Huawei Me­di­aPad M5 8.4

From €349 (£TBC)

Android Advisor - - Contents -

Tablet launches are few and far be­tween these days, so the Me­di­aPad M5 is some­thing of a rar­ity. It’s the fol­low-up to the Me­di­aPad M3 – the num­ber four is con­sid­ered un­lucky in China – and has sim­i­larly pre­mium spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Price

Price will de­pend on ca­pac­ity and whether you go for LTE or not. UK prices are yet to be an­nounced, but the en­try-level Wi-Fi only 32GB model costs €349.

De­sign

There’s an all-new de­sign for the M5, and it no longer looks like an scaled up Huawei Mate smart­phone. Gone is the stripe at the top of the rear, re­placed by an an­tenna line, which hugs the edges.

The lozenge-shaped fin­ger­print scan­ner stays be­low the screen on the front, though. It comes in two colours – Cham­pagne Gold and Space Grey – and brings ev­ery­thing up to date by re­plac­ing the Mi­cro-USB port with a rev­ersible USB-C port.

Un­for­tu­nately, as with many re­cent phones, the Me­di­aPad M5 ditches the tra­di­tional head­phone jack and bun­dles an adap­tor in the, box so you don’t have to use USB-C head­phones. It isn’t a deal-breaker but adap­tors are an­noy­ing, es­pe­cially when you lose them or leave them be­hind.

Ei­ther side of the USB-C port are grilles, one of which houses a speaker. There’s a sec­ond at the top of the tablet, which means you get bet­ter stereo sound when watch­ing videos in land­scape mode. In our brief tests they sounded de­cent enough, but no bet­ter than you’d ex­pect from a thin tablet.

Cam­eras have been up­dated so there’s now a 13Mp sen­sor at the rear and (as be­fore) 8Mp at the front. Con­di­tions were much too dim in the hands-on ses­sion to as­sess whether they’re any good, so we’ll re­serve judge­ment un­til we can take the tablet out in the real world.

The screen re­tains the 2560x1600 res­o­lu­tion of its pre­de­ces­sor, which means it also has the same 359ppi pixel den­sity. It’s a 16:10 aspect ra­tio, which is handy for watch­ing video. It’s taller and thin­ner than the 3:2

aspect ra­tio you’ll find on any iPad. To all in­tents and pur­poses, it’s the same as the M3’s screen. That’s no bad thing, as colours are vivid, view­ing an­gles wide and both bright­ness and con­trast are very good. There’s a blue-light re­duc­tion mode for night use, a fea­ture you ex­pect to find on all mod­ern tablets.

Hard­ware

As be­fore, there’s a nano-SIM slot for LTE, so you can pop in a data SIM and get on­line when out of Wi-Fi range. How­ever, that’s only on the SHT-AL09 model. There’s a Wi-Fi only ver­sion (model SHT-W09), and it’s un­clear which re­gions will get which ver­sion.

What we do know is that the tablet will come in 32-, 64- and 128GB ver­sions, and all have a gen­er­ous 4GB of RAM. They also have a mi­croSD slot for adding up to 256GB of ex­tra stor­age.

Aside from the de­sign, the main up­grades are the cam­eras and the Kirin 960 pro­ces­sor. The M3 had the 950, and the 960 is the chip used first in the Huawei P10 phone. When asked why it didn’t use the more re­cent 970 from the Mate 10 Pro, Huawei es­sen­tially said that would have been overkill.

It’s likely true, too: An­droid Oreo felt re­spon­sive when we tried var­i­ous apps and there were no no­tice­able de­lays launch­ing or switch­ing be­tween apps. You don’t get the ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence of the 970, but the 960 does have ‘ma­chine learn­ing’.

Com­bined with Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 soft­ware, you can ex­pect the Me­di­aPad M5 to stay fast even when lots of apps are in­stalled. That’s cer­tainly the case with the com­pany’s phones: EMUI does a great

job of op­ti­miz­ing RAM use and also has plenty of power-sav­ing tricks.

You’ll get – ac­cord­ing to Huawei – 11 hours of HD video play­back from the tablet and it takes un­der 2 hours to fully charge from com­pletely empty.

Ver­dict

It’s too soon to say any­thing de­fin­i­tive about the Me­di­aPad M5 8.4. What we can say is that it’s very sim­i­lar to the M3, but with a faster pro­ces­sor and bet­ter cam­eras. Jim Martin

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

• • • 8.4in (2560x1600, 359ppi) IPS LCD ca­pac­i­tive dis­play An­droid 8.0 Oreo HiSil­i­con Kirin 960s pro­ces­sor

• Octa-core CPU • 4GB RAM • 32/ 64/128GB stor­age, mi­croSD up to 256GB • Fin­ger­print scan­ner • 13Mp rear-fac­ing cam­era: phase de­tec­tion

aut­o­fo­cus, LED flash • 8Mp front-fac­ing cam­era • 802.11ac Wi-Fi • Blue­tooth 4.2 • A-GPS • USB 2.0 Type-C • Non-re­mov­able lithium-poly­mer 5,100mAh bat­tery • 212.6x124.8x7.3mm • 316g

The Me­di­aPad comes with An­droid Oreo

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