Huawei MediaPad S7 review
Huawei mostly plies its trade producing “white label” smartphones for mobile phone networks, but it’s also now started making tablets. The MediaPad S7 is the first to hit the shelves in the UK.
The basics look good. It’s a compact 7in Android tablet with an 800 x 1,280 screen, 8GB of storage and a microSD slot for expansion. It has a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with 1GB of RAM, and a pair of cameras: 5 megapixels at the rear and 1.3 megapixels at the front.
Surprisingly, there’s also 3G to go with the 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Normally, this is a luxury item, restricted to high-priced premium models, but it comes as standard here.
The second surprise is the design of the tablet, which feels exceedingly well made. It’s hewn from a single block of aluminium and finished in matte silver, with triangular plastic bumpers at the top and bottom to prevent scratching. It’s chunky compared to the other 7in tablets we’ve reviewed recently, such as the Samsung, but not in an unpleasant way.
Finally, the screen is lovely – an IPS panel with wide viewing angles and vivid colours. We measured its brightness at a maximum of 348cd/m2 with a contrast ratio of 800:1, and text and graphics look sharp-edged and crisp, thanks to a high pixel density of 216ppi – just behind the new iPad and the Sony Tablet P.
The MediaPad acquitted itself well in our other tests, too, with a SunSpider time of 2,203ms and Quadrant score of 1,549. The only downsides were slightly iffy battery life (6hrs 30mins) and the presence of Android 3.2, which meant the occasional stutter when navigating the OS and web pages.
The problem for the MediaPad S7 isn’t performance, though – it’s the competition. With both Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) and the Nexus 7 now offering slimmer, sleeker 7in tablets for much less cash, Huawei is going to struggle to sell any of these tablets, notwithstanding the built-in 3G.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||124 x 10.5 x 190mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||800|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,280|
|CPU frequency, MHz||1.2GHz|
|Camera megapixel rating||5.0mp|
|Mobile operating system||Android 3.2|