The Huawei nova 10 Pro is reminiscent of the Galaxy edge smartphones for its dual-curved design. The screen's tempered glass and the back plastic panel both end with steep curves across their long edges. Meanwhile, the plastic frame that goes between the two panels is incredibly thin on the sides and flat around the top and bottom parts.
What makes the Huawei nova 10 Pro a standout among other Android peers is the flashy design of the camera island. It's a two-step piece with a slightly sticking out golden loop made of plastic, which has a glossy finish and fancy inscriptions like AI Triple camera and 50MP RYYB Sensor. And then comes the black island itself, which contains the three rear cameras with a noticeable golden accent around the primary shooter for extra flashiness.
This imaging island sits incredibly well atop the shimmering panel with sandblasted texture. We have the Starry Silver model, and the name perfectly describes the back panel - it just sparks with million stars under bright light.
The stylized NOVA logo is particularly interesting as it takes a minute to get the letters, and, in all honestly, it does look cool.
The front is as curved as the back panel, all black when the screen is off, as usual. Otherwise, you will immediately notice the pill-shaped notch around the top left corner for the dual selfie setup. The panel underneath is not curved though, it's just an illusion from the glass. Unfortunately, there is no word on the type of glass used on the Huawei nova 10 Pro.
The Huawei nova 10 Pro has no official ingress protection rating. It's a relatively expensive smartphone at €700, and we would have expected at least IP53 splash resistance, if not complete water protection, be it IP67 or IP68. We think this deserves a spot on the Cons list.
The bundled case would provide for some extra splash protection in addition to the scratch-and-drop one, plus it will help make the nova wobble less on a desk because of its jutting-out camera on the back. But the case would also take away from the cool design by making the nova 10 Pro thicker and, well, more ordinary.
Now, let's take a close look at the Huawei nova 10 Pro.
The front is all about the 6.78-inch OLED screen and its curved tempered glass. There is a pill-shaped cutout at the top left corner of the panel - the two peculiar selfie cameras are inside. Huawei has put an 8MP telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom for high-quality portraits and a 60MP ultrawide-angle camera for both group and regular selfies. The high-res shooter is available on both the nova 10 and nova 10 Pro, while the portrait cam is unique to the Pro model.
There is a thin outlet above the screen, just before the frame. It is one of two for the top speaker, and this front-facing hole is for earpiece purposes. There is also a dotted grille at the top of the phone for better sound balance when playing multimedia via the speakers.
Huawei has opted for an optical fingerprint scanner under the display, and it is reliable and fast. We had no issues with the sensor, though third-party protectors could mess up its performance. If they do, you will just need to register your fingerprints again.
The camera island is the most interesting feature on the back. It houses the 8MP ultrawide-angle camera, which also acts as a macro shooter thanks to its autofocus capabilities. Next is the 50MP primary, and last is the 2MP depth sensor. The single-LED flash is flush with the back panel.
The silver frame has a glossy finish, and because it's quite thin around the long sides, it offers no grip.
The left part of the frame is completely bare.
The volume and the power/lock keys are on the right. The buttons are thin but offer great tactile feedback.
The top of the nova 10 Pro has one microphone and one of the speakers.
The other speaker is at the bottom of the phone, together with the USB-C port, the primary microphone, and the dual-SIM tray.
The glossy frame may sound good for the grip, but the overall grip of the Huawei nova 10 Pro is surprisingly secure. The combination of the sharp frame and the sandblasted back, together with the slim profile, make for a rather good handling experience, and we found no need to use the supplied case.
So, for design and build quality, as well as for handling and grip, we'd give the nova 10 Pro an excellent mark. It is a remarkably unique device in terms of looks, and we did like our time spent handling it. But the lack of ingress protection takes away from its greatness and at a €700 price, that's not a small issue.