoretical speeds up to 1Gbps of download and 150Mbps of upload, 16 LTE bands, 6 3G bands, and the usual quad-band 2G.
There's a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi support with dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot capabilities. You also get Bluetooth v4.2 for connecting peripherals, A-GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou for positioning and NFC for close-range communication. We expected to see Bluetooth 5.0, but we guess that's a feature for the next Kirin.
There's an analog 3.5mm headphone jack on board the phone. An IR blaster allows you to remote control your not-as-smart home appliances.
One connectivity feature the Mate 10 lacks is FM radio support.
Finally, the Type-C USB port adheres to the USB 3.1 specs and supports DisplayPort v1.2. The latter means you can use a passive USB-C-to-HDMI cable or dongle for TV-out connectivity. EMUI 8 introduced the so-called Projection mode for a PC-like Android experience, so it may be a good idea to buy the right cable.
Once you connect the Mate 10 to an external screen via a cable, you will get a dedicated desktop user interface. Then you can either use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, or the phone's screen as a trackpad and on-screen keyboard. Even though the phone doesn't come with Bluetooth 5.0, you can connect a Bluetooth mouse and a keyboard at the same time. Of course, you can't charge the phone while using Projection. But you can still make calls and send messages without interrupting the desktop view.