This story was originally published on October 14, 2022, and last updated on October 18, 2022.
Huawei’s newest smartphones are officially launching in the country, bearing the title of “best selfie video phone.” And we’ve got the big star of the line, the Huawei nova 10 Pro. While Huawei threw all kinds of fun and useful features for its smartphone’s camera, that isn’t all this phone is about.
Just to mix things up, I wanted to explore the best things on this phone and what the Huawei nova 10 Pro can improve. I wanted to share with you the things that work for me and those that don’t to see how this new Huawei phone fits into my life.
Rating isn’t something we do here either, so I wanted to give that try, too. Based on the points raised, I gave a corresponding score for the key factors I consider important. I rated the nova 10 Pro on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest, at the end of this story. So, read on and find out my verdict.
What works: Vlog-ready cameras
Huawei has carved a niche for itself in the smartphone space, where you can expect its cameras to perform exceptionally well. And the Huawei nova 10 Pro lives up to that tradition. It gives you the cameras you need to photograph and record your favorite memories.
The focus, though, is on its selfie video capabilities and its other vlogging tools that make it easier for you to document your life. The Vlog mode is one of the main camera modes you can easily access on this phone’s camera app.
Huawei equips you with the hardware to make this possible. The nova 10 Pro gets a 50-megapixel RYYB Ultra Vision Camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and a 2-megapixel depth camera. In front, is a dual autofocus camera setup with a 60-megapixel ultrawide sensor paired with an 8-megapixel portrait lens.
And then Huawei combines this hardware with a slew of features you can try out. The selfie setup, in particular, introduces some interesting options. Beauty content creators immediately come to mind thanks to the dual-view video feature with the front-facing cameras. You can get as close as 5x zoom with the selfie cameras, letting you show off makeup techniques, the accessories you’re wearing, and more.
And then there’s that Showcase Focus feature where focus priority is on the foreground objects. If you’ve ever held up an item in front of the camera to show off, you’ll love this feature. I always thought you needed a camera to pull this quick change of focus and this ability to do close-ups without having to cover your face, but the nova 10 Pro can do this for you.
I like that you get ultra-wide photo and video support on the Huawei nova 10 Pro’s selfie cameras. It does make showcasing your surroundings as you talk that much easier. If you want to take photos and videos with friends, you don’t have to put in too much effort to squeeze everyone in.
This phone does try to simplify your photo or video recording process. It has templates you can use in its Story Creator mode for quick, shareable vlogs. The dual-video view mode also works with the rear cameras, so you have different configurations (the two rears, front and rear, and front and front). It has a Follow Focus feature that tracks your selected subject even if they move around in the frame.
The Huawei nova 10 Pro supports 4K video recording with both front and rear cameras, so you get that flexibility, too. (It doesn’t work with the beauty filters, unfortunately.)
It doesn’t neglect its photo features, either. It’s still a consistent camera for photography. Huawei’s flagship-grade RYYB color filter array replaces the green pixels in the sensor with yellow pixels, so its main rear camera’s light intake increased by 40 percent. It allowed me to take pictures easily, even in low light and with the phone in my hand.
This portrait below was taken in a relatively dark part of this outdoor walkway, but through some computational magic, I look clearer and the background is brighter in the shot.
It is by no means a perfect camera setup though. In less-than-ideal lighting situations, I find the selfies to come off a bit too soft and slightly out of focus. I don’t know if this is because we have an engineering unit with us. But if it affects the final product, I hope there’s a software fix for it.
What works: Huawei nova 10 Pro’s slim, distinctive design
The Huawei nova 10 Pro isn’t built to be a wallflower. It’s begging to be the center of attention with the double star orbit rings surrounding the camera module. It inherited this updated design from the Huawei nova 9 series.
The sleek Starry Silver is this excellent blend of sci-fi that meets modern metropolis chic. While it begs to have all eyes on it, the finish on the back isn’t a fingerprint magnet. It makes it easy to grip, even without using the included jelly case.
While it is still a big phone with a 6.78-inch display, it’s slim, and the curved OLED screen doesn’t leave you with weird angles to hold on to. I’m generally not a fan of curved displays. But the one on the nova 10 Pro isn’t too exaggerated. I’m not accidentally pressing icons on the side. It does give you that feeling of it being more immersive.
This phone is armed with a high-resolution display (2,652 x 1,200) with a 120Hz refresh rate and Display Turbo image quality enhancement tech. The latter promises to improve the viewing experience to give you better visuals when watching on this phone. Huawei pairs that with a solid stereo dual speaker setup. It’s made it enjoyable to play Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey on this phone.
If you are looking for a headphone jack, you wouldn’t get that here. It’s the kind of phone to enjoy Huawei products like the FreeBuds Pro 2, which are a pair of buds I love.
