Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four Review: A Nexus 7 for 2018?

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What is the Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four?

In 2018, Android tablets are just about lifeless. There are barely any companies making new fashions, and Google not often provides new options via massive software program updates. 

Yet this hasn’t deterred Huawei, which is persevering with a spread of recent MediaPads. The lineup consists of two 10.Eight-inch fashions and an Eight.Four-inch model – which I’m reviewing right here.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four – Design

With its aluminium physique, clean again and curved corners, Huawei’s MediaPad Eight.Four-inch doesn’t tread new floor for tablets. It has the whiff of an iPad, however with out being too brazen about it.

It feels effectively constructed and is super-light at 316g. I’ve been carrying it round in my bag for a number of weeks now and it barely feels heavier than the Kindle Oasis it changed.

Related: Huawei P20 

The entrance of the gadget is dominated by the show, however not like most of the new telephones coming to market this 12 months it retains a bezel round it. This is okay on a pill, because it provides your palms one thing to grip onto. A fingerprint scanner sits under the show and it really works fantastically; a Huawei brand and front-facing digicam sit above it. The total design is clear and primary.

One obtrusive and, frankly, ridiculous omission is the dearth of a headphone jack. I’m joyful to reside with out one on a telephone, because it’s a small and slim gadget that usually loses the three.5mm port to help water-resistance. But neither are the case on the MediaPad M5, and it appears Huawei has ditched the port merely to have the ability to prolong the twin audio system that sit alongside the highest and backside edges – which in my view is a foolish sacrifice. At least there’s a three.5mm dongle within the field.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four – Screen

The Huawei MediaPad M5’s Eight.Four-inch panel is comfortably the perfect factor about this gadget. .

The sharp quad-HD LCD panel – OLEDs are uncommon on tablets and super-expensive at this dimension – is vibrant and shiny. It can’t match the iPad vary nor Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 for sheer high quality, however it provides an first rate enchancment over the panels utilized by Amazon on its Fire tablets.

However, I do take subject with the widescreen 16:10 aspect-ratio: tablets are much more usable in a squat Four:three format. It’s higher for studying and shopping and signifies that apps don’t really feel fairly so stretched.

Related: Best cheap Android phones

Huawei MediaPad M5

But my greatest subject with the show is that there’s little or no that may reap the benefits of it. Like many Android tablets – normally cheaper ones, I need to say – the MediaPad M5 Eight.Four lacks the proper assist for streaming HD video. This means you’ll be restricted to SD streaming on Netflix, Prime Video and Google Play Movies. For a media-dedicated pill, this seems to be a significant oversight.

The Eight.Four-inch model of the M5 additionally lacks each the stylus and keyboard assist of its larger brother – though this matches with Huawei’s concept of this being a pill predominantly for Netflix binging, versus work.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four – Performance and digicam

Powering the Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four is the Kirin 960, a barely older chip that Huawei has utilized in telephones such because the Mate 9. It lacks the AI smarts of the newer Kirin 970, however it’s completely enough for a pill.

My greatest subject with the earlier MediaPad pill I reviewed – the Eight.Four-inch M3 – was that it struggled with something taxing. Boot up a recreation corresponding to Real Racing, or attempt to work on a big picture file, and also you’d find yourself caught in a loop of lag and crashes. That’s not the case right here, and I’ve been impressed by how effectively this dinky pill performs.

Huawei MediaPad M5

Google Play isn’t stuffed with graphically intensive titles, however I might fortunately play Lara Croft: Go or Horizon Chase with none dropped frames. The 4GB of RAM is loads, too, holding apps in reminiscence lengthy sufficient so that you just don’t really feel such as you’re reloading every part on a regular basis. Storage begins at 64GB, with a slot for a microSD for enlargement.

