Huawei Mate 10 Series Rocks Kirin 970 SoC With Dedicated AI Engine And Massive 4000 mAh Battery

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It seems as though dedicated artificial intelligence (AI) hardware is seeping into more aspects of our computing hardware (see Apple iPhone X), and the latest evidence of that is with Huawei's new Mate 10 Series of flagship smartphones.

There are two smartphones in the family: the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, both of which are powered by the new Kirin 970 SoC. Huawei bills this as the "world's first AI processor for smartphones with a dedicated Neural Network Processing Unit", although we'd probably think that Apple would take issue with the statement.

Kirin 970

Huawei says that this dedicated NPU gives the Kirin 970 the ability to offer a 25x boost in performance with 50x greater energy efficiency compared to four ARM Cortex-A73 cores, when used for AI-specific operations. The Kirin 970 SoC itself is built on TSMC's 10nm manufacturing process, and features a total of eight ARM Cortex cores. Also included is the first implementation of the 12-core Mali-G72 GPU.

As for the smartphones, they differ primarily with respect to their screen type, size and resolution. The Mate 10 offers a 5.9-inch with a resolution of 2560x1440, while the Mate 10 Pro measures 6 inches diagonally with a resolution of 2160x1080. The Mate 10 features an LCD panel, while the Mate 10 Pro counters with a more luscious OLED HDR10 panel.

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Mate 10 Pro

Both the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro features minimal bezels, and both feature fingerprint sensors -- the former has its integrated into the home button, while the latter places it on the back of the device. They also share a dual camera setup on the back, with 20MP and 12MP image sensors along with f/1.6 lenses. Huawei is using its dedicated NPU to power its Real-Time Scene and Object Recognition features for the cameras.

While both smartphones feature a capacious 4000 mAh battery, the Mate 10 pairs the Kirin 970 SoC with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The Mate 10 Pro steps things up a bit with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

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Mate 10

“As we enter the age of intelligence, AI is no longer a virtual concept but something that intertwines with our daily life. AI can enhance user experience, provide valuable services and improve product performance,” said Richard Yu, CEO, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The Huawei Mate 10 Series introduces the first mobile AI-specific Neural Network Processing Unit, launching a new era of intelligent smartphones.” 

We don't have any word on U.S. availability or pricing, but we do know the Mate 10 will launch later this month priced at €699. The Mate 10 Pro will arrive next month priced at €799.