If only the Huawei MatePad Pro had gone out a year ago, we could have shouted at the miracle. Because after years of (unsuccessful) attempts to reach the quality and user experience of the iPad, an Android tablet capable of competing with the "King" of the category would finally arrive. And because, especially in recent times, the world of mobile technology has become strange, and let me say it, as well as strange it is also pretty boring. For this reason, if only it had been released a year ago, the Huawei MatePad Pro would have been like a breath of fresh air after months, years of quarantine.

Huawei MatePad Pro review

The general picture of the sector is this: in a world where for years Apple's iPad has continued its run towards convergence with the notebook world and continues to wonder what it would actually be like to be a full-fledged computer, it arrives Huawei that, strong as an icebreaker train, continues on its way and presents what could probably be called one of the best Android tablets on the market and, why not, a direct competitor even of the iPad Pro.

Huawei MatePad Pro review

On the other hand, design, quality of materials, screen and structure of this device raise the bar to all intents and purposes, and not only of the MatePad line (always firm in the mid-range market), but also for the world of Android tablets. Too bad, however, that the MatePad Pro also brings with it one of the most typical contradictions of the company's products of the past year: the hardware is daunting, but the software suffers from the lack of Google services. And the point is this: can an Android tablet, among other things without GMS, really compete with the iPad here in the west?

Sales package

The contents of the packaging of the Huawei MatePad Pro it is very basic and includes the bare essentials to be able to use the tablet without all the optional accessories. In addition to the device, there is a cable USB-A / USB-C, the manuals and a decidedly compact power supply that delivers a power of 20 watts.

The digital pen and the keyboard cover they must therefore be purchased separately, but it is worth mentioning that on the occasion of the introduction on the market of its new top of the range tablet, Huawei has given way to a decidedly interesting promotion with which it will include the pen and the cover with keyboard in the purchase price of the Tablet. But be careful: if you purchase it on Amazon or in other stores, you will need to fill out a form to request gifts; if instead you purchased it through the company's official online store, you would immediately receive the complete package (which will be shipped from the Huawei Experience Store in Milan).

Design and construction

See, I know. I know this story of the comparison between Android tablets and iPad has a little stew. He got tired of me even though I have been doing this job for almost 13 years and I realize that, a bit like what happened with the first phablets (which were immediately compared to the Samsung Note), it is almost natural to compare all the tablets that are not an iPad, with an iPad. On the other hand, it is a market that Cupertino invented. No? Maybe the time has come to give us a cut and try to say more interesting and constructive things than making the usual comparisons seen and reviewed. But the point is this: above all connected to the cover with the Smart magnetic keyboard and Huawei M Pencil, the thought immediately goes in that direction. Come on, even the names seem to be "similar" to those that Apple introduced with the first iPad Pro, and also to the appearance the new tablet from Huawei all yawed with accessories immediately reminds the Cupertino beast.

Huawei MatePad Pro review

But if it does, believe me, it's a good sign. Because no tablet animated by Google's OS had ever managed to achieve this touch-and-feel and this balance in the small details of the design. In short, we are talking about a 10-inch Android tablet qualitatively surprising, both from the point of view of design and from the point of view of hardware, extremely thin (only 7.2 millimeters), and that thanks to the frame around the display reduced to a minimum it almost suggests that it is an 8-inch tablet. And I'm going back there again, but I promise I won't do it again: it's slightly smaller than an 11-inch iPad Pro, but with its 460 grams it weighs a little more.

In short, from this point of view let me tell you dear Huawei: you did a not indifferent hardware job, and you also did it with the keyboard cover that does not excessively increase the thickness of the product. But going back to us, in MatePad Pro laterally in addition to quad speakers we find a door USB-C, at the rear a small camera bump with a single camera, and at the front it is practically all screen: the front camera was inserted into a small hole positioned near one of the vertices of the display.

There is also a nanoSIM slot for connection to the cellular network, which in Italy will only be 4G. So no, no 5G.

Display

The display from 10.8 inches diagonally and that uses an IPS panel from 1560 1600 pixels x. And just why it's an IPS, I was pleasantly impressed not only by the excellent brightness, but also by the rather marked saturation. Also good visibility in environments with direct light, the management of reflections is excellent and makes it seem almost an opaque display, and good the management of the minimum brightness that can be set in such a way as to avoid detachment of the retina in dark environments.

Huawei MatePad Pro review

Then there is a hole for the camera, which is certainly not a problem and in the vast majority of cases does not create problems with the graphical interface of the applications, but that it is certainly not the smallest in circulation, much less it is not among the most discreet. In short, until you get used to it immediately catches the eye.

Hardware and performance - Huawei MatePad Pro

The wording "Pro" is justified. The MatePad Pro is animated by the new processor Kirin 990 octa core 2,86 GHz, flanked by a GPU Mali G76 MP16 and well 6 GB of RAM memory. The interior space is from 128 GB and is expandable through NanoMemory, Huawei's proprietary memories.

And the performance is from "Pro", in fact. Of course, lacking Google's services, we have not had the opportunity to test Huawei's tablet with the heaviest games and applications, but by taking advantage of the App Gallery and what can be done with this out-of-the-box tablet, I must admit that there was not a second in which I encountered slowdowns or micro lag of any kind: everything flows smoothly and pleasantly, including system animations and multitasking management even with dozens of open apps.

