With winter almost drawing to a close (though you wouldn’t believe it over the past week or so), the smartphone world is gearing up for a busy Q3 launch window – and Huawei wants to be front and centre with the Mate 10.
Last year’s Mate 9 was a beast of a phone, taking everything we loved about the P10 and making it bigger, better and more powerful. Plus it didn’t have to go up against Samsung’s Galaxy Note, which was having a few explosive teething problems. That means the pressure is on for 2017, with the Mate 10 having to work harder to impress us.
As we edge closer to an official reveal, here are all the rumours and reports we’ve heard so far – along with whether or not we reckon the details seem legit or not.
WHEN WILL THE MATE 10 BE OUT?
Rumours had long pointed to an October launch, and now the company has confirmed as much, sending out invites to the media for an October 16th event. It will kick off in Munich, Germany, but that doesn’t necessarily give a clue as to which countries will be getting one first – it could be a global reveal, or it could be Europe only to start with.
FACT OR FICTION?
No prizes for guessing whether this is accurate or not – Huawei itself has basically confirmed the phone will be arriving in October. The massive “10” on the invite gives the game away a bit, doesn’t it?
As for when it will go on sale, that is a bit more of a mystery. Huawei has been quick to get its phones into customer hands before, so we could be looking at something similar here.
HOW MUCH WILL THE MATE 10 COST?
Nothing is confirmed just yet, but judging by Huawei’s prior form, you can expect the Mate 10 to cost a pretty penny. The Mate 9 cost R11,000 here in South Africa when it arrived earlier this year (yeah, we have to wait, probably), and with rumours flying of even more performance, superior cameras and a bezel-busting display, it would make sense if its replacement cost significantly more.
That’s especially true now that both Samsung and Apple are pushing prices higher than in previous years, thanks to Plus-sized phones with extra storage space. If Huawei is planning to rival the anniversary iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8, it could decide a premium approach makes the most sense.
FACT OR FICTION?
It’s tough to tell on this one: Huawei could pull a fast one and undercut both the Galaxy Note 8 and anniversary iPhone, giving shoppers serious pause for thought – or it could try to match them on price at the very top end of the smartphone price spectrum.
Either way, it certainly won’t be cheap.
WHAT WILL THE MATE 10 LOOK LIKE?
Huawei has been a big fan of all-metal phones for a few years now. With the Mate 9 range looking like a refined, more evolved version of the P9, we’re expecting something similar this year – which could mean the Mate 10 ends up as a tweaked iteration of the P10.
That almost certainly means an all-metal design, but there could still be a surprise switch to glass in the pipeline. We just won’t know for sure until spy shots of the handsets start appearing online. With a few months left to go until the big reveal, we’re still a way away from that happening – but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to guess what the phone will look like.
The video above is a concept render, based on a wish-list of things Huawei fans would like to see in the Mate 10.
The one major difference this year is the promise of a “full-screen display”. Huawei CEO Richard Yu told Bloomberg that the Mate 10 would have this kind of screen, possibly in reference to the Galaxy S8 and (rumoured) IPhone 8’s super-thin display bezels. It would be the first time Huawei has gone for the all-screen approach, and would certainly help the Mate 10 stand out from the crowd. A 6.1in, QHD resolution display seems most likely.
There’s also no word if Huawei will continue its partnership with Porsche Design, and create an even more exclusive Mate 10 variant.
FACT OR FICTION?
It’s all fiction for now, but expect details to start leaking out very soon. Now that Huawei has set a date for the reveal, the hardware has almost certainly been finalised – it won’t be long before internet sleuths give us our first glimpse of the Mate 10.
HOW MUCH POWER WILL THE MATE 10 PACK?
The Mate range is usually where Huawei reveals its latest and greatest silicon, and the Mate 10 looks to be no different. In a recent Bloomberg interview, CEO Richard Yu said the Mate 10 would be “an even more powerful product” than Apple’s upcoming flagship – implying a new CPU would be on the cards. That is most likely the Kirin 970, which would replace the Kirin 960 as the top-end Huawei chipset.
6GB of RAM seems very likely, seeing how the Mate 9 made do with 4GB but the rest of the smartphone world has eclipsed it with 6GB and even 8GB of memory. 64GB of storage seems to be the sweet spot, too, as Huawei is happy to add microSD card storage – unlike Apple, who insists you splash out on expensive storage options when you initially buy the phone.
Richard Yu has also promised a “much longer battery life” this year, which could mean a massive 4000mAh battery inside the Mate 10. USB-C charging seems all but guaranteed, seeing how it is already standard on the P10 and P10 Plus.
FACT OR FICTION?
This all seems pretty likely – the Mate line has always been Huawei’s effort to entice power users that obsess over specs, so the 10 needs to make a good impression. A Kirin 970 CPU would give it the edge over Huawei’s existing phones, and could potentially make it as quick (or quicker) than the current crop of Snapdragon 835-powered phones doing the rounds.
6GB of RAM isn’t too out of the realm of possibility, and 64GB does seem to be where the rest of the phone world has settled on for internal memory, so both make sense. A 4000mAh battery, though? That might be wishful thinking.
WHAT KIND OF CAMERAS WILL THE MATE 10 HAVE?
It’s almost a dead certainty that the Mate 10 will arrive with dual cameras. Huawei has been pushing the tech for a few years now, and shows no sign of swapping back to a single snapper – especially with experts Leica lending a helping hand.
The Mate 10 might increase pixel count from the 20MP + 12MP setup found on the P10, but that was already a fully-featured camera – there’s no real clue as to what could be added to make it even better than before. As things stand right now, there’s no solid info on what to expect.
FACT OR FICTION?
The Leica partnership has been a huge success for Huawei, so it stands to reason that would continue here. The Mate 9 gave us an improved version of the P9’s excellent dual camera setup, so it would make sense that the Mate 10 takes the P10’s camera and either up the pixel count, or add useful extras.
It’s still a big unknown now, though, with no facts to back up the speculation.
ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Huawei hasn’t made a big deal about waterproofing its phones just yet, so we’re wondering if the Mate 10 will be the first. It would certainly help it stand up against the iPhone and Galaxy handsets, which are both able to shrug off a splashing.
Wireless charging would be a welcome inclusion too, although it seems unlikely while Huawei sticks with a metal design.