Tablets have been declining in popularity for the past couple years, and with it came a decline in tablet quality. However, every so often, someone releases a decent tablet, with a stylish design and powerful hardware with a nice price. The Huawei Mediapad M3 is one of these tablets.
|Size||215.5 x 124.2 x 7.3 (mm)|
|Display||8.4" WQXGA IPS LCD (2560 x 1600), 359 ppi|
|CPU||Hisilicon Kirin 950 octa-core|
|Operating system||Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Emotion UI 4.1|
|Memory||32, 64 GB (expandable up to 128 GB via microSD); RAM: 4 GB|
|Sensors||Ambient light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, hall effect sensor, fingerprint sensor|
|Camera||8 MP autofocus rear, 8 MP fixed focus front|
|Audio||Dual stereo speakers|
|Ports||3.5 mm jack, microSD, microUSB, nano-SIM|
|Battery||5100 mAh (non-removable)|
|In the box||Tablet, charger, microUSB charging/data cable, quick start guide, screen protector, warranty card|
The Huawei Mediapad M3 packs a very capable Kirin 950 processor, along with 4GB of RAM. There’s no lag when using this tablet, whether for daily browsing tasks or playing intensive games. Due to the M3 having a Kirin processor, it has a Mali-T880 GPU, which is quite decent but not on the level of Qualcomm’s Adreno. Unfortunately, gameplay is limited to 30 fps or lower.
On AnTuTu, the M3 snags a score of 90390, and on Geekbench it gets 1751 on single core and 4755 on multi-core.
There’s also an LTE-enabled SIM slot in the M3, but not much else in the way of hardware, which is unsurprising: this is a tablet, after all.
The Mediapad M3 strikes a slight resemblance to the Huawei Nexus 6P. Like the 6P, this tablet has a camera visor, but one that’s not as obvious. The fingerprint sensor on the M3 is going to be quite confusing for new users: a single tap acts as a back button, holding goes to home, swiping left or right brings you recent tasks and sliding up goes to Huawei’s voice assistant HiVoice.
For people who don’t want to get through this learning curve, there are options to enable on-screen buttons in the Settings app.
The chamfered edges do make the M3 easier to hold, but the overall design is bland, so if you’re looking for something flashy, the Huawei Mediapad M3 is not the right one.
Battery, Display, and Audio
As its name suggests, the Huawei Mediapad M3 is designed for, well, media, and it certainly lives up to that name. A good combination of speakers, display, and battery life means that it’s a perfect choice for media consumption if that’s what you’re looking for in a tablet.
Huawei partnered with Harman/Kardon to offer a much better speaker experience. The M3 has a dual one-watt speaker system, and it offers an amazing audio experience.
On the display side, this tablet sports an 8.4 inch IPS display with a 2k resolution (2560 x 1600), offering 359 pixels per inch. The M3 has dark blacks and vibrant colors; while it’s not as good as an AMOLED display, it’s quite impressive for an LCD display. Huawei also built in a blue-light filter, improving sleep quality. However, the display doesn’t offer great viewing angles, but you probably won’t be sharing this tablet with too many people, since it’s only 8.4 inches in size.
Of course, none of this matters if the tablet’s battery life is terrible, but luckily, it’s not. The Huawei Mediapad M3 is equipped with a hefty 5100 mAh battery that offers quite a bit of battery life.
With normal usage, the M3 offers around 8 hours of screen on time and 2-3 days of battery life. However, when gaming or playing videos, the battery life does seem to drain faster than you’d like.
The high resolution does contribute to the battery life, and lowering it to 1080p can help add anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half of battery life.
Regardless, it’s sufficient for a movie and some gaming and browsing. There are other tablets out there with longer battery life, but in general, it’s more than acceptable.
The camera on the M3 is pretty middling, even for tablet cameras. Pictures will be lacking in detail, even in bright light, and there’s no flash or stabilization.
If a good tablet camera is your priority, you can look elsewhere, since this one is rather poor.
Two indoor camera samples:
Two outdoor camera samples:
The Huawei Mediapad M3 runs Huawei’s customized EMUI 4.1, which is certainly an improvement over previous versions but not acceptable for many Android users.
EMUI doesn’t have an app drawer, so you’ll probably be swiping back and forth looking for the desired app. EMUI also has the slightly confusing notifications section, which is split into one section for notifications and one for settings. There is some pre-installed bloat, but luckily all of it can be uninstalled.
It does run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is slightly outdated, although it is rumored to receive a Nougat update sometime in the near future.
Overall, if you’re looking for a solid tablet with a good media experience and a nice price, the Huawei Mediapad M3 is for you. The choice pool is small, and it’s an easy recommend for the few people in the market for an Android tablet.
Purchase on Amazon ($299 USD): Amazon
Purchase on Newegg ($299 USD): Newegg