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Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 Tablet Review

Daniel Schmidt, 08/27/2014

Couch potato. The MediaPad M1 8.0 ships with a fast Kirin 910 CPU, a decent display and great battery runtimes - but while its stamina may be great, both its slightly outdated version of Android and some outdoor usability issues are disappointing. However, for less than 200 Euros (~$263), it is still a good offer.

For the original German review, see here.

The Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 is a comparably affordable 8-inch tablet, being priced at a reasonable 229 Euros (~$302). It comes with an HD resolution IPS screen and a quad-core CPU designed by the Chinese company itself. The 16 GB of storage can be expanded with the help of micro SD cards, and an optional LTE variant is available as well - although our test device has to do without a cellular modem.

Premium tablets such as the iPad Mini (starts at 389 Euros, ~$513) are definitely no direct competition due to the large price differential. Some manufacturers other than Apple do, however, produce more affordable slates, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 (starting at 178 Euros, ~$234), the Lenovo A8-50 Tablet (140 Euros and up, ~$184), the Acer Iconia A1-810 (135 Euros or more, ~$178) and the Windows-based Dell Venue 8 Pro (at least 200 Euros, ~$263).

Case

How we test - Case

Slim design and decent build quality.
Slim design and decent build quality.

The chassis of the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 is made from plastic and metal. Weighing 341 grams and measuring 7.9 mm in thickness turns it into one of the slimmer tablets of its class. In addition, the bezels on its long sides are quite slim. When used in portrait mode, it can easily be held with one hand.

The rear part is dominated by a metal surface with some plastic parts around the camera and at the opposite side. While these come in a similar color (at least for the gray model), its clearances are somewhat uneven. The lower plastic part comes with a small latch allowing it to be removed (albeit only with a lot of force and caution at the same time, as it sits very tight while being quite fragile). Beneath, the micro SD card slot and the SIM card slot (for the LTE variant only) can be found. The display frame is made from plastic with a metal look.

The tablet is very torsion-resistant and also quite pressure-resistant, with only a lot of force being applied to the rear leading to image distortions on the display. The battery cannot be replaced or exchanged by the user, being soldered to the device.

Connectivity

How we test - Connectivity

The micro-USB 2.0 port of the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 supports both recharging and data transfer standards in addition to OTG, allowing for external input or storage devices to be connected to the tablet.

The micro-SD card slot allows cards with up to 32 GB of storage to be used with the device. The M1 is also capable of supporting App2SD, making it easy to move apps to the micro-SD card (we experienced no problems when testing this feature).

Right-hand side: volume rocker and power button
Right-hand side: volume rocker and power button

Software

The tablet ships with a slightly outdated version of Google's OS, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It is augmented by Huawei's own Emotion UI as well as some tools (App2SD and a tablet manager which comes with clean-up functionality for the system and its storage as well as allowing for access to recovery and energy-saving features), but with the exception of Kingsoft Office, no third-party software is on board. 

Huawei Emotion UI
App2SD is integrated into the system.
Tablet manager
Energy saving modes
GPS test (outdoors)
GPS test (outdoors)

Communication & GPS 

The Wi-Fi module of the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 supports the IEEE-802.11 standards a/b/g/n, making it capable of using both the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz bands. Range is sufficient, but not great. 20 meters away from the router (a Fritz!Box 6360), connection quality wasn't great, with a dampening amplitude of -86 dBm, but it was still enough to browse the web.

While NFC has been omitted, Bluetooth 4.0 is also on board, working flawlessly. Even when streaming HD videos from the web to the tablet, audio playback on an external Bluetooth speaker shows no latency.

The GPS module works reliably. While it takes a bit to find our location indoors, it locks onto us within a few moments when being used outdoors.

Cameras

The Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 ships with two cameras. The webcam on the front yields 1 MP (1280x720 pixels, 16:9), being good enough for video chats under well-lit conditions. Photos, however, look less life-like, appearing dull and grainy with unnatural colors.

