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Huawei MediaPad M5 lite Review - Solid multimedia tablet with quad speakers

Huawei
Huawei MediaPad M5 lite was hailed as the best Android of CES 2019. But, can it live up to the hype? We have it on hand and here is our full review!
Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite review: Worthy multimedia companion
Huawei MediaPad M5 lite

Our first impressions of the MediaPad M5 lite says how happy we are about its build and design along with the improvements it had.

Let's see!


Display Quality

The 10.1-inch FHD IPS screen is a treat to look at
The 10.1-inch FHD IPS screen is a treat to look at

Huawei installed a great screen on the MediaPad M5 lite. It has a 10.1-inch 2.5D curved IPS screen with a 1920 x 1200 FHD resolution. It also has a 244 pixel per inch pixel density. For an IPS panel, it gets pretty bright and is still usable under sunlight. In terms of colors, the vibrancy and reproduction is great which makes it ideal for videos and gaming.
With the screen size, you can definitely do a lot of things!
With the screen size, you can definitely do a lot of things!

Watching videos and movies is a great treat with this screen. The details are visible with colors popping out and giving life to the picture. The blacks, even if it looks fairly good, is a bit washed out still. It is ways above what you expect from an IPS screen though.

Gaming on it is also good. The screen real estate allows you to do and see more in game. However, I recommend it more for media consumption more than anything as well as for productivity as you can do a lot with the space you are provided.

You can also activate the dedicated Eye Comfort mode if you need to use it at night. It warms up the color temperature of the screen to eliminated the blue light and allow your eyes to relax a not.

It also has 10 points of touch that you can take advantage of for gaming and multitasking.

Audio Quality

It has 4 speakers: 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom
It has 4 speakers: 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom

In terms of sound clarity and volume, the four speakers for the MediaPad M5 lite are amazing. This is because of Huawei's collaboration with audio giant Harman Kardon. Since the design language of the MediaPad M5 lite leans toward landscape orientation, the two speakers are found at the top of the device. The other two is found at the bottom of the device.


Best audio for the price!

Although they are not front firing speakers, they are clear and loud. The sounds are not muffled when laying down its back since the speakers fire out sound to the top and bottom. Listening to Spotify or watching Netflix and YouTube through speakers is enhanced by this.

It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack with Huawei Histen sound effects. Once you plus in your headphones, you get to choose some preset for over-the-head, in-ear earbuds or headphones. You also get Bass Boosters and an Equalizer.

The microphone for video calls is clear and stable too.

Battery

Look at that battery life!
Look at that battery life!

The MediaPad M5 lite has a hugw 7,500mAh battery that is capable of handling 9V/2A fast charging. During our usual PCMark Battery benchmark, the MediaPad M5 lite came up with a 15 hour and 32 minutes of battery life. This is more than enough for a full day of work and allows you to enjoy movies and videos once you get at home.


Strong battery performance!

Using the quick charge power brick included, it charged for about 1 hour and 45 minutes from 10 percent to 100 percent. That is pretty fast considering how big the battery is.

During my time using this tablet, the battery life has seen some improvement. I do bring this out during meetings and use it to take down notes and for presenting something to other people. And, I only find myself needing to charge after one and a half days.

Camera

The 8MP f/2.0 rear camera

As with other tablets, the rear camera seem to be the weaker aspect of the MediaPad M5 lite. It has an 8MP f/2.0 sensor with AF.
Camera UI in action

The camera suite has Moving Picture mode and Beauty Mode available once you open the app. Then swiping left reveal the other modes such as Pro mode, Video, Pro Video, HDR, Panorama, Light Painting, Time-lapse, All-Focus, FIlter, and Watermark. You can also download additional modes such as Document scan and Good food.
Camera modes for rear camera
Camera modes for rear camera

It is understandable since photography is not the main focus of a tablet. It is for multitasking and content consumption. Still, improvements for the rear cameras will do the tablet market as a whole a huge favor.

