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Revisiting Huawei MatePad T 10s - Mid-range multimedia companion!

Late last year, Huawei introduced the MatePad T 10s for the Philippine market—a device aiming to fill the void in the mid-range tablet market.
Revisiting Huawei MatePad T 10s - Mid-range multimedia companion!
 Revisiting Huawei MatePad T 10s

To recap, the global tablet market enjoyed a resurgence last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic as most are staying at home. Tablets can be used to keep yourself entertained and even for work. Meanwhile, kids can use it for homeschooling purposes as a laptop alternative.

However, here in the Philippines, most of those tabs are found either in the below PHP 10K price point or above PHP 15K. Only a handful are found in the middle.

One of them is the Huawei MatePad T 10s, an Android-powered tablet priced at PHP 12,999 with attractive specs for the price.

Personally, this is my tablet for multimedia consumption for over 2 months now. How does it hold up? Read on!

Build Quality/Design

Huawei MatePad T 10s back
Huawei MatePad T 10s back

The Huawei MatePad T 10s is sporting a metal body with a few plastic parts and a glass front.

Even without using a case for more than 2 months, the back panel of this tablet that we are using remained clean and free from scratches. The same can be said about its display. It is still as clean as ever even if there's no screen protector installed.

This is pretty impressive as it isn't using a scratch-resistant textured back and the display has no mention of any sort of glass protection.
Left, right
Left, right

The only "damage" it sustained after using it every day for most watching videos and clips Netflix, iQIYI, Viu, and YouTube while relaxing or researching for something is a small dent on the bottom portion of the frame.

Why? We dropped it quite high and hard once. It didn't have any effect on its performance.

But of course, do not follow what we did. Buy and use a case to ensure that your tablet is protected so it can last longer.

My other comment is its lack of water resistance. It would be better if it has some sort of splash resistance against coffee spills or sweat while working out (Personally, I attach this to our treadmill while running and sweat sometimes splashes to the device).
10-inch FHD screen!
10-inch FHD screen!

Design-wise, this device is pretty modern-looking. The backplate has that matt-like paint finish and it is not that prone to fingerprint smudges. The frame with curves is considered comfortable to hold as well.

Clean build, modern-look!

The screen bezels are obviously thicker than the MatePad Pro, but it is slimmer and more immersive than the 2019 Huawei MediaPad T5 and a few modern tablets it's class from competing brands.

On landscape mode, the selfie camera that you can use for video calling is found on the center-top bezel of the tab.

All its buttons and ports are in familiar locations that are easy to reach. You'll find the power key, volume keys, and microphone holes on top, first speaker at left, and pinhole to access the SIM slots, USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone slot, and the other speaker at right. The bottom portion of the tablet is clean.

Using it with one hand while just swiping is possible on portrait mode. But, it is impossible if you want to type or multitask. It isn't as heavy as other tabs with nearly half a kilo weight.

Multimedia Experience

Netflix works
Netflix works

The experience. The same. This tab highlights a pretty impressive looking 10.1-inch large LCD screen with FHD+ panels. It isn't the sharpest-looking around, but it just as crisp as most similarly priced or even pricier tabs.

Great picture quality!

The picture quality produced by its display is also quite nice. It has punchy colors (not washed or dull) despite using an LCD (IPS) panel with good contrast. Viewing angles are mostly decent as well.

Huawei's proprietary ClariVu technology probably helped in this scenario as well.

It also has usable brightness levels even for outdoor use. But similar to a lot of other mid-range tablets, viewing images under direct sunlight hit will be tough.

This also has the Eye Comfort mode to reduce Bluelight emission which helps achieve a more comfortable reading experience in low light. If you want a paper-like sepia black and white tone, use the eBook mode.

Our only minor issue with its panel is it is a little reflective below 50 percent brightness compared with higher-end screens. For the price, it is just fine.
Harman Kardon audio
Harman Kardon audio

For audio, the MatePad T 10s is the most affordable tablet we know with Samsung Harman Kardon tuned speakers. In total, it has two speakers to deliver a stereo audio sound.

Good loud sound!

It delivers tunes that are loud enough to overpower even full-sized laptops like the MateBook D 15.

Even at max loudness, distortion is minimal. The signature is bright, and the vocals are apparent.

Bass response is decent too. It is fast and tight. But, it is just not that deep and the sub-bass is lacking compared to bigger speakers with subs. Highs have noticeable peaks compared to the MatePad Pro.

But overall, for a tablet at this price point, its speakers are considered superb sounding.

For wired audio, we never had an issue with it. It has a strong driving power and it can make even a few multi-driver earphones shine. 

For calls and recordings, the mic quality of this tab is considered clear enough.

This device gave us a great overall experience for watching our favorite 1080p videos on YouTube, iQIYI, and Viu. Netflix works, but it only has the SD resolution. To enjoy 1080p Netflix videos, you will need to download the show you are watching using the app.


Back camera
Back camera

Similar to many tablets, the MatePad T 10s is not a camera focused device. At the back, it uses a 5MP f/2.2 main camera with PDAF focus. It also has Beauty, HDR, Panorama, and even Pro mode.
Daylight sample
Daylight sample

Using its back camera, it takes acceptable-looking images in daylight. Surprisingly, it has speedy autofocus as well.

This camera is also respectable for taking close-up images in well-lit conditions.
Indoor with artificial light
Indoor with artificial light

For indoor shots, as long as you are in condition with proper lighting, you will be able to take images with reasonable exposure, sharpness, and minimal grain.