The main camera on the rear yields 5 MP (2592x1592 pixels, 4:3) as well as auto-focus capabilities. During daylight, sharp photos can be taken - although color reproduction is decent at best, with a lot of oversaturation. Under less favorable conditions, quality is far worse. An LED flash would have been nice for these instances.

Videos can be recorded with 1280x720 pixels ("small" HD), not very much in times of UHD. Quality is so-so, too, with a lack of sharpness and a lot of noise in addition to mediocre audio quality.

Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 (main camera)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 (main camera)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 (webcam)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 (webcam)
Canon EOS 70D (reference)
Canon EOS 70D (reference)

Accessories

The MediaPad ships with just a modular power adapter yielding 10 watts (5.0 volt, 2.0 ampere), a USB to micro-USB cable, a warranty card and a printed quick-start guide.

Huawei offers no special optional accessories for the MediaPad M1 8.0.

Warranty

The tablet comes with 24 months of warranty, including 6 months for the battery and the power adapter.

Input Devices & Operation

The 8-inch capacitive touchscreen of the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 recognizes up to 10 fingers at the same time. Unfortunately, while it works reliably, quickly and with great precision, its plastic surface doesn't feel smooth enough to lead to a comfortable swiping and gliding experience. The Android keys are rendered as on-screen buttons.

Huawei's keyboard layout is quite minimalistic, coming with large keys. Unfortunately, the keyboard doesn't remember its language settings forcing the user to switch e.g. from English to German each time.

The volume rocker and the power button are the only physical buttons. They are easy to feel, but their pressure point is not very well defined.

Keyboard (portrait mode)
Keyboard (portrait mode)
Keyboard (landscape mode)
Keyboard (landscape mode)

Display

How we test - Display

The 8-inch display of the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 comes with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels and thus a screen ratio of 16:10 and a pixel density of approx. 189 ppi. While this may not be absurdly high, it is both sufficient and standard for this market segment.

The tablet reaches a maximum brightness of 328 cd/m², another common value for this segment, and another decent one. Still, brightness homogeneity is below average, coming in at 84%, although barely any noticeable brightness differences occur during actual usage.

290
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
328
cd/m²
324
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 328 cd/m² Average: 307.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 328 cd/m²
Contrast: 713:1 (Black: 0.46 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.23 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.68 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.15

The Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 yields decent black levels of around 0.46 cd/m² (and thus darkish blacks) and subsequently a good contrast ratio of 713:1.

Colors come to lie on the cool side, although this can be changed manually in the settings menu. The resulting dE values (for a medium color temperature value) are a lot better, removing most of the strong bluish tint of the display without being capable of getting rid of all of it. Thus, we have taken two measurements of the panel, one with the standard settings and another one with the changed ones. During the latter scenario, lower dE values of 5 (grayscale) and 6 (mixed colors) result. Generally speaking, colors could be more vivid - something which becomes much more noticeable when comparing the Huawei MediaPad to other devices.

Color accuracy (standard color temperature, target color space sRGB)
Color accuracy (standard color temperature, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (standard color temperature, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (standard color temperature, target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (medium color temperature, target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (medium color temperature, target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (standard color temperature, target color space sRGB)
Color saturation (standard color temperature, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (standard color temperature, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (standard color temperature, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (medium color temperature, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (medium color temperature, target color space sRGB)

Unfortunately, while it works flawlessly in closed quarters, the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 is not very well suited to outdoor usage despite of its decent brightness and high contrast ratio. It is still too dark, making it hard to see anything even when the sky is cloudy. The glossy, highly reflective surface increases this problem.

In terms of viewing-angle stability, the IPS display is very good, with the only issue being the glossy surface. Even brightness barely decreases under steep angles (although a slight ghosting effect does occur beyond 130 degrees, but this shouldn't be an issue under real-life conditions).

