The Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 is a new middle-class tablet with a 10.1-inch full HD display and a fast octa-core processor. Starting at 299 Euros it also features four speakers, a fingerprint scanner and an optional pen. But is it really a good tablet? That’s what you will find out in this Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 review.
Design & Build Quality
The design of the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 is very similar to the pricier MediaPad M5 10. Like with its premium brother, it features a full metal body and feels very high-end. While it is not super thin at 7.7mm the weight of 475g is alright.
I really like that we are getting a fingerprint scanner here which is located underneath the screen. The predecessor had one already and it is great that we get one again because it’s not that common in this price range. Thanks to the fingerprint reader you can unlock the tablet fast and securely, but also use built-in gestures. With those gestures, you can replace the home, back, and recent apps buttons.
On the sides, we get a USB C port which you can use to charge the tablet and connect accessories. There are a power button, volume controls, and even a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. All tablets should have a headphone jack, however, the standard M5 10 does not.
Speakers & Cameras
A major highlight of the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 is its speakers. In fact, it has four in total. Two are located on the top and two on the bottom. And the speakers are very good. Considering this is a tablet, I would even call them outstanding. Movies and music sound nice and even have a solid bass. I’m reviewing the much pricier Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 at the same time and the M5 Lite 10 has noticeably better speakers.
The cameras on the front and back offer a resolution of 8 megapixels each. Sadly, the quality is a bit disappointing. Sure, they are usable for video chats but kind of bad for taking nice pictures. Especially compared to smartphone cameras videos look kind of blurry.
Let’s take a look at the display of the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10. It has a diagonal of 10.1 inches and an aspect ratio of 16:10. As is common in this price range, it features a full HD resolution with 1920 x 1200 pixels. If you look very closely, you can see pixels. However, if you hold the tablet normally in front of you texts and icons look sharp enough. I always think that full HD is fine on 10 inches.
Other aspects of the screen are good too. It is an IPS panel with wide viewing angles and colors look saturated. The contrast is very good too.
It is almost a perfect display. However, it could be a bit brighter. It’s certainly bright enough for normal use but too dark to read comfortably in direct sunlight. But again, overall it is a nice display.
Hardware & Performance
Inside the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 runs a HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core processor with eight cores in total. My review unit has 3GB of RAM and a 32GB internal storage and that is the only version available right now. However, according to Huawei’s product page, there will be a version with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB storage as well.
The performance of the Kirin 659 with those 3GB of RAM is fast enough for almost everything. I used it without any problems to surf the web in Chrome with a lot of tabs, watch YouTube, write in Microsoft Word and to read emails. The split-screen-view runs very nicely and smoothly as well.
Benchmark & Gaming Test
And that is what my benchmark tests show too. In Geekbench 4, the tablet gets 929 points in the single-core-test and 3657 points in the multi-core-test. With AnTuTu, the M5 Lite 10 gets over 87000 points. Results like these place the tablet in the upper middle-class.
Because this chip has to deal with a full HD resolution only, the performance is noticeably better in real life than tablets like the Chuwi Hi9 Pro (review) which get better benchmark-results. In fact, games like Modern Combat 5 and Into The Dead 2 run very smoothly at medium settings.
This goes for Players Unknown Battlegrounds Mobile as well. It runs very nicely in lowest but also with medium graphics settings. This tablet is pretty good for playing PUBG and there is occasional stuttering only. If you want to play it in HD, you have to get the standard M5 tablet though.
So, overall the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 is not a perfect gaming tablet but a pretty good one. You can play pretty much every game, at least at medium graphics settings. This is a big improvement compared to the previous version.
Android Oreo & EMUI
The MediaPad M5 Lite 10 is shipped with Android 8.0 Oreo. Well, that is good, but it is very unlikely that it will ever get an update to Android 9.0 Pie. I might be wrong of course, but based on the past, it is very unlikely. Huawei has to get better with updates.
But alright. On top of Android 8.0 Oreo runs the EMUI in version 8.0. It is exactly the same interface we got with previous tablets from Huawei. Even their smartphones have almost the same UI and features. For my taste, the UI is a bit overloaded though.
