In august of this year Huawei had a presentation where we were first shown a new Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 tablet. In this article we’ll take a closer look at it and find out if the company is as good at making tablets as they are at making smartphones.
Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 technical specifications
- Display: 10.1″, IPS, 1920×1200 pixels, 16:10 aspect ratio
- Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 659, 8-core, 4 cores with a frequency of 2.36 GHz and 4 cores with 1.7 GHz, Cortex-A53 cores
- Graphics accelerator: Mali-T830 MP2
- RAM: 3 GB
- Storage: 32 GB
- Support for microSD memory cards: up to 256 GB
- Wireless networks: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2
- Main camera: 8 MP, f/2.0, autofocus
- Front camera: 8 megapixel, f/2.0
- Battery: 7500 mAh
- OS: Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI 8.0 shell
- Dimensions: 243.4 × 162.2 × 7.7 mm
- Weight: 475 g
What’s in the box
Included with the Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 is a charger (9V / 2A), a USB / Type-C cable, a SIM eject tool and a Huawei M-Pen lite stylus. At least that’s how it is on the manufacturer's website.
From all this, I only had a stylus on my hands. It’s nice that it’s included in the box. We’ll talk about it later.
Design, materials, build quality
When you first look at it, the tablet doesn’t seem like much. But it’s pleasant enough: bezels of the front panels are all the same size. The manufacturer’s logo located in the upper left corner and the recess in the glass under the display with a fingerprint scanner is evident.
To be honest, I wasn’t pleased seeing the logo on the front panel. On the back we have a metallic part of the body with plastic antenna line above.
And if you look at the edges, you can see the bevel, which runs along the entire perimeter of the metal part. Also, there is a thin glossy strip at the junction of the metal and plastic parts.
But again we will briefly return to the front panel. The screen is protected by 2.5D glass, rounded at the edges with high-quality oleophobic coating.
The build quality is not perfect, but it is quite possible that this is only a problem of my test sample. What I mean is when you click on the frame to the right of the fingerprint scanner, you can feel a slight gap.
On the front of the screen we see: Huawei logo on the left, the front camera in the center, on the sides of which there are a couple of windows with the necessary sensors and an LED indicator.
Under the screen there’s an oval cut in the glass with a fingerprint scanner.
Metal power and volume buttons are located on the right side.
On the left is a slot for one nano SIM card and a microSD memory card. Also we have the actual USB Type-C port and almost in the corner is a 3.5 mm audio jack.
The top is full of holes. Four separate, which are located in the middle are microphones. Sound is written by two of them, and two more most likely are here for additional noise canceling. Otherwise I really don’t know why there are so many.
On the sides of the microphones we have as many as 11 holes with the speakers.
At the bottom there are similar holes with speakers; the 4 holes on each side are fake - behind them is just plastic.
Behind in the upper right corner there is the eye of the main camera, which protrudes slightly from the body, but there’s no flash, which is an obvious minus.
In the center we observe another company logo, and under it at the very bottom is harman/ kardon logo and other service information.
With ergonomics everything is mostly fine - the edges and corners of the tablet are rounded, so it is comfortable to hold it. Plus, the metal back is nice to the touch. But there are some nitpicks.
I didn’t like the location of the controls - the power and volume buttons are convenient to use only in horizontal orientation. But when you turn the tablet vertically, they are either too far above or below. And in the second case, to grope and press them is particularly inconvenient.
Also, due to the fact that the eye of the main camera protrudes from the body, the tablet can sway when you press the screen, if you use it on a flat solid surface.
Of you prefer the vertical mode, the speakers won’t get muffled. If you use the horizontal some of them will. That’s not a big deal, because there are four speakers and it is simply impossible to mute them all.
The Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 has a 10.1″ screen, the matrix is IPS, the display resolution is 1920×1200 pixels (density about 224 ppi) and the aspect ratio is 16:10.
I liked the quality of the installed screen. By default, the display is calibrated well: the colors are natural, the temperature is not filled up with cold or warm shades. Viewing angles are excellent, but with extreme deviations you can see that the black color is not deep enough. That’s not critical, since the other colors are not distorted in any way.
The display resolution for such a diagonal is not very high, and small elements on such a screen are also not very clear. But the tablet supports Huawei ClariVu technology, which increases the brightness, contrast and sharpness of the image.
The maximum brightness level is high enough so that the display remains legible outdoors, but not on the brightest day, and the minimum is comfortable for reading in the dark.
Adaptive brightness adjustment is not quick, but relatively accurate. In the settings of the screen, you can change the color temperature or activating the eye protection mode.
Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 performance
The tablet uses the platform familiar from other products of the manufacturer, like its own proprietary HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor and Mali-T830 MP2 graphic chip. Let me remind you that the same chip is installed in Huawei P Smart, Mate 10 Lite, Nova 2 and P20 Lite.
Kirin 659 is 16-nm processor, which consists of eight Cortex-A53 cores: four cores work with a maximum clock frequency of 2.36 GHz and four more at 1.7 GHz. In terms of the performance of such hardware, everything is the same as in smartphones: average results in synthetic tests and quite comfortable work of the system and applications.
MediaPad M5 lite 10 offers 3 GB of RAM, and it is enough to hold several applications running simultaneously and switch between them without restarting, but when all these applications hang in the RAM, the tablet starts to slow down and the animations become much less smooth than when nothing is open in the launched menu. In general, there are nuances with multitasking and in order not to lose in the smoothness of work, it is necessary to close unnecessary programs.