The MediaPad M1 8.0 in cloudy conditions.
The MediaPad M1 8.0 in cloudy conditions.
Viewing-angle stability of the MediaPad M1 8.0.
Viewing-angle stability of the MediaPad M1 8.0.

Performance

How we test - Performance

The Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 ships with a home-grown CPU, the HiSilicon Kirin 910, a quad-core SoC with a CPU clock speed of up to 1.6 GHz, making this a slightly slower variant of the otherwise similar Kirin 910T (1.8 GHz). The integrated mid-range ARM Mali-450 MP4 GPU clocked at 533 MHz leads to more-than-decent graphics performance.

In terms of benchmark results, the system fares pretty well, beating all of its direct, Android-based competitors. The Intel Atom Z3740D used by the Venue 8 Pro, however, is far more powerful, especially when it comes to 3DMark results where the Intel-based Dell slate takes a huge lead both in terms of CPU and GPU performance

Quite often, the system will not work flawlessly, with a number of lags - quite a surprise given the decent specs. Most likely this is the fault of the Emotion UI. Possibly, the rather sluggish flash memory (faring worse than that of its competitors) might have an influence on these results as well. 12 GB out of 16 GB remains, but micro-SD cards of up to 32 GB can be inserted, reducing this issue. Browsing the web is almost always a smooth experience, but even here, some lags can be observed on more demanding websites.

AnTuTu Benchmark v4 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
21467 Points ∼50%
Lenovo A8-50
16946 Points ∼39% -21%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
1452 Points ∼9%
Lenovo A8-50
1156 Points ∼7% -20%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
481 Points ∼10%
Lenovo A8-50
351 Points ∼8% -27%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
9849 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310
5079 Points ∼3% -48%
Acer Iconia A1-810
7673 Points ∼5% -22%
Dell Venue 8 Pro
14993 Points ∼10% +52%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
5322 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310
2787 Points ∼0% -48%
Acer Iconia A1-810
2694 Points ∼0% -49%
Dell Venue 8 Pro
16047 Points ∼2% +202%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
5927 Points ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310
3098 Points ∼2% -48%
Acer Iconia A1-810
3148 Points ∼2% -47%
Lenovo A8-50
3206 Points ∼2% -46%
Dell Venue 8 Pro
15800 Points ∼8% +167%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
616 Points ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310
712 Points ∼11% +16%
Acer Iconia A1-810
572 Points ∼9% -7%
Lenovo A8-50
618 Points ∼10% 0%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
1444.1 ms * ∼36%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310
1257.1 ms * ∼31% +13%
Acer Iconia A1-810
1497.5 ms * ∼37% -4%
Lenovo A8-50
1454 ms * ∼36% -1%
AndroBench 3
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
0.95 MB/s ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310
1.88 MB/s ∼4% +98%
Acer Iconia A1-810
0.63 MB/s ∼1% -34%
Lenovo A8-50
0.94 MB/s ∼2% -1%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
9.12 MB/s ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310
10.94 MB/s ∼8% +20%
Acer Iconia A1-810
12.29 MB/s ∼9% +35%
Lenovo A8-50
13.1 MB/s ∼10% +44%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
12.13 MB/s ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310
20.07 MB/s ∼13% +65%
Acer Iconia A1-810
10.41 MB/s ∼7% -14%
Lenovo A8-50
23.18 MB/s ∼15% +91%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
38.74 MB/s ∼8%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310
45.86 MB/s ∼9% +18%
Acer Iconia A1-810
46.43 MB/s ∼10% +20%
Lenovo A8-50
62.55 MB/s ∼13% +61%

Legend

 
Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 HiSilicon Kirin 910, ARM Mali-450 MP4, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 SM-T310 Samsung Exynos 4212 1.5 GHz, ARM Mali-400 MP4, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Acer Iconia A1-810 Mediatek MT6589, PowerVR SGX544, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Lenovo A8-50 Mediatek MT8121, PowerVR SGX544, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Dell Venue 8 Pro Intel Atom Z3740D, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

Although the ARM Mali-450 MP4 does not support OpenGL ES 3.0 (only the outdated 2.0 standard), it is nevertheless capable of rendering most games smoothly, making playing games feasible on the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0. Only more demanding titles such as Asphalt 8 or Anomaly 2 will require the user to reduce details in order to yield a smooth gaming experience.