Rear Camera Samples

HDR
HDR
Daylight
Daylight
Indoor
Indoor
Colors
Close-up
Close-up
Dim
Dim
Low light
Low light

The front facing camera performed better though. It has an 8MP f/2.0 sensor but the difference of photos between the rear and selfie cameras are big. The color and details look better. The photos still have a lot of noise but it is less noticeable for selfies. This actually makes sense since you are most likely going to be using the selfie camera more than the rear camera in terms of video calls and photos.

Selfie Camera Samples

Normal vs selfie face beauty
Normal vs selfie face beauty
Indoor
Indoor
Dim
Dim

Although the MediaPad M5 lite can take videos up to 1080p with the rear camera and 720p for the front, we suggest that you only use it when needed. The quality of the videos varies from one recording to another.

Videos were grainy and lacks details. There is no image stabilization so walking while recording in very shaky videos.

The size of the device also becomes a problem since the slippery back of the MediaPad M5 lite makes for a challenging grip during my video tests.


Video Samples


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Performance

Benchmark scores
Benchmark scores

The MediaPad M5 lite has a 2.36GHz Kirin 659 octa-core processor, Mali-T830 MP2 GPU, 4GB RAM with 64GB of expandable storage. The choice of Kirin 659 is pretty good since it has a decent clock speed. It is held back a bit by the GPU but it is enough to play NBA 2K19 and Mobile Legends.

Ageing processor, but respectable performance!

The 4GB/64GB combination is a sweet spot. These are enough to multitask and play games without worrying about any resource shortage.

It scored 89,195 points on AnTuTu benchmark while it garnered 924 Single Core score and 3,691 Multi Core score on Geekbench.

In everyday usage, it maintained a smooth performance while I did my tasks which are mainly social media browsing, NetFlix, YouTube, Spotify and some gaming. There are no heating issues as well which is a big plus for me.

The UI

EMUI 8.0
EMUI 8.0

It loads with EMUI 8.0. You can choose whether you want a standard home style with all the apps immediately available or one with an App Drawer. I went with an app drawer since that is what I am used to.
Google Assistant and Tablet Manager

The UI works better in landscape mode but looks better in portrait. Either way, the notification panel, toggles and settings are easy to navigate. You can even search for specific settings in the Settings app.
Settings app
Settings app

Swiping to the left of the home screen, you will get the Google Assistant panel. You can use Google search here or browse you news feed that can be customized according to your interests.

There are virtual Navigation buttons that are always oriented to the bottom right side of the screen whether in landscape or portrait mode.

Other features

Huawei MediaPad M5 lite extra features include dual band WiFi, a fingerprint sensor, USB-Type C, Quad Speakers, and Smart PA. The highlight here for me is the quad speakers that make this a true multimedia device.

There are no face unlock feature but the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor is appreciated.

Pros - Premium design and build, great display, quad speakers, long battery life, great performance
Cons - Cameras could be better, UI can be more optimized

Huawei MediaPad M5 lite Specs

Display: 10.1-inch 2.5D curved IPS screen w/ FHD 1920 x 1200 resolution at 244 ppi
CPU: 2.36GHz 64-bit Kirin 659 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-T830 MP2
RAM: 4GB
ROM: 64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 8MP f/2.0 w/ AF
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.0
Battery: 7,500mAh w/ 9V/2A fast charging
OS: Android 8.0 Oreo w/ EMUI 8.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, sound, magnetic, sensor
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, quad speakers, Smart PA, Colors: champagne gold, space grey
Dimensions: 243.4 x 162.2 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 475 g
Price: PHP 18,990

Verdict

Huawei is keeping tablets relevant with Mediapad M5 lite.

The combination of competitive pricing, premium design and capable specs makes this a good choice if you are looking for a dedicated multimedia device.

The sub par cameras can be forgiven as tablets are mainly used for productivity and entertainment. Photography is a minor feature in tablets.

For PHP 18,990, Huawei Mediapad M5 lite is a highly recommended tablet for those looking for a portable multimedia companion.

Build/Design - 4.5
Display - 4.5
Audio - 4.75
Battery - 4.75
Camera - 3.75
Performance - 4.75
Average - 4.5/5
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