Huawei has been pouring new products into the Irish market in recent years. This has accelerated due to some increased anxiety over the whole Google, Trump, China thing. While that whole thing sucks, the up-side is that we get lots of new toys which traditionally were kept for other countries or even just China. One of these new toys is the Huawei MatePad Pro, a 10.8-inch tablet which has crosshairs set on the iPad and even the iPad Pro. You can watch my hands-on review above, or give this a read.
MatePad Pro Design
One of the standout design features is the front facings hole-punch camera. The camera is your primary biometric unlock and it works incredibly well. You actually forget that you’re face is unlocking the tab because it’s so fast and accurate. There were a few occasions where I would have rathered a fingerprint reader so I do consider this to be an omission that costs a small bit. However, it’s a trade-off that results in a stunning thing bezel display.
Also impressive is the quad-stereo speakers which are nothing short of mighty. So many phones and tablets these days assume we don’t want stereo speakers. Maybe the logic is most people will use headphones, but I like to have the choice. Note, there’s no 3.5mm jack either. Anyway, back to the speakers. These are Harman Kardon powered speakers which gives the tablet lots of oomph. Features like these suggest we’re looking at iPad Pro levels, not just iPad and an iPad Pro challenger would be nothing without a stylus.
MatePad Pro Features
Huawei M Pen
Huawei’s M Pen is arguably the highlight of the MatePad Pro. I love sustainability and with the usually Premium Nebo app included for free, you can take hand written notes and digitise them with a tap. Nebo’s ability to convert my scrawl into digital text is nothing short of incredible which is why it’s my go-to notetaking app on my own iPad. Once you’re finished, just pop the M Pen onto the tablet where it wirelessly charges.
Bluetooth Keyboard Case
If keyboards are more your thing, Huawei has you covered too with a folio protective case and Bluetooth keyboard. Again, my direct comparison is with iPad and I have to say I prefer the more free-moving buttons of the Huawei keyboard over the
membrane type iPad keyboard. It’s a personal preference I guess, but I didn’t expect the keyboard to be quite so usable.
Fast charging is one of my longstanding favourite features on Huawei phones and the MatePad Pro brings fast charging, a 7250 mAh battery and reverse wireless charging to the game. Reverse wireless charging working on both phones and accessories alike. Handy if you’re caught on the hop.
Huawei’s EMUI 10 brings something beyond the typical Android experience to the MatePad Pro too. Multi-screen collaboration allows you to control your phone from your tablet, keeping your focus in a central device and even letting your transfer files
between phone and tablet seamlessly. Eco-system for the win. You can also make use of the ful 10.8-inch screen to up your efficiency with multitasking, now supported by over 1000 apps. Handy for watching something and taking notes, or researching and writing simultaneously.
The Huawei AppGallery And Google Apps
The MatePad Pro is not saved from the political battle between Trump and China and as a result, there’s no Google Play Store or Google Mobile Services. Like the P40 Pro, you’ll need to make do with the Huawei AppGallery. Not all apps are there yet but there are workarounds. For example, I’ve installed Adobe Sketch by setting up my tablet with an image of my old Android phone.
This transfers most of my apps over which work perfectly fine. Huawei has also been pushing Petal Search as a more user-friendly way to sideload APK files adding a bit more trust. Even with all of these workarounds, you might very well find yourself lacking an important app.
Huawei MatePad Pro: The Verdict
The MatePad Pro is not flawless, but it is a productivity beast and is another addition to the ever-growing ecosystem. If you’re looking for a tablet to pop into meetings with for note keeping, this is excellent but don’t think for a second it’s
limited to the simple tasks in your day to day. The MatePad Pro is a potential laptop killer for many light to medium users. For some, the AppGallery will be a turn-off but this is the perfect choice for those who won’t even notice the app store shift.
The big win if you’re considering the MatePad Pro 128GB WiFi edition launch bundle which includes the keyboard
case and the M Pen can be bought for €549. I believe this will be available in Harvey Norman and possibly other stores. I’ll update this article when confirmed.
If you have any questions about the Huawei MatePad Pro that we’ve not touched on, drop a comment in the comment section of our YouTube video and we’ll be glad to answer your questions.