Huawei MediaPad M3: A Comprehensive Product Review

huawei mediapad m3

It’s been a long wait but at least it’s finally over.

The Huawei MediaPad M3 is here.

Many tablet manufacturers have been making great tablets that people absolutely love. But one segment in that market has been missing – the 8-inch tablet.

And the Huawei MediaPad M3 has filled that gap.

In case you are wondering, the 8-inch range is the Goldilocks zone when it comes to tablet size – big enough for productivity and yet can be comfortably held without straining your digits.

But size isn’t the only thing in this flagship tablet’s favor.

Let’s take a short journey and review the Huawei MediaPad M3 and see what this Chinese tablet brings to the table. Chances are, it won’t spend much time on any table as it is such a great device it’s difficult to put it down.

But then I get ahead of myself.

The Huawei MediaPad M3 – From a Great Pedigree

Sale
Huawei + Harman Kardon MediaPad M3 8.0 Octa Core 8.4" Android (Marshmallow) +EMUI Tablet, WiFi only, 32GB, Moonlight Silver (US Warranty)
  • 8.4-inch tablet that boasts a proprietary HI Silicon octa-core processor and high-speed Wi-Fi network connectivity;Contrast: 1500:1
  • Features a 2560 x 1600 pixel IPS display; 8 MP front & rear camera and HD video; high-speed Internet connectivity (does not support 3G/LTE); office productivity suite; and GPS
  • Tuned and certified by Harman/Kardon to provide a paramount audio and video experience, as well as support HiFi headphones (AKG headphones only included with 64GB version)
  • Google Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with Huawei Emotion UI 4.1
  • Highlights a stylish narrow bezel and lightweight aircraft aluminum body measuring just 4.6 mm thick, making it a highly portable device and easy to grip

Huawei smartphones and tablets are relatively new to the mobile device market. But despite that, they are causing serious upsets as they are stealing the show. Although for many people Huawei is a new name, the company has been around for quite some time (since 1987) and is a major player in networking and telecommunications.

Long story short, Huawei (pronounced Hwa wei) is a Chinese multinational networking, telecommunications equipment, and services company that was founded by Ren Zhengfei. The company started off manufacturing phone switches but quickly grew to become the global behemoth it is today. And that fact is attested to by the fact that Huawei is now the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, upsetting Apple and making Samsung run for their money.

Unlike many Android smartphone manufacturers who depend on other companies for chips, Huawei develops its own chipsets dubbed Hisilicon kirin. And it seems Huawei has the Midas touch because everything it touches turns to gold. That’s exactly what has happened to their chipset – it literally is gold and is making big players like Qualcomm shiver in their boots.

With so many good things the company is doing right, why would you hesitate to pick up the Huawei MediaPad M3 if you are looking for an affordable but powerful tablet?

Well, let me arm you with the information you need to help you make your final decision.

The Huawei MediaPad M3 Review – The Underrated Little Big Tablet

Although Huawei is relatively new to smartphone and tablet territory, it is outperforming many big boys who have been plying the trade for what seems like an eternity (and in the digital world it is). That success is mainly to one strong quality you will find in all their products – a near perfect balance of quality and price.

Let’s take a look at the quality aspect of the Huawei MediaPad M3, shall we?

Huawei MediaPad M3 Specifications

Processor: 1.8GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 950

RAM: 4GB

Internal storage: 32GB (expandable to 128GB)

Operating System: Android 6.0

Screen size: 8.40 inches

Resolution: 2560x1600 pixels

Pixels per inch (PPI): 359

Rear camera: 8-megapixel

Front camera: 8-megapixel

Skin: EMUI 4.1

Battery capacity: 5100 mAh

Just from that glimpse alone, I’m sure you can already tell that this is one excellent tablet. But let’s break it down and scrutinize the Huawei MediaPad M3 to the minutest detail.

Design and Build


One thing you need to know about Huawei is that they make great hardware. And with the MediaPad M3, it’s no exception. Featuring a brilliant aluminum and glass build reminiscent of the flagship Huawei Mate 9, the Huawei MediaPad looks all the part a flagship tablet.

And for a tablet, it is pretty ergonomic and easy to handle thanks to its size and slightly curved back. The side bezels are a bit of a controversy as they are very thin. Others claim this makes it difficult to grip the tablet while the opposite camp loves them to bits as you have more screen real estate. The top and bottom bezels are also small, with just enough room to house the camera and fingerprint sensor respectively.

Speaking of the fingerprint sensor, you will find that it is more than just a security feature but your navigation hub as well. That’s because the Huawei MediaPad M3 deviated from the normal capacitive “back” and “recent apps” buttons and completely removed them. Instead, the fingerprint sensor serves as your home button (by holding it down), recent apps tab (by swiping), and the back button (by tapping it). it takes a bit of getting used to but it’s quite a great way of navigating through the device.

Okay, enough of the fingerprint sensor, let’s get back to the rest of the tablet.

