Disclosure: This product was sent to us free of charge for the purpose of this review. However, as per my disclaimer, this review represents our honest opinion of the product.
Product: HUAWEI MediaPad M2 10″ Tablet
Price: £249.99 (currently £199 at Currys)
Manufacturer’s Description: Combining high performance entertainment with powerful functionality, the Huawei Media Pad M2 10″ Tablet is designed for modern life.
Review: The HUAWEI MediaPad M2 10.0 is an Android tablet with great audio, a lovely big screen, fingerprint recognition, and an attractive metallic casing.
Inside the box you get the tablet itself, a MicroUSB cable, a plug (we had the European one as this is a review unit), the warranty card, a quick start guide, and a little tool to open up the SD card holder. It was all packed nicely and securely.
We’ve been using the MediaPad M2 to watch TV shows, play games, and browse the net. The girls have both given it their approval and found it really easy to use straight away. The apps that come pre-installed on the tablet seem pretty good, including a nice calculator, a torch app, notepad, and a magnifier app which uses the 13MP camera to magnify things you point the tablet at on the screen.
Despite the name, this tablet has actually got a 10.1 inch multitouch screen, with the full HD IPS display automatically changing the brightness depending on the environment. It works at a lot of angles and seems really crisp and clear. It’s very nice to watch videos on – the built-in video player is nice, with the ability to control brightness, volume & lock the touch screen with gestures; great for watching videos in the car, etc.
Physically, I am impressed with the look and feel of the device. It looks great from all angles, and feels nice in your hands. It feels like it is designed for landscape use, which is ideal for us as our main use for a tablet like this would be for watching videos, browsing, or playing games. It is light enough to hold in one hand if needed, weighing in at 500g.
The tablet has 16GB of internal storage, plus a MicroSD slot which support cards up to 128GB. You can transfer apps to the card which is helpful if you are installing lots of games for the kids, like we go. The video app also scans the external storage for files and displays them in folders – perfect for the kids TV shows. It has 2GB RAM and a 2.0 GHz octa-core processor, making it handy for multi-tasking. It has dual windows functionality, allowing you to have two apps open at once – really handy.
The audio is really great; it has four speakers to provide “surround sound” using “advanced harmam/kardon technology”. Basically this means with 2 treble & 2 bass speakers, you get good volume, and rich sound.
The MediaPad runs Android 5.1 – Lollipop. This isn’t the latest version and it’s surprising that a 2016 tablet isn’t running Marshmallow, but it does work really smoothly and we haven’t had any problems with performance at this point. On top of Android it is running Huawei’s Emotion UI, which I really like, given that I am used to iOS devices. It does make it feel more easy to use for me & the kids, but my husband (who has an Android phone), is a little more wary of the edited user experience it provides.
There is no functionality for multiple users and the parental controls aren’t brilliant, so with young children in the house we’ve opted to use the App Lock option which allows us to prevent certain apps from being opened without a passcode. We were hoping to use the fingerprint recognition for this, but as soon as we turned off device unlock using the passcode, the whole fingerprint recognition side of things disabled itself.
We did test the fingerprint recognition technology, and it’s great other than that limitation. Really fast and seems to work at multiple angles. It allows you to store up to 5 fingerprints which means you can have multiple users, and register more than one digit. I like that the fingerprint area is also a teensy touch pad, which works even when the recognition is off; you tap it to go home, swipe left to go back, and swipe right to go to the multitasking management screen. Lydia gets frustrated with getting back to the home screen on our other Android tablet, so this is a really welcome addition.
We chose one of the more colourful themes, flow, available in the EMUI settings. It’s more suitable to a family device – but the default theme Melody is very smart. It doesn’t have an app drawer which may frustrate some users, although you can install third party apps to do this.
Battery wise, they claim it gives 10 hours of use with 17 days of standby, and we haven’t had to charge it since it arrived so I am pretty pleased with that! We’ve had problems in the past with Android tablets draining the battery while locked so it’s nice to pick it up and still have it holding it’s charge well. It includes a Tablet Manager app that will scan the device and optimise the performance for you, including closing apps using a lot of memory and clearing up junk.
The camera on the MediaPad M2 is pretty good; the low-light performance isn’t great but it takes decent photographs in good light. If you needed to snap a quick picture it is good enough. In addition to the 13MP back camera, you get a 5MP front camera for web conferencing, etc. Here are a few photos taken with the back camera:
There are a few official accessories available for this tablet, including Huwaei’s own stylus, the M-Pen – which looks pretty good.
Overall we have been impressed by this device. Currently available at Currys for £199, it is a great tablet for the price. The biggest negative point is probably that it doesn’t just the latest version of Android despite being released this year. It’s lightweight, has a great display, excellent sound and is easy to use. 4 stars.