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The Android pill market is on life assist, however there are nonetheless just a few holdouts that refuse to wave the white flag. One of the manufacturers on the forefront of the cost is Huawei, which has dominated the mid- and entry-level tiers with reasonably priced tablets, whereas additionally sometimes testing the waters with a higher-spec slate.

With the MatePad Pro, Huawei is taking the flagship pill house severely. Is the MatePad Pro the iPad Pro killer that Android followers have been ready for?

This is Android Authority’s Huawei MatePad Pro overview.

About this overview: I examined the Huawei MatePad Pro for a number of weeks. Huawei equipped the pill, M-Pencil, and keyboard case to Android Authority for the overview. The gadget shipped working EMUI 10.zero.1 primarily based on Android 10, with the December 1 Android safety patch.

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Huawei MatePad Pro overview: The huge image

huawei matepad pro review m pencil logo

While Huawei has dabbled with high-end tablets with its M collection, the MatePad Pro is the primary to bear the “Mate” model. This is a agency assertion of intent because the Shenzhen agency historically reserves the moniker for its elite merchandise, such because the Mate smartphone collection and MateE-book laptop computer line. In addition to a Wi-Fi-only MatePad Pro mannequin, Huawei additionally affords an LTE variant and a 5G mannequin.

With only a few rivals within the Android house, and Chrome OS tablets barely getting out of first gear, the MatePad Pro’s solely actual competitors from throughout the Android world is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 — among the finest Android tablets so far.

Of course, the true goal to beat is Apple. The perennial market chief has an iron grip on the premium pill market and Huawei faces an uphill battle if it desires to fully usurp the Cupertino large’s ever-popular iPad Pro collection — particularly with the US commerce ban proscribing its entry to Google Mobile Services.

The Huawei MatePad Pro value begins from £499 within the UK and €549 in Europe (~$593). It will go on sale by way of Huawei’s Online Store from May Eight.

How is the design?

huawei matepad pro review rear

Huawei went all out with the design of the MatePad Pro and whereas it doesn’t stray too removed from the large slab of steel with a giant display blueprint, there are just a few tweaks right here that separate it from the pack.

The MatePad Pro is available in 4 totally different colours. The Forest Green and Orange colorways include a vegan leather-based again, whereas the Midnight Grey (examined) and Pearl White fashions go for a fiberglass chassis paired with an aluminum body.

Whichever you go for, the MatePad Pro seems and looks like a premium pill. It’s 10g lighter than the 2020 iPad Pro (11-inch) and the burden distribution is spot on.

The 10.Eight-inch show adopts the punch-hole selfie digital camera design discovered on most of 2020’s prime smartphones, together with Huawei’s personal P40 collection.

The punch-hole show helps accommodate the pill’s industry-leading 90% screen-to-body ratio, which simply beats out the iPad Pro (~82.9%) and Tab S6 (~82.5%). I discovered the digital camera gap was sufficiently small to go unnoticed throughout on a regular basis use.

The MatePad Pro seems and looks like a premium pill.

Otherwise, the LCD QHD panel (2,560 x 1,600) is colourful and will get loads shiny. It can’t match the 120Hz refresh price discovered on the iPad Pro or the vibrancy of Samsung’s AMOLED panels, however I didn’t have any complaints total.

The solely design downside I’ve is the minimal variety of safety choices. With no fingerprint sensor, you’re left with a conventional password or PIN, in addition to face unlock, although that is software-based.

What’s efficiency like?

The MatePad Pro is powered by Huawei’s customized Kirin 990 processor, full with a twin NPU and 6GB RAM as commonplace (8GB for the 5G fashions). We already know Huawei’s prime SoC is a succesful performer and that holds true for the MatePad Pro. Animations are clean, RAM administration is spectacular, and it handles 3D gaming with no hiccups.

Read extra: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 vs Kirin 990 vs Exynos 990: How do they examine?

On the storage entrance, the bottom Wi-Fi mannequin comes with 128GB storage which matches the iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S6. If you need extra reminiscence there’s a 256GB variant, or you may add an additional 256GB by way of an expandable storage slot. Unfortunately, you’ll want to purchase considered one of Huawei’s proprietary (and pretty expensive) Nano Memory playing cards as a substitute of an everyday MicroSD card.

huawei matepad pro review display

One of the very best issues going for the MatePad Pro is battery life. Huawei squeezed an enormous 7,250mAh cell into its flagship pill. The tightly-optimized energy administration of the twin NPU and the much less power-hungry LCD show mix to ship unbelievable endurance. I managed to squeeze two days out of it underneath heavy use. Even when stress testing the pill with a video on loop at medium brightness, it took simply over 14 hours earlier than lastly hitting zero.

The MatePad Pro is a battery life champion that retains going and going and going.

Getting again to 100% can be a breeze with assist for as much as 40W quick charging, although you solely get a 20W charger within the field. The MatePad Pro additionally helps 7.5W reverse charging — a primary for a pill — for shortly juicing up your Huawei smartphone or another equipment with wi-fi charging.

huawei matepad pro review ports

As with the highest iPad and Samsung tablets, you gained’t discover a headphone jack on the MatePad Pro, however you do get a quad-channel stereo speaker setup tuned by Harman Kardon. As spectacular as that sounds on paper, I discovered that whereas the audio system can get extremely loud, the sound was flat and muddy irrespective of the amount stage.

In an odd case for cell images pioneers Huawei, the MatePad Pro opts for a single 13MP lens. It’s not horrible, nevertheless it tends to oversaturate colours and pictures lack element.

The selfie digital camera fares higher when it comes to high quality, however as a result of the punch-hole is off-center it’s extremely awkward to take a shot face-on or maintain your feed central on a video name irrespective of the display orientation.

What else does the Huawei MatePad Pro do?

Like most main tablets, the Huawei MatePad Pro could be paired with a keyboard case and stylus for higher productiveness — each bought individually.

I’ll be blunt: the Smart Magnetic Keyboard case isn’t nice. It’s comparable in design to Apple’s folio keyboard covers in that it’s a magnetic cowl with two viewing angles and no trackpad.

Unfortunately, the furthest again you may place the show is ~60 levels, which remains to be fairly an upright angle for a display and keyboard, particularly should you’re tall. There’s additionally an excessive amount of house between the keys and the journey is kind of shallow.

Related: Huawei Mate XS overview: Know when to carry ’em and when to fold ’em

The M-Pencil is a special story totally. The Bluetooth stylus is correct and comfy to carry, although just like the keyboard — and in contrast to the Galaxy Tab S6’s included S Pen — it’s an non-compulsory additional. There’s no storage for the M-Pencil within the pill or the duvet, nevertheless it does join magnetically to the highest of the pill the place it may be recharged.

The remainder of the MatePad Pro’s methods come by way of Huawei’s EMUI software program on prime of Android 10. EMUI 10 is the very best iteration of the Android pores and skin but and Huawei has baked in some useful options that transition over from its smartphones and laptops.

huawei matepad pro review huawei share

As effectively as multi-window assist for as much as two apps and a floating third window and App Multiplier (which may double up one app into two home windows so you may carry out two capabilities without delay), the MatePad Pro additionally helps Huawei Share. For these with Huawei telephones working EMUI 10, this allows you to mirror your smartphone’s display on the pill for sharing content material, dragging and dropping recordsdata, and extra.

It’s a novel function that expands on different continuum-style performance between gadgets. It additionally makes the MatePad Pro a sweeter prospect for customers already dedicated to Huawei’s hardware and software program ecosystem.

What is the app expertise like on the Huawei MatePad Pro?

huawei matepad pro review app store

Let’s speak in regards to the elephant within the room: the dearth of Google apps, the Play Store, and Google Mobile Services because of the continued US commerce ban.

We’ve lined the state of affairs at size right here at Android Authority, however the MatePad Pro is a singular case. Huawei’s smartphones can, to some extent, survive with out GMS assist because the cameras and the precise cellphone a part of its telephones are virtually totally unaffected. That’s not the case with tablets, that are outlined by their productiveness and leisure suites. For these issues, you want apps.

Even with out the Play Store, the MatePad Pro can run loads of apps. You simply need to hunt them down first.

So, can you utilize the Huawei MatePad Pro like another pill for watching motion pictures, writing paperwork, taking part in video games, and extra, even with out Google’s backing? The trustworthy reply is sure, however solely with some gargantuan caveats.

Your start line for any apps past the preloaded fundamentals is the Huawei App Gallery. Check out our App Gallery overview for a full rundown of its strengths and shortcomings, however the essential takeaway is that it doesn’t host an enormous variety of the most well-liked apps you’ll discover on the Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

Installing a third-party app retailer like APKPure or the Amazon App Store helps fill in some blanks, although it’s removed from an ideal resolution. As an instance, whereas the Amazon-owned Twitch is available from its personal app retailer and appeared to work simply wonderful in my testing, I used to be all the time greeted with a message on startup warning me that it gained’t run with out Google Play providers. That will get previous.

The different workaround is Huawei’s Phone Clone app which copies non-App Gallery apps over out of your cellphone. You can’t get each app this fashion, however I managed to switch over the overwhelming majority of apps and video games from my Pixel four XL with none difficulty. The draw back to this methodology is the dearth of automated updates and the truth that whereas many apps could be put in, there are various which nonetheless require components of Google’s framework to function at full performance — or to work in any respect. To various levels, this impacts any app or sport that makes use of Firebase for notifications, Google Drive for backups, Google Location Services for location monitoring, Widevine DRM for motion pictures, and the SafetyNet API.

huawei matepad pro review disney plus

Power customers who’re savvy and keen sufficient to make use of these workarounds will discover that it’s not all doom and gloom. During my testing I managed to put in and run Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, BBC iPlayer, in addition to a bunch of video games, and even the Xbox Game Streaming app. Likewise, important productiveness apps like Microsoft Office, Slack, Asana, and Zoom all ran wonderful after downloading them by third-party sources or Phone Clone.

There are, nonetheless, some insurmountable hurdles that will stop me from utilizing this as my major pill or laptop computer substitute. On the media facet, Netflix solely works if you will discover an APK for an older model of the app and even then will solely stream at a most 720p decision. Unlike Netflix, which gained’t work in any respect in Huawei’s browser, Chrome (which does principally work in any other case), or another third-party browser I examined as a result of aforementioned lack of Widevine certification, YouTube runs completely wonderful in a browser. However, with out the YouTube app, I couldn’t solid to my Chromecast or Nvidia Shield TV.

The MatePad Pro merely cannot match the app availability of different top-tier tablets.

The ultimate, way more essential omission I confronted was G Suite incompatibility. Android Authority, like a large variety of different companies, makes use of G Suite for group, communication, analytics, and way more. The overwhelming majority of that performance is totally unusable on the MatePad Pro.

Is it potential to get pleasure from utilizing a pill with out Google providers? Absolutely, however you’ll must be ready to surrender a while and potential performance to get to that time.

Huawei MatePad Pro: Specs

  Huawei MatePad Pro
Display 10.Eight-inch IPS LCD
2560 × 1600
280ppi
90% screen-to-body ratio
DCI-P3
Processor Kirin 990
RAM 6/8GB
Storage 128/256GB
UFS three.zero
Battery 7,250mAh
40W quick charging
15W wi-fi charging
7.5W reverse wi-fi charging
Cameras Rear:
13MP, f/1.Eight aperture, PDAF

Front:
8MP, f2.zero aperture

Security Face unlock (software-based)
No fingerprint sensor
Connections Nano Memory card slot (as much as 256GB)
Nano SIM card slot (LTE/5G mannequin solely)
USB-C port
Networking TD-LTE/ LTE FDD/TD-SCDMA/WCDMA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA/CDMA2000/CDMA1X/EDGE/GPRS
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.four & 5GHz
Bluetooth 5.1
Operating System Android 10
EMUI 10
Audio Four audio system
Tuned by Harman Kardon
No headphone jack
Dimensions and Weight 246 x 159 x 7.2mm
460g
Colors Midnight Grey, Pearl White, Forest Green, Orange
Accessories M-Pencil (Not included)
Smart Magnetic Keyboard case (Not included)

Huawei MatePad Pro overview: Should you purchase it?

  • Huawei MatePad Pro (Wi-Fi solely)
    • 6GB RAM + 128GB storage — €549
    • 8GB RAM + 256GB storage — €649
    • Vegan Leather Edition with M-Pencil, 8GB RAM + 256GB storage — €749
  • Huawei MatePad Pro (LTE)
    • 6GB RAM + 128GB storage — €599
    • 8GB RAM + 256GB storage — €699
  • Huawei MatePad Pro (5G)
    • 8GB RAM + 256GB storage — €799
    • 8GB RAM + 512GB storage — €949

The Huawei MatePad Pro undercuts the Galaxy Tab S6 by €150 and the iPad Pro by a whopping €350. In the UK, Huawei is providing a promotional deal for the bottom Wi-Fi mannequin that comes with the M-Pencil and keyboard cowl all for £499.

In odd circumstances, this sort of pricing would put it in prime place because the reasonably priced flagship pill of selection. These are usually not odd circumstances, nonetheless.

While I did encounter some extra normal gripes such because the mediocre audio, common cameras, and the dearth of a terrific official keyboard cowl, as an entire hardware bundle the MatePad Pro is totally well worth the £499 asking value.

huawei matepad pro review hero

Hardware isn’t every part although, and whereas Huawei’s underlying software program bundle is sound, it’s finally hobbled by the dearth of Google providers and the knock-on impact that has on app availability and compatibility.

It’s a lottery whether or not or not an app you frequently use on different Android and even iOS gadgets shall be purposeful on the MatePad Pro. That’s not a consideration you must make with another top-tier pill.

If the app state of affairs is ever resolved, the MatePad Pro shall be a no brainer.

You could possibly dwell with out Google’s apps like Gmail, YouTube, and Drive, nevertheless it’s very tough to wholeheartedly advocate a pill that may solely run Netflix in potato high quality.

If the US ban is ever reversed, the MatePad Pro shall be a no brainer. Until then, anybody who isn’t already invested within the Huawei ecosystem ought to suppose lengthy and arduous on the execs and cons earlier than parting with their money.

Huawei MatePad Pro Huawei MatePad Pro

The Huawei MatePad Pro is provided with 10.Eight-inch FullView Display and Kirin 990 flagship chipset.


That’s it for our MatePad Pro overview. Are you taken by Huawei’s prime pill? Let us know within the feedback.

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