Alongside the new Matebook X Pro that was launched during MWC this year, Huawei also launched two new tablets called the MediaPad M5 8.4″, the MediaPad M5 10.8″ that they were kind enough to send me.
So, as is usual on the channel, I figured I’d try and do a complete walkthrough on them. Now, if you aren’t familiar with my complete walkthroughs, I try and go through every feature I can think of on the device for you guys just in case you were thinking of buying one.
Also, since these two devices are very similar, I’m going to just combine them into one walkthrough instead of doing two separate ones.
So, with that clarified, let’s get started.
Huawei MediaPad M5 Hardware
So I know I just said there were two devices, but technically speaking, there are actually three in total. There is the M5 8.4″, the M5 10.8″, and the M5 10.8″ Pro. The only difference between the M5 10″ and M5 10″ Pro is the inclusion of a stylus as far as I can tell. All other specs, dimensions, and software even I was told are the same.
They are all also made out of a solid unibody aluminum and are the first tablets to feature a 2.5D curved glass screen (which means the glass is actually curved down into the body, a nice touch).
The M5 8.4″ has an 8.4″ IPS LCD screen (duh) while the 10.8″ is actually a 10.8″ IPS LCD screen (also, duh). Both screens have a 2560×1600 resolution (giving them different pixel densities, of course).
Above the screens, we have an 8 MP front-facing camera and below we have a home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner.
Now, at this point, I usually go over the sides of the devices, top, bottom, left, right, etc. but, going by the orientation of the Huawei logo on these guys, they have different intended orientations, I assume.
The 8.4″ is portrait and the 10.8″ is landscape.
So let’s start with the “bottom” of the 8.4″ which has the USB-C port (no headphone jack on either of these devices, by the way) and one of our dual speakers which are tuned by Harman/Kardon.
At the top of the 8.4″ we have the other speaker.
On the left, we just have our SIM card slot that also has a MicroSD slot, as well.
On the right, we have our volume buttons and power button.
On the “bottom” of the 10.8″ model, we have two of our four Harman/Kardon speakers and our keyboard connector (which we’ll get into more in a sec).
On the top, we have… nothing.
On the left, we have… nothing, as well.
And on the right, we have basically everything: the USB-C port, SIM card/MicroSD combo, volume buttons and power button.
On the back of both, we have a 13MP camera with an f2.2 aperture.
All of the tablets have built-in LTE, Wi-Fi of every variety, and Bluetooth 4.2.
And they are powered by the Kirin 960 chipset and 4GBs of RAM.
The 8.4″ version has a 5100mah battery that Huawei says can be charged fully in 1.9 hours thanks to its Quick Charge tech, and the 7500mah battery in the 10.8″ can be fully charged using that same tech in about 2.9 hours.
The MediaPad M5 Pro comes with the M-Pen. It’s an active pen you can use as a stylus that has 4096-level pressure sensitivity and two buttons to use for erasing, taking screenshots, launching apps, etc.
You can slide the clip over to reveal the USB-C port that allows you to charge the pen. Huawei says it’ll fully charge the pen in 100 minutes and can be used for up to 50 days on one charge (based on two hours per day).
Huawei MediaPad M5 Software
On the software side, the devices both run Android 8.0 with EMUI 8.1 on top. And since it’s the same version that we are used to I’ll skip over the system itself and let’s just go over some of the more unique apps that Huawei has included on these devices in particular.
Firstly, we need to talk about Desktop Mode.
The M5 10.8″, with its keyboard connector, can slide into a keyboard case like this one from Huawei that has actual clickable keys and a glass trackpad, and it’ll automatically switch to Desktop Mode.
In Desktop Mode, it’ll resemble a PC (complete with a copy of the Windows XP default background) with a version of a Start Menu with all your apps in it and a taskbar that shows your open apps and normal status icons. Tapping on the time will open the calendar app in a movable window and tapping on the other icons will bring up something that resembles the notification center in Windows 10 that will have all of your quick settings and, yes, notifications.
You can use the trackpad to get a mouse and apps optimized by Huawei can be turned into windows while the others will just open as a full-screen app.
You can always go back to a normal Android tablet home screen by pulling down the notification shade and tapping the Desktop Mode icon.
Now, real quick, let’s go through the apps that Huawei has pre-installed.
- Asphalt Game
- Backup: A phone backup and restore program.
- Booking.com: Bloatware that takes you to Booking.com’s site.
- Files: Their own file explorer that can sort by type of file or location.