The sensors work perfectly well, making it even more fun to play. However, the touchscreen could feel more comfortable to slide across with one's fingers.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Anomaly 2
Anomaly 2

Emissions

How we test - Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures of the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 remain unproblematic at all times, never exceeding body temperature, with up to 31.8 °C while idle and no more than 36.6 °C under continuous load for more than one hour (as simulated with the app Stability Test). Only the power adapter gets hot with up to 53.2 °C under full load.

Max. Load
 30.6 °C35.8 °C36.6 °C 
 29.8 °C31.8 °C36.1 °C 
 29.4 °C31 °C33.2 °C 
Maximum: 36.6 °C
Average: 32.7 °C
35.4 °C36.4 °C31.7 °C
33.8 °C34 °C31.6 °C
32 °C32.7 °C30.9 °C
Maximum: 36.4 °C
Average: 33.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  53.2 °C | Room Temperature 23 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The two stereo speakers are located on each side of the display - being positioned on the front. This is good news in terms of their audio quality (with clean highs up to medium volume) although weak mids and bass as well as reduced clarity with increasing volume (sounding very damp and unbalanced in the end) damage this picture somewhat.

Energy Management

How we test - Energy Management

Power Consumption

In terms of power consumption, the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 delivers on all fronts. Idle consumption levels of 0.8 to 2.8 watts are already decent, but 5.1 watts under full load is even better. Both the (rather fast) SoC and the panel seem not to be too power-hungry.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.8 / 2.4 / 2.8 Watt
Load midlight 4.6 / 5.1 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

The large 4800 mAh battery of the Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 leads to a lot of real-life stamina, especially in combination with the low power consumption of the tablet.

Our Wi-Fi test scenario sets the display brightness to 150 cd/m², deactivating all modems with the exception of the Wi-Fi module and browsing the web (with a script opening a new page every 40 seconds). During this test, the MediaPad manages to survive for more than 12.5 hours - a great result, beating the entire competition, including the second-placed Lenovo A8-50 which yields more than 9 hours, far less.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
12h 31min

Verdict

In review: The Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0.
In review: The Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0.

The MediaPad M1 8.0 is a good 8-inch tablet with phenomenal battery life. Unfortunately, the UI never remains entirely lag-free despite of a rather powerful SoC, and Android 4.2.2 is slightly outdated, making it impossible e.g. to use Android Wear with the tablet.

Apart from these issues, Huawei has managed to manufacture a decent couch and multimedia tablet. Some compromises have been made in terms of audio quality and outdoor readability, with the latter being more of an oddity - and more of a nuisance - when thinking about the optionally available LTE variant.

Overall, the Huawei tablet is quite a useable device, especially considering its more-than-fair price-to-value ratio - especially since the MediaPad M1 8.0 can already be had for considerably less than the RRP.

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In review: Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0. Test device provided by Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0. Test device provided by Notebooksbilliger.de

Specifications

Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0
Processor
Graphics adapter
ARM Mali-450 MP4, Core: 533 MHz
Memory
1024 MB 
, LPDDR3
Display
8.0 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, capacitive Touchscreen, 10 points, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 12.31 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined audio jack, Card Reader: MicroSD up to 32 GB (SDHC), Sensors: Proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, position sensor, acceleration and orientation sensor, digital compass, GPS, Glonass, OTG, DLNA
Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, Head SAR: 0.007 W/kg, Body SAR: 0.028 W/kg
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.9 x 214.4 x 120.7 ( = 0.31 x 8.44 x 4.75 in)
Battery
Lithium-Polymer, 4800 mAh
Operating System
Android 4.2
Camera
Webcam: 1.0 MP, main camera: 5.0 MP with auto focus
Additional features
Speakers: 2 front speakers (stereo) with DTS, Keyboard: virtual, Power adapter, data cable, quick guide, Tablet Manager, Designs, Kingsoft Office, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
341 g ( = 12.03 oz / 0.75 pounds), Power Supply: 68 g ( = 2.4 oz / 0.15 pounds)
Price
229 Euro

