|Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0 Review: Entertainment Amplified|
The tablet industry is not as mainstream just like years ago when compared to smartphones, especially when the phablet era emerge, bridging the gap between two devices. But, it does not mean that it is already out of the equation, there are still tons of people that finds the comfort of big screen for watching movies, playing games and doing work while on the go. These consumers are the main target of the Huawei Mediapad M2 8.0, a sleek 8-inch tablet with phone functionality.
We first met the Huawei Media M2 8.0 with model number M2-801L during the opening of Huawei's concept store in Mall of Asia. Back then, we were impressed with its appearance and even though few months have already passed, our feeling remains the same after seeing it again. It really has a pretty impressive and sturdy build quality, not to mention premium in every touch too! By the way, it measures 214.8mm x 124mm x 7.8mm and weighs 330 grams.
If there is one thing we hope that it could improve in terms of design, that is the large bezels around the screen. Speaking of which, the 8-inch display has 1920x1200 resolution or WUXGA for the geeks out there, which translates to about 283 pixels per inch. In person, the display offers great color accuracy, right amount of brightness and good viewing angles, however, it tends to be a little reflective when used under direct sunlight. Users can also adjust color temperature, font size, font style and enable eyesight protection.
Below the screen, you will find the HUAWEI marking in all caps, while above the display inclined towards the right side are the hidden sensor, notification light and the secondary. Looking at its back, the main camera and its accompanying LED flash are both located at the upper left corner, while the word Huawei and its logo occupy the middle portion.
On the left side, there is nothing on it, the right side is home the power button, volume keys as well as the micro SD slot and micro SIM slot hidden underneath the plastic lid.
Meanwhile, the top is home for the 3.5mm headphone jack, loudspeaker grill and the micro USB port. There is also another loudspeaker located at the bottom together with the microphone pin hole.
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The Huawei M2-801L runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with custom skin on top called Emotion UI 3.1. It has no app drawer, all apps are placed in the home screen, folders are used in order to organize them. Overall, the interface is very similar to that of other Huawei or Honor devices. If you want to learn more about the UI, you can read our Huawei 4X Review.
The third-party applications pre-installed are very few, there are a total of only four, namely the WPS Office, Clean Master, Puzzle Pets and Bubble Bash 3, and these apps are even removable, allowing users to customize the device by themselves. This is a plus point for the MediaPad M2, as most users hate bloatwares.
One of the enhancements that EM UI 3.1 brings to the users is the so-called Smart Assistance, as the name suggests, it is comprised of several functions that can be activated to better assist the user. Some of these functions are Voice Wake Up, wherein you can unlock and make several actions like answering a call through voice commands, and Dual Windows, which allows users to operate two apps and use them at the same time.
The MediaPad M2 8.0 is powered by Huawei's own Hisilicon Kirin 930, it is an octa core processor composed of four Cortex-A53 CPU cores clocked at 2GHz each and another four Cortex-A53 CPU cores with lower frequency of 1.5Ghz each. This particular chipset uses ARM Mali-T628MP4 as its graphics processing unit. The variant that we have for this review has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of on board storage.
In terms of benchmark scores, it is pretty much powerful, beating most, if not all octa core devices with the same CPU architecture with a wide margin, most probably because of the higher clock speed. For instance, the Cherry Mobile Flare Selfie only scored 36K and 38K in Antutu v5.6 and v6 respectively, while this tablet got a whopping 49K on both versions. The other results are 4546 in PC Mark, 13656 in Quadrant, 57.8fps in NenaMark2, 2807, 1390 and 2062 in Vellamo Browser, Metal, and Multicore respectively.
|Sample Game - Overkill 3|
It is a native performer, not just good because of its price point, but because it really performs well in all aspects. It offers great user-experience in terms of navigating and operating between multiple apps, the transitions are smooth and almost, if not lag-free. Even playing resources-hungry games that are known culprits to slow down smartphones like Overkill 3, Modern Combat 5 and Mortal Kombat X, it is still consistent with almost no noticeable hiccups.
As mentioned above, it has dual speakers, and with the help from harman/kardon plus two Smart Power Amplifiers and SWS 2.0, it provides audio excellence with wider and surround sound field. Combine this with the great display, the Media M2 8.0 gives users an immersive experience when listening to musics, playing games or watching movies.
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As we said earlier, the interface is based on Emotion UI, it is consistent all throughout the whole UI, and the camera interface is no exception. In order to switch between Beauty, Photo, Video and Time-Lapse, users need to swipe the screen left to right or right to left. The shutter button is placed at the bottom flanked by recent item on the left and built-in filters on the right. Above the UI, are the on-screen buttons for enabling the flash, switching between front and back camera, and camera settings.
|Day Shot 1|
The main camera has an 8MP resolution, auto focus capability and accompanied by an LED flash. In good lighting conditions, the outputs are more than acceptable, as it offers photos with plenty of details and good color reproduction with the right balance between sharpness and saturation. However, light sensitivity and dynamic range happen to be inaccurate at times, so we suggest to take several shots at different intervals to achieve the best possible outcome. Meanwhile, night photography or in less than ideal lighting situations, it struggles a bit, with outcome that are most of the times grainy due to digital noise, and triggering the flash only helps a little. Overall, it is quite capable, though it won't offer users overwhelming performance.
It has a single SIM slot, which can be used both for phone functionality and mobile data connection through LTE (FDD and TDD). If you do not have any data plan, you can rely on its IEEE 802.11ac dual band (2.4/5GHZ) WiFi radio. Other connectivity features include Bluetooth v4.0, CTIA-compliant 3.5mm audio jack, OTG-capable micro USB port and multi-screen (wireless display).
The Media Pad M2 has a huge 4,800mAh battery underneath its skin, with SIM card inserted, about 3 minutes of calls, a few hours of web browsing and mostly on standby, it lasted for more than 3 days with still around 24% capacity left. Meanwhile, in PC Mark battery test, it managed to last more than 10 hours, which is above average and can be considered as impressive considering it has an 8-inch FHD display.
The Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0 may not be a high-end device by price, but it is certainly at the top of the line in terms of performance, in fact, it outdone most of its expensive competitors. But, it is not just about the powerful internals, its externals are equally impressive too, from the great display to the well-built body to the nice looking and premium appearance, it is definitely a good catch.
Solid build quality and premium looking
Vibrant and sharp display
Nice sound stage
Long battery life
Great overall performance
Phone functionality with LTE connectivity
Mediocre low-light camera performance
Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0 Specifications:
- GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
- 3G: 850/900/1900/2100MHz
- LTE-FDD: B1/3/7/8/20
- LTE-TDD: B38/40
- Single micro SIM
- 8-inch IPS capacitive WUXGA (1920 x1200) touchscreen display
- Dimensions: 214.8mm x 124mm x 7.8mm
- Weight: 330 grams
- Android 5.1 Lollipop with EMUI 3.1
- 2GHz quad core 64-bit Cortex-A53 CPU + 1.5GHz quad core 64-bit Cortex-A53 CPU, Mali-T628MP4 GPU, Hisilicon Kirin 930 chipset
- 3GB of RAM
- 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 128GB via a micro SD card
- 8MP auto focus main camera with LED flash
- 2MP fixed focus secondary camera
- Multimedia player
- Harman/Kardon dual speakers
- 3.5mm audio jack
- GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Micro USB 2.0 with OTG
- Bluetooth v4.0
- Sensors: accelerometer, proximity, light
- Battery: 4800mAh Li-Po, non-removable
- Price: Php14,990