The audio system are fairly first rate, too, once more including to the media theme of this gadget. They’re not front-facing as they’re within the Pixel 2 XL, as an alternative pushing the sound out from the underside and high edges. Sound is loud and much better than the iPad Mini or some other equally sized slate. My solely subject is that it might probably usually sounds artificially enhanced and fairly echoey in consequence. Hi-Res audio is supported and Huawei has teamed up with Harman, part of Samsung, to tune the audio system.

I nonetheless discover it weird pill corresponding to this has a digicam on the again. Surely, it’s is probably going that somebody who spends upwards of £300 on a reasonably area of interest gadget corresponding to this may also be carrying round a smartphone. Even if it’s one thing as well-priced because the £150 Moto G5, then it can present a greater expertise for taking footage.

The photographs produced by the pill are fantastic – colors are fairly effectively produced and the digicam app is surprisingly fast – however every part feels too shiny and pretend. There’s an Eight-megapixel digicam across the entrance that really takes okay selfies and works effectively for video chats, alongside having assist for 4K video recording. However, because of the lack of any apparent type of stabilisation, footage appears very shaky.

Huawei will probably be promoting each LTE and Wi-Fi variations of the M5 Eight.Four. I’ve been testing the 4G LTE model, and having a small pill corresponding to this at all times related is surprisingly helpful. You may even use it to make calls and ship textual content messages.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four – Software

Huawei hasn’t but mastered cellular software program, as an alternative cramming its EMUI pores and skin with far too many iOS-like options. But, on a pill it doesn’t show anyplace close to as annoying because it does on a telephone.

There are nonetheless far too many pre-installed video games that I’d advocate you delete immediately. There are a number of duplicate apps, too. Look previous these points, nonetheless, and it’s a reasonably good expertise. It’s fast and never overly sophisticated to navigate.

EMUI runs on high of Android 8.0, so you’ll be able to utilise helpful options corresponding to minimising sure video home windows for higher multitasking. Being in a position to pop up a Netflix video whilst you proceed utilizing the pill for scrolling via Twitter is a helpful addition.

The lack of any actual pill apps for Android doesn’t make a lot of a distinction right here, for the reason that MediaPad M5 Eight.Four seems to have been handled like a really massive telephone by the working system. This means apps corresponding to Gmail, which does have some pill profit, renders because it does in your telephone.

Huawei MediaPad M5

Like a number of Huawei tablets, the MediaPad M5 Eight.Four refused to efficiently benchmark any take a look at. Both AnTuTu and Geekbench crashed out midway via, or threw out an error message on the finish. As a outcome, I can’t present any benchmarking scores presently. I’ll replace the evaluation if I handle to get it going. Realistically, although, the scores offered by these benchmark apps wouldn’t have had any bearing on the ultimate verdict.

Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four – Battery life

There’s a 5100mAh cell tucked contained in the MediaPad M5 Eight.Four that has impressed loads over the previous few weeks. Standby occasions are nice – very important for a pill that’s more likely to spend a lot of its time idle – and an hour of streaming Netflix (at SD decision, after all) consumed solely 6%. That’s barely increased than I’d get from an iPad Mini, and on a par with an Amazon Fire pill.

Charging is through the USB-C port on the underside of the gadget, and it powers up pretty rapidly via the included energy adapter. It will take round three hours to go from zero%-100%, which is what I’d anticipate from a pill.

Huawei MediaPad M5

Why purchase the Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four?

The greatest purpose to purchase the Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four is that there isn’t a lot else available on the market prefer it; it’s primarily Amazon that manufactures Android tablets of this dimension. This signifies that if you happen to’re after a media machine with a high-res show that can simply deal with gaming then the Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four is an efficient decide. The iPad Mini from Apple is an possibility too, however that’s displaying its age now.

However, there are far too many shortcomings with the MediaPad M5 Eight.Four-inch for me to wholeheartedly advocate it to most individuals. The lack of HD streaming on Netflix and headphone jack are ridiculous omissions for a media-centric pill.


A small pill that packs good specs and a pleasant display screen, however the Huawei MediaPad M5 Eight.Four seems like a missed alternative.

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