Last mid March of 2016, Huawei's highly rated tablet finally arrived in our country. Dubbed as the Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0, this tab is specifically curated to be your multimedia tablet on the go with phone functionsl that isn't too big and bulky.
|Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0 review|
It's also a great Clash Royale buddy
Disclaimer: This review unit was provided by Huawei Philippines for an honest review
When we first saw it on its launch, we fell in love with it immediately as it looks like and feels like an up-sized Huawei P8 in person. It's one of the major reasons why we are rooting for this tablet to do well in the market.
Today, after quite some time with the MediaPad M2, let's all find out if it's still one of the top handy multimedia centric tablet today.
Huawei MediaPad M2 Specs
Display: 8.0 Inch 1920 x 1200 resolution at 282 ppi
CPU: 1.5 GHz 64 Bit Kirin 930 octa core processor
GPU: Mali T628
RAM: 3 GB
ROM: 32 GB expandable via micro SD card up to 128 GB
Back Camera: 8 MP w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 2 MP
Battery: 4,800 mAh Li Pol
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop w/ EMUI 3.1
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP, EDR, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, micro SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Others: Dual speakers, Harman Kardon sound, Phone Function, Colors: silver, gold
Dimensions: 214.8 x 124 x 7.8 mm
Weight: 330 g
Price: 14,990 Pesos
Unboxing / Accessories
We got our unit barebones so we won't be able to show you what's inside the package of this tab. Fortunately, upon checking all over the internet it does include most of the basic things needed in a package like a standard 2 A wall charger and micro USB 2.0 charging cables.
Other than that I wished that there are more freebies like a high quality earphones and a case.
Build Quality / Design
|The familiar looking metal back of Huawei sans the fingerprint scanner|
Huawei strives for greatness in aesthetics and we think that they did the same with the MediaPad M2. It's made out of well crafted all metal uni-body with slightly curved back, chamfered lower edge, stripes in the middle and chrome painted upper top.
On the screen, it's made out of good looking glass. However and unexpectedly, they failed to add any sort of protection to avoid scratches. Fortunately and surprisingly, our demo unit doesn't have scratches in the glass part even if we're not using any sort of cover or casing until now.
|Micro USB port, speaker and 3.5 mm jack on top|
|Microphone and another speaker below|
|SIM and micro SD slots, volume rocker and power button at the right|
In terms of looks, there's no question, the MediaPad M2 8.0 is a stunner in person. It's gold color adds a lot of elegance, has sexy curves and lines and shiny chrome like paint on the upper frame.
If you think that it's only all about looks, you're wrong. Huawei managed to ensure that those designs are functional as well. For example, the lines on the side adds grip to your hold and the slightly curved back makes it more comfortable in the hand. We also noticed that it has perfectly sized bezels on the all the sides to give room for your fingers in one handed mode.
One of the few things we find incorrect with its ergonomics here is sometimes your hands can cover the left and right speakers when you're using it in landscape mode.
Ports and button placements were standard, though we would like it better if has an eject-able SIM and micro SD card slots instead of its hard to open placement now. Other than that, everything feels flawless here.
Donning an 8 inch screen with 1920 x 1200 resolution, the MediaPad M2 has one of the crispiest screens on an Android tab out there. It features good tones that's slightly saturated. A type of saturation that can give you very satisfying and vibrant colors that's great in viewing photos and pictures.
Even if it doesn't have an AMOLED screen, we also noticed that is has deeper than usual blacks against other panels. On the brightness side, it can go bright enough to be fairly readable in direct sunlight, but doesn't have overly bright screens that can hurt your eyes if you're using it in the dark.
|10 points of multitouch|
Just like most midrange Huawei devices, this has 10 points of multitouch for your more accurate touch response and color temperature adjustment to suit your preference the best.
Huawei's partnership with Harman Kardon in the speaker audio department proves to be critical in making this a great sounding device. As a result, they manage to make one of the loudest yet clearest sounding tablet that we've ever heard.
It touts a treble happy sound signature that gives emphasis on the highs, but shows some signs of bass that can go a little boomy, but has good layering not to overpower the mids. The mids on the other hand was crystal clear as well which is articulate enough to let you hear all of the details you're supposed to hear. Going to the highs is has one of the best sparkles I've heard on a tablet that can also extend pretty well. There are just times that it can go fatiguing, but it isn't really that much of a concern.
What I liked most in its dual side firing speakers is it has minimal distortion even on max volume, has great loudness and wide soundstage. As a matter of fact it can go toe to toe with the loudness of the Acer Predator 8 which touts 4 speakers and appears to be equally impressive in their own.
Overall, the speakers of this one performed exceptionally while watching movies even outdoors.
Headphone-out-wise, we liked that it's unknown internal DAC can play even 192 KHz / 24 bit lossless flac files. In terms of its quality, we think that it was able to provide entry level HiFi dedicated DAP quality that's very impressive for a tablet.
