Honor View 10 versus Huawei Mate 10 Pro: A battle of David and Goliath

Huawei Honor View 10 review translate
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
The Honor View 10 is Honor‘s latest mid-range device, and it comes with the power to challenge flagship devices thanks to the Kirin 970 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a strong camera suite. But can Honor’s View 10 stand up against one of the big boys? Specifically, how does it stand against the might of sister company Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro? We took a look to find out.

Specs

Honor View 10

honor view 10 vs oneplus 5t huawei

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

huawei mate 10 pro

Size 157 x 75 x 7mm (6.18 x 2.95 x 0.28 inches) 154.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm (6.07 x 2.93 x 0.31 inches)
Weight 172 grams (6.07 ounces) 178 grams (6.28 ounces)
Screen 5.99-inch IPS LCD display 6.0-inch AMOLED display
Resolution 2160 x 1080 pixels (403 pixels per inch) 2160 x 1080 pixels (402 pixels per inch)
OS EMUI 8.0 (over Android 8.0 Oreo) EMUI 8.0 (over Android 8.0 Oreo)
Storage 128GB 64GB, 128GB
MicroSD card slot Yes, up to 256GB No
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor HiSilicon Kirin 970 HiSilicon Kirin 970
RAM 6GB 4GB, 6GB
Connectivity GSM / HSPA / LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac GSM / HSPA / LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Camera Dual sensor 16MP & 20MP rear, 13MP front Dual sensor 12MP & 20MP rear, 8MP front
Video 2160p@30 fps 2160p@30 fps, 1080p@30/60 fps
Bluetooth Yes, Bluetooth 4.2 Yes, Bluetooth 4.2
Audio Headphone jack No headphone jack
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compass
Water resistant No Yes, IP67-rated
Battery 3,750mAh 4,000mAh
Charging port USB-C USB-C
Marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Colors Navy Blue, Midnight Black Midnight Blue, Titanium Gray, Mocha Brown, Pink Gold
Availability HiHonor Amazon
Price TBD $950
DT review Hands-on review 4 out of 5 stars

Some mid-range devices today are known as flagship-killers, because they deliver the same specifications as premium smartphones, but for hundreds of dollars less. That is what we’re seeing in a specs comparison between the Honor View 10 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. Both handsets come with the same Kirin 970, with the same neural processing unit (NPU) that allows for on-device artificial intelligence processing — so it’s fair to assume these devices will be more or less equal. While we expect there to be a slight difference in the benchmarks between devices, it’s not likely to be a difference users will notice day to day.

There is a slight difference between the available storage and RAM on each device; while each has 128GB of storage and 6GB on the top models, the Mate 10 Pro also has a 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM model, making that version an objectively less powerful machine than the View 10. Still, it is debatable how much of an impact RAM has on smartphone performance, so we’re not letting that dictate too much in this competition. The Mate 10 Pro does lose out again, though, with the lack of a MicroSD card slot to expand available memory — the View 10 can use a MicroSD card to boost available storage by up to 256GB.

Neither the Honor View 10 or the Huawei Mate 10 Pro has taken advantage of the increased strength and range of Bluetooth 5.0 — they are both stuck with Bluetooth 4.2. This is less of an issue for the View 10, as it includes a headphone jack — but the Mate 10 Pro doesn’t include a 3.5mm port and therefore needs to rely on Bluetooth for most audio, so the lack of the most recent version of Bluetooth is a disappointment.

As is becoming usual with mid-range devices, the View 10 is packing the same power as the Mate 10 Pro — but it brings users more utility, thanks to the inclusion of a MicroSD slot and the headphone jack. The Honor View 10 takes this.

Winner: Honor View 10

Design and display

best huawei mate 10 pro cases

Looking back at 2017, it seems obvious this year will be seen as the advent of the bezel-less smartphone. Both the Honor View 10 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro are up to date with the latest tech trends, and that includes the massive edge-to-edge displays that take up most of the front of each phone. They’re stunning; both devices have slim bezels around the edges of the screen and a small forehead and chin at the top and bottom. You will find the fingerprint scanner, which is also the home button, on the chin of the View 10, while that scanner is hidden on the back of the Mate 10 Pro.

But enough of that, on to the displays. They’re both 6 inches in size (the View 10 is actually 5.99 inches, but who’s counting), and packing an 18:9 aspect ratio and 2,160 x 1,080-pixel resolution. They’re both sharp, bright displays, but the Mate 10 Pro has an edge with the vivid colors and deep blacks afforded by its HDR AMOLED display. The IPS LCD on the View 10 just can’t match the peerless quality of the OLED panel, and while the Honor phone still looks amazing, it’s here we see the Mate 10 Pro’s higher price really start to show.

While both phones feature similar bezel-less designs on the front, flip them over and you’ll see a difference. We likened the Mate 10 Pro to a supercar, and it’s easy to see why. Its smooth metal unibody is covered with heat-treated glass, and the camera lenses have a distinctive and stylish strip highlighting their position. Take a look at the Honor View 10, and it’s just a little … boring. The metal unibody isn’t unattractive, but it’s bland compared to the Mate 10 Pro.

In terms of durability, you will definitely be wanting a case for the Mate 10 Pro. There’s something about glass-backed phones that stirs our anxiety, and a protective case can help ease that feeling. The View 10 is less of an issue, thanks to the lack of glass on the back, but you still probably want to keep it protected. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro also has IP67 water-resistance, so it will survive a dip in the toilet where the Honor View 10 might not — but we don’t recommend testing that.

