The design has already succeeded: the aluminum chassis is rounded to the sides, the 8-inch model fits well. At the front, the likewise rounded 2.5-D glass continues the flowing design, with the polished display bezel setting a loose accent. In terms of color, Huawei Mediapad M5 limits itself on all models of the young M5 series to a neutral “Space Gray” with tonal tuned interrupts for the antennas.
Stereo, But No Jack
Only the camera protrudes somewhat cheekily out of the approximately seven millimeters slim case out – it is too narrow to take them completely. In terms of quality, the snapshot, which takes pictures with 13 megapixels and videos in Ultra HD, benefits from the generally good camera software Huawei, which also heaves the brand’s more affordable smartphones to a good level. Among other things, it provides a brightening of the display for selfies and captures snapshots as an ultra-Miniclip, as known from Apple’s live photos.
A jack is missing. Instead, an adapter is included to connect a wired headset to the USB Type-C port at the bottom. On both short sides are also stereo speakers by Harman Kardon. This is not uncommon for 8-inches and underlines the media affinity of the Huawei tablet. However, the M5 series, which is being advertised with intelligent algorithms for sharp and distortion-free images, experienced a breakdown at the launch: during the trial period, the HD content of several streaming providers was only played in SD quality. An update should fix the error.
At least, the display resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels is not only sufficient but also pleasingly high on its own for a tablet of this size. The fingerprint sensor quickly unlocks the device and detects swipe gestures for the basic Android navigation (Back, Home, Open applications). The haptic feedback when using the virtual keyboard gives a secure feeling while typing.
Confusion, however, in the numbering: the Huawei Mediapad M5 follows the Mediapad M3, EMUI 8 on EMUI 5. At least the latter can be explained: The labeling of the in-house user interface is based in future on the underlying Android version; the M5 is based on Android 8. New in EMUI 8 is a Google feed, which appears by swiping to the left of the home screens; App menus as in the picture above appear after a long press on the icon and make the direct jump to the selected function or the corresponding window of the application possible.
The runtime is in view of the 5,100-milliampere battery with seven and a half hours weaker than expected. Huawei equips the M5 with fast charging technology. With this and the USB-C port, it has features that are common on smartphones but are still rare on tablets.
The CPU is not up-to-date, but the HiSilicon Kirin 960 with Mali G71 GPU is not a middle-class chip, which is often found in tablets. The predecessor of the current Kirin 970 was one of the fastest CPUs ever made a good year ago and delivers even today a high performance, especially since their 4 gigabytes of memory are available.
Weaknesses are the incomplete coverage in GSM and UMTS and only 32 GB of internal memory. Because in total, the otherwise high-class components are also reflected in the price: The test device in 8.4 inches costs 399 euros; without LTE 50 Euro less. The variants in 10.8 inches are 449 with LTE or 399 euros without.
The flagship is the Mediapad M5 Pro: Unlike the basic models, it can be operated with a stylus, which is included in the price of 549 euros. All 10-inch models also have a desktop view for easier working, which is logically lacking in 8.4 inches.