The Honor View 10 shares plenty with its more expensive cousin, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, including a dual-lens camera set up on the back. There are distinct differences between the two, and the Huawei phone is considerably more expensive than the Honor phone. The question is, is the Mate 10 Pro’s camera better than the View 10’s, and if so, by how much?
We took the phones out for the day and shot a variety of pictures to see how they both performed. If you’re thinking of the new Huawei Mate 10 Pro, can you save some cash and buy the Honor View 10 instead, or is the upgrade worth it? Read on to find out.
Camera specs and features
The Honor View 10 has a pair of camera lenses on the back: An f/1.8 aperture 16-megapixel RGB camera, and a 20-megapixel monochrome lens with phase detection auto-focus. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro has dual f/1.6 aperture 12-megapixel RGB and monochrome lenses, both tuned by Leica, plus laser and phase detection auto-focus. The Leica tuning also adds two extra color modes — Vivid and Smooth — to the Mate 10 Pro’s camera app.
Using the two lenses together, both phones can capture bokeh-style blurred background shots (Portrait Mode), while the monochrome lens can be used separately to shoot great looking black and white photos without a filter. Because both phones use the Kirin 970 processor with the Neural Processing Unit (NPU), they use artificial intelligence for scene recognition, automatically changing the camera settings to adapt to the environment and what you’re shooting.
App and usability
Before we get into the photos, let’s talk about the camera interface. Both phones use Android 8.0 Oreo and Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 user interface, and essentially share the same camera app. The camera app is packed full of features, but it’s still straightforward to use. Swipe right to see the different modes, swipe up on the viewfinder to access a Pro manual mode, and use the buttons across the top to activate the wide-aperture and portrait features.
There is no discernible difference between using the camera app on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro over using it on the Honor View 10.
Taking pictures on sunny, bright days should be easy for all cameras, and both the View 10 and Mate 10 Pro capture a sunny scene at Lewes Castle perfectly, but the Mate 10 Pro wins the first battle. The difference in depth of color is most noticeable here, with the blue sky appearing deeper and more vivid on the Mate 10 Pro’s image. This carries across to the stone in the castle walls, where color variation is more noticeable in the Mate 10 Pro’s picture.
Also, take a look at the clouds in the lower left corner of both pictures. While they appear as a single clump in the Honor View 10’s picture, you can see detail and glimpses of blue sky between them from the Mate 10 Pro. This increased clarity and detail is also evident in the shot over the rooftops of the town, and out to the cliffs. Take a look at the weathering on the walls of the large central building in the Mate 10 Pro’s picture, and on the cliff face in the distance.
While the differences between the two cameras are obvious in the two photos above, the monochrome shots are far harder to separate. We actually prefer the Honor View 10’s picture of the castle doorway, which is slightly darker than the Mate 10 Pro’s picture, although it’s likely not the superior image in terms of detail.
It’s the same with the shot of the castle front, where the Honor View 10’s shot is moodier, and shows more definition in the clouds.
The “better” picture isn’t always the one we prefer. Shooting a panorama over the rooftops from the top of the castle, we were happier with the result from the View 10, despite the Mate 10 Pro’s photo arguably having more detail.
The Honor View 10’s lower contrast was closer to what we saw with our own eyes, and the end result was moodier and captured the chill air around us on the day.
Zoom in on the barrel of the cannon and marvel at the amount of detail the Mate 10 Pro’s camera captures. See every rusty patch, and almost reach out and touch the mottled, textured inside. The Honor View 10 gets very close, and you can only notice the differences when you zoom in close; but it all adds up, and we prefer the Mate 10 Pro’s shot.
Interestingly, they both get confused with the rusty spikes running along the fence, unnecessarily blurring out random sections. Both cameras allow you to adjust the focal point after shooting the picture, but we haven’t shifted either here, and focused the camera on the nearest spike for both pictures.
Walking around Lewes town, the shot of the green painted sign on the wall was taken down a side alley, where the light wasn’t great. The Mate 10 Pro’s picture is clearly superior, with plenty of detail in the brickwork, and way more depth to the green paint. Also, take a close look at the Walwers Lane sign, and the detail in the Mate 10 Pro’s picture. It’s a beautiful image.
The differences between the two cameras in poor lighting are confirmed with the second picture here. It’s of Reigate town hall at around 5 p.m., when the light was failing. The Mate 10 Pro’s picture is exactly what we saw, with graying clouds rather than blue clouds in the Honor View 10’s picture.
Less than an hour after the pictures of the town hall were taken, we captured these two shots of Reigate Castle, where you can see the true difference between the Mate 10 Pro’s camera and the View 10.
The Honor View 10’s picture isn’t bad — it was nearly dark at the time — but the Mate 10 Pro’s photo is stunning considering how dark it actually was.
The driving force behind conducting this test was to see if it really was worth spending more on the Leica-tuned camera on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, or saving some money and getting the Honor View 10. After all, the two phones are closely-related technically, and those with the budget to get the Mate 10 Pro may question their choice after learning of the cheaper Honor View 10.
Looking at the pictures we took with both, it’s quite clear the Mate 10 Pro has the superior camera, especially in low light; but it’s not an across the board win for the Huawei phone. The Honor View 10’s monochrome pictures were often better to look at, and we still prefer its panorama effort. There’s no way anyone buying the Honor View 10 will be disappointed, and it’s fascinating to see just how close some of the images are to a phone that costs at least $200 more.
We think the Mate 10 Pro is worth the extra money, with its more attractive design, and now this camera shootout has confirmed its ability to impress here too. But the results also prove anyone buying the Honor View 10 will be very pleased with the camera as well.