The popularity of Tablets has been declining over the past couple years. I must admit that 80% of people will rather jump on a 5.5-inch smartphone than go all the way to a tablet. Even the least 7.0-inch tablet is not receiving any more attention as it used to, simply because of smartphone users’ hunger for a smaller, portable and smarter phones.

However, often, someone releases a decent tablet, with a stylish design and powerful hardware with a nice price. The Huawei Mediapad M3 is one of these tablets.

Huawei, MediaPad M3, tablet

But, here is Huawei, coming up with their MediaPad on a brand new form. This tablet has a huge turn around features when compared to its predecessor.

Specs

Colors Gold, Silver
Size 215.5 x 124.2 x 7.3 (mm)
Display 8.4″ WQXGA IPS LCD (2560 x 1600), 359 ppi
CPU Hisilicon Kirin 950 octa-core
Operating system Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Emotion UI 4.1
Memory 32, 64 GB (expandable up to 128 GB via microSD); RAM: 4 GB
Network GSM/HSPA/LTE
Sensors Ambient light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, hall effect sensor, fingerprint sensor
Camera 8 MP autofocus rear, 8 MP fixed focus front
Audio Dual Stereo speakers
Ports 3.5 mm jack, microSD, microUSB, nano-SIM
Battery 5100 mAh (non-removable)
In the box Tablet, charger, microUSB charging/data cable, quick start guide, screen protector, warranty card

Hardware

The Huawei Mediapad M3 packs a very capable Kirin 950 processor, along with 4GB of RAM. There’s no lag when using this tablet, whether for daily browsing tasks or playing intensive games. Due to the M3 having a Kirin processor, it has a Mali-T880 GPU, which is quite decent but not on the level of Qualcomm’s Adreno. Unfortunately, gameplay is limited to 30 fps or lower.

On AnTuTu, the M3 snags a score of 90390, and on Geekbench it gets 1751 on single core and 4755 on multi-core.

There’s also an LTE-enabled SIM slot in the M3, but not much else in the way of hardware, which is unsurprising: this is a tablet, after all.

Design

The Mediapad M3 strikes a slight resemblance to the Huawei Nexus 6P. Like the 6P, this tablet has a camera visor, but one that’s not as obvious. The fingerprint sensor on the M3 is going to be quite confusing for new users: a single tap acts as a back button, holding goes to home, swiping left or right brings you recent tasks and sliding up goes to Huawei’s voice assistant HiVoice.

For people who don’t want to get through this learning curve, there are options to enable on-screen buttons in the Settings app.

The chamfered edges do make the M3 easier to hold, but the overall design is bland, so if you’re looking for something flashy, the Huawei Mediapad M3 is not the right one.

Battery, Display, and Audio

As its name suggests, the Huawei Mediapad M3 is designed for, well, media, and it certainly lives up to that name. A good combination of speakers, display, and battery life means that it’s a perfect choice for media consumption if that’s what you’re looking for in a tablet.

Huawei partnered with Harman/Kardon to offer a much better speaker experience. The M3 has a dual one-watt speaker system, and it offers an amazing audio experience.

On the display side, this tablet sports an 8.4 inch IPS display with a 2k resolution (2560 x 1600), offering 359 pixels per inch. The M3 has dark blacks and vibrant colors; while it’s not as good as an AMOLED display, it’s quite impressive for an LCD display. Huawei also built in a blue-light filter, improving sleep quality. However, the display doesn’t offer great viewing angles, but you probably won’t be sharing this tablet with too many people, since it’s only 8.4 inches in size.

Of course, none of this matters if the tablet’s battery life is terrible, but luckily, it’s not. The Huawei Mediapad M3 is equipped with a hefty 5100 mAh battery that offers quite a bit of battery life.

With normal usage, the M3 offers around 8 hours of screen on time and 2-3 days of battery life. However, when gaming or playing videos, the battery life does seem to drain faster than you’d like.

huawei Mediapad m3 2

The high resolution does contribute to the battery life, and lowering it to 1080p can help add anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half of battery life.

Regardless, it’s sufficient for a movie and some gaming and browsing. There are other tablets out there with longer battery life, but in general, it’s more than acceptable.

Camera

The camera on the M3 is pretty middling, even for tablet cameras. Pictures will be lacking in detail, even in bright light, and there’s no flash or stabilization.

If a good tablet camera is your priority, you can look elsewhere, since this one is rather poor.

Two indoor camera samples:

Two outdoor camera samples:

Software

The Huawei Mediapad M3 runs Huawei’s customized EMUI 4.1, which is certainly an improvement over previous versions but not acceptable for many Android users.

EMUI doesn’t have an app drawer, so you’ll probably be swiping back and forth looking for the desired app. EMUI also has the slightly confusing notifications section, which is split into one section for notifications and one for settings. There is some pre-installed bloat, but luckily all of it can be uninstalled.

It does run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is slightly outdated, although it is rumored to receive a Nougat update sometime in the near future.

Conclusion

Overall, if you’re looking for a solid tablet with a good media experience and a nice price, the Huawei Mediapad M3 is for you. The choice pool is small, and it’s an easy recommend for the few people in the market for an Android tablet.

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