Today we introduce Editor’s Choice, an accolade Gadget gives to products that represent a significant advance in technology, or a remarkable approach to innovation or user needs. The Huawei nova 10 Pro is Editor’s Choice for the week starting 3 October 2022.
What is it?
Is it possible to redefine the selfie camera? Huawei makes a good argument, as it steps out with a new device that blows up the standard expectations for front lenses on a smartphone. Literally and figuratively.
The front cameras on the new Huawei nova 10 leads with a massive autofocus ultrawide 60MP lens, the highest we have yet seen on a smartphone. However, it does not stop there: the main camera, an ultra-wide lends, is paired with an 8 MP portrait close-up camera, making this one of the rare true dual-selfie cameras on the market.
Outside of foldable handsets, we have yet to see those on mainstream phones available in South Africa. Previous devices using it were usually offering a depth sensor, which estimates depth of an image, as in distance to objects in the pic, in order to separate objects in the background. However, in most cases you can block that lens and still get the same picture, as it does little for the quality or format of the picture aside from special effects.
Rumour has it that Apple will introduce a full dual-selfie camera next year to its top of the range device to help justify its price. If that’s what is going to sell you on a smartphone, the nova 10 Pro has it right now, at probably half the price.
And it goes so much further than depth sensing. In what is claimed to be another industry first, the portrait lens supports 2X optical zoom and up to 5X digital zoom, “bringing you an excellent close-up portrait experience, which expands what the human eye perceives,” says Huawei. The main lens, aside from 60 megapixels, offers a 100-degree ultra-wide angle and supports 4K quality.
This means the main front lens has more mexapixels than the main rear camera, a first in any smartphone we have seen. However, the aperture – which dictates how much light comes in – is larger on the front lenses, with the 60MP at f2.4 and the 8MP at f2.2. That’s decent for a selfie camera.
How good is it? Our office cat, Blue, tested it, somewhat reluctantly. He does look better when posing regally than trying to set up a selfie, but the result was superb, as sharp as the portrait shot with the rear camera, and as amenable to being blow up.
The autofocus capabilities of the front cameras intelligently switch the focus of different subjects within the camera, while the . handset provides multi-camera shooting by combining front and back cameras, which also allows picture-in-picture video shooting. Sound is also enhanced while shooting videos, through audio tracking and background sound suppression.
Of course, a phone is far more than just its cameras. And one other feature sets the nova 10 Pro apart from every other phone available in South Africa. It supports 100 W fast-charging, at a time when its fiercest rivals offer less than that.
What does this mean in practise? It can charge the 4500mAh phone battery from 20% to 80% full in just 10 minutes. In South African terms, this means if you get a calendar alert that load-shedding is starting in 10 minutes, and your phone is about to die, fast-charging will come to the rescue, and then some.
It reaches full charge in an astonishing 20 minutes, using Huawei’s new-generation SuperCharge technology. It combines a new charging pump and “low-impedance” technology, meaning it can supply high levels of current. Before you say “heat”, Huawei has also enhanced intelligent temperature control through AI-powered temperature-sensing technology that detects hot spots on the surface of the phone and redistributes the heat. It uses Huawei Ultra-Generation VC Liquid Cooling, which translates into better and faster heat dissipation.
The nova 10 Pro comes is 7.88mm thick and weighs 191g, with 8GB RAM, and 256GB storage. Despite the dimensions of the phone not being gigantic, a high 91% screen-to-body ratio delivers a huge 6.78-inch display – great for watching the videos one makes or downloads. It provides double-HD resolution of 1200 x 2652 pixels, with 429 ppi (Pixels per inch) density.
What does it cost?
R15,999 from the Huawei ZA store (https://consumer.huawei.com/za/phones/nova10-pro/buy/) and select retailers.
Why does it matter?
The Nova 10 Pro is geared towards content creators and younger users who would rely heavily on the front camera for shooting videos in which users typically include themselves. It also features Petal Clip, a video creation app that includes motion photography, video stabilisation, colour grading, audio pick-up, and editing technologies for high-quality production. As a result, the full package is deeply appealing to vloggers, the video bloggers who now dominate the world of short-form video.
What are the biggest negatives?
- Swipe gesture navigation takes some getting used to.
- Does not support wireless charging.
What are the biggest positives?
- Huawei’s EMUI 12 interface has become exceptionally user-friendly, and links for downloading most popular apps are readily at hand.
- Incredible selfie capabilities, and a great rear camera.
- Comes with fast -charger – and tops up the battery at a speed that redefines the very term “fast charging”.
* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee