Huawei MatePad review: A great all around midrange tablet

Huawei Matepad Review

Huawei MatePad unboxed

In addition to the MatePad Pro and MatePad T8, Huawei Philippines also brought another Android 10-powered tablet from this series that sits well between those two and it's simply called the Huawei MatePad sporting a 10.4-inch 2K IPS display with support for the Huawei M-Pencil. The company sent me a review unit of the device that comes in Midnight Grey which I have been using for a couple of weeks now and here I am sharing with you my review of the new Huawei MatePad. 

Upon unboxing the Huawei MatePad tablet you will be greeted with the usual stuff like the charger and its cable, some warranty and user guide documentation, and then of course the tablet itself. It does not come with a pair of earphones though and the device does not have a 3.5mm audiojack port right out of the box. But the good thing is Huawei provided this tablet with a USB Type-C to 3.5mm audiojack dongle which means you can still use it any existing wired earphones or headphones you have at home or in case you will buy one in the future. 

Huawei Matepad Review

But as you can realize, there is the good and the bad side to it. Of course the good one is that we can still use a wired headset with 3.5mm jack for a longer period of time and to achieve that latency-free audio listening experience, and the bad one is just we can't when the MatePad is being charged. When that is the situation, you will have to rely on the device's speaker, which sounds really great actually, or use wireless earbuds, if you have one. 

Built and design

The Huawei MatePad measures 245.2mm x 154.96mm x 7.35mm and weights 450 grams or about half a kilo. Its screen sports 10.4-inch size. For me, and as a tablet, I think these numbers are just right. Not too heavy, not too small and not too huge. The MatePad's frame and back cover are made of aluminum metal materials which make the device's built so solid and sturdy. Combine that with its midnight grey colorway, the MatePad feels and looks really premium. 

The bezels on the Huawei MatePad is noticeably thick but I think that is fine as it gives users room to hold the device with a single or both hands more comfortably and to avoid accidental clicks or taps on the side of the screen. And since the device is also made for the children or toddlers (more on it below), that thick of a bezel makes more sense too.   

Aside from the M-Pencil, you can also buy the Huawei Folio cover for this tablet. This will make the device look and feel a lot more premium than it already is. The cover will serve both as a protection and a stand for the device, plus its cloth finish on the outside feels nice to the hand too. Also, the cover automatically locks and wakes up the screen upon folding and unfolding it. If you were one of the first ones to pre-order or purchase this device during its early sale, you are lucky to get the M-Pencil and Folio cover for free. 

Huawei Matepad Review

Processor, storage, and performance

The Huawei MatePad is powered by HiSilicon Kirin 810 processor paired with Mali G52 GPU. It is equipped with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage. At initial boot, about 43GB is available to you right away. Now in case you will be running out of storage, you can still slide in a microSD card into the device for storage expansion. It can handle up to 512GB size. 

Based on my personal experience, the MatePad's overall performance is pretty impressive. It is very responsive and buttery smooth. I have not experienced any lag or stuttering so far as apps and features work as expected without any delay. Whether it's running more than one app at a time, playing quite heavy games, or even streaming in one app and browsing on the other via split screen feature, the device works just fine. All of that are thanks to the powerful Kirin 810 processor, 4GB RAM and well-optimzied user interface, EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10.  

A quick tour around

Huawei Matepad Review

As I mentioned above, the Huawei MatePad has some exciting and not so exciting ports and physical features. One of the things I have been enjoying so much on this device is the audio quality on this tablet. It's just good, most especially through the four speakers with quad channel system. As you can see in the image above, it has two speaker grilles on the right and another two on the left when in landscape orientation. Those stereo speakers feature Histen 6.0 3D stereo and the audio quality is tuned by none other than Harman Kardon. Even when in full volume, the quality is still very good.  

The first time I downloaded Netflix on this device, first I watched was the Transformers movie series by director Michael Bay. Not only that I was impressed with the audio quality, I could also notice the surround sound effect on the speakers creating a more realistic and cinema-like audio experience. 

Still in the landscape orientation, the power/lock key is situated at the upper left corner of the device's edge. The single SIM and microSD card holder are located down at the bottom while the volume rocker and and the quad-mic with noise reduction feature are at the top edge of the Huawei MatePad. And then of course, the USB Type-C port on the right side of the tablet. 

It's good to know that this tablet supports LTE connectivity through its single SIM card slot. That means, we can still use this device while on the go and get connected online anywhere we are. 

The Huawei MatePad has four microphones and with noise reduction technology. That makes the device even more perfect for online schooling and video conferencing as it picks up the voice real good, loud and clear even with noticeable background noise. You don't even need to speak closer to the mics, they can pick up your voice even at normal distance from it. Detail rich sound on speakers, very good microphones, stunning 2K display quality, and a powerful processor I mean what else do we need from a tablet nowadays? 

Beautiful display quality

Huawei Matepad Review

Speaking of the display, the Huawei MatePad sports 10.4-inch FullView 2K IPS display. That's equivalent to 1200 x 2000 pixel arrangement on the screen. It also features up to 470 nits for its brightness and 224 ppi or pixels-per-inch. 

As I previously mentioned, the display quality on this tablet is really nice. Not as good as an AMOLED panel though, but for an IPS screen and with that gorgeous 2K display resolution, you will definitely appreciate what you are looking at it most especially in terms of color reproduction and image details. 

I got this MatePad just a couple of days before the official release of the second season of the Umbrella Academy on Netflix, realizing how good the display and audio experience was with my Transformers movie marathon previously, I decided to watch the entire second season of the Umbrella Academy on this device. If you have seen the first season of this series or even the most recent one, you know that the series sports punchy colors and its overall cinematography is just visually stunning, well, that translates really good in the Huawei MatePad tablet. Needless to say, I finished the latest installment of the series in no time, all watched on the MatePad. Next on my list, after completing this review, is the Cursed series starring Katherine Langford.  

Huawei Matepad Review
As for the tablet's cameras, both the front and rear shooters have the same 8MP lens and the selfie camera has ultrawide lens. Smartphone and tablet manufacturers like Huawei are known to not focusing too much in providing the best cameras on tablets like they do in their smartphone offerings. That said, I did not expect too much on the MatePad's 8MP cameras, and neither should you. While both front and back cameras can produce good quality photos most especially in the well lit environment, they quite struggle the less light there is. 

Some nice features to check on the MatePad

Like what is found on its Pro brother, the Huawei MatePad also sports multi-screen collaboration feature. What it does is it allows your Huawei smartphone to be connected to the device and projects its display on the tablet's screen allowing you to control your Huawei smartphone from there on the tablet. What's the benefit of this? Well, apart from being able to virtually control and use your phone like you normally would while busy with the MatePad, you can also seamlessly transfer (drag and drop) photos, videos, and files between the tablet and the Huawei smartphone. Share memes to your friends from the web, or get the image from your phone and do a quick edit inside the tablet and then send it back to your phone or send to your friends, all can be done with no problem.

Another one is called the multi-window feature. This one works similar to split screen functionality we know from other devices or smartphones, but on the Huawei MatePad the second window will be a floating window when initially launched. You long press the top portion of the app to enlarge its size and go into the split-screen mode to allowing yourself to control the two apps side by side. I mostly use this feature to check my social media accounts while watching something on the MatePad which is very convenient as I don't have to get my phone to do so. 

If you have kids at home and you want them to use this tablet with peace of mind that all they can access are appropriate for their age and only what you allow them to, that's where the Kids Corner feature will come into the scene. This offers a safe and secure zone for your children to lean and have fun with the tablet. The parental control will let you easily manage the device and the content the younglings can access and use. See screenshots below. 
Huawei Matepad Review
In case you can't read what's on the image above for the Eye Protection section of the Kids Corner, here's what it says in each one of those.

Blue Light Filter: Filters out blue light to relieve visual fatigue. The screen will have a warmer tint.
Posture Alert: Reminds your child to sit up if they lie down while holding the tablet.
Brightness Alert: Shows a prompt to move somewhere else if the surroundings are very bright or dim.
Bumpy Road Alert: Shows a reminder to stop using the tablet when things get bumpy, like in a car.
eBook Mode: Adjusts display colors so your child feels like they are reading a book.

The Eye Comfort and eBook Mode features are also available outside the Kids Corners so that you can also enjoy using the tablet for longer hours without tiring and also protecting your eyes at the same time. 

AppGallery and the Petal Search Widget 

For your app needs, there is the Huawei AppGallery and Petal Search where you can download them from since the Huawei MatePad does not support Google Play. According to Huawei, the AppGallery comes with full cycle security and protection, including developer real-name verification and four-step review process for secure app operation. All apps go through a rigorous verification test to prevent developer's apps from malicious activity. It has an age-rating system to create safe environment for children, filtering out apps that are not suitable for their age range. The AppGallery and the apps here are now safer to use than ever, not to mention the AppGallery being the world's third biggest app store.

On the other hand, Petal Search Widget is a new tool that can assist you in finding more apps for your Huawei tablet or smartphone. It will help you find the best place to download the apps that you need, if the app is not yet available on the AppGallery, Petal Search will direct you to download the app from the app's official website like Facebook for instance, or to the trusted third-party app marketplace like APKPure. 

The Petal Search Widget is not pre-installed in the Huawei MatePad I think because the tablet was already manufactured and packed when Huawei rolled out the Petal Search which was very recently done. So that being said, you will need to download first the Petal Search app from the AppGallery and then you can start using the app or set it up as a widget in the home screen. 

Remember that I use Netflix to watch Transformers and The Umbrella Academy on this Huawei MatePad? Currently, Netflix is not available on the AppGallery but through the help of Petal Search I was able to download it from APKPure. I also play Black Desert Mobile game, that one also I was able to download from APKPure website.  

Battery and charging

The Huawei MatePad packs a 7250mAh battery. On average use including browsing social media, playing casual games, and binge watching on YouTube and Netflix, the MatePad lasts me a full day on a single charge. To me that's quite impressive. But what's not that cool is the time it takes to charge the device as it does not come with a fast charging technology. Using its standard 10W charger, it takes me about three and a half hour to fully charge it, even longer when the device is in use while connected to the power outlet. 
Huawei Matepad Review

Final thoughts

As of today, we have three MatePad tablet options from Huawei, the Pro, T8, and this one. As the names suggest, the Pro version is much more expensive than this non-Pro model, and then the MatePad T8 being the most affordable of the three. The MatePad is the perfect option for you if you think the T8's specs and features are too basic for your needs or if the Pro model is just beyond your budget. The Huawei MatePad, in terms of design, specs, features, and performance, is more similar to the MatePad Pro than to the T8 variant, plus it does support the optional M-Pencil accessory to help you enhance and express your creativity in the digital space. 

I would say that the Huawei MatePad is the best all-around midrange tablet that we can find in the market today that offers great value for its price tag of just Php20,990. It packs a lot of features and powerful specs that are optimized really well whether for work, study, or entertainment needs. While it does not support Google Play and its core services, having the AppGallery and Petal Search on this device, the overall experience is actually almost the same. 

Huawei MatePad specs:

  • 10.4-inch FullView 2K IPS Display
  • 1200 x 2000 resolution
  • 470 nits, 224 ppi
  • HiSilicon Kirin 810 octa-core processor
  • Mali G52 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Supports microSD card up to 512GB
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 8MP front camera with ultrawide lens
  • EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10
  • AppGallery
  • No Google Play support
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • Single SIM
  • 4G LTE
  • USB Type-C
  • USB Type-C to 3.5mm audiojack dongle
  • Huawei Histen 6.0 Sound Effect
  • Quad Speakers
  • Audio by Harman Kardon
  • 245.2mm x 154.96mm x 7.35mm
  • 450 grams
  • Midnight Grey
  • 7250mAh battery
  • Php20,990

The Huawei MatePad is now available in the Philippines through retail partners and Huawei Philippines' online stores on Lazada and Shopee. 

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