There are 32 GB of storage, of which 23.22 GB are available to user, and the rest is reserved by the system. The device has the ability to expand the storage with microSD memory cards up to 256 GB.
In games, the tablet does not behave very well. For example, PUBG Mobile with graphics set to “Balance” is unstable with FPS slowdowns. Asphalt 9 at high graphics settings is playable, but also not perfect. Playing World of Tanks Blitz is most comfortable at medium graphics settings with shadows turned off - FPS indicator shows 45-55 frames per second. As for simpler gaming, the device is more than capable.
I also want to note that all games were launched through the “Game Center” with the game mode activated. You can also select “Smart” or “Energy Saving” modes. There are also additional useful features, for example: “Games without pauses” - all pop-up notifications, except for calls, alarm and battery, will not be displayed on the screen while the game is running and “Preventing random operations” blocks all navigation buttons.
The main camera of Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 is a 8 megapixel module, f/2.0 aperture, with autofocus.
The image quality of the main output module is average. In order to get a normal photo, it is better to shoot in good lighting conditions, because when there is a lack of light noise is noticeable and details are lost. Simply put, the camera is average, but acceptable for a tablet.
You can record video with the main camera in full HD resolution. The quality is subpar.
The characteristics of the front camera are the same as the main one - 8 MP (f/2.0), but without autofocus. The camera is also unpretentious, but enough for tasks like video calls.
The camera application is typical for Huawei devices - with a wide range of functions, like a manual mode for photos and videos, HDR, panorama, the “Focus” option, which allows you to change the focus point on pictures from the gallery.
The fingerprint scanner is located on the front panel. There are no complaints about its work at all – it’s very fast and accurate. In short, the scanner, as always with Huawei, is wonderful.
It can also replace the on-screen navigation buttons, and despite the fact that using it in this way on the tablet is not very comfortable (this method of navigation is more convenient on the smartphone), all actions are recognized correctly. A short touch means go back, hold it to get to the desktop, and swipe left or right to open the multitasking menu.
In addition to the scanner, you can use the unlock via face recognition - this is also a very convenient method. It works well with a sufficient level of illumination, it is impossible to deceive with a photograph, because the depth of the image is measured. But in complete darkness it is better to use a fingerprint sensor.
In addition, you can enable the automatic activation when holding the device. Thus, you don’t even need the power button: just take the tablet in your hands, the display turns on, the face is scanned and after a moment the device can already be used.
The Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 has a 7500 mAh battery, which is more than enough for several days of moderate use or for 1.5 days of active use. With constant Wi-Fi connection in a mixed mode of work with games, video, music etc, you can count on 8-9 or more hours of active screen operation.
But the result in the PC Mark with the maximum brightness of the screen showed only 5 hours and 48 minutes of operation.
In general, the battery life is quite standard for this class of devices. The manufacturer’s website states that the tablet will be fully charged in less than 3 hours with the bundled charger, but I could test it since I used a third party charger.
Sound and communication
Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 has four speakers, which were developed in conjunction with experts from Harman Kardon.
They sound great: very loud and with good sound quality. Such speakers are enough for absolutely any task, be it games, video or music.
The sound in the headphones is also excellent. And not least because of the audio effects of Huawei Histen. In the settings tab, you can select the playback mode, headphone type and adjust the equalizer to your personal preferences.
Nothing wrong with communication capabilities as well: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac module supports 5 GHz networks and works flawlessly. This also applies to Bluetooth 4.2 (A2DP, LE) and GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS).
You can insert a single nano SIM card into the tablet and use mobile 2G/3G/4G Internet, receive SMS and so on. Even make phone calls.
Firmware and software
The device uses the Android OS 8.0 Oreo and the proprietary EMUI version 8.0 shell.
Compared to EMUI for smartphones, the changes in the “adapted” shell are barely noticable. In fact, they end with the landscape orientation running across the entire system, more icons in the desktop, and the navigation buttons that can be swiped from one corner of the screen to another.
Huawei M-Pen lite stylus
The stylus looks and feels like a real pen. Its body is metallic, the color is the same as the tablet's. It is quite weighty, but it is a pleasant weight, and the hand does not get tired. But it seemed to me a bit slippery and the situation was aggravated by the lack of rubberized area. But the moment is uncritical, you can get used to it.
Technically, the pen recognizes 2048 degrees of depression, but does not determine the angle of inclination. You can draw and create handwritten notes in specialized applications. You can also write text by replacing the input method in the keyboard settings with handwriting input.
Two applications are installed on the tablet from the box: Nebo for Huawei and MyScript Calculator, but neither the first nor the second will fully show the capabilities of the stylus. They simply do not support different degrees of presses. To do this, you need to download other programs - ArtFlow, for example.
The stylus is powered by a single type 4A battery, but you should know that before you start using it you better check the cap with a spring for the presence of a protective cap and remove it. Otherwise the stylus will not work.
Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 is a great tablet for any user. Sure, it’s not that powerful and won’t run the heavy games, but it will handle any other task no problem.
Good design, nice display, great loud sound and bundled stylus make Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 a worthwhile purchase.
So the verdict is simple: if you don’t care about gaming, Huawei MediaPad M5 lite 10 is definitely worth your while.