Huawei MediaPad M3 - Camera, battery and verdict

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Huawei MediaPad M3 – Camera

In my opinion, tablet cameras aren’t actually for taking “real” pictures; they’re for such mundane tasks as scanning documents, snapping photos for eBay, collating receipts and video-calling.

mediapad 15

In all these respects, the 8-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front-facing cameras on the MediaPad M3 are perfectly acceptable. There’s enough detail captured by the sensors, and there are plenty of options in the camera app to get you through.

But I’d advise against using the device as an actual camera. Unlike the Huawei MediaPad’s camera, which was surprisingly decent, the M3’s camera falls flat. Colours lack vibrancy and detail in landscape shots is poor. The shutter response is also very slow, meaning you might be left waiting for the picture to actually take if the conditions aren’t perfect.

picEven pictures taken in good light don’t look very good

There’s no flash and low-light snaps are barely usable. In general, detail is poor, there’s noise around pretty much everything, and dirty spots everywhere. I just wouldn’t bother.

Huawei MediaPad M3 – Battery Life

Tucked under the metal unibody chassis is a good-sized 5,100mAh battery. For comparison, the much larger Asus ZenPad 3S 10 with 10-inch display ships with a 5,900mAh cell that’s stated to easily last the day.

During my time with the Huawei MediaPad M3, there wasn’t any moment when I was worried about the battery. It holds charge well, and Huawei has optimised the software so that standby times are equally impressive.

For instance, an hour of Netflix streaming with the brightness set to 75% consumed just 6%, while an hour of stored HD video coming from a microSD card takes it down between 4 and 5%. It’s a similar story with gaming: 3D games used up around 7% per 30 minutes.

Related: IFA 2016 – Everything You Need To Know
mediapad 11There’s no USB Type-C here

Using the devices for a couple of hours a day over a week, I reached for the charger only twice. Standby times are great, too – another important feature for a tablet. On a day that I didn’t unlock the device at all, it lost only 2%.

It seems slightly odd that Huawei has reverted back to micro-USB, with the majority of its phones now using USB Type-C. I was told this was due to size requirements, but it seems a little lazy really.

Should I buy the Huawei MediaPad M3?

I do like the Huawei MediaPad M3, but it’s far from an essential purchase. It doesn’t do anything that a cheaper Android slate doesn’t; it just does those things with an added hit of style.

The screen is decent, if overly reflective, and the metal-clad chassis is thin and light yet maintains a solid feel. The speakers, too, are superb for a small tablet.

Slightly odd performance issues and ugly software aside, the MediaPad M3 is almost like a souped-up Nexus 7. And that’s certainly a compliment.

Verdict

Sleek and well-specced, Huawei’s mini media machine has plenty going for it.

Score in detail

  • Performance 7
  • Design 8
  • Software & Apps 5
  • Sound Quality 8
  • Screen Quality 8
  • Battery Life 7
  • Build Quality 7
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