Huawei’s offerings over the past few years have nothing but extraordinary. They’ve arguably made the best electronic devices apart from Apple. Although known for their phones, their tablets are something else.
The Huawei Mate series has been consistently shipping high quality devices since 2013 and with the Matepad Pro, they’ve outdone themselves. But it does lack the Google experience which is a must and we’ll talk about how it affects the experience.
If you are considering the Matepad Pro in Singapore, then here are a few things you need to look at.
The first thing you notice about the Matepad Pro is how similar it looks to the iPad. It’s a pretty good looking device with ample screen, real estate. It has a 10.8-inch screen with thin bezels on the side and it’s mostly screen.
The body is made of a solid matte aluminum shell that feels sturdy and also reduces fingerprint marks. It weighs about 460 grams which is pretty decent for a tablet.
Huawei Matepad Pro Display
It has an AMOLED screen with 2560 X 1600 pixels. It has true to life colours and it really is a solid viewing experience, when you are gaming or watching content.
The refresh rate is not the best at 60Hz. But it’s something one can get used to.
The front display also has a 8-megapixel punch hole camera, which is obviously not meant for high quality pictures, but just to have an interface for the video calls. The back camera is a 13-megapixel f1.8 lens camera.
There is no fingerprint sensor, but the camera doubles up as a facial recognition tool.
The Matepad is supposed to be an entertainment device. A bit of browsing and watching a lot of content.
It’s packed with Harman Kardon speakers for a strong sound experience. This can replace your laptop as an entertainment device. One downside is the lack of a 3.5mm jack, but they do have a USB-C to 3.5mm jack converter which is awesome!
The Matepad Pro has a Kirin 990 Chipset which is a common chipset used across other Huawei products, including smartphones.
This is a top chipset meant for speedy multi-tasking and for intense media consumption. It comes packed with 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage. There is an option to expand the memory with Huawei’s NM card to 512GB, in total.
The Matepad Pro works seamlessly with a detachable magnetic keyboard cover. Huawei hopes that it becomes a temporary laptop replacement.
It also has a stylus pen called the M-Pencil. This is perfect for doodling, note taking, designing and much more. The creatives will truly love this experience. It has the handwriting recognition feature, which picks up the words when you write it.
There are different pressure levels for different strokes. It’s magnetically connected to the device and that’s how it’s charged as well.
Huawei has made it quite easy to seamlessly sync between a Huawei smartphone and the MatePad Pro. This is an advantage for most Huawei users. Here’s where this feature comes handy
- Seamless photo and file transfer by dragging and dropping (This is similar to Airdrop)
- Add photo to a document without having to transfer the file, which makes it a breeze
Huawei Matepad Pro Battery
The battery on the Matepad Pro is a massive 7250 mAh battery. You can wirelessly charge another device with the reverse charging feature, which is pretty awesome, especially when you have a phone that loses juice quickly.
But, we need to address the elephant in the room. The Matepad Pro is a Huawei device and we know Google’s services are suspended on Huawei’s devices. So how does this affect the experience?
It’s pretty drastic.
There are major apps missing such as Facebook, Instagram and other social media apps. There are also glaring omissions such as Netflix and Amazon. But the local Asian apps such as TVB, Viu can be accessed.
Huawei’s very own AppGallery is the answer to Google’s Playstore. Huawei has been investing heavily into the AppGallery.
Other app stores such as Amazon’s app store, APK Pure can be used to access select apps. Gmail can be accessed via the Email tool provided in the Matepad Pro.
The AppGallery has added new apps and many essential apps like banking apps are available, but Grab is unavailable.
There are workarounds for you to get the complete Google experience, but it can be a hassle for the average user.
If you are a Gsuite user, this tablet is a big no no, because it just doesn’t work and you will have issues accessing it from the browser.
Even if you are fine with the Google workarounds, there is something bigger missing and that’s the lack of a 4G version. You can use it only as a Wifi version, which restricts its use case.
A lot of people do enjoy having their tablet double up as a calling device as well, which is not the case with the Matepad Pro.
The Matepad Pro is a solid device. It has a great built, good display, powerful chipset, great OS. Its downsides are its cameras, which are okay, but not great. The battery life on a lot of tests lasted only around 7 hours which is a tad less for a tablet of this caliber.
The biggest downsides of course are the lack of Google’s services and apps and also the lack of a 4G version which is a big missing piece.
For the price point of around $850+, it’s by no means cheap and the competition has a lot more to offer in terms of the features and the price point. The Samsung S5E is cheaper by $50, but comes with a 4G option and all the other features.
The S6 on the other hand is a bit more expensive, but does come with all the features that one should expect from a tablet at this price point.
The Huawei MatePad Pro is an awesome device, but the missing pieces really make it hard to make this tablet a top contender as I can get much more well rounded tablets for cheaper!