Apple and Samsung occupy the first and second place, followed by Huawei: in the smartphone market this alignment of forces has been observed for a long time, but since the first quarter it is true for the tablet market. The Chinese company for a year could increase the market share by a third, bypassing Amazon and Lenovo. Of course, to maintain this state, without the announcement of new models can not do. Huawei introduced three new tablets. In our test lab came the model MediaPad M3 Lite 10, which promises to become a multimedia universal. But, as the tests showed, the tablet with LTE is not all perfect.
Huawei still adheres to the proven naming scheme: Windows devices are installed on MateBook devices, and Android on MediaPad. We get a division into the rulers M and T, but from the innovations we can note the addition of Lite. Interestingly, the MediaPad M3 10 does not yet have a non-Lite option, in contrast to the same 8-inch model.
As for the price, here, too, not everything is logical. For the MediaPad M3 will have to pay 399 euros. Tablets MediaPad M3 Lite 10 in Europe the price is 299 or 349 euros (WLAN / LTE). However, soon after the start of sales, stores began to set prices below the recommended Huawei. The variant WLAN can be bought from 290 euros, the tablet LTE – from 330 euros.
The body of significant changes in the transition from the generation of M2 to M3 is not traced. With dimensions of 240.0 x 173.0 x 7.1 mm, the MediaPad M3 Lite 10 was almost as large as the MediaPad M2 10.0 (239.8 x 172.8 x 7.4 mm), but it dropped about By 10%, which is now 460 g. The materials have not changed, for MediaPad M3 Lite 10 Huawei again chose a large amount of aluminum.
Appearance has changed slightly. In front you can see the logo of the manufacturer, now it is moved to the left upper corner, the fingerprint scanner is again located in the center below the display. Behind the logo Huawei gave way to the inscription. A slightly protruding camera is moved from the center to the upper right corner. The rim of the tablet is not flat, like the P10 lite it is slightly convex, in front and behind you can see the bevels. As a result, the tablet looks good and not bulky. On the right side there are buttons for adjusting the volume and standby mode, on the left there is a micro-USB jack, but now from the bottom, with not the top. The top end has a headphone jack and two speakers out of four. The remaining two dynamics Huawei carried to the lower end.
The quality of the tablet manufacturing is flawless, even the shade of the card tray on the left side coincides with the rest of the rim. The point of operation of the buttons is well palpated, the body does not bend anywhere even with a strong push.
MediaPad M3 Lite 10 is focused on using in landscape orientation. In this case, the buttons and the scanner of the print can be easily reached, and the speakers do not close their hands. Unless the connected USB cable will interfere under the left hand – you usually hold the tablet at the port level. In the rest on ergonomics there are no complaints. With a weight of 460 g, the MediaPad M3 Lite 10 tablet belongs to the lightweight models of this class, but it will still be problematic to hold the tablet in hands for a long time. The display frame on the right and left is wide enough so that the sensors of the panel do not work from accidental touch, but here the top and bottom of the frame could be done already. As a result, the display occupies only 71% of the space of the front panel, which is not so pleasing.
Improvements on the display, we did not notice. 10.1-inch panel IPS has a resolution of 1.920 x 1.200 pixels, which is familiar to us on MediaPad M2 10 and MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro. The panel format of 16:10 gives more screen space compared to 16: 9, namely 296 instead of 281 cm², but it is not suitable for watching movies, because almost always you will have to observe black bars.
On the other hand, there are no complaints about the characteristics of the display. The maximum brightness is 451 cd / m², the contrast is 1.330: 1, the uniformity of the backlighting of 94% is also quite decent. Of course, you can criticize the cold temperature too low (7.000 K), but it can be adjusted in options. The variant “Warm” leads to 6.400 K.
Huawei also added the option of reducing blue light to make the eyes less tired. Automatic brightness control system, which can also be included in the options, worked reliably. But manual control in practice is not the best – the brightness levels are too large.