Looking on the right side of the device, you will find a single-piece volume rocker, sitting just above an easy to locate textured power button. The top houses a speaker and 3.5mm audio input while the bottom features a speaker, a pin-hole mic, microSD card tray slot, and a micro USB port. Concerning the USB port, the Huawei MediaPad M3 could have been better off with a USB-C port.

The back panel is home to an 8-megapixel rear camera which is contained in a white glass strip. To add more flavor and eye candy, there’s also nicely done Huawei and Harman/Kardon branding along with an antenna strip.

All in all, the Huawei MediaPad M3 is a well-designed and solidly built tablet. You’ll definitely be hard-pressed to find a tablet to match its quality at this price point. And especially since Huawei throws in a screen protector into the box, this is a true value for your money tablet.

Display


The Huawei MediaPad M3 comes with a gorgeous 8.4-inch IPS display that has a 2560 x 1600 resolution. The result is 359 pixels per inch, which is good enough to afford you with great images. The colors on the MediaPad M3 are accurate and vibrant while the contrast deep, resulting in a pleasant viewing experience. And if you don’t like the default display settings, you can tweak the temperature warmth to suit your eyes.

The only downside to the Huawei MediaPad M3’s display is that it’s reflective, therefore making it difficult see much on if you are using outside on a sunny day. This definitely is not the best screen on a tablet by far, but it’s not the worst either. And no, it doesn’t sit somewhere in the middle, it is actually better than the average tablet screen.

Audio


As for the dual speaker setup on the Huawei MediaPad M3, Huawei paid special attention to them to ensure they blow the completion out of the water. And they probably succeeded as their partnership with Harman Kardon resulted in a very powerful speaker set. In fact, they are so good they can put most laptop speakers to shame. And to add to the audio experience, Huawei packed their SWS 3.0 (Super Wide Sound) technology into the MediaPad that automatically differentiates between music and video so as to deliver the right multimedia experience.

This is one area the Huawei MediaPad M3 truly manages to grab attention in the noisy tablet world. The speakers are strong, crisp, clear, and afford excellent quality sound.

Performance


So when it comes to practical use, how does the Huawei MediaPad M3 fare?

Pretty good actually, let me show you just how.

Packed with a powerful quad-core HiSilicon Kirin 950 CPU (4 Cortex-A53 everyday cores and 4 Cortex-A72), 4GB RAM and a Mali T880 GPU, this tablet is a serious performer. The Kirin 950 chip is a high-end member of the HiSilicon CPU family and mated to high-performance cores you can expect nothing but the best experience.

Because of its chipset, the Huawei MediaPad M3 can easily handle multi-tasking, video streaming, and casual gaming. And when it comes to gaming, the active word is casual as this is one area in which this tablet is a bit of a letdown. Playing 3D games is not as fluid an experience as you get on other flagship tablets.

But minus the poor gaming, you won’t be disappointed with the Huawei MediaPad M3’s performance as it will quickly zip from one app to another as you multitask.

Camera


Very few tablets have cameras as good as those found on smartphones. The Huawei MediaPad M3 follows that trend. But in all honesty, tablets are not really made for taking professional photos due to them being on the bulkier side. This makes it a bit tricky to get the right angle. Let your smartphone handle that department.

That being said, the Huawei MediaPad M3 has a decent enough 8MP rear camera that is ok if you want to take the odd photo or 2. But be sure not to point the camera in the sun’s direction as lens flare can discolor large portions of the image. Low light situations are also a no-no as your images will turn out noisy due to the fact that there is no flash to help with illumination.

Where the rear camera falls short, the front camera is the tablet’s saving grace as long as taking photos is concerned. That is mainly because the MediaPad M3 takes some pretty sweet selfies. This is evidenced by the life-like colors and detail-rich portraits it produces.

As for the camera app, it is feature rich and offers you many options to play with. In fact, they are so many you may not go through them all.

Overall, the Huawei MediaPad M3 sports a decent camera. Nothing to write home about, but not bad either.

Battery


To power the MediaPad M3, Huawei fitted it with a 5100mAh battery, which is enough to last a full day with regular use. However, to prove the efficiency of the battery, putting it through some torturous paces of streaming at maximum brightness, the MediaPad managed to hold on for 8 hours and 50 minutes.

When it comes time to recharge, the Huawei MediaPad M3 can stretch your patience if you’re used to fast-charging devices. Had the MediaPad M3 been kitted with a USB-C port, this could have been mitigated.

The Huawei MediaPad M3 – Best Compact Tablet on the Market

Despite its shortcomings, the Huawei MediaPad M3 is still a very good tablet. And in its category, it is definitely one of the best. Coming in the perfect body (shape and size-wise), performing as well as some of the big boys, and priced just right, this is one tablet you shouldn’t hesitate to take home with you.

If you are a serious gamer, this is not the definitely not the tablet for you. But if you want to use for streaming, browsing the web, or keeping up to date with what’s happening on your social media channels, then this is definitely the tablet for you.

One of the biggest strengths that the Huawei MediaPad M3 has is built quality. If you don’t want to replace a tablet soon due to damage, then this is the tablet to throw in your bag.

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