The rear snappers of Huawei Mate 10 Pro sit behind bright f/1.6 lenses, which we expected to make a big difference in low-light over the Mate 9 and P10.
And they did - now the phone gets the focus right 9 of 10 times, there is quite a lot of resolved detail, and thanks to the OIS, there is no camera shake blur even when the shutter stays open as long as 1/4s.
The lack of Bayer (color) filter really helps at night, as it reduces the noise in the monochrome samples, allow for shooting at lower ISO, and eventually you may even get more resolved detail in some scenes. Check the comparison below.
And here are the same low-light scenes captured with the monochrome camera.
We also decided to compare the low-light shots with Mate 9's - the older Mate has f/2.2 aperture, which means less light gets in and so either more noise or slower shutter speeds. Both phones usually shot at ISO 800 but the Mate 10 Pro shutter speed was always faster and yet it produced less noisier pictures, brighter, and with more resolved detail.
And here are the full-res samples taken with the Huawei Mate 9.
In full-on Night mode, you can manually select a shutter speed up to 32s with ISO up to 3200. The viewfinder image will change as the exposure develops, so if you figure you've gathered enough light you can stop at any time.
Using the manual mode and a tripod makes wonders, though. If you lock the ISO to 50 and use the longer shutter speeds, you can get some stunning long exposure shots.
Then there's the Light painting mode, which includes four sub-modes: Car light trails, Light graffiti, Silky Water and Star track. You'd need to have the phone perched on a stable support for shooting in these modes (a tripod or a beanbag) as these extremely long exposures can't be done handheld without camera shake.
Thanks to the depth information from the second camera, the Mate 10 Pro offers Variable Aperture and Portrait modes. The Variable Aperture feature is accessed from the Wide aperture mode toggle and lets you simulate apertures from f/0.95 to f/16. It works on both the color and monochrome camera.
As with all such implementations, you get nice variable aperture shots photos. They wouldn't hold up to closer scrutiny, but they are still good enough for social media purposes.
The Portrait Mode is also available on both the main and monochrome snappers. It combines the Variable Aperture with Beautification to offer Portrait shots with simultaneously enhanced faces and bokeh background effects.
You can adjust the level of beautification, while the bokeh blur can't be changed. The blurred background is indeed nice, but the beauty effects may destroy some fine detail from your face. Thankfully, you can disable the beautification feature.
You can use the 2x zoom in Portrait mode, too, though the detail isn't on par with the rest of the 2x zoomed samples.
The panoramic shots taken with the Mate 10 Pro are excellent. They're 3,100px tall, so there's plenty of resolution. Detail is on par with still images; stitching shows no obvious issues, and exposure variation is handled smoothly. The dynamic range once again deserves praise.
The selfie camera on the Mate 10 Pro has 8MP resolution and F/2.0 lens. It also comes with portrait shooting mode, which is able to create a digital bokeh for your selfies. The AI engine tries to recognize all faces in the shot, so if you are doing a groupie, it will keep all faces in focus and blur the background only. Huawei is calling this AI Selfie.
The regular samples turned out great with plenty of detail, pleasing colors, but the dynamic range is rather low.
The Portrait Mode simulates bokeh alright, while it also applies beautification effects on your face. The algorithm does a good job at recognizing your face and blurring the background, but the beatification feature is not our favorite.
And here are some portrait selfies with beautification.
The Huawei Mate 10 Pro video capture maxes out at 4K at 30fps and the high-res clips are encoded using the H.265 codec. The bitrate of 22Mbps is quite low for 2160p footage, and hence files take up less space from the phone's storage.
The 1080p (30, 60 fps) videos use MPEG-4 compression, unlike the 4K ones. The 1080p/30fps videos have a rather standard bitrate of around 10.5Mbps, while 60fps - 18.5Mbps.
Audio is recorded in stereo at 192kbps, which is great.
4K videos are sharp and detailed and exhibit good contrast and pleasing colors. The dynamic range is quite decent, too. We've seen more detail in 4K videos but considering the low-bitrate - this is some very good footage indeed.
In contrast, the 1080p footage is just okay, nothing spectacular, though the dynamic range is still high. The smoother 60fps mode comes at the expense of some fine detail, which makes it pretty unusable.
The Mate 10 Pro offers digital video stabilization only for 1080p resolution and 30fps mode, and not in 2160p. That's the digitally enhanced one; the optical stabilization is available at all times but the combination of the two in the 1080p videos produces the most fluid footage (at the expense of a narrower field of view).
The camera also supports capturing 720p videos with variable aperture. Just like with the still images, you choose an f number between 1 and 16. The videos turned out quite messy and we doubt anybody will use this feature unless the subject on focus will be static.
Finally, here's the video compare tool, where we've pitted the Mate 10 Pro against the Mate 9 and Galaxy Note8.