10-inch tablet is not in vain wears the addition of “Lite”: there is no excess of performance. Huawei equips MediaPad M3 Lite 10 with a 28nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor. It came out in late 2016, but is targeted at the budget segment. What is clearly visible on the specifications. Eight Cortex A53 cores are complemented by the Adreno 505 GPU with 48 stream processors. The core clock speed is from 1.1 to 1.4 GHz, the GPU is 450 MHz.
Therefore, the results of the tests did not surprise us. In 3DMark, the tablet scored about 9.900 and 600 points in the scenarios Ice Storm Unlimited and Fire Strike, in AnTuTu 5 and 6 – 39.000 and 46.000 points. CPU cores are also not very pleasing. In the Geekbench 3 and 4 tests, the MediaPad M3 Lite 10 tablet could not even score 700 points for single-threaded performance, in a multithreaded test we get 3,200 and 2,900 points. The result of the GFXBench in the Manhattan Offscreen and T-Rex Offscreen runs was only about 8 and 17 fps, so it’s unlikely to work well on the MediaPad M3 Lite 10.
That is confirmed not only by tests, but also by applications and games. Add to this a long wait time after launching the application / game due to a very slow internal memory of 32 GB, which can be expanded with a microSD card. If we believe Androbench, we get 79 and 25 MB / s for reading and writing. Even for eMMC memory, the result is not the best. Therefore, the tablet sometimes “slowed down”. Especially on waking, when the tablet was not used for several hours. Or when running applications that use the drive intensively. As for memory, the volume of 3 GB can be called decent, even in the form of LPDDR3.
In performance MediaPad M3 Lite 10 refers to the budget segment, but in terms of equipment it proved to be better. However, the dual-band WLAN (802.11a / b / g / n / ac) and LTE speed modem, capable of downloading at speeds up to 300 Mbps (Cat 7), are rare here. But LTE-modem is optional, on sale there is a version with only Wi-Fi. Add to this Bluetooth 4.1, the usual set of sensors and support for satellite positioning GPS, GLONASS and BDS.
The fingerprint scanner is the same as the MediaPad M3 – not only in form, but also in function. In our tests, he recognized the imprint very well. As in the case of P10, the sensor can be used instead of the Android screen buttons, but not as convenient as we would like. In third-party applications, the sensor is not supported, unless you can hide / display the curtain of notifications and scroll pictures in the gallery.
Four built-in speakers hint at multimedia scenarios. As with the MediaPad M3, they are designed in conjunction with Harman / Kardon and are designed to satisfy demanding users. Unfortunately, this only applies to the volume level. At maximum volume, the tablet can fill even the largest room with music. But somewhere from the 80% level, distortions begin to appear. In addition, the MediaPad M3 Lite 10 lacks medium and, especially, low frequencies – the music is dominated by high frequencies. However, in comparison with many other tablets, the audio quality is really higher, but we are not approaching the level of Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro . In addition, volumetric effects are not available. The advertised SWS 3.0 function works only in headphone mode.
Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite 10: Camera, battery, software, conclusion
As you might expect, the “Lite” additive was reflected in the cameras. Even with the M2 generation, as in the case of the MediaPad M3 , the camera even, at best, provided an average result at best. As for the MediaPad M3 Lite 10, you can say the same thing. Front and back Huawei installed cameras with sensors at 8 MP, optical stabilization of whether the LED-flash is not present in both cases. Behind the camera has a slightly wider diaphragm f / 2.0, in front – f / 2.2. Autofocus is supported only by the rear camera.
Regardless of the camera used, the quality of the images is more in line with the snapshot level. Details and light are transmitted well, but the colors do not match the original. Even on a bright day, the yellow color turns greenish, and the green gives off a blue color. Sharpness is not always good, even at ISO 100 noise is noticeable, if you look closely.
The images of the front camera have the same drawbacks, but the weak sharpness due to lack of autofocus is more striking. Shooting video on both cameras is possible in Full-HD resolution with a frame rate of up to 30 fps, in Time Lapse mode the resolution is limited to 720p.
