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Huawei MediaPad M1 hands on (MWC 2014)

Here's a quick look at the Huawei MediaPad M1, a mid-range 8-inch tablet with a premium build quality and feel.
February 26, 2014
MWC 2014 Coverage brought to you by: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus for Android.

Huawei unveiled a couple of tablets this week at MWC 2014, and while the MediaPad X1 is facing an identity crisis as to whether it’s a small tablet or a smartphone, the other tablet announced, the MediaPad M1, with its 8-inch display, falls squarely in the tablet category, albeit also with voice-calling and text messaging capabilities. Here’s our first look at the Huawei MediaPad M1!

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The design of the 8-inch MediaPad M1 borrows a few design cues from the HTC One, but does so graciously, with the end result being and overall good looking tablet. The MediaPad M1 is just 7.9 mm thick, which is less than most devices competing in this class, and at 329 grams, is also quite light for an 8-inch tablet.

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The MediaPad M1 is an all metal device with a clean design that has a premium feel beyond its mid-range specification sheet. Available in grey and white, this tablet looks a bit like someone stretched an HTC M8. The front of the tablet is especially pretty, with the thin vertical bezels that more and more manufacturers are favoring lately.

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The 8-inch IPS LCD display of the MediaPad M1 has a 1280 x 800 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of about 189 ppi. That’s pretty low by most standards, but is understandable if you keep in mind the price tag of this device. This is really just an average display that could be just fine for some categories of users.

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The MediaPad M1 is powered by an in-house HiSilicon quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz. Combined with the 1GB of RAM, the processor does a good job at powering the user interface, though we won’t vouch for more intensive activities like gaming and multi-tasking.

Storage options available include 8 GB or 16 GB, with the possibility of an additional 32 GB of storage thanks to the microSD card slot. Unlike with the X1, you get a basic camera setup with the MediaPad M1, with a 5 MP rear shooter, and a 1 MP front-facing camera. Keeping everything running is 4,800 mAh battery, which should provide decent results with regards to battery life.

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As far as the software is concerned, Huawei opted for a very bright and colorful aesthetic, that we found rather easy on the eyes. The Emotion UI overlay on the MediaPad M1 is designed to be as easy to use as possible, which in this case, means an absence of an app drawer that you’d find with most other Android devices. Instead, all apps are shown on the homescreen. You still get to sort your apps into folders, but depending on how many apps you download, homescreens could get cluttered quite fast.

The Huawei MediaPad M1 is another device that joins the growing list of smartphones and tablets that offer a premium build-quality and feel, at odds with their mid-range specifications and comparatively low price points. With the additional benefit of voice-calling and text messaging capabilities, the Huawei MediaPad M1 also offers something above and beyond other tablets at a similar price range.