Hands-on Review Of Huawei MatePad Pro: Is This New Huawei Tablet Worth A Punt?

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We were in Barcelona back in February when Huawei announced their MatePad Pro was coming to Europe. We've gotten used to a smartphone without Google Mobile Services but what's a tablet going to be like? We've been testing out the MatePad Pro for the past few weeks. We've been measuring how it stacks up against the Apple iPad and even iPad Pro while also trying to find the perfect scenario where it makes sense for you to buy this tablet.

Huawei has been pouring new products into the Irish market in recent years. The
latest gadget to launch in Ireland is the Huawei Matepad Pro, a tablet
which can genuinely challenge Apple’s iPad and iPad Pro in some areas.
One of the standout design features is the front facings hole-punch camera. Face
unlock is lightning fast but the in-screen camera means you get this slick thin-bezel
design. There’s also a primary camera but we don’t talk about that because I can’t
be friends with people who take pictures with their tablet. Don’t be those people.
Also impressive is the quad-stereo speakers which are nothing short of mighty.
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.
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 handwritten
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.
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 full 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 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 is workaround. 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. Artistic talent not included. 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. Drop a comment below and we can check it out for you.
So what’s the verdict? The MatePad Pro 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
the number of apps here is increasing every week. 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.
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