But sadly, similar to all tablets we tried. Its cam performance will falter in low light. 

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie

In the front, it uses a 2MP snapper. It works decently in daylight. But, the dynamic range will be lacking compared to a lot of cameras from mobile devices.
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie

Indoors, it is still decent. Even the colors are quite okay. But, it'll look grainy and a bit pixelated already. This is understandable for tablets.
Low light selfie
Low light selfie

In low light, don't expect. Just don't use it in low light.

For videos, it takes up to 1080p at the back and 720p in front. There's no stabilization of course. 

Personally, my suggestion is to only use its cameras when you don't have any other cameras with you.

For zoom calls or other video streaming calls, just make sure that you do it in a well-lit place.


AnTuTu score of Huawei MatePad T 10s
AnTuTu score of Huawei MatePad T 10s

First of all, let us not compare smartphone chips on tablet chips. Phones found at this price point have speedier chips. But, this is not a smartphone.

Fast performance for the price!

For a sub-PHP 15K tablet, its 2.2GHz 14nm Kirin 710A octa-core processor with Mali-G51 MP4 is considered pretty fast. In fact, even if it is the slightly downgraded version of the 12nm Kirin 710 or Kirin 710F, this is a decent chip.

It is faster than the MediaTek Helio P22 of the PHP 14,999 Lenovo Smart Tab M10 FHD Plus, and the 1.8GHz 14nm Exynos 7904 chip of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 and Galaxy Tab A 10.1 priced at PHP 15,990 and PHP 16,990, respectively.

It isn't super-fast, but it opens apps faster and performs operations quicker than a lot of similarly priced tabs. The difference in speed coming from the Huawei MediaPad T5 last is very evident.

Multitasking is also quite nice even if it only has 3GB RAM. In fact, it allowed us to use the split-screen effortlessly. This made us run one app on one window and another app on the other window.  

It never had issues when running my favorite apps like Facebook, Instagram, Browser, Zoom, Netflix, Viu, and many more.
Some of the games you can install
Some of the games you can install 

For gaming, it can game. Most of the basic tower defense game runs properly. Call of Duty: Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang works at default low to medium settings. For demanding games, it'll have a hard time. Since it has a big body, thermals were never an issue.
PCMark Work 2.0 battery life test
PCMark Work 2.0 battery life test

For battery, it is better than expected. This device with a 5,100mAh battery clocked for 13 hours and 57 minutes. This is better than the usual 10 hours we are getting with previous Huawei tablets with the same battery size.

In our experience, it can survive a whole day road trip even with LTE on while watching Netflix, Viu, or iQIYI videos most of the time with about 30 percent left in the tank at the end of the day.

For our main purpose which is watching, we only charge the tablet once every 3 days. Each day, we watch around 1 to 3 episodes of our favorite shows with a 1-hour average running time.

We also tried it as a work and research tablet with occasional video conferencing for 8 hours. After that, it still has 40 percent left in the tank.

For connectivity, we never had an issue with it. WiFi works. Bluetooth is consistent and connects very fast with our favorite Bluetooth devices. 4G LTE is also speedy and stable as long as the signal in your area is quite good.

Security-wise, the device doesn't have a fingerprint reader. So, you'll rely on the face unlock, patterns, and pin codes.

What about software? It uses the Android 10 OS with EMUI 10.1 skin on top. EMUI 10 is pretty clean-looking and easy to use. It is also feature-rich and one of our favorites is the app multiplier.

Of course, out of the box, there's no Google. Similar to the MatePad Pro, we used Huawei's AppGallery and Petal Search Widget to install the apps that we are using.

With the help of these methods, you can install about 90 percent of the apps with no issue at all. If you need Google Services, AppGallery and Petal Search can create shortcuts.
Dual Space and Gspace
Dual Space and Gspace

And by the way, there's are new methods now that allow Huawei users to access full Google apps. One of them is Dual Space and the other one is Gspace. These apps allowed us to use the Google Play Store and install the likes of Google Drive, Meet, and version of the Grab app with Maps among others.

This tab also comes with the Kids Corner with Kids Exclusive space for study and play, Six-layered Eye Protection for all-around eye care, customized screen time schedule for better Time Management, App Management, and Content Management for curated and age-appropriate contents.

For super-fast and Huawei to Huawei file transfers, it has the Huawei Share function.

Huawei MatePad T 10s Specs

Display: 10.1-inch LCD screen w/ FHD+ 1920 x 1200 resolution at 224 ppi
CPU: 2.2GHz 14nm Kirin 710A octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G51 MP4
ROM: 64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 512GB
Back Camera: 5MP f/2.2 w/ PDAF
Selfie Camera: 2MP f/2.4
Battery: 5,100mAh w/ 10W charging
OS: Android 10 w/ EMUI 10.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, GPS, single SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, sound, magnetic, sensor
Others: Harman Kardon stereo speakers, Colors: Deepsea Blue
Dimensions: 240.2 x 159 x 7.85 mm
Weight: 310 g
Price: PHP 12,999

Quick thoughts

Even in 2021, the Huawei MatePad T 10s is still a solid all-around tablet at PHP 12,999.

Among all the officially available Android tablets in the country with a local warranty, this is the one to beat in its class. Only those in the PHP 15K range can match its picture quality, speed, and speakers for the price.

Those traits made it a good mid-range multimedia companion that you can even use for work and school.

What do you guys think?

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