Huawei MatePad Pro review

Good reception of the Dual band WiFi ac, which has managed to take the signal even in places in my house where WiFi is scarce with the iPad, however, the input for the 3.5 mm audio jack and the NFC chip are missing. On the M Pencil, however, I remain rather perplexed. His on paper 4096 pressure points, the magnetic attack and the induction charging make you imagine uncompromising performance, but you want for some improvements that must be made on the software side, you want maybe I'm used too well, I found a slight delay in the digitization of writing and drawing and some false touches that occur especially when trying to type using the pen. But be clear, nothing transcendental to adversely affect the user experience.

Huawei MatePad Pro review

Are also present four side speakers, which adapt the sound according to the orientation of the device and which create a good sound effect, with marked highs and lows and with a well balanced overall balance. The maximum volume is perhaps even too high and, often, I have had to lower it in order not to overdo it.

Camera

Huawei MatePad Pro review

The main camera positioned in the rear bump chamber which, let's face it, perhaps protrudes too much given its characteristics, is a 13 megapixels ƒ / 1.8 the quality decidedly suitable for the type of device. Nothing to do with the world of smartphones, it is clear, but suitable for casual photos and nothing more. The photos taken lack color and are generally very flat, but that's okay: at least nobody will be tempted to take pictures with the tablet when the smartphone is at hand. And that's good for the human being.

Discreet, without praise and without infamy, the front camera from 8 megapixel which is also used for unlocking with a 2D face and which allows the shooting of good quality selfies and rather acceptable video calls in conditions of good brightness. When there is little light instead, the result will be pastel and rich in noise.

Huawei MatePad Pro review

And here I would like to make a clarification: I know, perhaps I am the only one in the world to think of it this way, but I am convinced that in the world of tablets companies should "reverse" the cameras. Because, thank God, few use the tablet to take photos on vacation, but many use it perhaps to make video conferences. So if 2 + 2 is not 3, why not place a higher quality camera but on the front of the device? On the other hand, tablets are also used (or above all) to work, and it would make more sense to guarantee quality video conferencesrather than amateur photographs with the rear camera.

Software

And then we come to the software, once again the biggest question mark when it comes to a Huawei device. Starting with the assumption that the MatePad Pro is animated by Android 10 updated to the April 2020 patches (at the time of review) and customized by the EMUI 10, the most important question you should ask yourself before buying this (beautiful) tablet is simple: what do you want to do? Do you want to use it to watch streaming movies and TV series? Do you want to use it for work? Do you want to use it for web browsing and social networks? Or to do all these things together?

Huawei MatePad Pro review

Because the point is this: the absence of Google services it makes itself felt, at least initially and for some particular types of use. And yes, Huawei's App Gallery is growing rapidly and it could now almost be considered as a third pole in the world of application stores, and yes, using FindApp you can easily download most of the most popular applications. But if you need to use an application in particular, or if you only subscribe to Netflix, you may have difficulties.

Huawei MatePad Pro review

In short, the situation is no different compared to that of other Huawei smartphones: the user experience depends exclusively on the type of app and the type of use you want to do with the tablet, and therefore I recommend checking in advance if there is everything you have need. Sure, you can install the PlayStore, but it is not a procedure suitable for everyone and above all it may stop working at any moment. In any case, the situation of the App Gallery and the HMS is improving day by day, and I am convinced that for the vast majority of "average users", the available apps are more than enough.

All in all, the graphical interface does not change much compared to other Android smartphones and tablets on the market. There is a small side menu with which launch apps in a window or side by side to another application, but the two most interesting innovations are the ability to integrate and control your Android smartphone directly from the tablet and the presence of a particular desktop mode which will allow you to use applications in windows, just like you were using a computer. An interesting idea, but one that would have been more functional if Huawei's had thought of adding a trackpad to the keyboard cover.

Battery

The battery built into the MatePad Pro is one 7250 mAh, very interesting especially considering the compactness of the product. The autonomy is more than enough to be able to use the tablet also quite intensely for over two days, but the novelty lies in the presence of the quick charge from 40W, a novelty for this sector, and the presence of wireless charging from 15W which can also be used in reverse mode (however at 7.5W) and recharge the other devices.

Price and conclusions - Huawei MatePad Pro

Huawei MatePad Pro review

Il Huawei MatePad Pro is on sale at an introductory price of €549, a decidedly aggressive figure for one of the most compact and best managed 10.8 inches currently on the market. By purchasing it until May 31, yes will receive as a gift also the cover with keyboard (which costs 129 €) and the pen (which costs 99 €), which makes it even more interesting.

In short, the new tablet from Huawei it is a top of the range in all respects and it has everything you could ask for from such a device: an excellent battery that recharges even with reverse wireless, a good quality keyboard and pen, an excellent display and high quality audio.

If the Huawei MediaPad Pro had just come out a year ago, it would have perhaps been the first and only competitor of the iPad Pro, but the lack of Google services makes itself felt and does not make it a device suitable for everyone. However, considering the price, my advice is this: think about your needs, make sure that what you want to do with the tablet is guaranteed by the possibility of installing your favorite apps and, if so, run to buy it. For 549 euros, with pen and keyboard as a gift, you will hardly find better.

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