Huawei MatePad Pro First Impressions – Premium Android Tablet at the right price

Huawei is unstoppable in expanding their product lineup for 2020, despite the global slowdown due to the COVID-19 crisis. Here in the Philippines, Huawei launched three products in the Philippines

The Huawei MatePad Pro is their latest tablet to compete with the highly lucrative tablet market dominated by Apple. The MatePad Pro is the answer to the Apple iPad Pro with the inclusive Apple Pencil.

Design and Display

The tablet is a 10.8 WQXGA 2560 x 1600 pixels AMOLED display with very thin 4.3mm bezels and even a punch-hole 8MP camera to achieve a 90% screen to body ratio. To add more it has DCI-P3 Cinematic level color gamut and a generous 540 nits of brightness.

It feels light at 460 grams and premium to hold with plastic but matte back and metal frame. Overall it’s not cheap to hold, but also not that too delicate, we appreciate this better than a full metal body similar to the iPad.

At the back is a single camera with flash and a microphone for 13MP shots that are decent but nothing special. It’s just enough to take moments, but not really significant to be a competitor against smartphones today.

Performance and Connectivity

The MatePad Pro carries a Kirin 990 processor with 6GB RAM and 128GB Storage. It’s also expandable via Huawei’s own NM card and one nano sim card for mobile connectivity. Overall performance if fluid, fast and similar to the Huawei P40 as it has the same processor. We didn’t encounter any lag so far, given most apps we use are entertainment, social, and watching videos mostly.

Accessories

The included keyboard attaches at the back via magnets while the base has two stand markers for 60 and 70-degree angles. The keyboard works through wireless charging at the back of the tablet, so there aren’t any contact points as compared to Apple’s ipad keyboard.

Personally we like the 70 degree for typing while the 60 degree is more of entertainment and its where you place the M-pencil for better keeping.

Interestingly the M-Pencil can be placed at the top of the tablet to charge and safekeeping, but you have to be careful as the magnets are needed to be properly aligned for the proper magnet grip. Honestly, there are some ghost magnets in this placement where we tend to drop the pencil when accidentally bumped. So we prefer to place it at the keyboard dock if possible, just don’t close it.

The keyboard feels nice with decent travel for the keys, it’s silent and just enough for typing in mobile. We can imagine typing for long hours, but won’t replace the real thing since comfort is slightly compromised.

While the M-Pencil is fluid, fast to pair and even light to carry. Much lighter than the apple pencil since the body is made of lighter plastic and less bulky. We haven’t had much time to express our creativity, but the included Huawei Notes app is very flexible and intuitive for the M-Pencil, we just wished that it’s more flexible in taking notes in other applications as well.

But we appreciate the gesture of activating the notes app once you simply tap the screen with the pen when sleeping. It automatically launches the notes app for quick writing when necessary.

Battery and Charging

The battery is a 7250mAh capacity that can last 6-8 hours in heavy use like maximum brightness, full volume, and 75% brightness. But in other cases, I mostly use it for playing music via Spotify thanks to its quad-speakers that are loud, crisp, and ample.

Charging the tablet is fortunately compatible with the Huawei SuperCharge to charge the tablet for around 1.5  hours, considering it’s using the rapid charging technology of Huawei its easy enough and decently fast for a tablet. Most definitely faster than the iPad where you need to purchase a separate charger to activate a faster charging.

Huawei Mobile Services

Yes, we understand Huawei is now servicing its devices with HMS. And we’re glad that it just takes some learning curve to install the apps you need, fortunately essential apps like BDO, Viber, Shopee, Lazada, Cash, Paymaya, and some news sites are in HMS already. For the other apps needed, fortunately APK Pure is easy enough to install and even update the apps when necessary.

One thing we miss is though is backing up chats or game progress since it’s needed to have an account for those-kind of services. But overall, it’s not the end of the world and there are many tricks to overcome these bumps.

Other features

The Huawei MatePad Pro can do two things uniquely, one is the screen collaboration where you can share the screen of a Huawei smartphone and access it directly through the device. You can even throw items, copy, paste as needed.

Second is the capability of having a more complex interface similar to a PC, it has the Desktop mode to behave the applications similar to windows and manage it in one screen. We think this is great for multi tasking as its easy to go from one app to another.

Initial Conclusion

Overall, for a week of using the Huawei MatePad Pro we love its powerful speakers and great display. While we haven’t fully used it to its full potential, its enough to satisfy us and even compare to an iPad in functionality its really a fighter.

For the price of Php32,990 you already get a 4G capable tablet with 10.8 inches of display, maximum screen, good speakers and powerful performance. Plus you even get the smart keyboard and M-Pencil in the package worth 13,990 (Plus Huawei Cloud Rewards) when you pre-order until April 24, 2020 at accredited dealers nationwide.

Huawei MatePad Pro Specs

Display: 10.8-inch  WQXGA 2560 x 1600 resolution at 280 ppi and DCI-P3 Cinematic color gamut
CPU: 2.86GHz 7nm Kirin 990 octa-core processor w/ Dual NPU (Big-Core + Tiny-Core)
GPU: Mali-G76 MP16 w/ GPU Turbo
RAM: 6GB LPDDR4X
STORAGE: 128GB expandable via NM card up to 256GB
Rear Camera: 13MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/2.0 Punch Hole
Battery: 7,250mAh
Charging: 40W SuperCharge / 15W Wireless Charge / 7.5W Reverse Wireless Charge
OS: Android 10 w/ EMUI 10.0.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE Cat 21, Bluetooth 5.1, OTG, NFC, GPS
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: 4x Harman Kardon speakers,
Colors: Blue Gray / Orage
Dimensions: 246 x 159 x 7.2 mm
Weight: 460 g
Price: SRP PHP 32,990 (6GB+128GB)

Compared to the iPad

As compared to Apple iPad, the value is simply no problem. The price value of the Huawei MatePad Pro with 4G cellular simply outstands the iPad non-cellular variants with its expensive keyboard and Pencil accessories.

iPad – 19,990 (32GB) + 3rd Party Keyboard (2,500) = 24,990 

New iPad 11 Inches – 47,990 (128GB) + Magic Keyboard (16,990) + Apple Pencil 2nd Gen (7,990) = Php72,970