- Gallery: Their own photo album that sorts photos and videos by Albums and locations.
- Health: Huawei’s own health app.
- Hi-Care: Huawei’s customer service portal app.
- Monster Game
- Disney Game
- Mirror: A strange app to use as a mirror that offers basically the same features as just turning on the selfie camera…
- Cartoon Game
- Music: Huawei’s own music player.
- Notes: A simple note-taking application.
- Phone Clone: Which allows you to download the app on another phone and quickly transfer all of your photos, videos, apps, etc. from one device to the other.
- Recorder: A simple voice recording app.
- SIM Toolkit: Apps that allow you to adjust how each SIM of the dual SIMs are used in the device.
- Spiderman Game:
- Tablet Management: Their own app for cleaning up cache/storage, monitoring or limiting mobile data, battery monitoring and scanning for viruses.
- Themes: Where you can download or buy new themes from Huawei’s repository.
- Tips: Huawei’s app for showing you how to get more out of the device.
- Videos: Huawei’s built-in video player.
- Weather: A basic weather app with weather data provided by Accuweather.
Lastly, the M5 8.4″ comes with the Office suite on it but the 10.8″ comes with WPS Office instead (at least my models did). I assume this has something to do with WPS being optimized for Desktop Mode and working as a windowed app whereas Office probably isn’t but just a hypothesis.
Huawei MediaPad M5 Camera
Now, for the camera.
Beyond the normal photo and video modes we have the following:
- Pro: Allows you to adjust all of the camera’s functions like ISO, shutter speed, exposure, autofocus, white balance, etc.
- Pro Video: Same concept as Pro Mode but for video, obviously.
- HDR: Which is a mode on Huawei devices instead of just being an automatically detected thing in the Auto mode like most manufacturers which I don’t understand.
- Night Shot: This setting allows you to take a long exposure shot that holds the shutter open for 4-8 seconds to let in more light.
- Panorama: Which we’re used to that lets you take a wider photo by stitching photos together.
- Light Painting: Which allows you to create long exposure photos that you’ve undoubtedly seen on social media somewhere.
- Time-Lapse: Which allows you to shoot at lower frame rates to have a sped up video.
- All-Focus: This mode allows you to take a photo and adjust the focus after it’s been taken.
- Filter: Instagram-esque filters that can be applied to the live view and photo.
- Watermark: Think Snapchat stickers based on time, location, etc.
- Document Scanner: Allows you to take photos of documents (or anything that resembles one really) and it’ll automatically crop it and brighten it.
- Good Food: Which is available in Downloads, and allows you to choose manually to do what I imagine the AI scene detection does automatically when it recognizes food (which is to turn up the saturation basically).
And now, let’s dive quickly into the Settings of the MediaPad M5’s camera.
- Photo Resolution: You can choose from 13MP in 4:3, 10MP in 16:9, 10M in 1:1, 8M in 4:3, and 6MP 16:9.
- Video Resolution:
- RAW format: If shooting in Pro mode you can capture RAW format photos. If you don’t know what those are, then you don’t need to enable this probably but it allows for more complex photo editing after the fact, let’s say.
- GPS Tag: Turn on or off whether you want location data stored in the metadata of the image file.
- Assistive Grid: Allows you to add various grids to the viewfinder while taking an image to help you line up shots (I personally always use this myself with any camera).
- Mirror Reflection: This flips the front-facing camera around to more resemble a mirror.
- Mute: Turn off camera sounds (why would you ever want a shutter sound frankly?)
- Timer: Set a timer for when the photo is taken after the shutter is pressed of either 2, 5, or 10 seconds.
- Audio Control: Allows you to take photos with your voice by either saying Cheese or when your voice hits a certain decibel level (aka gets loud).
- Touch to Capture: Allows you to tap the screen to take a photo.
- Capture Smiles: Automatically take a photo if it detects anyone smiling in it.
- Touch & Hold Shutter Icon: Choose whether you want a burst shot or to lock the focal length when you touch and hold the shutter button.
- Volume Button Function: Choose if you want the volume buttons to take a photo (shutter), zoom in and out, or move the focus in and out.
Pricing and Availability
At the moment, there is no US pricing or availability, the M-Pen has no separate price, and neither does the keyboard. The only thing we know about pricing is the UK pricing which is below:
And they will be released at an undisclosed time during Spring 2018.
And there you go, let me know what you guys think below as I’m trying to improve the format. Add things, remove things, let me know!