HUAWEI MediaPad M3 Lite Review ; Featuring Dual Harmon Kardon Speakers

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Introduction

It’s been quite some time since we did a review on a tablet. This time around, we’ll take a close look and review the HUAWEI MediaPad M3 Lite (which is different all together from the HUAWEI MediaPad M3). Before I begin, I would like to mention that this review will be more focusing on the HUAWEI MediaPad M3 Lite as a media device instead of a cellular device. Reason being, tabs are big in size, in general making it not really suitable in calling and other usual functions that we would normally do with our phones. They kind of emphasized on the tab’s Harmon Kardon dual speakers. So let’s get straight into the action shall we?

Oh wait, before that. We’ve prepared a little unboxing video for the HUAWEI MediaPad M3 Lite, so enjoy!

Unboxing

Appearance

First thought that came to mind when I looked at the HUAWEI MediaPad M3 Lite was, dang I thought it was an iPad! Well that aside, over at the front, it has a very minimalist look with only the front camera and fingerprint sensor to be seen.

Similar to the front, the back side of the tablet is simple. There’s the rear camera situated at the top left and a Harmon Kardon logo just at the bottom.

At the bottom of the tab, there’s one half of the speaker of the HUAWEI MediaPad M3 Lite, USB port, and a little microphone filling the bottom half.

On the right side, there’s the usual volume rockers, the power button, and a hole for the sim/microSD tray. Covering both sides of the tab are the antenna lines, where it only covers the sides at the top and lower part. Its practically naked over on the left side of the tablet.

At the top lies the other half of the tab’s speakers.There’s also an audio jack just in case you ever want to bring the tab along for a ride on public transports.

Specifications

CPU/Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 octa-core
GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 505
RAM: 3GB
Display: 8.0″, 1920 x 1200, 283PPI, Eye sight protection
Storage: 32GB (expandable with microSD up to 2TB)
Camera: Main Camera
8MP AF
Front Camera
8MP
OS: EMUI 5.1 based on Android 7.0 Nougat
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz
LTE CAT4
SIM: Dual nanoSIM (one nanoSIM slot doubles as microSD slot)
Battery: 4800 mAh
Weight: 310 g

Performance

The HUAWEI MediaPad M3 Lite uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 chipset which is considered a downgrade compared to its M3 brother, which uses a Kirin 950. Let’s take a look at how it performs under the benchmarks we’ve set.

First up, we tested it out on Antutu v6 where it tests out the chipset’s performance. As you can see, the tab performs averagely, being slightly higher than the Wiko Ufeel Prime which uses a Snapdragon 430.

In the Geekbench benchmark, it has a relatively low score, which doesn’t come as a surprise at all. Geekbench tests the CPU clusters’ performance, and we can see that while it is better than the Snapdragon 430-packing ASUS ZenFone 4 Max Pro, it lags behind most of the smartphones with higher end SoCs.

The HUAWEI MediaPad M3 Lite doesn’t perform well in the gamer’s benchmark, 3DMark. Only eking out a small lead over the vivo V5 and Wiko Ufeel Prime, the GPU performance certainly needs an upgrade for a more acceptable gaming experience.

Over to the PC Mark Work Performance test, it has done considerably well, placing over quite a few devices with faster SoCs. This test sees how well a device’s general productivity workloads and the numbers here means that it should work great for work-related tasks.

In the battery benchmark, it actually posts a very mediocre showing, not too low, not too high. We expected more from its 4800 mAh battery though. Lasting 7 hours and 54 minutes long on the benchmarks, it seems like the battery takes a serious beating from the large display.

As for my personal experience with the tab, I used the tab for heavy Facebook usage and occasionally watching videos on YouTube. From 55% of battery, it went down to 38% after two days of messaging and videos, which is really quite good.

User Experience

My first impression was that it was at a good size at 8-inch (that’s what she said), making videos a pleasant to watch on the tab. Not much can be commented on the design due to its simple approach. I do however have some awkwardness with its back and home buttons not situated beside the fingerprint sensor. That kind of spoiled the mood for me when I’m playing games on it and I’d have to drag the bottom part to show the back and home button. It could’ve been a lot easier if those were beside the fingerprint sensor.

When it comes to gaming experience, I had a run of AOV for three hours straight. As it was quite a demanding game, i tested it out on the tab. There was issues of slow loading times which was a bit of an annoyance. So an hour went by to my gaming session, the rear of the tab started to feel warm. So I went on to see how far can it go. Around two hours plus into gaming, the sides of the tab began to build up heat thus i stopped. Understandably, the game was demanding to the tab, but for heavy gamers, it isn’t something pleasant to experience. I’m sure there are a lot of consumers out there that would go on and play for hours.

Now with a name like ‘MediaPad’, the focus should of course be on the media capabilities. To my surprise, the sound quality of the dual Harmon Kardon speakers was good. It was clear and crisp. Saying that, it has its flaws as well. Bass notes aren’t reproduced that well, but that’s a common issue with the tiny speakers. You can’t say we didn’t expect more though, especially with the Harmon Kardon branding here. Loudness isn’t an issue at all for these speakers, playing music at full blast yielded no distortion whatsoever.

Additionally, HUAWEI were kind enough to include a leather casing for the HUAWEI MediaPad M3 Lite. Besides being a cover, as you can see from the picture it can act as a stand for the tab. It comes convenient when you intend on sitting at one place and watch for long hours without the need to hold it. Personally, I’m not really a fan of leather casing as previous experience with them is that they don’t last long and will tear. Anyways, it’s still convenient to have around. Bringing the tab outdoors with casing is somewhat ‘stylish’ in a sense.

Now I’ve mentioned that at the beginning of the review that I would be focusing more on the ‘media’ side of the tablet rather than just a cellular device, boy was I surprised with its camera. This is a tablet we’re talking about. Sure, the quality isn’t the best if you compare it to high-end smartphones or even mid-range devices, but for a tablet, this is a tablet that takes some pretty decent photos.

For those parents out there, HUAWEI has added a child-friendly app called Children’s Corner. Comes in handy when you have some work to be done but at the same time need to keep your child occupied with minimal supervision. It’s a pretty direct app, just create an account and you’re good to go. The app allows you to set a timer on how your kid is allowed to use the tablet, when it’s finished the tab will automatically lock itself.

Conclusion

Now you would be wondering if it’s worth the dough. While it certainly has flaws, it does suffice if your main purpose for a tablet is media entertainment. The Snapdragon 435 stops it from being the ideal gaming tablet, but for most general tasks like watching movies and browsing the web, the M3 Lite takes it all in stride. RM999 is not a lot to pay for especially when you consider smartphones with smaller displays come in at a similar price point, while also lacking the stellar Harmon Kardon audio system found here. It really boils down to what you use your tablet for, but if you want one for media consumption and internet browsing without squinting at your smartphone, this is a strong offering from HUAWEI and does the job for you and your kids (if you have one) .