Huawei Honor 10 is the company's 2018-est midrange phone


Huawei showed off its Honor 10 in London yesterday, and the Honor sub-brand's new flagship is all-in on 2018's high-end smartphone trends. The 5.84" IPS LCD display is pushed out to the edges of the chassis, the speaker and user-facing camera are housed in a notch, and the manufacturer is making brave claims about the improvements that a pair of cameras and a "neural processing unit" baked into the SoC can make to users' pictures. Users brave enough to go without a case will stand out in a crowd thanks to the Honor 10's glass back and available color-shifting "Phantom Blue" finish.

The beating heart of the Honor 10 is Huawei's top-end Kirin 970 SoC. That chip has previously seen action in the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro phones Huawei launched last October. The Kirin 970's claim to fame is a dedicated AI processor that the company says can perform up to 1.92 TFLOPS of specialized FP16 work. The manufacturer says that grunt helps the Honor 10 recognize over 500 different photography scenarios in 22 categories in real time. Furthermore, Huawei claims the phone's AI algorithms can recognize multiple subjects in a single image and apply optimal settings for each of those subjects in one shot.

When the time comes to do more conventional work, the Kirin 970 makes use of four ARM Cortex-A73 cores churning at up to 2.4 GHz for the hard work, and four Cortex-A53 cores turning at up to 1.8 GHz for when power efficiency is more important. An ARM-sourced Mali G-72 MP12 second-generation Bifrost GPU handles graphics duties.

Images flow into the Honor 10 through an f/2.0, 24-megapixel user-facing camera and a pair of snappers on the back. Huawei was a bit coy about the specifics of the camera, but Anandtech stepped in with more detailed information. The back of the phone reportedly has an f/1.8, 16-MP color main camera and an f/2.4 black-and-white sensor that helps with auto-focus and bokeh effects. The front camera can record 1920x1080 video and the rear setup can capture 3840x2160 at 30 FPS or 1920x1080 at 60 FPS.

The screen has a resolution of 2280x1080, which works out to a 19:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 432 PPI. Anandtech says Huawei claims 96% coverage of the wide NTSC color space (similar to the Adobe RGB color space). The user-facing camera, a small speaker, and a light sensor are housed in an oh-so-2018 notch in the top-center portion of the Honor 10's face. An ultrasonic fingerprint sensor sits right below the screen. The manufacturer says the novel sensor allows for fast device unlocks, even with wet hands. The phone also has a face-recognizing unlock feature for times when using the fingerprint sensor isn't a viable option.

The integrated battery has a rated capacity of 3400 mAh. Huawei says the Honor SuperCharge tech baked into the phone lets users go from a dead phone to a 50% charge in 25 minutes. That battery is just part of the phone's 5.4 oz (153 g) mass. The Honor 10 measures 5.9" tall (15 cm), 2.8" wide (7.1 cm), and 0.3" thick (0.8 cm). The bottom of the phone has a USB Type-C port for data transfer and charging, plus a 3.5-mm audio combo jack. The top of the phone has an IR blaster for turning off TVs in sports bars.

Huawei was pretty wiggly about describing the Honor 10's memory and storage configurations, suggesting that available configurations will vary by region. Anandtech says the Honor 10 goes on sale in 26 countries today. European shoppers are apparently getting a base option with 6 GB of LPDDR4X memory and 64 GB of memory for €400 (about $380 with VAT excluded) and a step-up version with the same amount of memory but with 128 GB of storage for €450 (about $443 with VAT factored out). Both versions also have a microSD slot, though we don't know the maximum supported card capacity. Buyers can pick reflective glass Phantom Blue or Phantom Green finishes, or less-flashy gray or black versions.

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