Huawei MediaPad M3 Review
This is the third tablet that I’ve reviewed this year, and with the other two devices I’ve previously reviewed, I’ve given this little preface - I have not and still do not understand the need for cameras on tablets. I’ve never actually found myself needing to use one, but since we’re professionals here, it’s only right that we still give cameras on tablets the full review treatment as well.
In the case of the MediaPad M3, we’re looking at an 8MP sensor for both the rear and front-facing camera. The camera app itself is a bit reminiscent to the one found on iOS, but there are quite a bit more settings to play around with here. Swiping to the left brings up all of your settings for the camera, including options for adding a countdown timer, audio control, adjusting the resolution of your photos, and more. Additionally, swiping to the right will showcase all of the various shooting modes that are included, such as Pro Photo, Beauty, Video, Pro Video, HDR, Panorama, Time-Lapse, Document Scan, and more.
So, just what kind of photos is the MediaPad M3 capable of?
In one word, they look “meh.”
The MediaPad M3 kicks out considerably better photos than what Asus’s ZenPad 3S 10 was capable of, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this is a good camera. I was able to capture some photos that turned out looking fairly nice, but there were others I took that ended up looking like an oil-painting. With ample lighting conditions and a steady hand, it is possible to capture passable photos on the M3 that are fine for uploading to social media. However, as soon as the lights start to go down, the already ho-hum quality gets considerably worse.
Moving over to the front-facing camera, this is a perfectly suitable camera for Snapchat, Instagram, etc. Details are fairly sharp thanks to the 8MP image quality, and while you’ll likely get overall better results from the front-facing shooter on your smartphone, it will suffice if you’re in a pinch and absolutely have to capture a selfie.
Switching over to video quality, we’re met with more of the same. The resolution is capped at 1080p Full HD, and while the video doesn’t look great, it’s also far from the worst that I’ve seen for a tablet in this similar price range. Highlights are fairly balanced when shooting video and autofocus is also fairly quick. Details are just fine, and similar to the image quality, problems really start to arise when light creeps out of your shot. Darker areas in your video are quick to create a lot of digital noise, and this right here is the primary pain point for videos on the M3.
In short, while it will get the job done if you absolutely do insist on recording video with your tablet, results will likely be far better with your smartphone.
I already talked intensively about the display on the M3, and that certainly does contribute to a wonderful viewing experience while playing games or streaming video content. Colors are both punchy and accurately represented, creating for a display that begs to have content consumed on it.
However, as you know, a screen and its multimedia experience is only as good as the speakers that accompany it. Huawei partnered with Harman Kardon to create the best possible audio experience for the M3, and for the most part, that partnership pays off.
The MediaPad M3 features stereo audio thanks to dual speakers that are positioned on both the top and bottom of the tablet, and after some extensive listening sessions with the M3, I can safely say that this is a very solid audio setup. The dual-speaker system on the M3 gets ridiculously loud, and while I greatly appreciate the ample volume that’s present here, turning the volume settings up to the max does deteriorate the overall sound quality as a whole. Higher volume results in the M3’s speakers sounding a bit dirty and not as clean as I would like, meaning that these speakers definitely favor loudness as opposed to overall quality.
If you prefer to listen to your tunes though a pair of wired headphones, Huawei and Harmon Kardon have you covered here as well. The DAC that’s present in the MediaPad M3 is the AK4376 D/A converter that’s made by Asahi Kasei Microdevices. I’m not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination, but what this DAC means is that the M3 should be more than capable for driving a premium pair of wired headphones via the 3.5mm audio jack.