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Dec 04

Huawei MediaPad M3 Review
Huawei MediaPad M3 Review

Huawei’s MediaPad M3 unlocked 4G LTE Android tablet offers features only seen in more expensive versions. This device runs Android Marshmallow 6 with EMUI 4.1, comes with two 8MP cameras, a best-in-class octa-core Kirin CPU, and a huge 5,100 mAh battery. Still want more? The MediaPad M3’s screen has an excellent 2560 x 1600-pixel IPS display.

Disclosure: I am a Huawei International Key Opinion Leader. The tablet was provided at no cost for review. I have not been compensated for the review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Photos are courtesy of Huawei unless otherwise noted.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Unboxing

What’s in The Box:

  • Huawei MediaPad M3 Android Tablet
  • Wall Charger
  • Micro USB Cable
  • H300 Headset
  • SIM Tray Remover Tool
  • Screen Cover
  • Warranty Card

Huawei MediaPad M3 Collage
Huawei MediaPad M3 Collage

Huawei’s release of the MediaPad M3 wowed me with their design and engineering. I have only used smaller and less capable Android tablets and iPad minis before. The company understands what professionals want in a tablet over the basics of an e-reader. The features pros want are a fast octa-core CPU, lots of RAM to run big apps, better than CD quality audio and a beautiful screen.

This unlocked tablet from Huawei can be utilized on multiple GSM carriers, take decent photos and selfies with 8MP cameras, all at a price that costs less than an iPad. The company is currently working to release a new firmware update for EMUI 5 and Android Nougat 7.

Tablet security now includes fingerprint scanners, the same as found on smartphones. Unlock the MediaPad M3 in a tap with its built-in finger scanner on the front, directly below the screen. The fast fingerprint scanner also acts as a solid state home button. Swipe either way on the button to bring up the app switcher window and tap once to go back.

Live Huawei MediaPad M3 Periscope Unboxing from Dubai by @VegasBiLL

As mentioned above, Huawei is nearly ready to release its EMUI 5 and Android Nougat 7 firmware update for the M3. They have been working their way through devices such as the Huawei P9, Huawei Mate 9, Huawei’s Honor 8 and Huawei’s Honor 6X for these big updates.

It is impressive for them to have released multiple devices during a twelve month period and update nearly all of them to the latest and greatest Android software. It demonstrates a strong commitment to their consumer level customers.

The MediaPad M3 feels great in the hands, for how thin and lightweight it is. A layer of glass sits atop a gently curved metal back, which gives it a sculpted feel. The camera on the back is flush with the computer sculpted unibody metal frame. The antennas are located on the top and bottom under plastic inserts, which are blended in with the frame. A micro USB connection port is located on the bottom middle of the device and the wired headphone port is on top.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Features:

  • 8MP Rear-Facing Camera
  • 8MP Front Facing Camera
  • Octa-Core Kirin 950 CPU
  • 4GB RAM / 32GB of ROM
  • 5,100 mAh Battery
  • 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi with 802.11ac
  • 4G LTE Category 4 Cellular Modem
  • Dual Speakers Co-Engineered by Harmon Kardon

For comparison, the iPad Mini does not nearly have as sharp a screen, or does it have Harmon Kardon tuned speakers. The MediaPad M3 felt lightweight enough that even after watching multiple shows, I could use it to surf the web and read emails. Its 8.4” IPS screen at 2560 x 1600 with 359ppi resolution will make watching movies to reading eBooks clear and sharp. Its high-resolution screen brings movies and photos to life in vivid detail.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Front Display
Huawei MediaPad M3 Front Display

The M3 I tested came with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The SIM card tray has a slot for a 128GB micro SD card. SanDisk’s 128GB A1 micro SD is perfect for this phone to capture thousands of images, record 1080p HD video and run high-performance Android apps, if the device supports that feature.

Utilize this tablet for a greater length of time with its 5,100 mAh internal battery. Use the device for more than a day to surf the web over Wi-Fi and to play music. The MediaPad M3 produced a listening experience that I could feel. Couple its audio capabilities with up to 11 hours of HD movie watching, which is great for those who travel extensively.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Headphones
Huawei MediaPad M3 Headphones

Get immersed in fantastic sound quality with Huawei’s SWS 3.0 technology. Using two laterally positioned stereo speakers, the MediaPad M3 delivers a theater-like experience. Designed and co-engineered with audio expert Harman Kardon, the tablet’s sound system accurately recreates each sound. The tablet produced a nice amount of bass while watching action movies.

Converting digital-to-analog signals in the M3 to ensure faithful reproduction of audio is its AK4376 D/A converter, which produces audio quality that far exceeds that of normal CDs. It is like having a Hi-Fi in your pocket. Nearly all of the hardware in the tablet excels at making the user experience memorable, including its two cameras.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Camera
Huawei MediaPad M3 Camera

One 8MP front-facing camera and another one on the back, both shoot sharper photos than what similar tablets of this size can do. The rear camera takes clear photos with auto-focus hardware, while the camera on the front is for portrait shots.

On the front of the Huawei M3, an 8MP camera is ready to capture selfies. Do more megapixels mean better photos? Sometimes yes and no. The M3’s front-facing imaging sensor does take bright selfies, which is always nice.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Back
Huawei MediaPad M3 Back

In addition to its 8MP front-facing camera, Huawei software offers varying levels of smoothing for selfies. Software is important, so the company has engineered the EMUI 4.1 interface software to take full advantage of the eight-core Kirin CPU.

The camera app offers several modes such as monochrome, beauty, HDR, panorama, night shot, light painting, time-lapse, slow-mo, watermark, document scan, audio note and more. The software offers an HDR mode, though it should be automatic.

There are times when a photo needs to be taken quickly. To do this, double-press the volume down key while the screen is locked. Posting 8MP images and HD video to social media requires a fast-wireless connection.

Connecting to GSM carriers around the world is easy with this unlocked 4G LTE tablet from Huawei. The LTE bands that this Android tablet is compatible with are 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 19, 20, 28, 38, 39, 40 and 41. They have engineered some of its best Wi-Fi and 4G LTE technology into the MediaPad M3.

To make accessing the wireless Internet speedy, the M3 comes with category 4 LTE hardware. The maximum speed it can connect at is 150 Mbits down and 50 Mbits up. Rounding out its wireless capabilities, Huawei has also included 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi at 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz and Bluetooth 4.1 with EDR and LE.

Huawei MediaPad M3 Front and Back
Huawei MediaPad M3 Front and Back

With all of the wireless capabilities of the small tablet, Huawei made sure to install a huge battery to drive its high resolution screen. Its 5,100 mAh battery is rated by Huawei in their testing to last for a staggering 11 hours when watching HD movies and 45 hours when listening to music. Set it into a low powered mode and it will reduce the resolution to full HD.

The Huawei MediaPad M3 has been quick, feature packed, and fun to use over my Apple iPad Mini. Its high quality metallic design, with Harmon Kardon speakers, gives it a high impact experience for less than the competitors. Huawei is close to updating its firmware to EMUI 5 and Nougat 7. Capture special moments and selfies with its 8MP cameras. The MediaPad M3 has several advanced features beyond what other small budget tablets include, like a fast fingerprint scanner. It lasts for longer in a low powered mode, and is ready to connect at 4G LTE speeds around the world. The value for $329.99 and design that the M3 tablet provides, makes it is a clear category winner with its rich features, full day performance, and fast worldwide connection.

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