Intelligence is an underrated character trait, probably because we so rarely see it these days. Which is why it’s so refreshing to see it in a smartphone and we’re not just talking about the influence of those who designed it. Real, actual built-in intelligence. Huawei’s new Mate 10 Pro phablet flagship is the most powerful handset to issue forth from the company, thanks in no small part to its new on-board artificial intelligence system.
The Mate 10 Pro’s artificial intelligence is made possible by the powerful Kirin 970 processor, an octa-core CPU with an i7 co-processor. There’s also a global first for phones: an NPU, or Neural network Processing Unit, which is responsible for speeding up operations across the Mate 10 Pro’s functions. The NPU chip is a bit like adding a turbo to a car that, let’s face it, probably already had a fast enough engine. You know it probably would have been fine without it but it’s just so much fun to drive this way.
The NPU speeds everything along, not by injecting great big gobs of air into a fuel system but by conferring on-device AI functions on the 10 Pro. And this artificial intelligence learns about how you use your phone. If you typically open apps in a specific sequence, perhaps when checking social media platforms in the morning, the NPU recognises this behaviour and pre-loads apps in anticipation of them being opened. If you don’t open them, the Kirin 970 processor makes sure there is no slowdown but if you do, the result is speedier loading.
This is just a single example of what is possible with Huawei’s newest flagship. Other examples include on-the-fly translation with Microsoft Translator, capable of translating foreign languages without needing to resort to an internet connection and able to translate 300% faster than the competition. This is made possible because the Mate 10 Pro contains the artificial intelligence processing power hosted in the cloud (which is the system used by lesser phones) on the device itself. That’s the power of the Neural network Processing Unit.
The Mate 10 Pro’s dual Leica f/1.6 lenses are capable of more than just its accustomed sharp photographs too, because there’s an AI genie in the Mate 10 Pro granting photography wishes. The 20MP monochrome and the 12MP colour sensors have got neural network intelligence behind them, recognising the objects that you are pointing your camera at and selecting the settings that you need in order to take your best possible photo.
Huawei has also turned its AI smarts towards the great big 4,000mAh battery contained within the 10 Pro. The Mate 10 Pro’s NPU uses its pattern recognition to recognise specific user types, adjusting power consumption based around usage cases — so if you’re a gamer, volume and screen brightness will be optimised, for instance. The result is that the Mate 10 Pro will give you two days usage between charges. You could probably take that down to one day — if you didn’t actually need to sleep some time.
And should you stay up all night, there’s also SuperCharge to look forward to, which allows a dead phone to be brought to 20% in just over ten minutes. With Huawei’s power-saving mode, that’ll last you a day. If you have 30 minutes before you need to dash out the house, the Mate 10 Pro will charge up to 58% — which is more than enough to get you through a full day without having to resort to power-saving.
The Mate 10 Pro is the smartest phone that Huawei has ever released but words don’t do it justice. The performance increases and smart functions need to be experienced for themselves. It’s the intelligent thing to do.