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Huawei MediaPad M3 review: This tablet has premium written all over it

Huawei MediaPad M3 has premium written all over it - be it the 2K display, Harman Kardon technology for sound.

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Huawei MediaPad M3 has premium written all over it – be it the 2K display, Harman Kardon technology for sound.

Huawei Technologies is the third-biggest smartphone maker in the world after Samsung and Apple, and the company has set its sights on growing in India as well. But smartphones like the Huawei P series, and the Honor brand aren’t the only devices the company has in its portfolio. The Huawei MediaPad M3 is supposed to be an alternative to the Apple iPads or those who don’t want Microsoft’s productivity driven Surface Pro 4.

Huawei MediaPad M3, when launches in India, will be priced at around Rs 25,000. It is listed on eBay for Rs 25,300 but not available for purchase. We got exclusive access to MediaPad M3 before it launches in India, and used the device for over two weeks. Here’s our review:

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Specifications: 8.4-inch 2K Display | Hisilicon Kirin 950 processor | 4GB RAM+ 32GB storage | 8MP rear camera | 8MP front camera | Dual-SIM | Android Marshmallow 6.0 with EMUI 4.1 | 5,100mAh battery

Expected Price: Rs 25,500

Huawei MediaPad M3

The company has partnered with Harman Kardon to bring its sound technology on-board. The tablet runs Huawei’s own Kirin 950 processor and is backed by a 5,100 mAh battery. It features a 8.4-inch display and metal unibody design.

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Huawei MediaPad M3 has premium written all over it – be it the 2K display, Harman Kardon technology for sound. From a design perspective, MediaPad M3 looks absolutely stunning with aluminium body, chamfered edges, dual stereo speakers on top as well as bottom. It has on-screen navigation buttons, and a home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The review unit that we got was in silver and white colour, one that oozes style.

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The MediaPad M3 gets an 8.4-inch 2K display, which I loved for my binge-watching sessions for videos.

The rear camera lens is placed on the top left and Huawei branding takes center position on the back cover. On the front, there are thin bezels on the sides, a front camera on the top and volume and power keys on the right panel. I wouldn’t want to buy a back cover for Mediapad M3 solely to flaunt how good this device looks, though it is necessary for protection against damage.

So what’s good?

The MediaPad M3 gets an 8.4-inch 2K display, which I loved for my binge-watching sessions for videos. The screen is an absolute delight to look as it reproduces vibrant colours. The viewing angles are great, in dimly-lit spaces as well as bright indoors. But the bigger display means, this is also a heavy device. The good thing is, MediaPad M3 isn’t slippery even without a back cover.

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The tablet runs Huawei’s own Kirin 950 processor and is backed by a 5,100 mAh battery.

Huawei has brought on-board Harman Kardon for sound technology in MediaPad M3, and this is one of the best I’ve come across in any device in my limited experience. The speakers are pretty loud and reproduce clear sound even at the highest volume. The fact that they’re not placed at the rear panel is a good thing, as the sound doesn’t get muffled.

The fingerprint scanner is incredibly fast, one that unlocks the device almost instantaneously. I also liked UI of the Camera app, as all it takes to open camera settings is a right swipe, left swipe will take you to the Modes menu. Modes include Beauty, Time-lapse, All-focus, Pro photo and something called the Good food. The Good food mode lets you take ‘appealing’ close-up shots of your food.

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MediaPad M3 looks absolutely stunning with aluminium body, chamfered edges, dual stereo speakers on top as well as bottom.

Huawei MediaPad M3 is a top-notch device when it comes to performance. It handles multi-tasking like an absolute pro, without any visible lags or crashes. Opening multiple tabs and transitioning between them isn’t an issue either. I used MediaPad M3 mostly for watching videos, browsing through social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc and surfing the Internet. However, it starts to get hot within 5 minutes of playing graphics-heavy games like Asphalt 8 on it.

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Huawei has brought on-board Harman Kardon for sound technology in MediaPad M3, and this is one of the best I’ve come across in any device in my limited experience.

The battery on the device easily lasts for two days on heavy usage. In my case, I watched videos for for 4-5 hours straight, browsed Internet and social media sites with apps running in the background as well as played games in between and the 5,100 mAh battery refused to die. It takes about 3 hours for MediaPad M3 to get fully charged, which is okay.

What’s not good?

One thing is for sure – the device isn’t meant for calling purposes, even though it comes with a SIM card holder. The size plus weight of this tablet makes it extremely difficult to hold it against your ear even for a minute, forget long calling sessions. However, the device scores when it comes to video-calling.

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Camera sample from Huawei MediaPad M3. (Image resized for web)
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Camera sample from Huawei MediaPad M3. (Image resized for web)

Huawei could have definitely done a better job with both rear and front camera. I wasn’t quite impressed with the results as the pictures that I got were of mediocre quality and low-light shots appeared grainy. The details are missing, but then this is a tablet, so not too many people will make this their primary camera. But for Skype, video-calls, the lack of a sharp front camera is disappointing.

Verdict

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Huawei MediaPad M3 is a premium device, one where the price tag seems reasonable, if you go by the eBay listing. Huawei will bring the device to India, and the pricing should be closer to this range.With the MediaPad M3, you have solid device for media consumption; it is fast, packs a stunning display and has great sound output. Frankly for most regular users tablets have become entertainment consumption devices, and the Huawei MediaPad M3 delivers very well on that front.