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Hands on: Huawei MediaPad M1

updated 02:58 am EST, Wed February 26, 2014

Large 8-inch display, LTE in mid-range Huawei tablet

Huawei is using Mobile World Congress to demonstrate more than just smartphones, such as the Ascend G6 4G, by also announcing the launch of the MediaPad M1. The eight-inch tablet, which can be used to make phone calls like others in the MediaPad range, is a mid-ranged device that the company hopes will sell thanks to its LTE connectivity. Electronista spent some time with the tablet, and found it to be a little underwhelming.

At first glance, some people may mistake the MediaPad M1 as a bigger version of the HTC One, thanks to the BoomSound-alike speaker grills above and below the main display, and the 7.9mm thickness, though they will soon change their minds once they spend more time with the device. The eight-inch display is a disappointingly-low 1280x800 IPS model, and suffers from angle issues that are only exacerbated by the harsh lighting at the trade show.

Huawei MediaPad M1
Huawei MediaPad M1

Onboard, it offers the usual complement of tablet options, including Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and GPS, on top of its LTE and phone-calling capabilities. Running on Android 4.2, it seemed to slow down at inopportune moments, even with its quad-core 1.6GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, while Huawei's Emotion UI 2.0 continues to offer confusing design options, such as using the home screen to store all icons instead of using an app menu.

Despite the slow-downs when using apps, the rear five-megapixel camera and the front-facing one-megapixel version both perform decently when taking pictures. The tablet also has to be praised for its 4800mAh battery, which is claimed to provide up to eight hours of video playback.

The MediaPad M1 is a difficult device to recommend, overall. While the eight-inch display may be attractive, along with its styling, the rest of the device seems to let down its impressive veneer.

Huawei is shipping the MediaPad in the first quarter to areas of Europe, Russia, the Middle East, China, Japan, Asia Pacific, Australia, and Latin America. It has yet to issue a price for the tablet.

by MacNN Staff



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