As usual, we don’t get an app drawer out of the box but you can activate it in the settings. I also am not a big fan of the pre-installed SwiftKey keyboard on tablets. But again, you can just replace it. You have to active those gestures for the fingerprint scanner in the settings too.
As you can see, there really is a lot to customize here. My advice with Huawei tablets is always to go through all the settings once. Chances are that if you don’t like something, you can probably change it in the settings.
In addition to that, there are also a lot of pre-installed apps. You can uninstall a lot of them but not all.
So I think Android 8.0 Oreo and the EMUI are fine but not perfect. Personally, I prefer vanilla Android or the UI from Samsung or Lenovo. But, as I said, you can customize a lot here anyway. At least everything runs smoothly.
M Pen Lite
Another important feature of the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 is the optional stylus which you can buy separately at around 30 euros. The pen is called M Pen Lite and is a bit weaker version of the M Pen for the MediaPad M5 Pro. While the design of both pens looks very similar, the M Pen Lite does not have any buttons. And it is powered by a removable battery.
The M Pen Lite is not as pressure sensitive as a lot of higher-end competitors are. It supports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity instead of 4096. However, to be honest, I can’t notice any differences. Maybe you’ll notice it if you use these kinds of pens a lot. But remember, most pens in the past including the ones from Wacom graphics tablets had 1024 pressure points only.
Well, as I said, the pen is pressure sensitive. That means you can draw a thin line by pressing the pen lightly and a thicker line when pressing harder.
I’m reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 with the S Pen right now and compared to that one, I noticed a major difference. With the Galaxy Tab S4, it kind of feels like drawing on real paper. At least almost. However, with the M Pen Lite, it clearly feels like writing on glass.
On the software side, there is not that much support for the pen. For example, those shortcuts from the M5 Pro are missing. And there are two apps pre-installed for the pen only. One is a notes app for handwritten notes and the other one is a calculator that is used by writing by hand too. Additionally, there is handwriting recognition build into the keyboard. But that’s it.
If you want to edit PDFs or want to draw a bit you have to download apps from the Play Store.
Let’s get to the battery life. The MediaPad M5 Lite 10 has a battery with a capacity of 7500mAh. That lasted for a runtime of 12.5 hours in my standard battery test. For that, I’m always looping an HD video at 50 percent brightness.
As you can see in my battery comparison, a result of 12.5 hours is very good. Sure, there are tablets out there with a bit longer runtime, but a lot with a shorter battery life too. Well, you can see that the battery life is pretty good.
That is the case during everyday use as well. If you’re working with it using apps like Chrome and Word it will last you a whole day. And I’m sure most don’t have to charge it more than every two days.
Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 Review: Final Verdict
So, is the Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite 10 a good tablet? I think it is a very good tablet with great value. Stating at 299 Euros we get a full metal body, a good display, and a solid performance. At the same time, it offers premium features like four good speakers, a fingerprint scanner and an optional pen. It has a long battery life as well.
I think the MediaPad M5 Lite 10 is a great tablet for its price. And I don’t think that most people have to spend more money on a pricier Android tablet. However, let’s take a look at a couple of alternatives anyway.
A direct competitor is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 which is just a bit pricier. It features a full HD display and four speakers as well. But it has a full plastic body, no fingerprint reader and the four speakers are a bit weaker. The performance is not as good either. I think it’s only a good alternative if software updates are very important to you.
Another very interesting alternative is the iPad 2018 (review). Yes, it has two speakers only and the screen is not laminated. However, it offers a better performance and an excellent Apple Pencil. And it costs just a bit more.
Obviously, you should also check out the standard Huawei MediaPad M5 10 (review). It offers a noticeable better gaming performance and a higher-resolution screen.
If you don’t need any premium-features like four speakers, a pen or a fingerprint scanner, you could also check out the Huawei MediaPad T5 10 (review). In fact, the internal hardware and display are identical to the M5 Lite 10. While it is much cheaper, you have to live without those premium features.
- High-end metal body
- Good performance
- Nice full HD display
- Four speakers
- Fingerprint sensor
- Optional pen
- Long battery life
- Bad cameras
- Updates unlikely
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