Review: Huawei MediaPad M5

Review: Huawei MediaPad M5

- in Gadgets, News, Reviews
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@Micael Samuelsson

How many Android tablets are there?  Among the companies that is committed so that this segment is not completely cannibalized by Apple is Huawei. The MediaPad M5 is not a cheap product like many of the Android tablets, but rather a quality product with a respectable hardware.

Construction and Ergonomics
Huawei MediaPad M5 is a tablet all in all contained, considering the diagonal of its display. The thickness is only 7.3 mm and the entire body is made of metal, remaining however with a weight under 500 grams (498 for accuracy). In the hand the tablet is used quite easily and without particular impacts, if not the inconvenience of finding the fingerprint reader on the same short side behind which we find the physical keys and the camera. The placement of these physical keys is already more correct if we plan to use the tablet horizontally, but at that point the fingerprint reader will be on the side.

Hardware

MediaPad M5 is equipped with a Kirin HiSilicon 960s octa core 2.1 GHz and a good 4 GB of RAM. The internal memory stops at 32 GB (64 in the Pro version). Not much for a product designed for multimedia and work. The tablet is equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac and LTE, allowing you not only to connect on the move, but also to make calls hands-free or via Bluetooth headphones (which here it is present at version 4.2). We specify this because this product does not have an audio jack. It is a choice that we criticize and contest without reserve. Considering already this practice unsuitable for a smartphone and even less for a tablet.

Too bad that the USB-C port is not equipped with the 3.0 standard that would have allowed to use it as a video output. The precision of the fingerprint reader is fine and the sound provided by the 4 Harman stereo speakers used in this device is very good.

 

Camera

MediaPad M5 is equipped with a 13 megapixel main camera capable of recording video in 4K. Overall it is a camera suitable for a tablet, but anyway, even if you had to try the idea for some reason unknown to us, not adequate to replace a compact camera or a good smartphone on vacation. The options are few, but shooting is quick and simple. Too bad only for the interface a bit ‘small, as if it had been just “spread” for the smartphone. Discrete 8-megapixel front camera, more than enough for good video calls.

Display 

Huawei MediaPad M5 is equipped with a 10.8-inch display in IPS technology and 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution. The screen is bright enough and with good resolution. Overall it is as we would have expected it without any distinctive point compared to the competition. Interesting features available such as the ability to vary the color, eye protection and automatic resolution based on the type of content.

Software

Android is version 8.0 updated with the February patches at the time of writing. In itself there are no particular positive ideas regarding the Android world on tablets.We essentially have the same features that we find on Huawei smartphones. We have themes, tablet management for app permissions, private space to save secure content and classic two-window multitasking. Overall the system is fluid, although we always have the impression that we could always do something more in terms of performance.

Things change with the desktop mode that allows you to use the tablet as if it were a PC (eh, where we have already seen that background with the grassy hill?). In this mode the apps open in the windows and everything is where you would expect it if you are a regular user of Windows. Unfortunately, the compatibility with the app is limited and provided there are tricks to start more software is not exactly what we would have liked from a full desktop mode (which is still a plus not just on a smartphone). At the moment it is not possible to watch streaming HD content from compatible services (such as Netflix and Prime Video) but it seems that it will be solved with an update already available in other countries.

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Autonomy

The 7500 mAh battery gave us great satisfaction and brought us without problems to over two days of intensive use with contents of various kinds. It is always difficult to evaluate the use of a product such as the tablet (which is often only secondary to the PC or the smartphone) but overall the autonomy has convinced us more than other similar tablets.

Price
Huawei MediaPad M5 has a launch price of € 449 in the variant 10.8 that we have tried. The price is in line with the hardware even if it is not really cheap.

Conclusion

Huawei MediaPad M5 is overall a good product, with a nice display, great sound and a fairly rich software. 

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