It has a slightly warm sound sig with slightly boosted bass and highs that doesn't affect the vocals that much. It has great extension all over the spectrum, fine details up that can even give emphasis to micro details and above average sounstage.
It also has an SWS surround sound software that you can use to add soundstage and highs extension, but I won't suggest using it playing music as it makes the sound a bit too unnatural.
In terms of microphone used, the single mic below performed quite okay in calls and recordings, but it isn't the best of what Huawei has to offer.
Overall, this is the best sounding Huawei device that I was able to test yet. I do hope that they can implement that type of DAC with their upcoming smartphones.
|Long 11 hours and 10 mins on PC Mark battery test|
On paper, this tablet boast 4,800 mAh Li Pol battery which gave me hope that it can last for long number of hours that's needed for a tablet that's used for entertainment most of the time.
Gladly, it was able to deliver the long battery life I expected. That's even if it's using a higher resolution screen and pretty high specs that's supposed to consume a lot of power most of the time. Under heavy usage during its battery test it was able to last for more than 11 hours. When used occasionally for watching movies and social media, it lasted for two days.
It also has a Power Saving feature found in its good Phone Manager that reminds you to kill the apps that eats your battery and choose your desired power option.
Overall, the battery life of this tablet is on the above average scale that's reliable for most.
CameraMost of the time, my tablet camera experience weren't really that nice and it's rare to see tablet with good cameras. That's where I was surprised with the 8 MP and 2 MP rear and selfie cameras found with the MediaPad M2 8.0.
The 8 MP rear camera, though far from being as good, has some similarities with our Huawei G8. It was able to take sharp and vibrant photos that's on a slightly saturated tone that looks great in my eyes. Unexpectedly, this tablet also has fast HDR, focus and shutter speed. Not super fast, but fast enough to capture subjects quite easily.
There are just times, that you may look artificial, but it's no biggie as that doesn't change the fact that this has great cameras for a tablet.
In lowlight, the cameras is unusable unless you use its flash.
In front, the 2 MP selfie cam performed better than expected as it can take well balanced photos with good colors especially in daylight. While it doesn't have the widest angle out there, it can fit at least fit 3 people in the frame. In challenging or lowlight conditions, it's not advisable to use the front cam unless you turn on the screen flash.
The camera software found here also surprised me as it has most of the popular Huawei modes such as several Filters, Beautify Mode, Time-lapse, All Focus, Best Photo (Burst), Panorama and Watermark.
There's also some new tricks such as Object recognition where it will search for the name of the subject you took online and the clever online translation that translates the text you focus to your desired language.
For a camera that doesn't have OIS, this tablet takes acceptable up to Full HD video at the back and HD video in front. Just don't expect it to be super good, but at least it's usable and decent to most eyes.
Rear Camera Samples
|Casual daylight HDR shot|
|Dimlight close-up shot|
|We used spot metering on places with not that good light|
|Kinda yellowish flash|
Selfie Camera Samples
|Selfie with beautify level 3|
|Used the screen flash in total darkness|
|Antutu and geekbench benchmark test results|
Featuring a solid configuration that consist of their home brewed Kirin 930 octa core processor, Mali T628 mid-level GPU and 3 GB of RAM, the MediaPad M2 was able to perform in a buttery smooth way in normal usage. Watching videos, surfing the net and social media is effortless. Multiple apps can be opened at the same time without noticeably hiccups.
It also has a generous 32 GB of ROM where-in you can install a lot of apps and put a lot of entertainment content like movies, music and eBooks.
In playing games, it performs on the mid-level grade. Light to casual and even some heavy graphics games are very playable and smooth sailing with none to minimal frame drops. In NBA 2K16 it was steady performing overall on normal settings.
Even if gaming isn't on the flagship level, there are less stutters and heating with this device. Impressive as a whole.
|Android 5.1 Lolipop w/ EMUI 3.1|
In terms of UI used, it boast an Android 5.1 Lollipop OS with EMUI 3.1 skin on top. As a person familiar with Huawei, it was very easy to use and has a lot of features embedded in it. The Phone Manager keeps your tablet fast, changing of themes is easy and it looks good overall.
There are just times that you'll miss the traditional app drawer as this boast an iPhone like skin and smart gestures like double tap to wake that will make you rely heavily on the power button.
Pros - Usual great build, good looks, vibrant screen, decent cameras for a tab, loud speakers, nice audio out, has phone functions, very handy and ergonomic to hold
Cons - No LTE connectivity, no scratch resistance, few accessories included
Marketed as a multimedia tablet, the Huawei MediaPad M2 was successful in excelling in that department, but it is more than just that. This tab is also a great all-rounder that can be useful at work, reading eBooks on the go and in taking quality photos on the go. Having said that, for us at this price range, this device still has one of the most refined Android tablet experience that you can readily purchase in the Philippines today.
GIZ Rating: 4.25/5 Stars