The Huawei MediaPad T3 10 is the newest tablet out of Huawei’s cheaper lineup. Its main features are Android 7.0 Nougat, optional LTE and a 9.6-inch display. That’s a bit smaller than what we are used to from the competition. How good is this 150 US Dollar tablet – compared to the completion as well? That’s what you’ll find out in this review.
Update: You can already get its successor. Here is my Huawei MediaPad T5 10 review.
Design & Build Quality
The design of the MediaPad T3 10 is very similar to other recent tablets from Huawei. It looks very similar to the more expensive MediaPad M3 Lite 10 (review), which I reviewed already. But it is a bit smaller. While we are not getting a full metal body here, the back plate is made out of aluminum. On the sides and on the top there is a plastic frame though.
It’s certainly not the thinnest tablet at 7.95-millimeters but I wouldn’t call it thick either. The weight is 460 grams which are alright too. Because of the metal back, the MediaPad T3 10 feels relatively high-end and, thanks to its rounded edges, it is very comfortable to hold. I like it a bit better than the Lenovo Tab 4 8 (review) or Amazon Fire HD 10 which are both direct competitors.
Speakers, Ports & Cameras
On the bottom, we are getting one single speaker. Considering the price, the sound is not bad at all. But since there is only one at the bottom, it is fairly easy to cover by accident when using it while lying on a sofa or bed.
There are a micro SD card slot and a micro USB port on the sides. Yes, Huawei is still not giving us a USB Type C port. An HDMI out or fingerprint sensor are missing as well. But, to be fair, no competitor is offering it at this price.
While the front-facing camera offers a resolution of 2-megapixel, there is a 5-megapixel main camera on the back. Both do not offer the best picture quality. But it is actually good enough. I’ve seen much worse from cheaper devices.
Display: HD Screen Only
Even though this tablet is called Huawei MediaPad T3 10, the display has a diagonal of 9.6-inches only. So it’s a bit smaller than most competitors. That makes it a bit handier. At this price, we usually get an HD resolution only and that is the case here as well. The screen offers a resolution of 1280 x 800.
Almost all smartphones offer a higher pixel density than the MediaPad T3 10. Compared to those and higher resolution tablets, icons and texts can look a bit unsharp – for example when reading eBooks. I didn’t mind the lower resolution when watching videos though. As I said, most competitors offer an HD resolution at this price. There is one exception though. The new Amazon Fire HD 10 (review) costs about the same and has a full HD screen.
Other aspects of this IPS panel are pretty good. It is bright enough, offers a good contrast and colors look nice. The touchscreen reacts nicely and smoothly as well.
Hardware & Performance
Inside runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC which is a quad-core processor with all four cores clocked at 1.4GHz. Other specs include 2GB of RAM and a 16GB internal storage. The system uses 7.5GB out of those out of the box. In some markets, Huawei is offering a version with 3GB of RAM and a 32GB storage as well.
The Snapdragon 425 is certainly not the fastest processor. But it is powerful enough for most things. That includes browsing the web in Chrome, watching YouTube or Amazon Prime Video and working with Microsoft Word. You might see some minor lags though when you’re switching between apps fast or have a lot of stuff opened in the background.
As you might expect at this price, the MediaPad T3 10 is not a dedicated gaming tablet. But I did play a lot of games with it without encountering big problems. Games like Asphalt Xtreme, Rayman Adventures or Dead Trigger 2 runs pretty well. That is not the case with Modern Combat 5 though which tends to be very stuttery during action-heavy sequences.
In benchmarks, the tablet gets very similar results to the Lenovo Tab 4 8 and Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 which offer almost the same hardware. With Geekbench 4, the MediaPad T3 10 gets 680 and 1900 points. In AnTuTu the result is 37,700. By the way, the new Amazon Fire HD 10 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 are noticeably faster.
Android 7.0 & EMUI 5.1
There hasn’t been any tablet with Android Oreo yet and the MediaPad T3 10 is no exception. Huawei is shipping it with Android 7.0 Nougat and the EMUI in Version 5.1. That’s the own interface from Huawei. If you’ve ever owned a smartphone or tablet from them in the last couple of years, you’ll feel right at home. The interface is identical to the ones on their recent phones and tablets.
With the Emotion UI, the design is customized quite heavily. There are a lot of apps pre-installed as well. I wish Huawei would give us a bit lighter version. On the plus side, you can customize the design yourself quite heavily as well. For example, out of the box, the app drawer is missing. But you can activate it in the setting.
I prefer vanilla Android but I can live with the EMUI. If you’re getting this tablet, I would recommend to take some time and go through the settings and pre-installed apps one by one. There are a lot of features and that way you see them all and can decide if you like them or chose to ignore them.
Besides that, it obviously still is normal Android with all the features we are used to. That includes the split screen view. With this feature, you can open two apps side by side. That works pretty well here as well.
The battery life of the Huawei MediaPad T3 10 is not great. For my battery test, I’m always running the same HD video over and over again, until the tablet shuts itself off. Brightness is set to 50 percent and WiFi is activated. In this test, the MediaPad T3 10 got a runtime of 9 hours and 20 minutes.
Yes, it is a cheaper tablet. But similarly priced competitors like the Lenovo Tab 4 8 and Amazon Fire HD 10 offer a better battery life in the same test.
During my everyday use, the battery was not outstanding too, but I was fine with it. What’s certainly nice: The tablet is not losing a lot of power when the screen is turned off. I wrote down a kind of battery diary again and got a total runtime of 37 hours. In those 37 hours, I used it actively for 6 hours and 10 minutes. During that time, I mainly watched YouTube and played a couple of games. Brightness varied between 50 and 100 percent and Wifi and Bluetooth were both activated.
Huawei MediaPad T3 10 Review: Final Verdict
So, can I recommend the Huawei MediaPad T3 10? Well, that kind of depends on where you are from. It is a solid tablet with a good build quality and a decent performance. Overall, I actually enjoyed using it. Especially for watching videos. One downside is the HD-resolution, but, as I mentioned, most competitors don’t offer a higher one. With one exception.
If you are living in a country where Amazon sells the new Amazon Fire HD 10, then I think that one is a better alternative. While you have to live with Amazons heavy customizations, it costs around the same, offers a better performance, a higher resolution display and a longer battery life.
Again, depending on where you live, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 might be a good alternative too. It usually is more expensive, but sometimes you can get deals which pushes it more in the direction of the MediaPad T3 10s price. That really varies by country though. In some, I’ve seen Samsung sell it as its release price and that is definitely too much.
Besides that, the MediaPad T3 10 is certainly a solid tablet. Considering the price, it does not suffer any major weakness. At the same time, it is not super interesting either and is not differentiating itself from competitors like the Lenovo Tab 4 series. It certainly will be more interesting, if you can get a deal on it and the price drops a bit.
- Good build quality
- Solid performance
- Recent Android 7.0 Nougat
- Bad battery life
- HD-resolution only
- Future updates unlikely
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