Huawei is calling its new Mate 10 series an ‘intelligent phone’ – here’s why

  • Huawei’s Mate 10 series will be powered by its own AI chip, the Kirin 970
  • Key features include a Leica dual-lens camera and desktop computing ability
  • With a 4000mAh battery capacity, the series also has a fast charging capability of 58% battery for a 30 minute charge 

Distinctive band design on the rear of the Mate 10 series

This may be the year that smartphones get overthrown by “intelligent phones”.

Huawei announced its newest Mate 10 series in Munich on Monday (Oct 16), hot on the heels of new smartphones revealed by technology giants Apple and Google recently.

But with it’s desktop computing capabilities and one of a kind artificial intelligence (AI) chip – called the Kirin 970 – the new series promises to be more than just a regular smartphone.

In fact, the Chinese multinational company is calling it an “intelligent phone”.

The Mate 10 series comprises the Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and Mate 10 Porsche Design, and consumers can register their interest for the phones from today (Oct 17).

Pre-orders for the Mate 10 can be made exclusively on Lazada Singapore and in Huawei Concept Stores between Oct 17 and 23. It’s priced at S$888 ($655).

Prices for the Mate 10 Pro and Mate 10 Porsche Design will be revealed on Oct 26.

Desktop Computing Ability

The Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro can be connected to any projector or screen with a regular HDMI/VGA cable.

Once connected, users will be able to use the big screen to check through their emails, give presentations, use third-party applications and even work on word documents – basically it functions as a PC.

And you won’t have to worry about personal texts appearing on the big screen, as the intelligent phone and big screen can be operated independently, even after the device is connected.

But of course, you will still need a mouse and keyboard to use the big screen effectively.

Samsung tried to introduce a similar feature with it’s Samsung DeX, but it fell short of the expectations of many – with the dock’s lack of mobility, paucity of optimized third party applications, high cost, and the smartphone’s inability to be used once docked.

So we just have to wait and see if Huawei’s Mate 10 series falls victim to similar issues.

An “intelligent” phone

Huawei’s Product Line Marketing Senior Director, Mr Justin Zhang said during a media briefing in Singapore recently: “You don’t feel that your smartphone can’t do things, you feel that your smartphone heats up too fast.”

“This means that it is not being used effectively. So that’s what we focused on for the Mate 10 series.”

The briefing was held at Huawei’s Singapore Office at Changi Business Park on Oct 9. 

Mr Zhang explained that Huawei’s Kirin 970 chipset uses a Neural Processing unit (NPU) to optimise the allocation of computing resources – allowing the phone’s system to run more effectively and at faster speeds.

A NPU works more like a human brain where it’s able to understand multiple commands at once, while the CPU can only process one command at a time.

“Our usage of artificial intelligence (AI) makes a big difference. Compared to the CPU, we are 25 times faster and 50 times more efficient”, said Zhang.

The AI chip allows the device to pick up a user’s behaviour over time in areas such as handwriting recognition and website browsing.

However, Mr Zhang explains that this increased speed and efficiency is often hard to see.

Perhaps the most apparent improvement in performance can be seen in the phone’s camera feature.

With an ability to process 2000 images a minute – compared to 889 images a minute on the iPhone 8+ – the Huawei Mate 10 series is able to capture images and videos in real time.

The AI is also able to recognise images and adjust camera settings accordingly when capturing images.

‘Easy talk’

Most smartphones are able to tone down background noises when we are making a phone call in a noisy setting.

But Mr Zhang says that the Mate 10 series will also adjust for quiet settings –  like when you whisper on the phone because you are in the office or at the library.

It will register that you are speaking at a low volume, and increase it to an audible level to the receiver.