Huawei MatePad Review
A few years ago, the tablet is one of the most popular devices in the market. That market is shrinking though, as more users opt for a smartphone instead. But there are brands out there that continue to offer it and one of them is Huawei. And one of the products they have for this year is the MatePad — a mid-range tablet with a 10.4-inch screen and pen support. What is this device good for? Let’s find out.
Design and Construction
The unit we got comes in Midnight Grey color with an aluminum body. The front houses the 10.4-inch screen with thicker bezel compared to the MatePad Pro. It also has a smaller screen-to-body ratio of 81% compared to the Pro’s 86.5%.
In landscape mode, we can find the 8MP front camera and LED notification at the top bezel. In this orientation, we have the volume button up top as well as the quad-microphones so it can easily pick up audio when you’re in a video call or recording audio.
On the left, we have the power/lock button and two loudspeakers.
On the right are two more loudspeakers and USB-C port. There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack, but there’s a USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter included in the package.
At the bottom is the card tray for the nano-SIM and microSD card.
Flip it on its back, and you will see the Huawei branding, and the protruding camera module for the 8MP shooter, LED flash, and microphone. It is a bit chunky at 7.35mm and has a decent heft at 450g, but the rounded frame blends almost seamlessly with the back panel, making it comfortable to hold. The small size also makes it easy to carry around even when it is placed in the folio.
The MatePad also supports the Huawei M Pencil, however, the pen we received is for the MatePad Pro, so it has a different way of pairing. Instead of magnetically attaching it to the top of the tablet, we have to attach it to magnetic cable then plug the cable to the USB-C port of the MatePad.
Display and Multimedia
The MatePad’s 10.4-inch IPS screen has a decent 2000 x 1200 resolution or 224ppi. It, especially if you’re more accustomed to displays with higher resolution, but you’ll find it good enough for watching videos, browsing the web, and social media. And if you like reading e-books or comics at night, there’s an e-book mode that filters blue light to reduce eye strain.
Speaking of watching videos, we like doing so with the MatePad thanks to the quad-speaker and quad-channel sound system powered by the Huawei Histen 6.0 3D stereo and Harman Kardon. It’s loud and clear. There’s not a lot of bass to go around but the audio is noticeably rich and fuller compared to smartphones.
Taking photos using tablets is usually frowned upon by many as these devices are not primarily built for photography, which is given considering that the MatePad only has an 8MP rear shooter.
Quality is not bad though, but not great either. It has decent sharpness but colors are not that punchy. As expected, low-light performance is not good as images come out noisy with smudgy details. The same can be said with the 8MP selfie shooter, but it’s good enough for Zoom calls. It also comes with a Beauty mode, in case you really want to take selfies for social media upload. As for the video, you’re limited to 1080p at 30 fps.
While the cameras of the MatePad failed to be exciting, it is actually handy given its productivity features. One example is I can easily take photos of something then use the M Pencil and scribble notes on it — good for sharing ideas. Other than that, we don’t see any spectacular use of the cameras.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the software side is EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10. It doesn’t have Google Mobile Services and instead has Huawei Mobile Services with AppGallery. AppGallery has grown its catalog at a rapid pace and already has most of the popular apps. If the app is not available we can go to a reliable third-party app store like APKPure or APKMirror and sideload it.
The MatePad also gets the features Huawei Share and Multi-screen Collaboration which is nifty if you already own a Huawei smartphone. Since you have a big screen, you can also take advantage of the Multi-Window feature for better multitasking. There’s also the Huawei App Multiplier to allow spontaneous operation of the same app.
When it comes to note-taking features, the MatePad has the Notepad, Nebo for Huawey, and MyScript Calculator. Other note-taking apps are available in AppGallery so you don’t have to restrict yourself with these three.
For parents who want to use the MatePad as a learning tool for toddlers, it has Kids Corner that tweaks the tablet’s settings to make it child-friendly such as blue light filter, posture alert, Bumpy road alerts, brightness alerts, eBook mode, Time Management, and lock screen password.
Storage-wise, we have 64GB with 43.9GB of usable space. If you need extra space to store your videos, photos, and music, there’s a dedicated microSD card slot. Pre-installed apps are kept to a minimum but there are shortcuts to recommended apps that you can just uninstall.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the MatePad is a Kirin 810 chipset, which is the same chip powering the Huawei Nova 7i, Mali G52 GPU, and 4GB of RAM. Performance is good and was able to handle the tasks we threw at it from social media browsing, eBook reading, and note-taking. It’s also capable of gaming thanks to the premium chipset, however, the RAM might be limiting especially if you’re running plenty of tasks in the background. Check out the benchmark scores below:
• AnTuTu v8 – 299,986
• Geekbench 5 – 613 (Single-Core), 1,946 (Multi-core), 2,572 (OpenCL)
• 3DMark SSE – 2,869 (OpenGL ES 3.1), 2,620 (Vulkan)
• PCMark Work 2.0 – 9,280
• AndroBench – 317.71 MB/s (Seq. Read), 224.61 MB/s (Seq. Write)
Connectivity and Battery Life
Connectivity is not an issue with the MatePad as it has phone features, LTE connectivity, WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, and satnav systems. Battery-wise, it has a large 7.250mAh battery which is good considering it is built for multimedia consumption and creativity purposes. It can easily last you a whole day but less of that if you’re into gaming. Our video loop test, which involves playing a 1080p video on loop in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume with headset plugged in, got us a good 19 hours and 30 minutes of playback.
When it comes to charging, the MatePad only comes with a 10W charger which will take almost 4 hours to charge to full. Fortunately, it supports faster charging tech so we suggest using one if you already have one lying around.
When people ask me for tablet recommendations it’s usually difficult to make recommendations, especially if it’s an Android. Things are easier now that we have better tablet options like the MatePad. Priced at PHP 20,990, here’s a tablet that is portable, has a good display, great speakers, long battery life, M Pencil support, and good performance. Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s one of the best mid-range Android tablets you can buy right now.
Huawei MatePad specs:
10.4-inch 2000×1200 IPS Display, 224PPI
Kirin 810 2.27GHz octa-core CPU
Mali G52 GPU
3GB, 4GB RAM
32GB, 64GB storage
Up to 512GB via MicroSD
8MP rear camera
8MP front camera
4G LTE (on LTE model)
Dual-band WiFi 802.11 AC
Huawei M Pencil Support
Sound by Harman Kardon
EMUI 10.1 (Based on Android 10)
245.2mm x 154.96mm x 7.35mm