The design of the camera application is identical to the P10 lite and other smartphones. Wipe to the right opens available modes, such as Panorama, HDR or Time Lapse. Wipe to the left provides access to options. The main interface looks neat, except that some icons are too small for a large display.
We already know the battery MediaPad M3 Lite 10. The capacity of 6.660 mAh is identical to the MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro . But, given the size of the case, the capacity can be called average. Although for such a price much can not be expected. The installed SoC belongs to the same generation as the Snapdragon 615 in the related model, so the changes in battery life are related, for the most part, to software optimization. But the improvements are not so significant.
In PCMark, the tablet lasted just under 7.5 hours, while playing video the battery life was about nine hours. In both cases, MediaPad M3 Lite 10 showed average results compared to previously tested devices. The battery life time is enough to watch movies or serials during long flights or trips in transport. Huawei itself, by the way, promises 10 hours of battery life when playing video, but this concerns the minimum brightness of the display. In LTE mode, we also received less: seven hours instead of the promised 8.6 hours.
The tablet is being charged, unfortunately, slowly. The built-in SoC Snapdragon 435 supports QuickCharge 3.0, but it took more than four hours to fully charge. It seems that Huawei did not support fast charging technology. In addition, the complete power supply gives a maximum power of 10 watts.
According to the software MediaPad M3 Lite 10 corresponds to modern realities. The tablet is based on the Android 7.0 operating system, on top of which Huawei installed the EMUI interface in version 5.1. So here we get, in fact, parity with the P10 smartphone . At least, on the basic functions. It’s not entirely clear if Ultra Memory and Ultra Response are implemented. Huawei does not mention them, and according to our sensations in tests Ultra Memory is not supported. Also you will have to refuse from the utility GoPro Quik, which is not included in the package.
In other respects MediaPad M3 Lite 10 offers the same software functions as modern smartphones of the Chinese company. The user can choose between the classic menu of Android applications and the implementation of Huawei, the interface design can be significantly changed. Beginners in the world of Android will be easier to understand with the interface. If we compare with smartphones, then in the case of a tablet we get a larger screen, so working with the same system settings in EMUI 5.1 is much easier.
In addition to various proprietary utilities, like Tablet Manager, we note other preinstalled applications. Among them – components of Microsoft Office, Facebook and several games. If you do not need them, there will not be any problems with the deletion.
Unfortunately, with our test sample, security patches were installed only on the state of March. Whether the same situation will be observed with retail models is unknown.
The tablet market is shrinking, so new models should offer a full set of features to suit potential buyers. Huawei is positioning the M series of its MediaPad tablets on multimedia, and for the most part very successfully. Not surprisingly, the Chinese manufacturer decided to seize the budget segment. But, unfortunately, the savings led to the sad consequences. The biggest drawback of MediaPad M3 Lite 10 is SoC. Performance is not enough for many popular games, and the tablet often “slows down” even when working with the interface. So Snapdragon 435 significantly reduces the pleasure of working with the tablet.
Otherwise, there are no serious drawbacks, except that the location of the micro-USB port is unsuccessfully selected. The display could provide a greater level of brightness for comfortable work on a sunny day outdoors, but overall we were satisfied with it thanks to good contrast and color rendering. The sound subsystem of the tablet is better than most competitors, but it is better not to expect the medium and low frequencies.
The quality of the body can be called excellent, as well as equipment above the average. As for the cameras and battery life, there is nothing good or bad here, the MediaPad M3 Lite 10 is in the middle position. The advantages include a modern version of Android, but in our case were not installed the latest security patches.
All this does not allow us to make a general recommendation. But if you need an inexpensive 10-inch tablet with good equipment, then the MediaPad M3 Lite 10 is worth a closer look. The most dangerous competitor of the WLAN-version can be called Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus, which costs 320 euros in Europe. The same applies to the tested version of LTE, the competitor Lenovo will cost 330 euros.
MediaPad M3 Lite 10 – an inexpensive tablet with equipment above the average for its price, but too weak SoC.