We have spent several weeks using the Huawei MatePad Pro as the main device, a tablet that aspires to be among the best high-end tablets on the market. Will it measure up to the iPad and the Galaxy Tab?
- Dimensions: 159 x 246 x 7.2 mm
- Weight: 460 grams
- Type: IPS
- Size: 10.8 inch | 16:10
- Resolution: 2560 x 1600 px
- Pixel Density: 280 pixels per inch.
- Color gamut DCI-P3.
- Main features
- Processor: Huawei Kirin 990
- 2 x 2.86 GHz @ Cortex-A76
- 2 x 2.09 GHz @ Cortex-A76
- 4 x 1.86 GHz @ Cortex-A55
- GPU: Mali G76-MP16
- Operating system: EMUI 10 based on Android 10 AOSP
- Processor: Huawei Kirin 990
- Expandable memory: Nano Memory up to 256 GB
- Resolution: 13 Mpx f / 1.8
- WiFi 802.11ac
- Bluetooth 5.2
- USB 3.1 Type C
- Accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS (in 4G model) …
- 7250 mAh Li-Po
- Fast charge: 40 W
- Wireless charging: 27 W
- Reverse wireless charging: 7.5 W.
A simple and very practical design
The design of the Huawei MatePad Pro is quite curious, and without a doubt unique in the sector in which it moves. It is difficult to evaluate it as a single element, since depending on where we are looking at it we will have the feeling of a premium product or a cheaper product.
The back is made of fiberglass, and it is easy to confuse it at first with plastic, since the finish did not look at all like aluminum or glass, more common materials for the back on mobile devices or tablets.
The choice of this material at first seems strange, but it is well thought out. First, the choice of aluminum as a material seems better, but because Huawei has chosen to add wireless charging and reverse wireless charging to this device, it was a material that had no place. On the other hand, glass as an alternative makes the device fragile.
Fiberglass is light, strong and allows the use of wireless charging, in addition to offering a less unpleasant touch than glass and leaves less footprint. We liked the implementation of Huawei and we would love it to be used on more smartphones. The frames are made of aluminum, and have the same finish.
On the back you can see the Huawei logo in the center, located in a horizontal alignment.
We also appreciate a camera with a large protuberance, with an LED and a microphone.
If we hold it horizontally, the left frame has the power button and two speakers, signed by Harman Kardon.
Two other speakers in the right frame, with the USB C port.
The latest version of EMUI, maximum performance and wireless charging?
This tablet is based on Android 10, but as usual because of Trump’s veto on Huawei, it does not include Google applications and services. Because of this, we have EMUI 10.1, based on the free version of Android.
All the standard Android functions are available, and the performance of the tablet is excellent thanks to the Kirin 990 processing, 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, being at the level of the Huawei Mate 30 and P40. To the configuration of hardware You can not ask for more, since it is the most powerful Android tablet on the market, in hard conflict with the Galaxy Tab S6 and its Snapdragon 855.
All this performance, together with the efficiency of the chip and its battery gives us for a screen use of between 6 and 8 hours, depending on the intensity of the applications and the brightness of the screen. Regarding charging, although it supports fast charging of 40 W, the charger included in the box is 18 W. On the other hand, it supports wireless charging up to 27 W, but you will have to get a charger. I have used the Ikea ultra cheap to test, and the charging time has been about 6 hours, comfortable to leave the tablet charging overnight but useless to receive an urgent charge.
If you have a Huawei mobile or computer, you will be able to use the collaborative tools of Huawei, as well as Huawei Share, which gives you a great addition if you are a user of branded equipment. In our case, when using a Google Pixel and a Mac we were unable to access these tools.
Does the loss of Google affect a tablet so much?
As we previously discussed, the Huawei MatePad Pro does not include Google services. On this topic we have already talked long and hard in the reviews of Huawei phones that have the same limitation. However, on a tablet it may not be so serious, since services such as Maps or Photos have more weight and impact on a mobile.
When it comes to downloading games, we have used Huawei’s own store and Uptodown. Although the games available from AppGallery have perfect compatibility, those that we have downloaded from third-party stores or APKs, if they depended on any Google tool, will not work correctly. If you use the synchronization in the Play Games cloud, you will not be able to access your save, while if you offer in-app purchases, you will receive an error.
Widevine, what allows us to have Netflix and other services in HD is an aspect that depends on Google. Without Google, there is no Widevine, and therefore there is no Netflix in HD or HDR. It rages as far as limitations go.
One of the best in multimedia
The absence of HD streaming content is, to a certain extent, what most punishes the Huawei tablet. The 10.8-inch IPS screen with 2K resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio is perfect for gaming, internet browsing. The colors are very natural and it is pleasant in any setting.
Sound further enhances the experience. All four Harman Kardon speakers sound cinematic, both in volume and sound quality.
An excellent pencil
The pen is silver and light, as well as being very easy to use. It attaches magnetically to the top of the tablet, something recommended in the first use, since it will charge its battery and it will be automatically linked by bluetooth.
At the construction level, it is absurdly light, although the touch is not perfect, if it is comfortable enough to use it for hours.
One of the best assets that this tablet has is with the MyScript Nebo application. This is one of the best notebook applications available on both Android and iPad, and under normal conditions it would cost us 9.99 euros to acquire, while on the MatePad Pro we will have it for free. One of the best uses for a tablet with a pencil is in the possibility of using it as a notebook, and with this pre-installed application we have everything we could ask of a notebook.
A keyboard case with a lot of technology and serious deficiencies
Like many other tablets with a focus on professional users, Huawei has opted for a keyboard case to protect the device and offer us an extra productivity, a keyboard case that is sold separately and that at a technological level is very, very interesting. .
Unlike Apple or Samsung, Huawei has not incorporated connection pins to connect the tablet to the keyboard, rather it is connected by Bluetooh. However, even if the connection is wireless, it does not have the drawbacks that regular wireless keyboards offer.
This keyboard does not have a battery that you have to charge. The case itself is magnetically coupled to the tablet, and through wireless charging and NFC, the tablet connects automatically and provides the keyboard with the necessary energy to function. The process could not be easier, and as it does not depend on pins, it offers us greater reliability in the long term. In this sense, the execution of Huawei has been perfect.
The biggest problem of the keyboard case for users in Spain is the language. The tablet has an ANSI English key layout. This means that the keyboard not only does not have ñ, but that the special keys and symbols themselves are in a very different distribution than it should have.
After testing it, we contacted Huawei to corroborate that the unit we have tested is the one that users in Spain finally receive, and the company has confirmed to El Androide Libre that it will finally be like this. The decision is disastrous and by itself ruins the experience much more than the absence of Google Play itself, since the application can be easily solved, while if you want a keyboard, you have to choose: or worse integrated solutions, or have a keyboard layout not adapted to our country.
Huawei MatePad Pro: the best premium option if you don’t want Samsung or Apple
Both the iPad and the Galaxy Tab are tablets of exceptional quality, but they are also tablets that in their variants are of higher price. The Huawei MatePad Pro is more economical without compromising quality.
The absence of Google services is a drawback, but also an interesting alternative if you are looking to escape the Google / Apple binomial and want a powerful device, with all the possibilities of Android and some magnificent accessories such as the pencil and the keyboard case (as long as distribution in English is not a problem).
The Huawei MatePad Pro costs 599 euros in a pack with a pencil and keyboard cover included, although we can also get the tablet and the pen for 549 euros. Although the keyboard case separately costs more money than the 50 euros difference, from my experience, as an entertainment product I would prefer not to pay the extra for the keyboard case, since the keyboard layout is a hassle when using it.
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