Huawei has been a technological giant in the mobile phone industry, so much so that they have to be axed from using Google services to keep them in check. This has hit Huawei on all counts regarding their latest phones and has somewhat crippled them for the time being. But their phones aren’t the only ones that were affected. Their tablet devices have been running on Android as well and they were not spared from the wrath of the US. Will this stifle their tablet line up, rendering them useless? Or will they bounce back with a device that is as good, if not better? Today we will be checking out Huawei Matepad Pro (2020) and see where it stands. We choose a device with 6GB Ram and a 128GB Storage.
Huawei Matepad Pro box comes with the Tablet, along with a USB-C to USB-C cable and a wall plug adapter. The device itself has a 10.8 Inch Display, with a resolution of 2560 X 1600 (16:10 aspect ratio). The device has a metallic body that is great to hold and feel in your hand. There is also an option to get accessories, which are the Smart Magnetic Keyboard and the Huawei M-Pencil. These accessories are connected to the device via Bluetooth and proximity pairing, which means you don’t have to manually connect, just attach these accessories to the device voila, it’s paired.
Let’s talk more about the accessories before we move to the actual device.
The keyboard acts as a tablet cover with a nice leather-like material on the outside, which is nice to touch and feels premium. While the keyboard is attached magnetically to the device, it can be held up to be a device stand while the keyboard portion is fitted nicely to be typed on. The keyboard has a 1.3mm key travel, which makes it a joy to use. The M-Pencil is another welcome addition to the accessories, used for drawing and taking notes on your device. Responsiveness is the greatest aspect using the M-Pencil, while I was scribbling on the device, every single motion was tracked and felt really smooth on the device surface.
Coming back to the device, the Matepad Pro is packed with Kirin 990 CPU, which is one of the fastest mobile CPUs out there and it shows. Opening of apps, browsers, files are fast, responsive with minimal delays. When it comes to gaming, the device felt great too. We tried some of the more demanding games like Fortnite and it ran a smooth 30fps at the highest quality with close to zero stutter, giving a smooth-enough gaming experience, especially when you are playing it on a display as beautiful as this.
Display & Audio
Speaking of display, at 2560×1600 pixel resolution on a 10.8 inch screen, the display looks sharp and crisp. This is the same resolution you get from the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro 2020 model but in a smaller screen. The screen has a typical brightness of 540nits, which is great for consuming HDR content. But having a great display is nothing if the audio is bad.
MatePad Pro Audio is tuned by Harmen Kardon, which explains why their audio sounds amazing. Everything from shows to ambient music sounded crisp, clear and loud. To hear it for yourself, check out our video review on YouTube, where we recorded full audio samples!
Despite Huawei’s reputation for having powerful cameras on mobiles, the MatePad Pro fell short of its expectations. The camera isn’t that bad, but it isn’t amazing. At 13 Megapixels for rear camera and 8 Megapixels for front, it gets the job done if you need to take pictures for work. But for the budding photographer enthusiasts, you are better off looking somewhere else. One saving grace for the camera is the AI. The AI post-processing is one to die for. It takes an average-looking photo and turns up the colour vibrancy and contrast, creating beautiful shots every single time, as long as you don’t zoom.
This is the part where it saddens me the most! The hardware side of the device was amazing while the software side couldn’t keep up. First and foremost, without Google services on the device, you are relegated to using the Huawei App Gallery and the Petal Search Function. The App Gallery still has a very limited number of apps on it, so using the Petal Search is a better option. Petal Search allows you to key in whatever app that you are looking for. It will then scour the internet to find the .apk which you can download and install directly on your device. A very useful function, and easy to use. Majority of the apps that you want are available to download. The downside comes if the app requires an update via the Google Play store – which are mostly the games to be honest, so non-gamers experience will not be affected as much.
Without Google Services,you are unable to use native Youtube or Google Drive apps. This can be easily overcome by using the browser and treating your device like a laptop. Personally, it did not affect me much, but for some others who prefer native app will need to compromise.
Despite that, there are some in-built apps that can help with writing and taking notes, notably the Nebo app, where you can use the M-Pencil to take down notes and instantly become text.
Overall, Huawei MatePad Pro is an amazing device. The hardware is beautifully crafted, made with premium material. The accessories are a must-get as they elevate the tablet to a level that is much better than it is. I would recommend this device if only you are able to live with the limited OS capabilities and the hoops that you have to jump through with it to get Google services on your phone .
Buy Huawei Matepad Pro here
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