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HUAWEI MediaPad X1 hands on (MWC 2014)

We go hands-on with a device that could be considered a small tablet, or an ultra-large smartphone. Here's our first look at the HUAWEI MediaPad X1!
February 25, 2014
MWC 2014 Coverage brought to you by: Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus for Android.

Huawei’s latest 7-inch offering is more than just a pretty tablet. With the device capable of making calls and offering a package thinner than typical 7-inch tablets, the upcoming tablet could technically be considered the largest smartphone we’ve ever seen. This is our first look at and hands-on with the HUAWEI MediaPad X1!

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The design of the tablet does seem to draw inspiration from very specific sources, but that doesn’t keep it from being a very attractive device. While not a pocketable device by any stretch of the imagination, we did find the handling to be quite good, backing up HUAWEI’s claim of this being one of the thinnest 7-inch form factors out there. The aluminium finish is a very nice touch, and the flat sides make it pretty easy to hold in one hand, provided your hand is actually big enough to wrap around it.

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Packing a Full HD display with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, the 7-inch display is no slouch, giving this tablet the ability to provide some great media experiences. The thin bezels helps the tablet keep  smaller size, despite its bigger screen. From what we were able to glean from our short time with the tablet, the colors are really quite nice, and the brightness is more than adequate.

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Underneath the surface, an in-house SoC called the HUAWEI HiSilicon Kirin 910 employs a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 and a Mali-450 GPU. 2 GB of RAM allow you to get some good multi-tasking done, while the 4G speeds in various markets in Asia can help make this smartphone/tablet speed right through the internet. The available on-board storage can be bolstered via microSD expansion, and a very sizable 5,000 mAh battery unit helps the MediaPad X1 truck along for quite a while.

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Shutterbugs will be pleased with the camera in the rear, as it comes with a 13 MP Sony Exmor R BSI sensor that packs quite a wallop. Selfies are a bit a focus for HUAWEI as the front camera comes with built-in tips for taking the best possible self-portraits you can enjoy.

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In the time we spent with the software, we noticed how HUAWEI does try to make the large screen more accessible for users. For one thing, it is possible to scroll through the elements even while holding the screen with your other thumb. One aspect that I thought was really cool was the ability to hide the softkeys with the press of a little arrow. If you need them to come back, a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen while make them re-appear. Despite the lack of an app drawer, we still thought the user interface looked pretty crisp and colorful, without going overboard.

The HUAWEI MediaPad X1 is a nifty little tablet, which also happens to have calling capabilities, so if you’re looking for a daily driver that also serves as a tablet, this is definitely a device you should consider.