Qualcomm’s 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor provides excellent support to the demanding screen, thus all the software received with the MediaPad can be used without glitches or stops, and this includes web browsing. Only on pages with several Flash elements, pinch-to-zoom stutters a bit, but it?s far from annoying.
Multimedia file playback runs smoothly and swiftly, as do photo galleries. The MediaPad is on par with the iPad 2 or any other top class Android tablet. The performance is commendable all around, especially given the strain the high-resolution display places on the processor.
The price for such fast performance is that start-up takes a bit longer than it should, and the MediaPad?s battery life is not as long as with other tablets. The MediaPad lasts approximately one hour less with active usage compared to the 7-inch HTC Flyer or Samsung Galaxy Tab.
The MediaPad comes with an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a compass, along with 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of ROM and 5.8 GB of data storage, which makes a rather suitable platform for fast and dynamic games. It also sports the 220 Adreno graphic chip, which takes up a part of processing during the games, providing CPU with additional power.
The MediaPad we tested came with the full versions of several games. We especially loved the dynamic and furious Asphalt 6 racing game, as well as the full version of Angry Birds, which is especially fun to play with such pixel density. The same can be said for the pre-installed golfing game.
The MediaPad also flexes its multimedia chops with the fact that this tablet can reproduce 1080p video, has an MP3 player (which even supports FLAC) and that it can easily be connected to the TV.
Google?s stock Honeycomb apps round out the rest of the software, keeping the MediaPad light on bloatware. Huawei did not apply any UI customizations for the MediaPad, which is good or bad, depending on your Android preference. However, Huawei?s light touch means the MediaPad will be easier for Huawei to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich, as evident by the pending update.
Camera, Speakers, Connectivity
Given its multimedia profile, it was interesting to try out its 5-megapixel back-facing camera. For starters, the camera software is fast, which is good. However, speaking of multimedia manipulation, image quality is lacking. The images are average in sharpness and the colors mostly tend to the colder end of the spectrum. The same thing goes for recording video clips with the 720p resolution. The device has a LED flash, which does little to aid image quality.
The user-facing camera has a 1.3-megapixel resolution and can also record 720p videos. It offers equally average and cold images and is somewhat slower than the back-facing camera. It?s acceptable for video calls, but not much else.
The speakers are extremely disappointed, as they do not offer high fidelity, especially with music and video audio. Earbuds or external speakers are recommended.
MediaPad’s connectivity is at a high level. It supports just about all 3G and 2G bands, but not LTE or HSPA+, which Huawei delivers only with models by certain carriers (the AT&T offering and the T-Mobile SpringBoard support HSPA+). Thus, this tablet can be used anywhere in the world, with the maximum of 14.4 Mbps of data transfer during download and 5.76 Mbps during upload.