What works: Huawei nova 10 Pro’s impressive charging speed
Huawei’s one of the smartphone manufacturers that are in the fast-charging game, and the nova 10 Pro is equipped with 100W SuperCharge Turbo support. That allows for super-fast charging, taking you from 20% to 80% in just 10 minutes. If you need to fully charge the device, that only takes 20 minutes.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, charging speeds vary depending on where you’re charging. And even with the Huawei nova 10 Pro’s Turbo Charging mode with the speed and time mentioned above, it took me around 27 minutes to fully charge the phone from 13% to 100%. That’s still nothing to scoff at though. I could finish an anime episode or a half-hour sitcom at that time. And that full charge on its 4,500mAh battery gets you a day and a half’s use easily.
Low battery anxiety isn’t something you’ll have to worry about on this phone. And yes, you get the charging brick and cable in the box. No need to shell out extra for those.
What works: Seamless integration with other Huawei devices
I use a Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 and a MatePad Pro 10.8 as daily drivers, and the nova 10 Pro fits right in. With Multi-Screen Collaboration support, I can open the phone’s display on my laptop. That allows me to reply to messages on the phone without picking it up.
Another useful feature is the nova 10 Pro is automatically turned into a USB drive when connected to a MateBook. So, I can quickly access files without connecting the phone via cable. For this story, it made it easy for me to transfer sample photos and videos I need from the phone to the laptop.
What doesn’t: EMUI restrictions for non-Huawei users
If you’re looking for a new Huawei device and are coming from another Huawei phone, you can’t go wrong with the performance of nova 10 Pro. This isn’t a phone that will let you down, even outside of all the bells and whistles we’ve already talked about.
This handset runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of non-expandable storage, and EMUI 12. (We mentioned it ran on HarmonyOS 2.0 before, but our unit here runs on EMUI 12.) This handset is more than capable of handling the daily grind of many users. It can take quick app switches, launch the camera, and do any of my usual tasks.
Huawei’s AppGallery has gone a long way from when it launched globally in 2018. Most of the popular social media apps, a few streaming services, shopping, lifestyle, games, finance, and more are available on Huawei’s app store, whether directly through AppGallery or via .apk with the help of Petal Search.
But as someone who’s heavily reliant on Google services and apps, I’ve faced difficulties that I find a bit meddlesome when I’m on a Huawei phone like this. Yes, you can access Google services on this phone. But these will be through progressive web apps. Apps like Google Calendar default to either the barebones mobile or the desktop version. And I don’t want to use either on a phone. Having to course the apps I regularly use through progressive web apps isn’t the smartphone experience I want. (YouTube and Google Keep are apps I’m not too fond of using on this phone.)
Starting subscriptions for apps is another issue I ran into. I was hoping to start a CapCut subscription for cloud access recently on this phone, but that option isn’t available, for now. Unless you already have a subscription running on your account through other devices, you might hit stumbling blocks or walls if you try subscribing to things using this phone, especially if it’s for western-based/-owned apps.
I know moving from one ecosystem to another will always have pain points. Some of them are more significant than others. And right now, a lot of what I need isn’t available on the Huawei nova 10 Pro yet so the jump is going to be too much of a sacrifice for me.
I am speaking from my experience and needs, though, so maybe all my griping isn’t something you find bothersome at all. If not, again, it’s a solid phone offering stable performance. It’s not going to disappoint you there.
Huawei nova 10 Pro: Final thoughts & ratings
It’s mostly a win for the Huawei nova 10 Pro if you think about how many strengths I’ve listed over its weaknesses (or weakness, really).
However, that single shortcoming—at least from the perspective of an Android-reliant user—is a bit of a major one. The advancements Huawei has made to its mobile operating system are far from how it’s been in the past. I’m a big fan of how seamlessly its devices work together. And I’ve gained better access to what I need to get through my day. A lot of the workarounds work, but they’re extra work I’d rather not do.
But if you aren’t like me, the Huawei nova 10 Pro promises to be a reliable, stylish smartphone that can indulge your creative side. And you’ll probably give it a better rating than I did and get more out of it. Speaking of ratings…
- Camera: 4 out of 5
- Design: 4.5 out of 5
- Battery: 4.5 out of 5
- Ecosystem integration: 5 out of 5
- Performance: 4 out of 5
- User experience/usability: 3 out of 5
- Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5
The user experience/usability is a big factor for me. I don’t think I’ll be dropping my Android-based daily driver soon. But I can see the Huawei nova 10 Pro working as an excellent second device and creative companion, especially in my line of work.
Local pricing hasn’t been announced for this phone yet, but we’ll update this post when we get more information.
The Huawei nova 10 Pro retails for PHP 32,999 (around USD 561). If you get it during the pre-order period, which is until October 27, you get a free Huawei Watch GT2 Pro worth PHP 9,999 (~USD 170).
* If you buy something from these links, LiTT may earn a commission, but it won’t cost you extra. Prices are subject to change without prior notice.
UPDATE 1: 2022/10/20, 9:32 P.M. GMT+8 BY NICOLE BATAC
Added pricing and availability info
Think the Huawei nova 10 Pro is for you? Let us know your thoughts!