The View 10 might be able to keep up with the Huawei Mate 10 Pro’s power, but it struggles to match the gorgeous design and AMOLED display on the flagship device. The Mate 10 Pro takes it.

Winner: Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Camera

Huawei Honor View 10 review back top
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro comes with an impressive camera; by pairing with Leica, Huawei has given users a camera comprised of a 12-megapixel lens and a 20-megapixel monochrome lens, both with an aperture of f/1.6. It’s capable of two-times optical zoom and the blurred bokeh effect, and using the monochrome lens alone creates some amazing black-and-white photos, without the need for a filter. It’s a fantastic camera, and it produces some stunning images. The NPU really comes into its own here, suggesting camera modes depending on what you’re looking at. We found it reliable, and it often picked the best mode for the occasion.

We haven’t had a real chance to play with the Honor View 10’s camera yet, and while Honor’s pedigree is good — the Honor 7X has one of the best budget phone cameras around — we’re struggling to see how it will match the Mate 10 Pro’s superior snapper. It will have the same NPU smarts, but the dual-sensor 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel camera most likely won’t deliver the spectacular results we’ve seen from the Leica lens on the Huawei phone. Don’t get us wrong — we’re expecting it to be on par with the OnePlus 5T’s excellent camera — but we can’t see it beating the Mate 10 Pro.

Around the front of each device, you will find your front-facing camera. The Mate 10 Pro has a respectable 8-megapixel lens, but the View 10 beats that with a 13-megapixel lens. If you’re an avid selfie-shooter then that might sway you toward the Honor device, but for everyone else, they’re both good front-facing snappers that take solid shots. Video capabilities swing the other way — both can shoot 2160p video at 30 fps but the Huawei Mate 10 Pro has the advantage here, being capable of shooting at a full 60 fps at 1080p as well.

While we’re expecting the Honor View 10 to do very well in our camera tests, we can’t reasonably expect it to match a camera that is second only to the Pixel 2 in image quality. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro takes this.

Winner: Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Battery life and charging

Huawei Mate 10 Pro Desktop mode
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both of these devices are packing hefty batteries. We have not had a chance to test the 3,750mAh battery in the Honor View 10, but based on that large capacity, we’re going to assume it should make it easily through the day — shooting for 1.5 days shouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility. However, the 4,000mAh monster inside the Huawei Mate 10 Pro regularly lasted an incredible two days between charges, making it one of the lengthiest lasting flagship smartphones out there.

Neither manufacturer has moved into wireless charging yet, but both devices are using Huawei’s SuperCharge technology for fast charging. That pretty much puts them on a par in terms of charging speed; both should be able to charge from empty to full in about 90 minutes.

We’re expecting the Honor View 10 to do extremely well in our battery tests, but the extra capacity on the Mate 10 Pro speaks volumes. The two-day battery capacity wins every time.

Winner: Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Software

Huawei Honor View 10 review front screen
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both of these handsets are running Huawei’s proprietary Emotion UI 8.0 (EMUI) over the latest version of Android, Android 8.0 Oreo. It’s a heavily reskinned version of Android, and it’s likely to be a culture shock to anyone who is used to stock Android. Older versions of EMUI received scorn for looking too much like iOS, but as time (and updates) have passed, EMUI has slowly evolved into its own entity. It is smooth and responsive, though new users may struggle with the layout of some of the options. Still, it’s easy to remove most of the pre-installed apps, and the additions are generally useful, once you get used to the operating system.

Since both phones are running the same operating system, it’s too hard to pick between them. The View 10 does have a better face unlock system than the Mate 10 Pro, but we don’t feel it’s worth adding extra points on for something that can be easily patched in later. This is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

mate 10 pro
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is currently available internationally, though a U.S. release has not yet been confirmed. Rumors point to an official January launch for the phone, as well as a potential deal with AT&T. If you really can’t wait, then Amazon currently has stock you can grab. As is usual for Huawei phones, there is no support for the CDMA band, so Sprint and Verizon customers will have to look at other phones.

The Honor View 10 is primed to launch January 8 in the U.K., with prices starting at 449 pounds. We haven’t seen any U.S. pricing for it yet, but we’d wager you’re looking at around the $500 mark, like the OnePlus 5T. A U.S. release date is similarly unknown, but you can sign up to be informed over at Honor’s website. Like the Mate 10 Pro, the Honor View 10 lacks banding for Verizon and Sprint, so you have to avoid this phone if you’re locked in with those big guys.

Availability is all over the place for Huawei and Honor phones in the U.S. right now, so we’re going to judge this on value. If you’re looking for flagship power, and you’re not too fussed about the frills, then the Honor View 10 represents an incredible bargain — and despite what we said about the design, it’s not bad looking, really. We’re giving this one to the Honor View 10 — it’s just such a bargain.

Winner: Honor View 10

Overall winner: Huawei Mate 10 Pro

It’s not much of a David versus Goliath when the little guy loses. But we have to be real here — even though the Honor View 10 packs flagship specs and a bezel-less design into a mid-range package, and even though it lands a good few hard punches on the Huawei phone, it still loses out overall. The strong showing from the Huawei Mate 10 Pro’s AMOLED display, the exceptional camera, and the gorgeous supercar-like looks just take the Mate 10 Pro out of the View 10’s league. Pound for pound, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is simply the better phone.

But that’s not to say you shouldn’t buy the Honor View 10. If you’re on a budget or don’t like the idea of putting down almost $1,000 for a phone (and you’re not alone), then the Honor View 10 is likely to be the phone for you. It’s an extremely strong looking mid-range phone and it could easily be the mid-range smartphone of early 2018.

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