 

The MediaPad M1 8.0 can be had in gray and silver.
The MediaPad M1 8.0 can be had in gray and silver.
The 8-inch display offers a resolution of 1280x800 pixels.
The 8-inch display offers a resolution of 1280x800 pixels.
The panel is protected by plastic.
The panel is protected by plastic.
Two speakers can be found at the sides of the touchscreen.
Two speakers can be found at the sides of the touchscreen.
The Kirin 910 CPU yields decent performance levels.
The Kirin 910 CPU yields decent performance levels.
The tablet is rather lightweight, offering small bezels.
The tablet is rather lightweight, offering small bezels.
Metal and plastic cover the rear.
Metal and plastic cover the rear.
Dual-band Wi-Fi on such an affordable slate?
Dual-band Wi-Fi on such an affordable slate?
12 GB is available to the user.
12 GB is available to the user.
Android 4.2.2 is used.
Android 4.2.2 is used.
Geekbench 3
Geekbench 3
Anomaly 2 Benchmark (High Quality)
Anomaly 2 Benchmark (High Quality)
Browsermark 2.1
Browsermark 2.1
Google Octane 2.0
Google Octane 2.0
Basemark OS II
Basemark OS II

Similar Devices

Devices with the same GPU

Amazon Fire Kids Edition (Late 2015) Tablet Review
Mali-450 MP4, Mediatek MT8127, 7.0", 0.407 kg
Acer Iconia Tab 10 A3-A20 Tablet Review
Mali-450 MP4, Mediatek MT8127, 10.0", 0.52 kg
Acer Iconia Tab 10 A3-A20FHD Tablet Review
Mali-450 MP4, Mediatek MT8127, 10.0", 0.52 kg
Huawei MediaPad X1 7.0 Tablet Review
Mali-450 MP4, Kirin 910, 7.0", 0.239 kg

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

Huawei MediaPad T2 10.0 Pro Tablet Review
Adreno 405, Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, 10.1", 0.461 kg
Huawei MediaPad M2 10 Tablet Review
Mali-T628 MP4, Kirin 930, 10.1", 0.5 kg
Huawei MediaPad M2 Tablet Review
Mali-T628 MP4, Kirin 930, 8.0", 0.33 kg

Links

Price Check

Pro

+Great battery life
+Decent display
+Dual-band Wi-Fi
+Fast SoC
+Expandable storage
+Low SAR values
 

Cons

-Touchscreen surface could feel smoother
-Outdated version of Android
-Micro-lags
-Reduced outdoor usability

Shortcut

What we like

The battery runtimes of the MediaPad M1 8.0 are very good, beating those of many higher-priced devices.

What we'd like to see

A smoother touchscreen surface.

What surprises us

The tablet also comes in an LTE variant - so why didn't Huawei put more effort into outdoor visibility of the display?

The competition

Some competitors are the Lenovo A8-50, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, the Acer Iconia A1-810, the Dell Venue 8 Pro and the Captiva Pad 8 Pro.

Rating

Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 - 08/20/2014 v4(old)
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
75%
Keyboard
65 / 80 → 81%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
47 / 66 → 71%
Weight
86 / 88 → 96%
Battery
94%
Display
82%
Games Performance
54 / 68 → 79%
Application Performance
31 / 76 → 41%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
57 / 91 → 63%
Camera
49 / 85 → 58%
Average
70%
83%
Tablet - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Huawei MediaPad M1 8.0 Tablet Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2014-08-27 (Update: 2014-08-27)