Huawei MediaPad M3 Review

Battery Life



Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about battery life. Huawei packed in a 5,100 mAh unit into the MediaPad M3, and it results in a pretty solid setup. Heavy and continuous usage on the M3 will result in a screen-on time of around 4 and 1/2 hours, whereas more subdued and normal use should see the M3 squeaking out just under 9 hours of use without needing to top up.

And, when it does come time to charge the M3, Huawei’s own quick charging solution keeps things relatively speedy. It took the MediaPad 159 minutes to charge from 0 to 100-percent, and considering the large nature of the battery inside of the device, that’s quite impressive.

Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Huawei MediaPad M3 159
Asus ZenPad 3S 10 Z500M 203
Asus ZenPad Z8 170
Apple iPad mini 4 191

Conclusion



With all of that said, what’s the final word on the Huawei MediaPad M3?

There’s no doubt at all the Huawei has crafted a good-looking tablet. The construction of the MediaPad M3 is one of the better ones you can find for a device in its class, and its dimensions keep it both thin and lightweight at the same time.

In addition to the M3’s build, the display and audio setup is also very well-executed. Sound quality does tend to get a bit harsh when listening at higher volumes, but aside from that one qualm, the multimedia experience is fantastic on the aptly-named MediaPad.

However, when talking about things such as performance and the M3’s software situation, things get a bit murky. While benchmark tests provide clear evidence that the Kirin 950 is an extremely powerful processor, poor optimization for the chipset results in somewhat lackluster real-world performance. Simple tasks run perfectly fine, but between slow animations and a lukewarm experience while playing graphically intensive games, the outcome you get while using the M3 is a bit of a mixed bag. Certain operations run like butter with no issues at all, but other situations can cause the M3 to feel slow and cheap.

As for the software experience, EMUI 4.1 is not a good skin for Android. Some of the tweaks that Huawei’s made are beneficial to the overall user experience, but the vast majority of the changes feel as if they were made for the worse. While a lot of this will be resolved once the MediaPad M3 gets the update to Android 7/EMUI 5.0, no official word from Huawei as to when this update will actually take place does create for a bit of uncertainty for the future of the tablet’s software.

Bundle all of that together, and you get a hefty handful of pros and cons with the Huawei MediaPad M3. There isn’t any doubt in my mind that this is a great little tablet for multimedia consumption, and while the price of $299 with 32GB of storage is a solid value ($349 for 64GB), there are other options out there for either the same or a bit less money that offer a more well-rounded experience.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S2 is currently selling for just $249, and while it is a year older than the MediaPad M3, it’s still considered to be one of the best Android tablets around. And, if you’re willing to spend $100 extra, the 32GB variant of the Apple iPad Mini 4 retails for $399. As a matter of fact, the still great iPad Mini 2 is currently being sold at $269 from Apple, so that continues to be a great budget option for a tablet.

The Huawei MediaPad M3 is not a bad tablet, in fact, it’s a really great choice if you want a well-built device for browsing the web and watching movies, but until it gets some much needed software tweaks, I’d suggest looking elsewhere for a more refined experience.



Pros

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Sturdy and refined design
  • Gorgeous 2K display
  • microSD card support up to 128GB
  • Solid audio setup for both external speakers and wired headphones

Cons

  • Processor feels poorly optimized for a lot of tasks
  • EMUI 4.1 is one of the worst Android skins out there
  • Throwaway cameras
  • microUSB rather than USB Type-C

PhoneArena Rating:

6.8

User Rating:

9.5
2 Reviews

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5 Comments

1. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

I would have given this tablet a rating of closer to 8. I think you have overplayed the software complaints. And how many people use a tablet to take photos anyway? You suggest the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 as a better option. I had one of them for a year and had to sell it as the battery started needing to be charged more often after about 8 months. Plus I had to buy a subscription to adguard because I was constantly getting pop-up ads pushed at me. Same thing as I found on the Galaxy S7 Edge, so I am not too keen on Samsung devices.

5. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Please scan your device with Malwarebyte. Most likely your device ROM is affected by malware. I have bought a few such device online and had returned them. Those affected hardware don't just confine to generic band some Samsung branded ones are also affected. When new device come with a broken seal there are reason to wonder why is that so in the first place. Sad situation to be in, so get educated about Android malware, get device from official source or suffer the third parties intrusion.

3. nooi_c

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 20, 2012

2 months ago, I chose to buy this tablet for 3 reasons. Its 16:9 display, 2K resolution and loud stereo speakers. Even the review score is little too harsh. I agree with you on that EMUI sucks but after Action Launcher 3 was installed, things go better. The performance is not that bad as you said. And yes, your last paragraph says it all.

6. Noonting

Posts: 135; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Where is the measurements?

8. droidmanX

Posts: 43; Member since: Jan 25, 2014

Rating given by phonearena is very harsh. I own this tablet for the last few months. It is outstanding tablet for the price. Long lasting battery, smooth performance. excellent speakers, great wifi, bluetooth and super fast fingerprint scanner. If you don't like EMUI just install Action Launcher or Nova Launcher. I charge it once a week and use it everyday. standby time is outstanding. I get SOT of 11 to 13 hours easily. This tablet deserves 9.5. I would give this tablet 9.8 without hesitation. If you need any help there is always XDA developers forum where people frequently discuss about this tablet. People who don't own this tablet might be skeptical reading the review above but I own this and I can tell you that it is the best tablet around. Even the price is affordable. Go for the LTE version and make sure you have European firmware installed on it.
MediaPad M3
  • Display 8.4" 1600 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin, Octa-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 5100 mAh

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