In just a month and a half the mobile world has undergone a revolution with the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence in smartphones – enabling them to actually learn and think smarter.
AI on mobile devices has been around for a couple of years – every time you ask Siri, Google, Alexa or Cortana a question you are essentially engaging in a cloud-based AI that uses server based information to answer your question. But the shift to smartphone AI took a significant step forward when Huawei announced their Kirin 970 processor back in early September 2017 at iFA in Berlin. The Kirin 970 processor became the world’s first mobile processor to integrate a Neural Processor Unit for dedicated AI task, beating Apple’s similar A11 Bionic chip by just two weeks – though the iPhone 8 & 8 Plus are the first smartphones available with integrated AI (the iPhone X is only available later in the year). Another fortnight later and Google revealed that the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices which also incorporate a significant amount of AI – via Google Assistant and Google Lens for example.
What’s the advantage of an NPU? Well, just as we now separate graphics processing from a CPU as its faster and more efficient to have a processor dedicated to graphics, the same goes with the NPU, with Huawei claiming up to 25x better performance and 50x greater energy efficiency for AI-related tasks, compared to four Cortex-A73 cores.
Huawei has now followed up its Kirin 970 processor chip announcement by launching the Huawei Mate 10 series at an event in Munich on 16th October 2017. The Mate 10 series comprises of the Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10.
All three models are powered by the Huawei Kirin 970 processor and features 3D glass bodies with Huawei FullView Display and HDR10 screen technology, a new Leica Dual Camera system with SUMMILUX-H lenses, f.16 aperture, 12-megapixel colour and 20-megapixel monochrome sensors with optical image stabilisation and a front mounted 8-megapixel camera. All Mate 10 models run on the latest Android Oreo and Huawei EMUI 8.0 and boast 4,000 mAh batteries with new Huawei SuperCharge fast charging technology.
As Huawei is now the only mobile network infrastructure company to make their own smartphones, they’ve ensured that the Mate 10 series enjoys fast connectivity with up to 1.2Gbps of data speed via 4×4 MIMO, 256 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) and LTE-A 3CC CA.
Huawei Mate 10
The Huawei Mate 10 is for those seeking a more traditional smartphone with a 5.9-inch Huawei FullView Display, 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD slot. The device is dust and splash resistant, has front facing fingerprint sensor and will be available in Singapore in Black and Mocha Brown with 4GB RAM/64GB ROM on 28th October for SGD888 and in Europe for €699 with an additional Champagne Gold and Pink Gold colours.
Huawei Mate 10 Pro
With the sleeker Mate 10 Pro Huawei has dropped the 3.5mm jack and external microSD slot in order to ensure better IP67 water and dust resistance, though it does come with a comparatively brighter 6-inch OLED display. The Mate 10 Pro is available in Europe in Mid-November for €799 in Midnight Blue, Titanium Grey, Mocha Brown and Pink Gold. In Singapore the Mate 10 Pro will be available with 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM in Mocha Brown and Midnight Blue sometime in late November, with pricing yet to be confirmed.
Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10
The Porsche Design Mate 10 features a different chassis design in Diamond Black with the same 6-inch screen as on the Mate 10 Pro, and has 6GB RAM and 256GB storage. The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 will be available in November in Europe for €1,395 and in early December in Singapore, with local pricing yet to be confirmed.